Twisted Trunk LbNA # 15379
|Placed Date||Apr 17 2005|
First of all, I’d like to thank all the letterboxers who went out and found last month’s Somewhere-in-downtown Missoula letterbox. My partner Annie didn’t approve of its final placement (this was after the fact), so now all of my letterboxes must get approved through her (she has veto power). So with this “checks and balances” system, the letterbox placement will hopefully be more agreeable to everyone.
With that said, this next letterbox will lead you into the mountains. Its name is the “Twisted Trunk” letterbox (sounds like the title of the next Lemony Snicket book, doesn’t it?). You’ll be going through a frisbee golf or folf course, so if you like that too, don’t forget your discs.
The starting point is Maclay Flat. If you’ve never been, the shorthand instructions are: go west on South Ave. until Clements, take a right, after a block or so you’ll see a fenced in truck with Dale’s Dairy written on it, take a left, drive for a few miles, pass the one-lane bridge, take a left at the next stop, drive for a mile or so, and pull in the parking lot when you see a sign saying “Lolo National Forest: River access and trail - Maclay Flat.” You’ll see a dirt parking lot on the right and a paved parking lot on the left; the dirt parking lot is the beginning, though either one will do.
Cross the fence near the dirt parking lot. You’ll see three trails: one rocky one to the left, one that halfway skirts the hill to the right, and one that goes straight up the middle. Take the middle one. This is the steepest part of the entire trail, so be careful.
At the top, look to the right and go to the wooden post with yellow metal on top. Take a left at the post and stay on top of the hill (several trails go down - avoid these). You should merge with a trail coming in from the left. Continue going straight.
This trail will take you all the way to the “Twisted Trunk” letterbox. If you follow the well-worn dirt trail, you should be ok. I’ve included some abbreviated instructions to help you along.
Fork; stay left. Light car path to right; stay left. Another fork; go right. Crosses big path; go straight. Crosses another trail; go straight. Crosses downed tree. Switchback; follow the trail to right then left (which also goes up and over). Crosses big path; go straight. Trail forks; go right (going left leads you to a logging outfit). From here, follow the main trail (you’ll see some lighter blocked off trails - avoid these) for about 15 to 30 minutes.
When you are on a worn car path, you’re one-quarter there. When you pass through a very rocky portion; you’re halfway there. When the rocks start to thin out, you’re three-quarters of the way.
Keep going until you see a beautiful, big, twisted, burnt tree just off the trail to your right. There is a nearby rock outcropping. On the rocky side furthest from the tree, you’ll find a stack of rocks and brush. Remove the brush and find the “Twisted Trunk” letterbox!