Friday, May 28, 2010

rainy end of may

so, this is the beginning of summer season? well, at least it will help in keeping rivers flowing, snow from melting, grass and gardens and flowers growing. but it is not the best for seeing how many outdoor endeavors you can do in one day. but remember, in these days, there is always an opening of pleasant weather. and once you are out moving, a squall or rain is not likely to go forever, and it is not that cold, so keep moving and make a memory.
or just stay inside and whine.

off to ovando. weather does not look too much better there, or anywhere in the state. let's review on tuesday.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

check this out

go ahead and highlight this and put into your browser. this article brings light to an upcoming race this summer, and how one man, has too much time without enough to do. ( perhaps like my time spending writing blogs, but he does this full time). anyway, read the article, then the comments, which are quite humorous, unless you feel sorry for keith. then stay up to date on the issue and write some comments to the usfs when the time comes. i will keep that up to date as well. this could be a signiture event in the area. these ultra marathons are never going to attract thousands of participants, likely not even hundreds. they are brutal events, for the fittest of the endurance athletes. and unlike a road event, if you quit somewhere along the line, your day is not done. you still have to get out. only the strongest (and perhaps most feeble of mind) enter such events. best to support it, read about it, then enjoy a nice day hike or multi-day trip, with tents, bags, food and even a drop or two.

Monday, May 24, 2010

short weekend

weekends always seem too quick. even the long ones. they are mini-vacations, but like all vacations, they are just too short.

the weather was not great this past weekend, but like so many days in the spring in montana, there is always enough good weather to have some fun.

so there we were, sitting at the base of all the roadside climbs at stone hill, when the rain started. we had hoped to go to one of the more off road locations, to allow the dogs and kids to run around a bit, but the weather just did not cooperate. so instead, we hung out and waited. and finally, it stopped, the sun came out enough to dry the rock and we were all able to climb multiple pitches. as per usual, i flailed mightily on a 5-8 face climb. small foot and hand holds are my nemesis. for better or worse, i perform better in large cracks and off widths.

after about 5 hours, we called it a day, as we were camping nearby and hoped the next day would bring more clear weather. so, after a mellow morning, and an hour on our mountain bikes, the weather looked, well, worse. so my wife and i decided to go the other way, back to the flathead, with stop for the dogs to swim and us to walk. there is a day use area on the south side of dickey lake that is really nice. super low key. clean. plenty of space to bbq, play horseshoes, and hangout. very kid friendly.

so now we are already looking forward to the long weekend coming up. we are going to make it a four day weekend,and head to ovando and hope to get some warm sunny weather, drop our lines in the river, ride our bikes somewhere nearby and visit the local institution.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

need help

dt in baja, need your correct email. you can click on mine at top of blog. thanks.


for those of you who do not know, there is a whole bunch of new trail completed on the Whitefish Trail, (the name just recently and officially changed from "the trail runs thru it"). you can start at two locations near town. one is off the Lion Mtn Loop road. drive as if going to state park off hwy 93 north. go past the golf course, veer right on State Park rd., then go straight thru the stop sign (but do stop first, at least periferrally). then go onto the dirt road, for about a mile. there is a new dirt road about 1/4 mile before this road gets back to the highway. you can see a metal gate. there is a large parking lot. go around the gate and up the road 1/2 mile or more, and eventually you will see a trail on the right. if you run into the beat up car, then you are close. look around. yes, that car is mine. i tried to go under the gate. perhaps i thought i was still on that four wheeler in mexico. anyway, from this trail, it is only about 10 minutes until you summit above the rock band with a nice view down to skyles lake, and the mccarthy residence. there is a small loop at the top, but instead of this, continue on the main trail, down under the cliff band, the best section so far. the trail weaves and wags for a few miles, intersects with a dirt road (not sure where this goes), stay on the trail. it intersects with the trail that goes to the skyles parking lot (more on that route tomorrow). keep on going. soon the trail intersects with the Gogan road (or driveway, depending on your deposition). you can cross this road and continue onthe trail down almost to beaver lake. you can easily get to the lake. take a deep breath, and plunge into the water. hop back on your bike and return to you car. estimated round trip, 2 hours. or do a shorter version.

this is a nice intermediate trail, with some good climbing and great fast sections. it is not very difficult, and certainly NOT a Freeride. it is a great start that will continue to grow and improve thru the summer and years into the future.

ron at glacier cyclery is starting a challenge to all local businesses to ride to work. contact him for more info, but it is always a good idea.

the website is up and running. take a look for info on trails week, starting with a 5 km run on sunday, june 6th.

should be a great summer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

flathead valley rules

yep, though back to work, which is never great, even for those who say they truly love what they do; life back home is pretty great. this place just affords us everything. this weekend included time in the yard and garden, on the bike, on a very fun run/walk, for the dog park and WAG, and at the beach, while it is still uncrowded and dogs can run around and swim and have fun.

the fun run included a 15km run, a four mile walk or run,and a 1.5 miles walk or run. dogs were invited, although they had to be on leash, which really is not that fun for most dogs. but they all got along. this event was a fundraiser for WAG, the dog park in whitefish. it was well organized, with tons of food, beer, water and prizes. i don't know the number, but it seems there were well over 100 people entered in all. unfortunately, i did not take any pictures.

besides the show sponsored by don and rmo at wf lake lodge, pete and FFT are sponsoring a bike movie at grouse mtn. lodge. unfortunately, both are on thursday night. pick you poison, or join me at both. they should both be great.

other upcoming events. there is a week of fun bike rides, both mountain biking and on the new bike paths around wf, starting with a 5 mile run on sunday june 6. then strting on wed. there will be nightly guided rides on the bike paths as well as on several sections of the new "trail runs thru it". please go to for exact info and details. right now this site is under construction, but should be complete any day.
below are some more pictures from mexico.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

last from mexico

okay, so there we are in mexico. Los Barriles to be exact. just an hour north of the cabo airport, on the sea of cortez side. this is a beautiful part of mexico. the waters are calm, for the most part, but it is known for good and steady winds for much of the winter, that brings many people down to windsurf. (something we hope to learn this summer) it is also home to many US transplants, tired of the working world. they have found a relatively cheap place to live, with great weather 10+ months of the year (there is the hurricane season, from late july into sept). this sector of people, is for better or worse, at least half the population of the area.

on a slight digression, on our way to the airport, we had some time and money to kill, so went for an early lunch into a town called miraflores. this is not right on the coast. it is a small town, but surprisingly clean and well kept. this to me was very refreshing and unusual. i am not sure what the economy is, but it was NOT a tourist town. it was sooo clean. more so than even most tourist towns. very refreshing.

anyway, many of the people who have chosen to live in the los barriles area, as i am sure with much of mexico coastal towns, are a bit different than the tourist or traveler looking for water adventure. they are mostly an older segment, 50+. MA calls them the Extreme Senior Partiers. what do they do for fun? Four Wheeling, baby!!! and since we happened to be there on Cinco de Mayo, there was a big rally of the local gringo population going on.

by the way, cinco de mayo is not a traditional mexican holiday. down there it is considered a "Pacifico" holiday. much like our various "hallmark" holidays. and it is not celebrated by the mexicans at all. only by the gringos in mexico. their actual independence day is sept 16, this year being number 200 i believe. so if you want to go for a big "Mexican" celebration, look into this fall, when they are planning many huge festivities.

but we were in gringoville, and since our landlords were the typical retired americans, they were aware of this upcoming "poker run". with four stops to pick up playing cards, and then the final one at the end, each person or team (MA and i rode together, but we each entered the run, so we each got our own hand) gets five cards, and the best poker hand wins. half the entry fee to the overall winner, about 2500 pesos (presently about $210 US). our landlords not only told us of this event,but offered us their four wheeler to ride. if we had rented one, it would have been $100 US. not that we would have rented one at that cost, but to show you that not everything there is cheap. like so much else, they have figured out how to get the most out of the gringos. so off we went, into the desert, mostly following the dust and tracks of those in front. and although we had been given pretty descent directions, and we were never way in front or behind, somehow, we got lost. or misplaced. fortunately another couple came along right behind us, also confused. ends up we had to ride about a mile on a secondary highway, about the size of highway 40, but with no traffic, and get back onto a dirt road there. about 10 of us got confused at this point, so we did not feel too bad, and felt fortunate to find others, or we might still be out there, out of gas and water, walking like Chevy Chase in the original Vacation movie. once back on track, we made the rest of the trip without incident.

so the long and short of all this. i am looking at selling my house, skis, boats, bikes, etc, renting a uhaul or something like that, calling it a career and moving to mexico and taking up four wheeling, going to the sea only to wash off. yes, it was that fun!!

okay, maybe not yet, but it was way more fun than would have expected. a great group of people, looking for something to do. not that environmentally friendly, but fun all the same. (an example of the Extreme Senior Partyers, an early quotefrom an approximately 70 year old Gal about 10 minutes before the start, when asked what the purpose of the day was, "to get drunk on beer, fall off your four wheeler, and pick up your best friends husband!"

i mean, who doesn't want to be 20 again?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

back home

well, we are back. heard we missed some fine mt. weather. i sure did miss out on that. believe me, 80 degrees, sunny and on the beach with warm pacific water got boring. NOT!

so, things are shaping up here. one thing great about coming home is the greenery. man, it is bright and beautiful. and that is something missing in mexico at this time.

biking in and around the valley is great right now. the trail runs thru it is shaping up, if you are interested in checking it out. plus, all the valley trails are dry and for the most part, clear. it should not be too long before we can explore some of the bigger rides around.

heard the boating has been good, and with this warm weather (yes, it was us that brought it home to you, because, we love you all so much, and wanted everyone to be happy) the water levels should be on the rise. with a small upper snowpack, the peak season could be short, so might be good to find some time to get on the rivers. myself, the first sunny, warm weekend day, should find me flailing in my canoe, trying desperately to not swim,. for that water is surely still quite cold (say, 32.1 degrees?).

climbing up at kookanusa is in prime form. not too hot yet,but always plenty of sun and warm rock. and great camping sites on both sides, to make a weekend or two day trip.

i have no idea how the fishing is. anyone want to comment? i will try to find someone who is willing to share some info without giving up their trademark secret spots.

hiking is starting to shape up, but obviously not likely to get up too high without finding snow. however, i did come across a guy who was running laps up the initial 1.5 miles uphill section of columbia mountain. great workout and way to be ready as snow fades away.

that's about it for now. but i promise a few pictures and story or two from mexico that should bring a smile or two.

lastly, please look at the recent post from RMO. sounds like a great event coming up on may 20th, at WF lake lodge. getting psyched for summer fun.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Steve House Book Signing & Slideshow

Rocky Mountain Outfitter, Glacier Mountaineering Society and Crested Butte Outdoors are sponsoring an evening with Steve House, Alpinist.
"The best high-altitude climber in the world today" according to Reinhold Messner. Steve's climbing accomplishments include SW Face of K7, NF Mt Alberta, Mt Robson Emperor Face, Central Pillar of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat & plenty more!
He will be selling his new book "Beyond the Mountain" also.

There will be a $5.00/ person charge.

Whitefish Lake Lodge
May 20, 2010
7pm - 9pm

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

east cape, mexico

east cape, or the area north of san jose del cabo, all the way to los barriles, is where we have been for the past 2 days, and will be the last two days of our trip. it is really nice here. although pretty much all gringo and little culture, especially compared to todos santos, but the water is warm and calm (mostly) and still plenty of good food. by nine am today, we had gotten in a walk on the beach, a swim and a kayak session (more later on that). convenient.

we are heading to try to get in some high quality snorkeling at cabo pulmos. yesterday afternoon brought really high winds ( i did say mostly, concerning calm winds), so the water is a bit churned up.

our worst experience on the trip occured two nights ago. we went to a restaurant that seemed popular. i ordered a marguarita that was the worst marg of my life! i kid you not. one of the worst drinks of my life, and that includes college. it had a lot of orange juice and soda water in it. fortunately we had not ordered dinner yet, and we high tailed it out of there.

there are some cool old hotels around here. although they cater entirely to fairly affluent american clientele, they are beautiful buildings with tons of character, and right on the beaches.

yesterday went "ocean" kayaking, for our first time. an ocean kayak is like a white water boat, but open on top. extremely stable and able to ride swells and waves with ease. pretty good in calm water too.

okay, sorry i do not have pictures to post. i forgot my usb cable. will put some up when we get home. heard it has been snowing and cool. i am looknig forward to warm spring weather and green landscape (no green to be had here). but for now, it is off to the beach, for sun and sand.