Mount Sentinel via Pengelly Ridge

Normally, I think of Mount Sentinel has the M with its constant flow of folks making their way to the whitewashed concrete letter, but Mount Sentinel is a large area with an extensive network of trails. On a sunny day, Vida and I decided to tackle the slope from Pengelly Ridge to the top, and we… Read more »

Friday Pass – Hike into the Elk Summit Country

Friday Pass is a low pass between the KoosKoosia Meadows area and the Wind Lakes in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area in Idaho. The hike to Friday Pass is a relatively manageable uphill until Swamp Lake (guess why it is called that?) when the trail goes steeply to the pass. Once reaching Friday Pass, you can… Read more »

Schley Mountain Hike – Great Views of the Great Burn Roadless Area

At the peak of Schley Mountain, you have awesome 360-degree views of the Great Burn Roadless Area. This hike is 3 miles point-to-point, with mild 500’ in elevation gain. Good views from the site of the former Schley Mountain lookout.

Trapper Peak – Highest Summit in the Bitterroot Mountains

Trapper Peak, sitting at 10,157 feet, is the highest of the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. This summit is probably the most well-known mountain in the Bitterroot Mountains, if for no other reason, simply because it has the highest summit. Dominating Darby, Montana, Trapper Peak is accessed via the West Fork of Bitterroot River, and, in… Read more »

Hiking to Canyon Lake – Revisiting a Challenge

Canyon Lake, a trail that seemed to almost kill us the last time we hike it. The last mile to the lake had my knees sounding like rusty hinges and my legs shaking. I still remember the sore legs for several days after that hike. So, why do it again and see what happens. To… Read more »

West Fork Fish Creek to the Cathedral of Cedars

Looking for a cool hike on a hot summer day? The West Fork Fish Creek starts out hot as we hiked through the blackened spires from the 2015 burn. But eventually, we reach the Cathedral of Cedars where towering western red cedars shade the cool waters of Fish Creek. This is a relatively flat trail that follows along… Read more »

Fish Lake – Another hike in the Lost Horse Country

From the Bear Creek Pass Trailhead, several great hikes spread into the Lost Horse Country, and the trail to Fish Lake is exceptional. Starting out, we hiked through a mixture of forest and boulder fields until we reached a junction in the path. By this time we were solidly within the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area. Continuing… Read more »

Hiking to Little Rock Creek Lake

The best hikes, like this one to Little Rock Creek Lake, are always those spur of the moment, look at the map, and go. “Let’s go for a hike.” “Never done Little Rock Creek Lake.” “Let’s do it!” And with that, we were off to the Little Rock Creek trailhead, located above Lake Como to the… Read more »

Bear Creek Falls (low-flow version)

It has been awhile since we have been to Bear Creek Falls, so why not a quick hike to the cascade and see how it looks without any rain in a month and a half. Arriving at the falls in less than an hour, the chasm contained only a trickle of water compared to the raging… Read more »

Day Hike to Coquina Lake in the Lost Horse Country

Nestled in a tight basin, Coquina Lake is a true gem of a day hike in the Lost Horse country of the Bitterroot Mountains. I have fallen in love with the Lost Horse country, which I have not hiked until this summer (next hike will be the Spruce Lake). From the Bear Creek Pass trailhead,… Read more »

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    Evening spent with 1000 Buddhas

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    Last night was incredibly powerful with the 1000 Buddhas empowerment conferred to us from Rinpoche. We rested in mindfulness under the protection of the Dharmchakra and flanking deer that adorn the Tibetan tent – hundreds of mantra were recited. We were under the Tibetan tent because the previous tent was destroyed by a gust of wind;… Read more »

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    Just this, nothing more than this

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    Arriving at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas in the morning, the first dissolved expectation was the new location of the practice tent. It now resides within the  Dharmacakra of the Garden. You can look upon the central statue of Yum Chenmo from the practice tent. More folks have appeared at the Garden, which is a blessing. Placed at the… Read more »

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    Om tare tuttare ture svaha at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas

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    Cooperation, today was about fluid cooperation. We all filled stupas, prepared Tara statues, and practiced together. Om tare tuttare ture svaha was repeated and repeated, and never eroded in its meaning. How appropriate that we would engage in Green Tara as she is also known as the Buddha of enlightened activity. As afternoon faded into evening,… Read more »

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    Dreamt I was a dragongfly lying by a stream

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    With slightly cooler temperatures, I spent some time next to the Bitterroot River in the company of multitudes of dragonflies and damselflies. They provide some extreme identification challenges, and heck, they are just plain cool to observe. The early noon yawns I shake off my dreams Dreamt I was a dragonfly lying by a stream… Read more »

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    Sangwa Yeshe and Tsok – how glorious!

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    This day at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas was filled with more togetherness than any I can remember. We sang, danced, told jokes, and spent time with each other. Tsok is more than a simple celebration,  Yeshé Tsogyal said that to practice tsok just once closes the door to lower rebirths. It is also said that disease,… Read more »

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    Essences of an evening at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas

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    Calmness marked Friday evening with Prajnaparamita practice.

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    Stainless Radiance and Radiant Sunset

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    Last night was a filled with prajnaparamita, circumambulation, and a radiant sunset.

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    Circumambulations around Yum Chenmo in Montana

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    This evening we performed a couple of circumambulations together with Rinpoche. Immensely profound in absolute silence. Tayata om gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā

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    Stainless Empowerments under a flawless sky

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    On this evening, we completed the Stainless Empowerments. The sunset was absolutely fantastic! And once again, a rainbow appeared, this time over Teyata om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

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    Culmination of Vajrakilaya and Suppression of Negatives

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    This past Saturday, we culminated our Vajrakilaya practice and the Suppression of Negatives. The evening’s events were marked with many auspicious signs like a a rising storm that abated during our practice, the appearance of rainbow over Rinpoche, and a cloud shaped like the Vajra Dagger over the newly consecrated Suppression Stupa.

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    The Garden of 1000 Buddhas in 360 degrees

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    Last evening to constructed these two 360 degree, interactive panoramas of the Garden of 1000 Buddhas in Arlee, Montana. View from inside the Dharma Wheel View from inside the Dharma Wheel

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    A day of celebrations at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas

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    Yesterday was particularly interesting with a celebration of His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s birthday. More images than time (a running theme, I fear)

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    Arlee Fourth of July Rodeo

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    Yesterday afternoon, after spending too little time at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas, we take in the Arlee Fourth of July Rodeo with family. The rodeo is in its 30th year, and the bleachers show every year being faded gray and the planks slightly rotten in places. Most of the cowboys were local, which made… Read more »

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    A Different Kind of Independence on the Fourth

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    The Fourth of July, Independence Day. At the Garden of 1000 Buddhas, we are seeking true independence for all sentient beings. The liberation of all through a place designed to promote and, indeed, create peace in the hearts and minds of all that visit, see, or merely hear about the Garden of 1000 Buddhas. Everyone… Read more »

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    The Dharma abounds

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    Today, Vida and I worked in the Garden of 100 Buddhas inthe afternoon. What a fortunate we have reaped to be in the presence of such great teachers as Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, Khenpo Namchak, Khenpo Sonam, and Khenpo Orygen. The Garden of 1000 Buddhas is a place were the most compassionate people gather to perform… Read more »