Wednesday, August 9 (continued)
About six miles before we reach the town of Big Timber, the crew and I disembark Interstate 90 (Exit 362) to investigate camping at Grey Bear Fishing Access Site (FAS).
We haven’t camped at Montana’s fishing access sites this summer and I’m curious to see if they might provide another option for us.
On the frontage road I look for the typical FAS sign, brown and white with a fish about to bite a hook.
Making the turn, we cut between two fields.
This is an agricultural area, mostly private or state land, so it’s a good thing Montana has set aside places where one can access the Yellowstone.
We cross the railroad tracks and my anticipation grows.
As it always does when approaching a new camp!
Oh, I hope this is good . . .
We come to another FAS sign on the right and a bridge beyond the sign.
I turn right and drive down into that area. I discover the boat ramp with parking space, but no campground.
Gee, where the heck is the campground?
We go across the bridge, turn around, come back, and this time I find the entrance to the campground on the opposite side from the boat ramp.
(NOTE: It isn’t until I see these photos that I’m aware of how smoky it is around us at this camp.)
I missed the entrance when we passed it before.
The dirt road into the campground has several big depressions in it and two of them are full of water. These puddles extend across the width of the road, but they aren’t deep and the PTV wallows through, dragging the Best Little Trailer behind.
Odd to see puddles. I don’t think it rained recently.
We come to a pleasant area shaded by big cottonwood trees.
I park and let the crew out. We walk the campground together.
These sites are nice. It would be easy to acquire a neighbor though.
The best site, one next to the river, is occupied by people who look like they’re here to play in the water and have a picnic.
Reggie, Roger and I board the PTV and drive toward the entrance.
Seems like there was a dirt road branching off here somewhere . . . There it is!
We bump over a two-track path and come to a lone campsite. I jump out to look it over.
Wow! I like this! Right next to the river!
Pretty nice for a fishing access site, eh?
The view from our back yard, looking upstream . . .
The view from our back yard, looking downstream toward the bridge . . .
The view from our back window . . .
I hook the tether for Reggie and Roger to the picnic table. They like our new camp, too. Excitedly they explore with their noses.
When we first drove into Grey Bear FAS, I picked up a pay envelope from the self-pay station. My heart sank, so to speak, when I figured out the fee for us to camp is $18 a night!
I get out my checkbook and pen.
“Well, it’s a high fee for a place with no amenities other than a picnic table and fire ring. Here ya’ go, Montana . . . I don’t mind. . . . This is a beautiful camp and you’ve been very good to us this summer. ”
I pay for two nights and it turns out it was well worth the fee.
NOTE: If you are curious about the cost for a non-resident to fish in Montana, the total fee for the necessary licenses is $50 for two days, $75 for four days, $81 for ten days, or $111 for the entire year. See details at this link. — Sue
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