Ten Years and Counting

Descending from a brisk, after-work M hike, I clambered up a rock outcropping to take in the view. After three days of intermittent rain, the sky finally cleared - the air was clean and crisp, the fields and foothills a bright green, and the setting sun cast long shadows across the valley, giving the entire landscape a soft, mottled glow. What an evening! Below Mount Ellis, shadows lay in the draws like fog: dark, ethereal, alive. The world around me seemed at once calm and vibrant, like the smooth surface of a lake teeming with hidden life.

As my gaze settled on the mighty Mount Blackmore, it occurred to me that I was standing on the very same rock where our cover model, Mary Pat Harris, stood ten years ago, as we prepared the first issue of Outside Bozeman. That's right, ten years. A full decade since O/B came into this world, delivered via tractor-trailer to a friend's garage in late June of 2000. We hauled 20,000 copies all over town, proudly displaying the photos, articles (all 10 of them), and ads we'd worked so hard to compile into a cohesive, 36-page whole. And we grinned like schoolboys as we realized that we'd just created Bozeman's first real outdoor journal - the first ongoing tribute to this amazing outdoor playground we're lucky enough to call home.

Looking back on that cover photo now, I see the same green hills, the same snowcapped peaks, the same sprawling emptiness. I can only imagine that Mary Pat was awash in the same feelings of rapture that overtake me now. And as we put the finishing touches on the Summer 2010 issue, I feel the same pride now that I did back then.

And why not? For the last ten years, we've been fortunate to work with some of the area's best writers, photographers, artists, and cartographers. We've worked hard to produce an honest, down-to-earth magazine that our fellow Bozemanites can be proud of. We've made a living out of exploring - if sometimes only vicariously - the magnificent outdoor world of southwest Montana. And we've learned a valuable lesson in the process: No matter how it may seem, Bozeman is still the same badass mountain-town it was back then.

I've always believed that what really inspires us is hope - and that hope springs from a deep conviction that things, for the most part, are moving along as they should be. Which is what Bozeman is all about - a vigorous outdoor life, spent in the company of friends and family who share our deep affinity for the natural world. In short, life as it should be.

This is the Bozeman that inspired us - that we yearned to celebrate and promote in print - ten years ago. And it's the same Bozeman we strive to celebrate and share with you for the next ten. We hope you'll continue to join us.