Posted by: bearcruzer | August 15, 2009

Yellowstone Backcountry Adventure

We met the next morning and towed the sailing canoe over to the Southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake.   Since motorized traffic is not allowed past a certain point in the arm our plan was to anchor offshore and take the canoe to the end of the arm of the lake and then Hike to headwaters of the Yellowstone.   Best laid plans……so to speak.   We anchored the FAR WEST II and proceeded to climb into the sailing canoe.  Our first attempt an anchoring was not our best effort and from about 100 yards away, we could see the C-Dory was rapidly drifting toward shore.   We quickly returned to the C-Dory , losing the rudder to the canoe in the process,  we repositioned FAR WEST II and secured her with 2 anchors.   Once we felt secure that she would not end up beached we proceed with our Sailing Canoe Trip, (now steering with just a paddle).   The wind however by this time was directly on the nose and we were not making much headway even tacking.   So we changed our plan and paddled over to shore, we enjoyed lunch on the east bank of the Southeast Arm of Yellowstone and watched as clouds began to form to the west. We decided to go for a hike anyway and traveled approx 3 miles in on the Thorofare Trail contributing quite a bit of DNA along the way to the local population of Mosquitoes.  We forded a couple of streams and so ended up hiking in wet shoes.    As we stood admiring the view of the Yellowstone River, the winds began in front of the approaching thunderstorm.    Suddenly we heard a big CRASH!  No more pesky mosquitoes, just falling timbers to worry about.  We got on our rain gear and continued away from the area of dead timber.   The lightening began to flash around us and the rain became heavy for a while.  We hiked on to a ranger’s cabin that John knew of and took shelter on the porch for a bit until the rain eased some.  Michael had commented that he hoped we could see Moose on our hike.  John thought that was unlikely as the Reintroduced Wolf population had decreased the number of moose in the park.  Just as the last couple of words were out of John’s mouth, a huge bull moose walked out from the willows approx 75 yards away and stood looking at us.   We got a good chuckle over that.   We suggested that maybe John could take us where he knows we won’t see any Bears next.     When the rainstorm passed we hiked back to the Canoe and kept a lookout to see if the 2nd anchoring job had held Far West II in her place during the storm.   We all let out a joyful yell upon seeing her right where we left her.   As we were boarding the Canoe, poor John slipped in the mud and fell in the lake and got soaked even more.   We fortunately had the winds with us and were able to sail the canoe right back to the C-Dory.   Far West II is equipped with a stove/heater unit that was immediately fired up and John was able to get into some dry clothes.   Michael remarked, “I haven’t been this soaked since our wedding day!”   We hoisted anchor, secured the canoe for towing and said goodbye to the back country of Yellowstone.  John loaned Michael a pair of dry swim trunks which gave us all a laugh when they ended up tangled around his ankles as he was adjusting the lines to the canoe.  The storm had kicked up following 4 ft waves on the lake and so we had to adjust our speed to a slow crawl for the 20 mile return trip, to keep the canoe from being swamped.  We were blessed with a glorious sunset on our return trip.   At 11:00pm we made it safely, albeit late, back to the marina where we were greeted by another friend of John’s who was happy to see us in one piece.   It turns out that while we were out hiking the Forest Service had radioed a recommendation to all boats that could get off of the lake, do so.    Michael reached for the line to secure the canoe next to Far West II for the night and the painter broke off of the canoe.  It had held for the entire return trip and broke off in the slip. Someone was looking out for us that day.   We sacked out in the Motor Home right there in the Marina Parking Lot and slept like rocks.




  1. Howdy, How was Surfer Boy’s gradgation?! Square Top just revealed its new coat for the winter, you guessed it, it’s a white one! My Chaco tan is fading, BLAST!!! Did you get the music yet? D&L

    • Doug and Laura, Yes we got the music and thank you so very much. What a nice gesture. I am currently trying to bring the blog up to date, but with so much that needs to be done it is a bit overwhelming. Stay warm you two! We miss you guys!

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