| 5/23/2019 11:34:00 AM

Country Moon

There is something alluring, almost magical, about the Rocky Mountains, affectionately known as “The Rockies.” They had been tugging at Caleb Winings’ heart a long time to “come and see” them.  In August of 2018, the then 22-year old from Indiana, gave into the calling and experienced a hike of a lifetime.

Caleb relates, “I have always loved camping and hiking and being in the woods. I’ve always wanted to see the Rockies too but when I had the time, I didn’t have the money and vice versa. This year it all came together. It was just the right time.”


So it was. Caleb chose Montana because he wanted somewhere semi-green instead of all rock. He had been looking at Glacier National Park until he hooked up with an outfitter on a gun forum who told him that if he wanted away from the crowds and to be able to experience the true Rockies to stay away from Glacier. Instead, he suggested the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in northwest Montana.

This wilderness area is broken down into three regions, the Great Bear, the Scapegoat, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness area. All three together comprise more than 1.5 million acres that are one of the most completely preserved mountain ecosystems in the world. The area offers rugged peaks, alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls, grassy meadows embellished with shimmering streams, towering pines, and big river valleys. Caleb was sold, it had it all. Over 1700 miles of trails wind through the wilderness which is home to moose, elk, mountain goats, mountain lions, black bear, and numerous grizzly bears.

From Indiana, he flew to Kalispell and from there he hired a Uber driver to drop him off at Devil’s Creek Campground in the Flathead National Forest, literally in the middle of nowhere. There was a landline for phone service at the campground but, from here on out, cell service ceased to exist. Caleb instructed the Uber driver to pick him up in five days at that point. The Uber driver told him that if he wasn’t there, he would call the Rangers. Caleb was on his own, just himself, his 2” barreled snub-nosed .357, bear spray, and a knife. If he encountered anything that none of those would handle, it would be game over.

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