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The Crazy Mountains

I am a pretty simple person.  I don’t need anything fancy, and the latest electronic gadgets intrigue me, but really are nothing that I certainly must have.  In that spirit, when I was asked what I wanted to do for my first Father’s Day, I replied, “Go fishing.”  You see, I like to get up to Newlan Creek Reservoir once a year in the springtime in order to fish the swollen creek.  So that is exactly what happened.

My original thought was to leave on Friday and spend two nights out.  But my wife Jessica is a runner and she was participating in the Heart and Sole Run here in Billings.  So we got up on Saturday morning and had a relaxing morning before heading downtown.  I held our 7 month old and accompanied by my dad we watched the runners take off.  Strolling down to the finish line we arrived with plenty of time to spare to see Jessica cross the finish line.

We relaxed on the lawn after the easy 5k race, and then headed home to pack the car.  Shortly we were on our way up north toward White Sulphur Springs.  The trip was quiet, Holden slept most of the way, and the weather was a perfectly clear 75 degree day.

Pulling up to Newlan Creek Reservoir we noticed it was extremely busy.  We drove to the far end of the lake looking for a campsite only to be shut down.  Nothing available.  Luckily, I had no desire to camp in a paid camping spot nor to fish the lake.  I was after the creek where it flowed in.  We backtracked and noticed there was nobody in “our” little place along the creek.  We dropped down and quickly began setting up camp.








Within a short while our camp was set up, and our fishing rods were being strung.  I had gathered a couple dozen night crawlers from the garden the night before, so I had plenty of fresh bait (No, I don’t fly fish.  When I go out I do what I know so I’m guaranteed to catch fish).  Within minutes both my dad and I were hooked into some nice rainbow trout.  We talked, and fished, and Holden enjoyed being in the great outdoors all afternoon and into the evening.  Frying up some fresh trout is perhaps one of the best ways to finish off a fun afternoon.

The night was not quite as enjoyable.  Having an infant lying between you in the tent isn’t all bad, unless the temperature is 40 degrees.  Holden did great with his extra blankets and fuzzy hat, my wife and I on the other hand woke up every 20 minutes shivering.  Surprisingly the next morning we were fairly well rested.

We packed up camp, fished a little more, and then decided to head back to Harlowton and then turn south toward Big Timber.  I had seen Upper and Lower Glaston Lakes on the map before and wanted to get out there and check them out.  Getting there was more of a process than I had thought.  The road map showed one direction, the GPS showed another, and in actuality, neither was correct.  I had to view the satellite view in order to figure out which road to take.

Lower Glaston Lake

The lakes were, let’s just say, disappointing.  The first thing I noticed was that the only way onto them was through a private boat launch.  If you were not a member, or guest, of the Big Timber Boat Club you were not supposed to be there.  But having a hungry boy in the car, and being miles from the only other reasonable stopping point, we pressed on.  The area was not gross, but it wasn’t nice either.  My dad and I strung up our poles and tried our luck in the water, which was an odd milky blue color.  We quickly realized that in order to have maximum fun at Glaston Lakes you need a boat.  Jet skiing, water skiing, and inner tubing are the ways to go.

Talking with one of the other recreationists we found out there are indeed fish in the lake, but again you would need a boat to get out to the deeper spots in the water where the fish are lurking.  We packed up shop and headed to Big Timber, about 20 miles away.  We pulled into town around 2:00pm and headed to the Frosty Freeze (which is for sale if you’re looking for a business to buy) for a burger, fries, and a delicious blackberry shake.  A relaxing meal on the picnic table hit the spot.  Once more we piled into the car and soon everyone was asleep (except for me of course, although technology probably COULD drive you home it isn’t quite there yet).

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