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

Good drugs.
Resulting from an outbreak of COVID on the Ft. Belknap Reservation in north-central Montana earlier this fall, Hays-Lodge Pole Excessive Faculty has been completely on-line since late September. Because of this, I’ve been educating remotely from my house in Helena for the previous a number of weeks. Prep work, grading, workers conferences, educating – they’re all on-line! 😦 So, my after-work hikes up Mt. Helena or Mt. Ascension have been extra vital than ever – not super-exciting however VERY therapeutic. Nevertheless, my two finest remedy periods of November befell 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 way in which 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.

Straightforward 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 by the shade of the gorgeous limestone canyon however as soon as the Solar rose excessive sufficient, our consolation degree improved considerably. This 6-mile lengthy canyon is among the most scenic stretches of your entire 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 pleasing.

Rollin’ on the river.
As soon as by 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 minimize banks manufactured from silt deposited on the backside of historical Glacial Lake Nice Falls, and paddling under the rugged mass of rock that contains the top of the Sleeping Big – a well-known Helena landmark. We took a pair breaks alongside the way in which earlier than rounding Oxbow Bend and crossing the southern fringe of Decrease Holter Lake. My son Keith was there to shuttle us house.

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 by the canyon. Additionally, I wished to get some good drone pictures with the Solar shining on each side of the canyon. My technique labored – however don’t take my phrase for it. Have a look by the Photograph Tour, which incorporates pictures from each journeys.

Beneath: This map marks hikes which have been featured on bigskywalker.com to this point, together with a number of in Glacier Park – Choose full display screen to broaden, zoom in for extra element, or click on on a marker for a hyperlink to the put up.


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