Summer 2024

Features

  • Burn Notice

    The bygone guardians of Yellowstone. I awoke in the middle of the night to brilliant flashes of light. At first, I thought someone was shining a light in my face before I fully awakened and realized to my horror that a…
  • Tied to the River

    Inside the Sex Dungeon with fly fishing’s streamer stud. Kelly was shorter than the grass, so he couldn’t see the stream his dad was fishing. But he could hear it. And he could see his dad’s rod tip floating in the sky and…
  • Head to Head

    Reflections from the Headwaters Relay. Every summer, the Headwaters Relay takes runners 211 miles from Three Forks through the Ruby and Gravelly ranges, and into the Centennial Valley. It can test the mettle of even the…

Departments

  • The Man, the Myth, the Local Legend

    An interview with Bozeman’s Strava King. Have you ever been out on the trails, enjoying a pleasant hike or ride in a serene mountainous landscape, only to be interrupted by an incessant uproar from behind: “Strava, Strava…
  • Gold Rush

    Gravel racing on old mining roads. In their relentless pursuit of gold, the forefathers of Virginia City moved a lot of rock and put in countless roads to quench their lust. While almost all the gold has now been extracted…
  • Music & Mountains

    A roundup of live music and nearby recreation. What’s the best thing about summer in Montana? Undoubtedly, you just thought of sunshine and being outside with your favorite people. Live music, road trips, adventuring in…
  • Face-Off: E-Bikes vs. Dirtbikes

    Gunnin’ it for the top spot. Let’s call a spade a spade: e-bikes are motorized vehicles. Whew—nice to get that one out of the way. Now that we’re speaking candidly, we can really delve into the nuances in different types…
  • Love in the Fast Lane

    Triathlon speed-dating burns through Bozeman. There’s a lot of opportunity here in Bozeman. And with plenty of activities to fill your calendar all summer long, it can feel pretty fruitless to waste time on first-date…
  • Not All Who Wonder Are Lost

    Maintaining a sense of awe in a frenzied world. If you’ve gone wolf watching in Yellowstone, then you know the trick to finding these elusive creatures is not scanning wide-open landscapes, but rather, looking for the wolf…
  • Mediocre Pursuits

    A tribute to the casual approach. What did you do last weekend? A simple, everyday question. One meant for casual conversation. Yet in Bozeman, it takes on a different meaning. On a typical Monday morning, coworkers and…
  • What's for Lunch

    Capturing the hunt on camera. What does it take for a predator to catch its prey? Is it an acute sense of smell, sight, or hearing with which he can detect the subtle underground movements of rodents? Or is it his stealth…
  • The Mountain Called

    And I should never have picked up. It was mid-July. A beautiful Montana summer day. The original plan was to fly fish for brook trout in the small bends of Brackett Creek. I was young—18 to be exact—carefree and oblivious…
  • Pillory: Dirt Devils

    Calling out the depraved dusters of Montana’s back roads. Montana is a big state with loads of nooks & crannies, and a small, spread-out population. Which means a lot of dirt roads—in fact, from one border to another,…
  • Paint & Poetry: Summer 2024

    Poems by HG Moser, art by Hailey Hosken Dream Stream There is a trout stream in his dreams where he knows all the good pools and runs and riffles, how to reach them from the paths along the banks, and the best way to fish…
  • Hot & Steamy

    Dutch-oven cinnamon rolls. There is little better than the aroma of cinnamon and bread as it bakes under coals inside a Dutch oven. Anticipation builds as the rolls puff up and brown. However, traditional cinnamon rolls…
  • Hold My Beer

    The value of being up for anything. A few weeks ago, I saw a hoodie in a small-town Montana dive bar reading, “That sounds like a terrible idea. What time?” Its occupant was a Coors Light–drinking outfitter, and it got me…
  • Lunar Summer

    Meeting the man in the moon. In his poplar opera The Magic Flute, Mozart’s Queen of the Night is a scat-singing soprano with a bad attitude. But in the sky, it’s a royal moniker usually reserved for Earth’s natural…
  • Run Forest Run

    Embracing the “out” in workout. CrossFit took the fitness world by storm in the early 2010s. Requiring minimal space and only basic equipment, pop-up gyms sold tens of thousands of memberships nationwide. It was a great…
  • Green Machine

    Tying a versatile nymph pattern. The Green Machine has been a staple fly in Montana for years, on rivers all across the state. The following variation has done particularly well for me under a foam dry fly in the summer.…
  • Head Above Water

    Preventing fishing injuries. As the summer sun beats down, the bugs are popping, and you hit the water in earnest, injuries are likely not on your radar. But fly casting, walking in a river, and rowing puts stress and…
  • Hot Dog Summer

    Prepping your canine for longer excursions. As we gear up for another hot Montana summer and more adventures with our four-legged pals, it’s important to keep their health and safety in mind when out in the woods. Here are…
  • Best Face Forward

    Summer skin-care essentials. Summer brings warm weather, sunshine, and days spent outdoors, but it doesn’t have to mean months of skin issues. A few tweaks to your skincare routine can keep your skin healthy and radiant…
  • Fuel for Thought

    Budget-friendly trail snacks. We’ve all been there during a big day in the mountains—rummaging, frantically, through a backpack, looking for something to eat. One bite of sugar, a boost of energy—anything! But all that…
  • Water Warriors

    Rallying Bozeman’s outdoor-swimming community. If you’re a swimmer in Bozeman, summer is the season for getting creative with training. This year—for the fourth time recently—the only indoor, public swim facility in town…
  • River of Love

    Romance on the water. Entering the fifth and final Class V rapid of the day, I watch as the point boat endo-flips, with the raft and all of its passengers disappearing amongst crashing whitewater. I freeze up and stare…
  • Copernicus Revisited

    Windy Pass and the mile-long shadows. If you’re planning to drive Portal Creek to the Windy Pass Trailhead, it might be advisable to make a preemptive appointment for new shock absorbers. Drive too fast and your gizzard…
  • Selfies of Southwest Montana

    And where to take the best ones. Summer in Bozeman: no better time to schlep up a mountain, paddle down a river, or pedal a steep trail—and document yourself doing so. The Gallatin Valley and surrounding area is home to…
  • Bag of Peaks

    Do you know ’em like the back of your hand? Here in southwest Montana, we’re surrounded by iconic mountains. From the sweeping ridgeline of the Bridgers, to the jagged outcrops of the Madison Range, to the broad plateaus…
  • Green Monster

    Finding hope for the Gallatin River. In early 2023, several local conservation groups—the Gallatin River Task Force (Task Force), Upper Missouri Waterkeeper, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, American Rivers, and Montana…
  • Fed Up

    A timeline to becoming a disgruntled local. We all know an older curmudgeon—always complaining, always griping about the current state of Bozeman. But he, too, was most likely once a giddy, gleeful newcomer to town.…
  • Live Fast, Die Young

    The life of a Western legend. A story that reverberates through the annals of Old West history, “Calamity Jane” is a saga of the rugged, unpredictable, and often chaotic spirit of frontier life. Martha Jane Canary was…
  • Much Ado

    Shakespeare in the Parks brings the action to Montana. Our outdoor spaces have the power to connect us in more ways than we think: to our community, to our physical goals, to nature—and also to the arts. Picture this: it’s…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Lunar Solo Tent

    The Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo is easy to pitch right out of the box. The single-pole setup makes the tent straightforward and intuitive to set up. The interior space is impressive for a one-person shelter, providing…
  • Review: Chaco Z1 Sandal

    The Chaco Z1 Customizable Sandals are hands down the most versatile summer sandals I've ever had. Their thick, grippy outsoles make them great for long walks and river play, as they keep rocks from digging into the bottoms…
  • Review: VTOMAN Jump 600

    When it comes to convenience, the rapid growth of rechargeable devices has been a blessing—the fewer cords tangling up, wrapping around one's legs, or restricting a person to the closest electrical outlet, the better. But…
  • Review: Mustang Survival Dry Bag

    I used to think all dry bags were the same. As long as it keeps my gear fairly dry and is the right size, it’s a decent bag. But now that I’ve tried Mustang Survival’s Bluewater Dry Bag, I’ve learned that they are not all…
  • Review: LOWA Fortux GTX

    With LOWA’s long list of hiking and hunting boots, it’s no surprise that they now have a formidable running shoe. That’s why I had no hesitation in grabbing a pair of LOWA Fortux GTX running shoes. A cushioned, rocker-…
  • Review: Rocky NoWake Shoe

    From late spring to mid-fall, I pretty much live in my river shoes—and yes, in case you were wondering, they smell like it. But what else would one wear? Fishing, floating, hiking with creek-crossings, impromptu swim-…
  • Review: Yakima GateKeeper Pad

    When it comes to running bike shuttles, you see some creative options out there: tires sticking out the window, bikes ratchet-strapped to the roof, piled high in the bed of a pickup—if you can think it, someone’s done it.…
  • Review: Zenbivy Ultralight Bed

    In Zenbivy's never-ending quest to make sleeping in the woods more comfortable, the company has released a suite of new products for 2024, along with a few makeovers of existing items. We tested out a grab-bag of goodies,…
  • Review: Yakima BaseLine Roof Rack

    When space is at a premium on big road trips, the Yakima BaseLine Towers and HD Bars open up a whole new dimension: the roof. The roof rack system works with just about any flat-roof vehicle with no drilling required. The…
  • Review: Orvis Pro Waders

    Don’t be shy, the Orvis Pro Waders aren’t just for the well-seasoned guide. While it’s certainly up his alley, if you often find yourself on the banks of Montana’s rivers then there’s a good chance these waders are for you…
  • Review: Gregory Zulu 65

    You never forget your first, and I’d been using my old backpacking pack since I was 16. We made lots of great memories together (her name was Griselda), so when I first tried out the Gregory Zulu 65, I was suspicious. Sleek…
  • Review: Maven B1.2 10x42 Binos

    Picture this scenario: you’re sitting on your favorite glassing knob, looking out across a series of hills and broken timber slopes. A handful of tracks bisect a snowy spot. Are those deer or elk tracks? And how fresh are…
  • Review: Saucony Peregrine 14

    Running is arguably the most accessible sport in the world: all that’s really needed is a pair of shoes. And when taking to the steep mountain trails around Bozeman, I want to make sure I have a good pair. The Saucony…
  • Review: Costa Sullivan Sunglasses

    I spend a lot of time traveling during the summer months, and Costa’s Sullivan Sunglasses provide superb sun protection along with premium color, optical clarity, and sharpness. The polarized lenses filter reflective glare…
  • Review: NEMO Hornet OSMO Tent

    One-person tents strike a fine balance between weight and function. Most of the time, if I’m taking a one-man tent on an adventure, it’s because I’m going ultralight and need protection from rain, snow, and wind. Comfort is…
  • Review: Gear Aid Repair Products

    Gear Aid must be a greedy gear company’s worst nightmare. Their huge assortment of gear-repair products can extend the life of just about any outdoor equipment—raincoats, tents, rafts, down jackets—you name it. And here in…
  • Review: Aziak Equipment

    Ever used a piece of outdoor gear and thought to yourself, Hmm, I wonder if a little tweak here & there would make this piece of gear better? Then you jerry-rig something, only to have it fall apart after a couple trips…
  • Review: Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

    "White rabbit! White rabbit! White rabbit!" Most folks who have sat around a campfire know what I’m talking about. They’re words of camping folklore that are supposed to help with those pesky moments when the fire chooses…
  • Review: Mystery Ranch Radix 47

    Like a boxer cutting weight for the weigh-in, the new Radix 47 from Mystery Ranch is all muscle, no fat. Lean, mean, light, and strong, this sucker is built for speed, be it an overnight mountain-climb with a long approach…
  • Review: Purist Founder 32oz

    As much as I despise dehydrophobia—the increasingly widespread terror of even the slightest sensation of thirst—I've got to admit, the phenomenon has driven the creation of some damn nice water bottles, one of which is the…
  • Review: Infinity X1 Flashlight

    Headlamps are a wonderful thing, but sometimes you need a little more juice—or, in the case of the Infinity X1 Hybrid Power Flashlight, a lot more. Multiple models are available; I chose the 5,000-lumen version, and this…
  • Review: La Sportiva Jackal II

    The newly-released Jackal II from La Sportiva is a comfortable, cushioned, yet lightweight shoe for long-distance trail running. With a moderate 7mm drop, wide forefoot, and stable platform, this shoe appeals to a wide…

Book Reviews

  • Book: Climbing Anchors

    Breakthroughs in climbing techniques are rare, as are new approaches that crack the sport wide open. Climbing’s not about the release of sick new gear, but rather the reuse of time- and rock-tested principles that are used…
  • Book: Four Wheelin’ Yellowstone

    With recent motorized-use regulation changes, a few intrepid individuals have begun to explore the more remote portions of Yellowstone National Park—on ATVs. They recently took a few days off from tearing through hot…

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