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 »

  • Vancouver Island 2012

    Vancouver Island Trip – Days 6 & 7

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    Our last day of fishing off of Vancouver Island was a rainy one, but it was full of birds. Once again, I am going to let the images speak for themselves.

  • Birding, Photography

    Blessed morning on Lolo Creek

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    Yesterday morning stated with a mellow sunrise through a cottonball sky. The clouds hung high until they gathered in a solid cover that lowered until it rained. IN the shrubs MacGillivray’s Warblers sing and did the Fox Sparrows. Along a small oxbow, Willow Flycatchers called and defended their territories of willow and red-osier dogwood. The… Read more »

  • Birding

    Clark Fork River backwaters

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    In a weekend filled with work and teaching at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas, I managed to carve out some time for a little birding along a couple of sloughs of the Clark Fork River. The cottonwoods echoed with birdsong from Yellow Warblers, Northern Waterthrush, Least Flycatcher, Bullock’s Orioles, Gray Catbirds, and Cedar Waxwings. The… Read more »

  • Vancouver Island 2012

    Vancouver Island Trip – Day 5

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    What a day! I have been in a retreat so I will just let the images speak for themselves.

  • Dharma

    More blessings from the Garden of 1000 Buddhas

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    At the Garden of 1000 Buddhas, yesterday filled with more preparation work and a short audience with Rinpoche where we learned more about the activities for the upcoming month.

  • Featured, Vancouver Island 2012

    Vancouver Island Trip – Day 4

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    Today started with an amazing sunrise. As we headed out about 10 miles to sea for some halibut fishing, the sun played with the waves and the mountains. As we neared to area for our fishing, the seabirds to abound. Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklet leapt into flight from the swells. Pelagic Cormorants and Glaucous-winged Gulls… Read more »

  • Birding

    National Bison Range and Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge

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    At the end of May, Tom Forwood and I went for a little birding jaunt around the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge and the National Bison Range. We encountered many species that were in a photogenic mood, and these are the results.

  • Vancouver Island 2012

    Vancouver Island Trip – Day 3

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    Waking in Tahsis is a muggy, damp experience. It had been raining all night and it was still coming down hard as I left my Dad and Nardy sleeping the motel room (which was rented from the Tahsis Lounge…convenient). I wandered through remains of an industrial town with rusting pillars and beams like bleaching bones… Read more »

  • Dharma

    Hanging Prayer flags at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas

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    Today Vida and I had the great opportunity to work at the Garden of 1000 Buddhas as the Ewam Sangha prepares for the month-long retreat in July. Along with Charlie Pearl (our personal favorite), we moved lumber and replaced the tattered prayer flags near Rinpoche’s house. Prayers flags are very important in Tibetan Buddhism as… Read more »

  • Vancouver Island 2012

    Vancouver Island Trip – Days 1 & 2

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    Earlier this June, I was more than fortunate to be able to go with my father and a family friend on an extended fishing/birding trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island. I tallied 18 lifers on the trip, including a Black-throated Sparrow near Vanguard, Washington (the first lifer of the trip even if the wind threatened to blow me… Read more »

  • Birding, Hiking, Photography

    Glen Lake in the Bitterroots

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    On Sunday, I undertook a “short” hike up to Glen Lake in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area. I was told that the hike was 2.5 miles, but it is closer to 3.25 miles and bit more uphill than I had anticipated. Almost the entirety of the trail takes you through the post-fire environment left by the massive… Read more »

  • Birding, Photography

    Plethora of Pied-billed Grebes

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    This year I have seen more Pied-billed Grebes than I can ever remember seeing before. The ponds of the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge seem to have at least one pair in each of them. The following images come from April and May (I know I am very late in posting them).

  • Birding, Butterflies, Hiking

    Summer keeps rolling along

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    Yesterday was a completely enjoyable, we went for a hike and last night was host to spectacular lightning storm. But the day got off to great start with a surreal sunrise. The hike was along Bass Creek to the old log jam at the boundary of the Bitterroot-Selway Wilderness. It was about 5 miles and just enough… Read more »

  • Featured, Herping

    The Scaly Lifer – Western Fence Lizard

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    “There it is!”, I exclaimed as the brakes pounded down against the floorboard. A large lizard basking itself near the top of a lichen-encrusted boulder. Large by lizard standards (~8 inches) and thickly bodied, it was much more so than I had expected. Overjoyed to finally find this reptilian, the Western Fence Lizard, a sense… Read more »

  • Dharma

    Preparing the Garden of 1000 Buddhas

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    This past Saturday, Vida and I joined a group of others to help prepare the Garden of 1000 Buddhas for July Retreat to be led by Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche. This place has a special energy about it, and with each passing day this vibration seems to only increase as the Garden approaches completion. These images hopefully do… Read more »