Cabin 11 at Campfire Lodge Resort is located quite exactly where Cabin Creek flows into the Madison River. This particular place is probably more interesting right now than normal. For one thing, Cabin Creek is positively over-filled and violent with taupe-colored water. By all appearances, a significant run-off is still at work within the steep mountains from which the creek originates. I am also guessing a very recent storm of some intensity has also added rain water to the creek.
The creek is loud enough you cannot carry on a conversation while standing nearby. The water flails at the banks and lashes at the bed of boulders along its chosen path.
The second interesting thing is that the Madison River is running clear. Where the creek merges with the river, the beige water does not mix with the clear water of the river. The river immediately below where the creek plows into the river has a clear half and a murky half. The waters do not fully mix until reaching a bend further downstream.
Campfire Lodge Resort was established in 1922 and features several very rustic log cabins amid tall, riverside pines. Cabin 11, for example, tilts considerably toward Cabin Creek. To be fair, this may have resulted from the earthquake responsible for the formation of Quake Lake a few miles downstream. That quake, in August of 1959, dropped some sections of land near Cabin Creek twenty feet as two gigantic tectonic plates within the Madison Range shifted at once. The quake was responsible for the loss of 28 lives. This cabin—as well as cabin 9 where I overnighted—offer a mix of technologies from every decade since 1922.
Posted everywhere you look around the resort are signs reminding you that “You Are in Bear Country.” Food and garbage must not be readily accessible to bears.
I had to literally percolate coffee in the type of pot you set on the burner of a stove because our cabin does not have a modern coffee maker.
Here is a tip on percolating your coffee: just don’t do it. At the very least, don’t walk away from the stove to tease your significant other while the “coffee” is “brewing.” This kind of brewing process is something akin to catching Cabin Creek in a pot. You know how creeks behave. They are always splashing up and trying to get out.
Campfire Lodge Resort is, ultimately, a fun place to stay. I am guessing most people would think this is exactly how Montana should look and feel. In the end, you cannot ask for more than that.
Posted is a photograph of one of the cabins at Campfire Lodge Resort and photograph of a fly fisherman at the place where Cabin Creek meets the Madison River.