I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. —John Burroughs
In the village of Big Sky Mountain resort, lies the give or take 7 mile Beehive Basin Trail. My first attempt at reaching the basin during the dead of winter was thwarted by time constraints and waste deep snow. A week later armed with snow shoes and a commitment, I was ready to make the entire trek. I awoke from my slumber the morning of to -5 degrees Fahrenheit, but with icy blue skies and abundant sunshine forecasted, I knew that -5 would eventually feel like a +75.
Having hiked the Beehive Basin in early September, then again in early November, I knew what to expect with its steady incline. If you'd like to see a beautiful shot overlooking the basin, please visit my blog post entitled: Four Seasons in One. The fine art photography print overlooking the basin, is available in a variety of size and products. So off we go, fellow adventurers having traded in hiking boots, shorts and bandanas for snow shoes/skies/spikes, snow pants and fuzzy wool hats.
The first mile of the Beehive Basin trail is uneventful as you make your way through trees and then open terrain. Those unaccustomed to the elevation change, can find this part to be a bit of a struggle as their lungs began to adjust. I've seen it happen twice already and to be honest, having been out here for nearly a year, mine can still be effected at times. Just over a mile into the hike, you reach a boulder field overlooking Lone Mountain Peak, the gem of Big Sky Mountain ski resort. Have a snack, rest those legs and lungs, and enjoy the view. If you're lucky enough to have the scenery to yourself, enmbrace the silence. Become one with it, breathe, let go, and release all of your troubles!
The actual hiking trail disappears into the woods ... As you begin to walk deeper into your winter surroundings, you once again begin a pretty consistent incline. I'd argue it's a little bit rougher of a haul, considering the terrain is covered under a thick blanket of snow. Once you reach the Lee Metcalf Wilderness sign, the actual Beehive Basin hiking trail begins to disappear into the woods. I decided to follow what was supposed to be the trail a few yards back, but eventually I knew it was becoming a lost cause. The lyrics to a Taproot song (a band I followed in my younger years) kept reverberating in my head, "you're lost in the woods they say to me", so I returned to my original spot of entry and followed the freshly laid ski tracks, which would eventually lead me the back way into the basin.
The next mile would lead me along a very beautiful route. To the left of me lay a ridge line, where you could hear the faint conversations of snowboarders/skiers as they ascended their way up. Tracks could be seen where they made their way down, and the thought of an avalanche or two breaking free did cross my mind. Ahead of me lay the Spanish Peaks, with their jagged edges and rigid points painted against a backdrop of blue. I found a boulder nearby which would make a great spot to prop myself up against and soaked in the sunshines rays. After a good twenty minutes had passed, I had contemplated whether to continue onward to the actual basin which laid east just over the tree line and was visible to me, or snow shoe my way up to the ridge line which faced me to the west. I opted out of attempting a ridge line summit, because I didn't feel like dying alone on that particular day. In all seriousness, I do believe it was attainable, but best wait for back up in case something did go wrong. I also opted out of making my way into the basin because I've been there before and had seen everything that I had originally set out for. The hike back was a breeze, being it was all downhill and what had started as a frigid morning, turned into a sweaty afternoon.
As the years have passed along my spiritual journey, nature has become my sanctuary of peace. A place of refuge from the madness of a sick and decaying world. Those willing to listen will hear her whispers and those willing to feel will embrace her touch. Since I started this life blog post with a quote, it's only fitting that I end it with one.
There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it. —Charlotte Eriksson
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