After we left Helena, we drove south seeking cooler temperatures in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. We stopped in Anaconda to admire their beautiful buildings – including the Washoe Theater, a 1930s movie theater still in operation – and stopped for some huckleberry ice cream at the local drug store before driving into the national forest.
As we left town it started to rain and only got heavier as we went deeper into the forest. Again, we hadn’t made a campsite reservation, but were happy to find a site on our first try, maybe the rain aided us. It was still raining when we pulled into Lodgepole Campground, aptly named as each campsite was nestled among thin towers of lodgepole pines. We found a spot and I walked back to the entrance to pay the fee. On the campground bulletin board I encountered a warning about recent bear activity – hooray? We’ve camped in bear country many times now, but to know that bears have been recently active in your campground is slightly unsettling. Oh well. I had already paid; we were gonna stick it out – we keep a clean camp, plus Truman would warn us, right?
Though I would have been happy to relax in the rain, we do not have a canopy – it may be time to invest in one. So we decided to drive farther along Hwy. 1 – Pintler Veterans Memorial Scenic Highway – to Philipsburg where Zach knew there was a brewery. Though it was still raining when we arrived in town, the temperature was beautifully cool. Truman stayed behind in the car to nap, and we went to have a couple pints at Philipsburg Brewing.
The brewery was hopping, and we thoroughly enjoyed passing a couple hours there. The storm had passed by the time we left, so we walked around town for a bit before going back to our campsite to make dinner and hide from the bears.
The next morning, we woke up unscathed (hehe). We had breakfast, broke down our camp, and prepared to go back to Salt Lake. Tru and I walked over to Georgetown Lake to admire the view before we set out for breakfast in Philipsburg. We had coffee and breakfast bagels on the patio of The Daily Grind, and then we set off to finish the scenic highway before rejoining the Interstate and heading south.