Last week I decided, after about 4 hours of going back and forth, to challenge myself and go on a long, winter hike, one that I had never been on before, alone. I have a hard time motivating myself as I am not working because honestly I hate putting makeup up! My face and I have been battling and my acne is winning. I hate wearing makeup but I hate having breakouts. Anyways I like to save getting ready for days I have a lot of things planned. I know this sounds crazy but I have so many other things I can work on at home. Anyways, I decided to go for it and man am I glad I did!
When I first approached the trail head I couldn't see the sign and almost left. "Great I drove all this way to not even find the trail!" But as I was driving away, I spotted the big brown sign and decided to backup and attempt the trail. As you can see below the trail is gorgeous! I started walking and only stopped when it seemed I was walking in areas that hadn't been touched for days. I wasn't familiar with the trail and I wasn't wearing a tracker and I didn't have a map so I was afraid of going too far. I walked until the trail split, seen below in the far away picture of me, then turned around. All in all I walked 5.2 miles.
Where: South Cottonwood Creek Trail, Bozeman, Montana
When: January 2018
Trail Distance: 5.2 miles
Distance from Bozeman: ~25 minutes
Directions and Parking
I recommend using All Trails to map. There is plenty of parking at the trail head. Note that the road is windy and less taken care of than city streets. You don't need all-wheel or four-wheel drive but drive slow! There are signs posted all over the place that the speed limit is 25 miles/hour as there are animals and children often at play.
The hike itself was easy to moderate. There were a few areas with steep climbs but for the most part it was easy. I don't bike but I can see why it's a popular mountain biking area - the road has plenty of big and small ups and down. I hiked in tennis shoes with Yaktrak covers and did just fine. I find the tennis shoes much better than the snow boots for hiking! If you are wondering about the pictures of me; I used a tripod and live shooting on my phone. I will explain this some day!
Everything I wore on the hike is linked below; everything is exact except for the shoes. I wore my Nike Free running shoes I bought a few years ago and I can't find the exact pair now. I really like them but they aren't the best for long winter hikes due to the wetness of snow. Luckily the socks I wore kept my feet dry until almost the end. I LOVE the socks. I plan to buy another pair or two!
I also love the tripod for taking pictures of myself. It's very thin so I have to be careful not to knock if over but it's light and easy to use. I love my Merrell backpack and my Roxy winter jacket. The leggings are from American Eagle and the t-shirts/sweatshirts are just random ones from over the years.
I also used this hike as the first time testing my camera strap, seen below. I usually just carry my camera in my hand because the around the neck strap hurts my neck. I decided to be cheap and buy this strap off Amazon - I wanted a strap that used my whole body like a backpack instead of just my neck. I walked 5.2 miles and I LOVE this strap. It evenly distributes the weight and although yes it does bounce on your hip you can easily place your hand on it to keep it from doing that. I have to have my camera ready at all times so this is the best option!
It was an extremely peaceful day. Being a huge fan of color, I am getting a little burnt out on all my brown and white (basically) photos but every time I go out I can see improvements within myself. This hike didn't feel taxing physically and it made me realize that I can hike farther and longer. I already plan to follow this exact trail in the summer to Hyalite Reservoir, about 14 miles total! And I have big plans for backpacking this summer also! Hiking is quite addciting and I LOVE being outside more than anything right now.
I have a serious question for you guys... if you are willing to play along. Glancing at my photos over the past month and my hope to improve... would you be interesting in prints for your own personal use?!