Summer 2019

Features

The Lionhead, Mountain Biking, CDT, West Yellowstone, Forest Planning
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David Tucker
Access to the Lionhead area is the result of a rock-solid partnership between cyclists, horsemen, and the Forest Service, a rare case of collaboration where the results speak for themselves. With the Custer-Gallatin undergoing its Forest Plan Revision, that could soon change. Two hours south of... Details
Montana Land Reliance, Conservation Easement, Gallatin Valley, Montana
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Jimmy Lewis
Why conserving private land is good for all. When I moved to Bozeman in the mid-’90s, I felt as though I was ahead of the curve, like I’d “discovered” one of the best places on the planet for the lifestyle I wished to live. The sine qua non for this life I had in mind was not entirely explicit at... Details
Jefferson River, Trout Unlimited, Fly Fishing, Montana
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Tom Reed
A restoration success story.  Forgotten. Ignored. Overlooked. Spurned. Maybe even scorned. The Jefferson River has never had much of a reputation among fishermen. The “Jeff” is the river you drive along as you are headed to its famous headwater streams: the Ruby, the Beaverhead, and the Big Hole.... Details
Mike Fiebig, American Rivers, Wild and Scenic, Bozeman
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Anthony Pavkovich
As part one of a new four-part series, Outside Bozeman caught up with American Rivers’ Michael Fiebig for a conversation exploring the intersection of conservation and recreation. When not working as the Northern Rockies conservation director, advocating for the region’s free-flowing rivers, he can... Details
biking, camping, bikepacking
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David Tucker
From downtown Bozeman, the heart of the Gallatin Range is just a bike ride away. We’ve been following the bear’s footsteps for about a mile now, whistling and chattering nervously. The prints aren’t large and based on where we are, we’re pretty sure it’s a young black bear, but we still don’t want... Details
Fly Fishing, Bozeman, Montana
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Dan Ventura
Confessions of a fly fisherman.  Forgive me Father Maclean, for I have sinned. Man, fishing is hard. Well, I mean, most fishing is hard. Sticking a worm on a hook and waiting for a bluegill to bite is not particularly challenging under most circumstances, but fishing as a whole is tough, and fly... Details

Departments

Bozeman, Montana, Story Mill, GVLT
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the editors
Every day around southwest Montana, one stalwart citizen does the right thing while another acts like a blithering bonehead.Our trails are no exception, and be it individuals or organizations, human behavior runs the gamut—from committed community-building to self-absorbed witlessness.Here’s a... Details
camping, road trip, biking
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David Tucker
Adding style to a summer road-trip. The last sliver of sun drops below the distant horizon as I slide a cheese-and-bacon quesadilla off the grill and onto my plate. Melted cheddar drips down the sides and bacon grease pools at the tortillas’ edges. I take a bite, closing my eyes and nodding toward... Details
Bozeman, Local Food, Lamb, Montana
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Emely Lambert
Local food improves health and performance.  As spring leads to summer, local farmers and ranchers are hard at work producing food for our community. Across Gallatin and Park counties, access to local food continues to grow with consumer demand. Sustainability isn’t the only benefit of locally... Details
Yankee Jim Canyon, Yellowstone River, Paddleboard
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Mike England
A different angle on a classic summer activity. If variety is the spice of life, then novelty is the hot sauce—and if you’re game for a new outdoor activity, you won’t find a more suitable salsa picante than whitewater paddleboarding. From the tumultuous holes of the upper Gallatin to long, rolling... Details
Traeger Scout, Kenyon Noble, Bozeman, Montanan
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Troy Heusel
Kicking your camp meals up a notch. Summer is best spent with your family and friends exploring the mountains, rivers, and lakes across southwest Montana. No matter where you are, you’ll be eating, and while burgers and dogs are hard to beat, multi-day adventures call for something special. With... Details
Trail Etiquette, Dogs, Bozeman, Trails, Montana
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the editors
Flogging dog owners in the pillory.  For the past 20 years, Outside Bozeman has made a habit of calling people out. Sometimes—most times—we’re kidding. But other times, we’re so hoppin’ mad that if we don’t lash out verbally, we’ll lash out violently, and no one wants that—our publisher owns a set... Details
Sioux Charley Lake, Stillwater River, Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness
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Robert Stone
Hiking to Sioux Charley Lake. The Stillwater River is a major drainage in the Beartooth Mountains. The river’s headwaters begin in an expansive basin high atop the Beartooth Plateau west of Crown Butte and Daisy Pass, just north of Cooke City. The river travels over 70 miles southeast to its... Details
Pine Creek Lake, Pine Creek, Absaroka, Paradise Valley
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Jacob Thacker
Geology along the Pine Creek trail. Numerous hikes are just outside the door, but a combination of alpine views steeped in multiple layers of geologic time is hard to beat. Perfect for a daylong activity with a friend, Pine Creek is also great for priming your summer trail legs. Gaining 3,400 feet... Details
Custer Gallatin National Forest, Forest Plan Revision, Public Comment
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Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan
The public moves Forest Planning forward. The Custer Gallatin National Forest recently concluded the final official comment period on the Custer Gallatin Revised Forest Plan documents. The documents were lengthy and complex, we know. But thank you for taking the time and showing your support and... Details
Fly Fishing, Madison River, Chubby Chernobyl
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Jake Walbridge
A new spin on a classic fly. The rain is pounding, the wind is howling, and the Yellowstone River has yet to produce a fish. I flop a cast up underneath a streamside bush. My purple Chubby Chernobyl bobs gently on the foam line looking distressed. A submarine-like brown trout emerges from the... Details
Corbly Gulch, Mountain Biking, Custer Gallatin National Forest
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Adam Oliver
Classic bike rides on the chopping block. In Montana, whenever the nearby national forest undergoes a Forest Plan Revision or Travel Plan update, mountain bikers hold their breath.Time and again, updates mean closures, and trails once open to and enjoyed by cyclists become off-limits.No matter how... Details
Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Conservation Easement, Trails, Bozeman
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Cordelia Pryor
When a fifth-generation Gallatin Valley rancher wants to keep the family land intact—regardless of all the work it will take—and a fatcat developer comes knocking with dollar signs in his eyes, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust offers the rancher an alternative. While the Montana Land Reliance works... Details
Packrafting, Montana, Madison River
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Corey Hockett
The skinny on packrafting.  One of the great joys of outdoor adventure is trying new things—and regardless of how daunting the prospect of a new sport may be, we have to start somewhere. For me that latest somewhere was plunging head-first into packrafting. The sense of freedom was captivating. No... Details
Bomber Products, Overlanding, Bozeman, Montana
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Jimmy Lewis
Overlanding in southwest Montana. If you’ve been out and about around Bozeman recently, you may have noticed Toyota Tacomas and vintage Land Cruisers with snorkels running up the driver’s windshield, heavy-duty bumpers and winches, oversized tires, and rooftop tents. The machines I’m talking about... Details
Quake Lake, Kayaking, Birding
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Carol Polich
Photographing Quake Lake’s winged citizens.  Early, before the wind came up and disturbed the glass-like surface, I slid my kayak into the lake. I pushed off with snacks, water, and my camera, fitted with a 100-400mm lens; I also carried a 500mm support lens, knowing I would get plenty of bird... Details
invasive species, NPS, boat
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Marya Spoja
Combatting aquatic invasive species.Southwest Montana’s waterways have long been the backdrop of adventure—some long forgotten, and some so famous that they’re re-enacted for today’s audiences. Known to the Blackfeet as “many-coming-together country,” Bozeman continues to live up to that moniker.... Details
Fly Shop, Madison River, Bozeman, Montana
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Elizabeth Sinclair
Tales of a fly-shop girl. I graduated from college on a Friday and on Saturday my Dad and I drove across the country to my grandparents’ place in McAllister. I’d broken up with my boyfriend, so getting far away from home seemed like the escape I needed. I had visions of long, relaxing days on the... Details
running, races, 5k
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Maggie Slepian
Five not-so-long races. Hardcore mountain runs have a time and a place, but not every race has to be a sufferfest.Sometimes a 5k, charity run, or other low-key race is the perfect way to spend a morning (or evening).Here are four shorter-distance races across southwest Montana to keep on your radar... Details
Canoeing, Capsizing, Self-Rescue
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Patrick Hutchison
How to right a capsized canoe. Canoes aren’t likely to tip over, at least when used by calm people in calm water.If you’re not overloading your boat with too much gear, or paddling toward whitewater to satisfy your hunger for adrenaline, then you can generally trust in your canoe to deliver you... Details
drink, recipe, cocktail
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Mark Lewis
Turn up the heat with summer Palomas. After a long, snowy winter, summer in the Gallatin Valley is truly special. A great cocktail—while on the river, camping, or just on the back patio—only adds to the experience. Cocktail choices abound, but nothing beats tequila as a summertime spirit. Tequila... Details
cooking, recipe, tacos
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Joseph Romano
When it comes to summer meals, tacos are on the short-list of favorites. From classic cafeteria-style ground beef to more exotic options, they rarely disappoint, especially when combined with your favorite cerveza. This summer, try this basic fish-taco recipe—it’s sure to please at your next... Details
Dogs, Dehydration, Overheating, Bozeman, Montana
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Liz Layne
Summer safety tips for dogs.  Caring, active owners, great outdoor recreation, and relatively few parasites and infectious diseases make a dog's life in Montana a little more comfortable than in other parts of the country. Our cool and dry climate helps our dogs stay cooler too.Dogs don't sweat,... Details
climbing, crag, climb
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Dawn Brintnall
Cragging at Allenspur. A crag that is not too loud and not too crowded: these are the first qualifiers that come to mind when seeking a quick climbing fix. I can’t focus on climbing Gallatin Tower when I can hear an 18-wheeler riding the rumble strip all the way to Four Corners. Similarly, I can’t... Details
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the editors
One who borrows brews his own trouble. —AMERICAN PROVERB Committing to new outdoor pursuits can be daunting. Learning new skills, making new friends, finding new hotspots, and yes, buying new stuff—it all adds up. And what if you don’t like the activity? That’s a whole bunch of cash you’ll never... Details
Rock Climbing, Bozeman, Montana
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Drew Pogge
Rock climbing has definitely hit the mainstream—a recent documentary about a skinny, socially-awkward climber with a death wish won an Oscar. A frickin’ Oscar. Which means either it was a ridiculously good documentary (it’s… fine), or documentarians are dropping the ball in a huge way. Seems like... Details
Bozeman, Hiking, Local
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the editors
Getting outfitted locally, hiking edition. In the spring, we gave you a rundown about local fly-fishing-gear manufacturers. Then we realized that one of our favorite summer pastimes—hiking—was also well represented by Gallatin Valley companies. From packs to boots, you can get fully outfitted by... Details
CDT, Backpacking, Pintler Mountains, Montana
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Maggie Slepian
Backpacking the CDT in Montana. The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is the longest and most remote of the three Triple Crown Trails, the other two being the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail.Stretching 3,100 miles start to finish, the CDT begins at the Mexico-U.S. border and winds its... Details
backpacking, weekend, trip, cabin
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Travis Decker
Slowing down at Woody Creek Cabin. Solitude is rare; peace of mind more so. Even deep in the Montana woods, our minds race and we’re removed from the moment, stressing about deadlines, bills, social commitments. It’s hard to be relaxed, paradoxical as that sounds.When we do plan vacations or time... Details
art, painting, poetry
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HG Moser
     The gift of a mountain meadowdeep into summerat rest by a winding brook almost silenta mayfly skitters over the surfaceleaving her eggsa mule deer observes from adistant hummockmy presence a temporary curiosityAwakened from drowsinessby a foraging red squirrel anxiouson leaving the pine... Details
Main Street to the Mountains, M Trail, Bozeman, GVLT
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EJ Porth
 An update from GVLT.  Exciting things are happening in the Gallatin Valley. At the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT), we’re doing everything we can to keep up with the pace of our region’s rapid development and growing population by building more trails and conserving more of our open landscape.... Details
Yellowstone Volcano, Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman, Montana
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Drew Pogge
Yellowstone’s coming to kill us all.  It’s been said (by people who choose to think about really depressing things) that the Yellowstone Supervolcano—a portal of doom the size of Rhode Island that is capable of blasting hundreds of cubic miles of earth and ash into the atmosphere with 100,000 times... Details
Flynn Creek, horseback, etiquette
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Stacie Boswell
Proper trail behavior around horses.Interactions between backpackers and horse riders often demonstrate humans’ innate hunter instinct. Most of the time, people kindly follow the trail rules and yield to the horse. To do so, they’ll often crouch, quiet and out of sight behind a bush or tree, on the... Details
Livingston, Paradise Valley, Montana
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Liz Allen
A fresh start over the pass. It’s June and a late-spring rain falls on winter’s lingering snowpack. In this narrow window all the plants in Montana are beer-bottle green. The peaks of the Absaroka Range loom like arms ready to give me a bear hug. For 18 years, I have lived primarily in downtown... Details
Mile Creek, Lionhead, Henry's Lake Mountains, Mountain Biking, Montana
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David Tucker
We’re all in this together.  “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” —Helen Keller A climber, smiling ear-to-ear as she ambles back to her car. A mountain biker and his dog cautiously negotiating a tight switchback. A turkey hunter bounding downhill, carrying nothing but a loose... Details
painting, poetry
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Al Nyhart
     Hunting marmots in Augustnear the Shields Riverwe found parts of youburied in a sandstone outcropwith tools washed in red ochreTwelve thousand yearsbefore you could tell usof your ancestors leaving Siberiawalking the land bridgeinto the AmericasChild of hunter-gatherersyou were too youngto... Details

Gear Reviews

Review: Gregory Swift 20 H20
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Danielle McCarthy
Gregory’s Swift 20 H2O women’s daypack includes a three-liter water bladder that fits in a separate zippered compartment with a simple clip attachment.The chest harness is magnetic and connects to the bite valve for the water bladder. There are ample storage pockets, including a soft-mesh side... Details
Review: Altra Timp 1.5
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Simon Peterson
Altra’s Timp 1.5 are the comfiest shoes I’ve ever put my feet in. The cushioning provides excellent protection over sharp rocks and roots, combining with a responsive midsole and directional mesh upper to flex smoothly and maintain control on technical, steep terrain. The vamped-up DuraTread rubber... Details
Review: Redington Siren
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Pico Alt
Redington’s Siren women’s wading boots are confidence-inspiring, an important characteristic on southwest Montana’s bigger rivers.Wider soles add stability when wading through rocky streams like the Gallatin, and padded ankle cuffs provide additional support when standing in the strong flows of the... Details
Review: La Sportiva TX4
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Dawn Brintnall
Climbers are notorious for owning shoes for every condition and climbing style.When it comes to choosing approach shoes, simplify. La Sportiva’s TX4 has a wide forefoot that provides welcome relief from your tortuous rock shoes, and the Vibram Megagrip soles maintain maximum purchase in both wet... Details
Review: Pearl Izumi Journey
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David Tucker
Pearl Izumi’s Journey model is excellent at one thing: on-trail comfort.The short is lightweight and low maintenance, and the included liner provides stout padding in all the right places, perfect for long days in the saddle.If you plan on après-biking at all, make sure to pack a change of... Details
Review: Costa Hinano
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Mike England
Simple, stylish, durable, polarized: these are the four pillars of good sunglasses—the all-purpose, outdoor-recreation kind, anyway.Costa’s Hinano meets these criteria and more, with soft nose pads, a grippy frame, and a lifetime warranty.Not to mention a cool etymology: the hinano is a beautiful... Details
Review: AKU Rapida GTX
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Mike England
Bright colors and fancy designs may be all the rage among sporty, nuevo-outdoor types, but when it comes to footwear, I prefer an earthier approach. Clean lines, no frills, just a simple, straightforward trail shoe—that’s what you get with the AKU Rapida GTX. You get a lot more, too: tough suede... Details
Review: Scarpa Spin Ultra
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David Tucker
I’ve taken to running with cushy-soled trail shoes because the thick foam supposedly helps my achy knees.While I’ve had good results with a variety of models, the large sole profiles can trip me up on technical trails with lots of rocks and roots.That’s why I love Scarpa’s Spin Ultra model—they... Details
Review: Xero TerraFlex
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Mike England
The minimalist craze may have settled somewhat (good riddance, Five Fingers), but one profound principle remains: our bodies need to connect to the earth, not be insulated from it. And that’s what footwear manufacturer Xero advocates, even to the point of not wearing shoes at all. But when you must... Details
Review: Clevermade Tahoe
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Mike England
For picnics, daytrips, and après-activity refreshments, the CleverMade Tahoe is a good buy—this five-gallon soft cooler not only keeps 30 cans (plus ice) cold for 24 hours, it stores flat and pops open with a quick pull of the snap-hinges on each side. With the profusion of overbuilt coolers these... Details
Review: Smith Freespool MAG
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David Howlett
Quality optics are a key component of my fishing arsenal, and the Freespool MAG from Smith boasts incredible versatility and killer style. The Freespool utilizes ChromaPop polarized lenses and incorporates two pairs of interchangeable temples—a pair with integrated side shields for maximum light... Details
Review: Balega Blister Resist
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David Tucker
Early in the running season, blisters are the norm.While I can’t claim that Balega’s new Blister Resist socks eliminate blisters forever (running with wet feet is gonna happen sometimes), I can say that the socks’ mohair construction is gosh-darn comfortable.The extra padding in the heel and sole... Details
Review: MSR Hubba Tour
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David Tucker
MSR’s Hubba Hubba is a backpacker favorite. But what if you want to go light, fast, and long without sacrificing features? Enter the Hubba Tour, designed for speedy trekking and bikepacking. It’s loaded with features, like the included vestibule for keeping gear dry and safe, but it packs down... Details
Review: Thule T2 Pro XT 2 – 2"
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Chris McCarthy
I’ve always wanted a hitch-mounted bike rack—and Thule’s T2 Pro XT 2 – 2” is just what I had in mind.The sturdy platform holds two bikes with a strap on the rear tire and a ratcheting arm on the front wheel.You can adjust where the bikes sit to avoid rubbing, and the rack folds down with bikes on... Details
Review: Nikon Laserforce
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Brian England
Nikon’s LaserForce rangefinder binos aren’t just techie-gear masturbation.They are functional, superior (in basic rangefinding, which is all I need) to my Leupold rangefinder, and they allow me to eliminate a piece of kit. The optics are big, bright, and clear, and I’m no longer fumbling between... Details

Book Reviews

edible plants, survival, nature
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Mike England
Every year, I vow to learn more about native foliage, from shrub and tree ID to wildflower names to edible plants. For the latter, I’m upping my game this summer by packing along Edible Wild Plants and Useful Herbs (Falcon, $15) on every outing. Clearly written, with excellent (albeit small) photos... Details
Beartooth Publishing, Biking, Singletrack
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David Tucker
Montana mountain bikers have long craved an updated guide to area rides. With Southern Montana Singletrack (Beartooth Publishing, $30) by Will Robertson, they’ve gotten an update and a whole lot more. True to Robertson’s form, the guide is illustrated with detailed maps and excellent user-generated... Details
backpacking, book, guide
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Cordelia Pryor
Get the skinny on great foot-trips in the rockies. If you’re looking for backpacking adventures within and beyond the Big Sky, Best Backpacking Trips in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado (University Press of Colorado, $15) is the guide for you. With enough breathtaking trips to inspire years of travel... Details
literature, books
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Cordelia Pryor
Published out of northwest Montana, the Whitefish Review is a semi-annual collection of the work of photographers, writers, artists, and poets, as well as interviews with various creative minds, handpicked to create a beautiful artistic adventure for the brain. The most recent edition, Our Living... Details

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