Kayaking on the Missouri River north of Helena – Massive Sky Walker

Good medication.
As a result of an outbreak of COVID on the Ft. Belknap Reservation in north-central Montana earlier this fall, Hays-Lodge Pole Excessive College has been completely on-line since late September. Because of this, I’ve been instructing remotely from my dwelling in Helena for the previous a number of weeks. Prep work, grading, employees conferences, instructing – they’re all on-line! 😦 So, my after-work hikes up Mt. Helena or Mt. Ascension have been extra necessary than ever – not super-exciting however VERY therapeutic. Nonetheless, my two greatest remedy classes of November happened on the Missouri River north of Helena.

Helena’s again yard.
On the primary journey (11/1/20), a pair buddies and I kayaked the 16-mile stretch from Higher Holter Lake (20 miles north of Helena) to Decrease Holter Lake close to the small city of Wolf Creek. My second go to to the river (11/22/20) was a solo out-and-back kayak journey (6 miles round-trip), with stops alongside the best way to get pleasure from a pair quick hikes. Each outings began at Higher Holter Lake 20 miles north of Helena – the identical place the place the Gates of the Mountains Boat Excursions begin and end.

Simple on the eyes.
On the longer journey with my buddies (Jim and Jerry), we began paddling at 8:30 am and completed at 3:30 pm. It was chilly as we kayaked via the shade of the gorgeous limestone canyon however as soon as the Solar rose excessive sufficient, our consolation stage improved considerably. This 6-mile lengthy canyon is without doubt one of the most scenic stretches of the whole Missouri River, which begins 65 miles south of right here, and dumps into the Mississippi at St. Louis. So, regardless of the cool temperatures, paddling under the spectacular limestone partitions was nonetheless gratifying.

Rollin’ on the river.
As soon as via the canyon, there was no scarcity of daylight to heat our backs, and loads of time to benefit from the panorama. Highlights included passing by Mann Gulch and Rescue Gulch, drifting alongside reduce banks fabricated from silt deposited on the backside of historic Glacial Lake Nice Falls, and paddling under the rugged mass of rock that includes the pinnacle of the Sleeping Large – a well-known Helena landmark. We took a pair breaks alongside the best way earlier than rounding Oxbow Bend and crossing the southern fringe of Decrease Holter Lake. My son Keith was there to shuttle us dwelling.

Chasing Daylight.
I began my second (solo) journey later within the morning (10:45 am) to verify the Solar can be shining on me as I paddled via the canyon. Additionally, I wished to get some good drone photographs with the Solar shining on either side of the canyon. My technique labored – however don’t take my phrase for it. Have a look via the Picture Tour, which incorporates photographs from each journeys.

Beneath: This map marks hikes which were featured on bigskywalker.com thus far, together with a number of in Glacier Park – Choose full display to broaden, zoom in for extra element, or click on on a marker for a hyperlink to the submit.



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