Exploring the Highlands

Exploring the Highlands
Jamie on Camp Creek Road in the Highlands

During the last year of his life, Jamie and I spent a lot of time exploring the Highland Mountains (aka the Highlands), a small mountain range 20 miles south of Butte.

Just as Jamie's pre-Alice road trips long ago helped prepare us for all the road trips the two of them would go on later, Jamie's explorations of the Highlands have been good research for places to take Nancy and Isaac in the future.

I've been keeping a map of the places Jamie and I have been on the backroads around the Highlands. Here it is with a few photos dropped in from our travels in the last year.
Exploring the backroads of Montana was nothing new for Jamie when he moved to Butte in 2020. Here's a clip of him exploring Montana on a road trip in 2012.

In his time living in Montana, Jamie also explored many other wilderness destinations that the pack will visit in the future: Canyon Creek, Miller Cabin, Bloody Dick Cabin, Horse Prairie Cabin, Eagle Guard Station, Vipond Park, and others. But the Highlands are special because they're so close to home. Middle Fork Valley was just 40 minutes from our home in Seattle, and the Highlands are just 30 minutes from our home in Butte.

Jamie exploring the Pioneer Mountains near the Canyon Creek charcoal kilns. This photo has been my phone wallpaper since the day after he died. At the bottom of the cliff behind him is a rental cabin, and his pack is planning a trip there.

Nancy and Isaac will never get to know the Middle Fork Valley like Jamie and Alice did, but the Highlands will likely become their Middle Fork Valley. I'm looking forward to adding many lines to Jamie's Highlands map with Nancy and Isaac in the years ahead.

Nancy and Isaac's first hike in the Highlands, two weeks before Jamie's death. I knew this steep little peak would be too much for Jamie, and there were gunshots in the distance so Alice wouldn't have wanted to be there, but Nancy and Isaac had a great time.