Awesome Spring Hike – Bear Creek Falls

Taking full advantage of the terrific spring weather on Saturday, we hiked to and beyond Bear Creek Falls on the Bitterroots. Only a short and relatively easy 1.5 miles from the trailhead, Bear Creek Falls is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. I have made the trip to this… Read more »

Spring Arrives in the Rockies

This past weekend was definitely the start of the Montana spring with sun, rain, and snow…you know, spring in the Bitterroot. The Lee Metcalf NWR was alive with Great Horned Owls hooting and Red-winged Blackbirds carrying on.

First Wildflower of 2017 – Sagebrush Buttercup

Woke up this morning with a vision of a buttercup in the snow. I rushed out to Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, and intensely survey the areas under ponderosa pine. And what did I find? That’s right a Sagebrush Buttercup, and as one of our earliest bloomers, it is generally my first wildflower of the… Read more »

My First Isolation Float Tank Experience

Well, I went for my first float in a float pod at Enlyten Lab in Missoula on the Hip Strip. The experience generated a slew of experiences from boredom to self-realizing exhalation. The float tank itself is a sensory deprivation environment where you receive no input from sight, smell, sound, or sensation. Floating in a… Read more »

Bass Creek Falls Hike – Winter Edition

We did this hike last year, but with considerably less snow. It has really dumped this year in the Bitterroot Mountains, and the Bass Creek drainage is under a blanket of the white stuff. Were we deterred? Oh hell no, Jeff and I made relatively good time to the old log dam where I flew… Read more »

The Trump Control-Alt-Delete on Climate Change

President Trump hit the reset button on government dissemination of climate change information and further research into the issue. The Climate Change page was stripped from whitehouse.gov and the EPA has been ordered to removed all references to global climate change. The government is actually denying science from its own agencies. There has been a… Read more »

Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge – Christmas Bird Count 2016

It was that season again…not the holidays, but the Christmas Bird Count season. Joined by Tom Forwood and Bob Danley at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. We explored the back areas of the Refuge that are typically closed to the public, and we turned up 56 species through a long day. the highlights included… Read more »

Sweathouse Falls Hike – Winter Edition

Sweathouse Falls has always been my favorite water in the Bitterroot Mountains with its stream falls off a sheer face. Another reason that this hike is among my favorites is its relatively little use (i.e. no people). This time around, Jeff and I hiked to the falls with a fresh layer of powder snow. As… Read more »

Rock Creek and the Welcome Creek Suspension Bridge

The other day, I was wanting to fly the DJI Phantom 4 drone at a new location, so decided on driving 14 miles up Rock Creek (east of Missoula, Montana) to video the Welcome Creek Suspension Bridge. The bridge crosses Rock Creek as a major access to the tiny Welcome Creek Wilderness Area. In fact,… Read more »

1st Day of Winter at Glade Creek, Lolo Pass

The first day of winter and the sunset suggests a slightly longer day than the one before. I flew the DJI Phantom 4 over Glade Creek at Lolo Pass to capture the Seussian play of pillows of deep powder snow and low angle light. Grab the image below to view a 360-degree immersive images.

  • Hiking 2016

    Morrell Falls – Crowded Beauty

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    Morrell Falls is a quite popular destination for hikers and families looking for an afternoon stroll to one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Montana.¬†Swan Mountains dominate the skyline as you weave through a rather monotonous lodgepole forest for the first mile and half. These eventually gives way to a spruce-fir forest with Morrell Creek… Read more »

  • Flowers, Hiking 2016

    Chaffin Butte

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    Sometimes the most magical places are in the back yard and in plain sight. Chaffin Butte (the “C” hill above Corvallis) is just such a place. This short, steep trail leads through sagebrush to the top of Chaffin Butte with panoramic views of the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains. The trail quickly drops down from the… Read more »

  • Birding

    Morning spent in the blind

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    Managed to get out to Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge for a little birding and photography. Spending most of my time in one of two photo blinds where a number of waterfowl swam by at close range. Walking around the Wildlife Viewing Area, loads of California Quail scurried about and a broken top snag was… Read more »

  • Flowers, Hiking

    Calypso Rain

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    I’ve always love to walk to the rain. Everything becomes slow, and yet vibrant at the same time. Everything becomes a contradiction. There’s silence, yet sound surrounds. There are no people, but I’m not lonely.

  • Birding

    Birding – Easy Like Sunday Morning

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    Birding on a warm, lazy Sunday morning in April is like visiting with old friends. These friends are returning from journeys, both short and epic. The landscape of the Montana is being filled with color and sounds as the migrants return. The return coincides with a explosion of life that tracks with increases daylight and… Read more »

  • Mountian Biking

    Buttercup Loop on Blue Mountain

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    Made this great loop around the lower reaches of Blue Mountain for a great mountain bike ride that featured 2 climbs and a good portion of single track. A big plus was that hardly anyone else was out on the trails…I might be a bit greedy on that one.

  • Hiking 2016

    Mount Jumbo from Lincoln Hills

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    Vida and I shared on the best early season hikes around Missoula, the short, steep ascent to the top of Mount Jumbo. The temperature soared into the upper 60s as we departed from the Lincoln Hills trailhead, which sits below the Saddle. At the saddle, the wildflowers were just starting to pop with Sagebrush buttercup… Read more »

  • Mountian Biking

    Hidden Treasure/MoZ Downhill

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    Starting at the Crazy Canyon, I made it to the top of trail 301.2, and started a bomb downhill that ended in Missoula. The ride along the MoZ, which was constructed for mountain biking, is stunning with views of the entire valley and wide switchbacks for a little fun.

  • Running

    1st Hill Run of 2016 – Vista Point

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    1000 vertical feet, 2 bursting lungs, and 1 amazing view from Vista Point. I was more than a little nervous about running uphill, so far I have doing only relatively flat runs. So let’s do a REAL run, and go up to Vista Point in the Blue Mountain Recreation Area near Missoula. It was an… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Blue Mountain National Recreation Area – Trails 3.06 & 3.03

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    Living near Missoula, Montana, we are fortunate have the Blue Mountain National Recreation Area just outside of the city limits.¬†This 4,900-acre recreation area includes 41 miles of system trails, and on this day I hiked along trails 3.03 & 3.06 for a quick 3 miles. In the video, I rant against the militia currently occupying… Read more »

  • Birding, Hiking 2016

    Birding along the Kenai Trail – Lee Metcalf NWR

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    A place that I have visited many, many times, the Lee Metcalf National Refuge has always had a special draw on me. The series of ponds host a variety of waterfowl and other water throughout the year, and has one of the few extensive wetland areas in the Bitterroot Valley, it serves as an important… Read more »

  • Hiking 2016

    Hiking to Bass Creek Falls in the Bitterroots

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    Happy New Year! And what better way to kickoff 2016, then with a winter hike into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and, specifically, Bass Creek Falls. The hike is relatively easy at a length of 3.25 miles to the Falls and an elevation gain of slightly more than 1000 feet. The views along the trail are outstanding… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015

    Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

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    Jerry Johnson Hot Springs are located a tad over a mile from the Lochsa River in Idaho. The hike starts with a crossing of the Lochsa River, followed by a gentle hike along Warm Springs Creek. On this day, I had the entire place to myself from parking lot to the pools themselves. The sign… Read more »

  • Hikes 2015

    Hiking to the Two Sisters

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    The Two Sisters are a pair of stone pillars that stand above the Bitterroot River near Lolo, Montana. It had planned almost 2 years since I had last hiked to them. You have a cross the Bitterroot River, which is low at this point in the year.

  • Hikes 2015

    Hike to Lolo Peak (via the Sawback)

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    Lolo Peak, or at least what appears to be Lolo Peak, towers over Missoula. But the actual summit is hidden behind a lower false summit. So the mystery of Lolo Peak grows. This hike to the summit was made more difficult by my awesome navigation skills, call me Magellan. I led us up the wrong… Read more »