Billed as an epic journey through some of Monte @Blackdawg's favorite places in Montana and Wyoming over the course of two weeks in fall of 2017, The De-Tour quickly became a trip for the ages - and not because of the epic views or grand overlooks. Rather, it was the weather that made this trip memorable. Record cold temperatures for this time of year, and a weather system that stuck with us for days meant we were wet, cold, and muddy much of the time.
After a week, we'd had enough. Tails tucked, much of the group split for home, but a few of us continued on - not with the trip that had been planned, but further south - trying to escape to somewhere a little warmer - to Moab.
The De-Tour (Sep 2017) - September 17 - October 1, 2017 As @mrs.turbodb and I returned from the OBDR, we were already wondering what our next adventure would be. And, at least I assumed that it would be next year. Boy, was I wrong. You see, 10 days before we'd left for Oregon, an unassuming… We are now a caravan of four | The De-Tour Day #1 - September 17, 2017 The morning was an early one. I'd spent the last couple days wrapping up things as work and getting ready to go. By 10pm Saturday, my checklist was complete: CB radio installed Warm clothes and extra sleeping bag (just in case) packed Two weeks of breakfast, lunch,… Off to a Rough Start | The De-Tour Day #2 - September 18, 2017 Close to the gravel road, we were awoken at first light by traffic, including 18-wheelers. And as we climbed out of our tents, we got our first look at the site we'd called camp the night before. It was glorious. In that "it worked" kind of way.… Weather | The De-Tour Day #3 - September 19, 2017. Hoping the rain would stop, we all stayed in bed until 8:30am. Or at least, that's why I stayed in bed - I'd later realize that 9am was the general wake-up time. Once again, morning provided a clearer view of our campsite as the rain let up… Sun! …and a Soap Explosion | The De-Tour Day #4 - September 20, 2017. Most of us were awoken at 2:00am by Mike's radio blasting when Ben calling over the ham radio to see if anyone was around. I say "most" because Mike slept right through it! Of course, no one was getting out of their tent and into the snow… They survived only by killer instinct | The De-Tour Day #5 - For those of us that awoke to the pitter-patter of rain at 1:30am, our weather-contentment from the night before was short-lived. For everyone else…ok, there was no one else. We waited for the rain to slow before getting up the next morning - even Ben and I getting up a… The day we reached camp before dark | The De-Tour Day #6 - It was 5:22am when Mark rolled in, and curled up in his passenger seat for a couple hours of sleep - that is, until Ben found him around 8 and he headed back into town for coffee and some crazy energy drink - the breakfast of 25-year-olds! The rest of… End of the trip. For Frank. | The De-Tour Day #7 - Amazingly, Ben wasn't the first one up. Glenn was, to clean off his tent. Snow had continued through the night, and we had a good 3-4 inches covering everything. It was pretty, but cold. As we got up and took stock of the situation, Ben made an off-the-cuff remark that… Ghost Towns | The De-Tour Day #8 - We woke up in Monte's driveway without having been rained on at all the previous night. Glorious. Ben and Kirsten had taken off early - around 7 - since they had a long drive in front of them before work the next day, and we got word from Glenn (who'd… I want to see some sand dunes | The De-Tour Day #9 - The rain we'd known was coming did in fact come, but it passed by 7:00am the next morning as the sun and blue sky revealed themselves through the clouds. In what was becoming a ritual, I got up and explored the area around our camp before the rest of the… The Final Three | The De-Tour Day #10 - Derp would never see the sand dunes, even though it turned out we were camped at the base of one nearly 200-feet high. Having set three sequential alarms "just in case," when his first alarm went off at 4:00am, he bucked his usual trend and got up and out of… Unescapable Rain | The De-Tour Day #11 - It was a wonderful night. There was no rain, no snow, and no ice on our tents as the sun rose into the sky. Having seen our campsite the night before, this morning was more about getting new perspectives and enjoying the sounds of the world waking up around us.… Coincidences and Camp Fires | The De-Tour Day #12 - During the night, the rain stopped, and by morning, though the ground was still wet, the sun was doing it's best to paint the landscape a brilliant orange. In combination with some straggling dark clouds, it made for cool light - perfect for adventure. Our camp site really was amazing… Best. Campsite. Ever. | The De-Tour Day #13 - Parked at the head of Gemini Bridges, we expected to be woken early by Jeepers, but we weren't. The first set headed up around 9:00am, moving slowly. For good reason too - they were Jeeps, and so a bit fragile. As usual, we'd ended up in a beautiful spot. Out… It's not over till it's over | The De-Tour Day #14 - We slept soundly through the night, but when I woke up in the morning, I was immediately out of bed to take advantage of what I knew would be some very cool light before the sun got too high in the sky. As it turned out, I'd be extra glad… Then there were two. And then, one. | The De-Tour Day #15 - With a long trip ahead of us, we were up early - everyone climbing down ladders around 8:00am, and ready to head down the mountain by 8:30am. We'd survived the night without getting hit by lightning, and even the rain had stopped sometime in the wee hours of the morning,…
Update: Enjoyed the De-Tour? Check out the Re-Tour where we tried to tackle everything in conditions a bit more hospitable!