Optimal Number

The day was almost a “loss”, well if you subscribe to my definition of “loss”. Loss occurs when you have a beautiful day and don’t utilize it for an outdoor adventure. I mean we all sit around waiting on summer and when it arrives we take it for grated sometimes. I wouldn’t allow it and so I finally jumped in my car to drive up to the Fairy Lake Campground in the Bridger Range here in Bozeman.


The trip up was a bit longer then I thought. You see on the map there is a dirt road that leads to a public campground. So one would figure you could drive a beetle up there, right? Not so here in Bozeman. These roads are called jeep trails and let me tell you a jeep would of been nice. I did make it to the Sacagawea Peak Trailhead but after a bit of constructive driving. I like to call it “Mountain Beetling”, a close cousin to “So Snow Mo Beetling” which is done in the winter.

Now I was looking at a ridge line that reached into the sky and was illuminating by a setting sun. At first it looked like a little rock but upon closer scrutiny I determined this was a beast. So dramatic that my vertigo suddenly kicked in. I looked down and then to my watch. “Well, I should turn around anyway”, I said to a marmot close by. “I mean I did get up here late and it would be nice to get back home before ten”. I snapped off a photo and decided to continue until at least 8.  I could at least gain the ridge maybe.

Twin Towers
Twin Towers

Out of the tree line I was greeted by two towering peaks. It was so dizzying that I forgot which one was Sacagawea and assumed it was the hard one on the right. Of course this was a mistake. In the end it made no difference anyway because I had already determined I would not attempt a accent this late. I headed towards the saddle and started to think about the number two. The dual beauty above me seemed to make the scene more beautiful then a single peak scene.


Why the wonder? I don’t know, but for some time I figured solo was the way to go. But as this remarkably beautiful terrain seemed to bring up a recent development in life I found myself in a quandary. And this scene I realized, as I have many times in the past year, would be nice to share it with someone. But then what about group hikes and rides. I wonder … what is the optimal number of people to enjoy this kind of adventure; to enjoy life?

One seems best but then there is that urge to have a black and white scene painted with an array of beautiful colors. I can enjoy something but when I am with others it seems more colorful and meaningful.


On the other end of the spectrum a large group, say 4 or more, I believe something gets lost. It is noisy and everyone has their agendas and different ways of looking at things. It gets complicated. Magical and fun but something is lost. I think the most importnat element, earth, is being diluted.

Three maybe? It seems three can be more intamate with the surrounding beauty.  I guess what I am saying is that the less people you share something with the more you can focus on the earth, others,  and your inner self. So is one optimal? I am starting to believe that 2 may be optimal. Two is as intimate as you can get before the total focus on the experience starts to dilute. For some reason 2 brings out a bonding element, a intimate element. I don’t know ….


Before I could make my decision I reached the saddle to a beautiful sunset. My mind drifts off to next weekend. This would be a nice place to test my optimal number theory.

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