Tongue River road trip replaces backpack outing

Billings fly fisherman John Kemmick wets his line on the Tongue River below the dam near Decker, Mont., Sept. 5, 2015. The river in southeastern Montana is often overlooked by anglers and floaters in favor of the state's more popular western streams, yet the Tongue provides a varied fishery and beautifully stark landscape. (Brett French/The Billings Gazette via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

BILINGS, Mont. (AP) — When the threat of snow cooled the urge for a weekend backpacking trip into the Beartooth Mountains, we decided to venture south. The journey resulted in the discovery of a contrary piece of country as well as a reconnection to an older style of travel — the Sunday drive.

A small world for climbers

Layne Pincock, of Idaho Falls, works his way up an overhung route at the City of Rocks National Reserve near Almo on Sept. 17. Pincock was part of a few hundred people who were at the City of Rocks and Castle Rocks State Park for the Idaho Mountain Festival. Photo by Jerry Painter

I couldn’t seem to escape it. At least twice a day I was retelling my story of spending the night stuck deep in the Stettner Couloir on the Grand Teton. But then again, I was surrounded by 350 like-minded climbers at the Idaho Mountain Festival near Almo a few weeks ago.

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