Falls Creek Campground – Wyoming

August 21, 2010

We came. We saw. We camped.

But let me tell you how this came to pass.

You see, we were on a mission. Debbie, a longtime friend, e-mailed me saying that the dude ranch she used to work out at was not far from Bozeman. She said it was beautiful around there, if I wanted to go check it out. She gave me directions that looked a lot like this:

If you head east on 90, it’s south of big timber. It looks like you could take Swingley Rd just east of Livingston (another awesome town) and then go right when you hit state hiway 298. I never did that, it must be a new cut-through – we always drove all the way to Big Timber and then turned right. If you go, you have to pass the “town” of McLeod and keep going aways, it would be on your left and called the X-A. I don’t know if it’s even a dude ranch any more. It’s a dead end road so you’d eventually reach the mountains and have to turn around.

Missions are good. And it wouldn’t be too far out of my way. So we set out to find Debbie’s Dude Camp.

Before leaving Bozeman, we stocked up at the Community Food Co-Op. It’s a fantastic store which also appears to be a trendy hang-out. Kettle hung outside with the cool people while I shopped.

We also stopped at Lucky Lil’s: Casino & Liquor Store. I just had to see. It was actually quite nice inside. I bought some ice for the cooler. Only a buck for a bag.

We then hit the road. I had lunch in Livingston, about 30 miles east of Bozeman, then found the newly created Swingley Rd. What Debbie hadn’t said, because she didn’t know, was that it was a gravel road. So the 20 or so miles to get to the highway took quite a while.

But that was good, because it was so beautiful. We drove through rolling hills with mountains in the background and ranches along the way.

We reached Hwy 298 and headed up towards the mountains. Even the highway became gravel before not too long. But we kept going, and going. Up into the mountains of the Gallatin National Forest.

We stopped at the historic Boulder Ranger Station. It had something to do with the first attempts at environmental protection.

At this point we were well into the mountains of the Gallatin National Forest – almost certainly out of dude ranch territory. I was about to turn around, when we came across a sign that said Falls Creek Campground. It was late in the day, and it  was a nice spot next to a river.

There was no reason not to camp.

Although we failed in our mission to find Debbie’s Dude Ranch, Kettle and I were successful campers. Everything went smoothly. And I followed the directions and put all our food in the provided bear-safe canister.

I wonder if bears like salads.

I spent the night blogging in the dark. Sitting in the woods, with only the glow of the moon and my laptop, writing about dwarves … it was kinda  spooky.

I retired to my tent, and Kettle retired to his pad outside the tent. Laying on my air mattress, I began to wonder … if a bear does wander through the campsite, what would Kettle do?

Would he be as calm as he was with the chipmunk?

I didn’t like the probable answer, so I tried to get Kettle to come into the tent with me. But after testing the air mattress with one paw, he refused to come in. So I put him in the car with the windows cracked, and he was fine with that.

It was an important day in our journey. We didn’t get too far in terms of mileage, but we turned a corner.

We’re campers now.

Oh, and there was a Spruce Moth in my tent.

Supply Stop

What'd you get me?

2 Vices. And Ice.

Swingley Road 1

Swingley Road 2

Swingley Road 2

Swingley Road 3

Swingley Road 4

Swingley Road 5

Swingley Road 6

Ranger Station

Why not.

Lapping it up

Front Door

Back Porch

Did you hear something?

C'mon, Kettle, I'm trying to take a picture here.

Profiles in Camping

Knock it off, Kettle.

3 Responses to “Falls Creek Campground – Wyoming”


  1. Dude,
    The pix of you with the dog’s paw. It looks like it came straight out of the Blair Witch Project. It’s AWESOME!!!! 😀

  2. Debbie Says:

    Oh geez… If I’d known I was going to be published, I’d have watched my p’s and q’s a little more! So glad you enjoyed it and that the camping worked out. You must have driven right past it!

  3. Alex Beltramo Says:

    Thank, Gia. Coming from you, a horror movie comparison is high praise!

    Debbie, I thought the p’s and q’s added a nice authenticity. ;


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