Friday, December 6, 2013

Coldest temps since 2011

Booger freezing cold in Montana the last few days! This morning in Bozeman it was 22f below and 36f below Zero on Butte on the drive home.  Saw in the news:

The last time Missoula and Kalispell were below zero was February 2011, but we both dipped below zero (Missoula -6° & Kalispell -4°) Thursday and Friday (Missoula -2° & Kalispell -3°) mornings!

Stay warm peoples.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rim Fire - one of California's largest fires

Wow, impressive photography

 It's now estimated at 220,000 acres and over 5000 firefighters. Bigtime.

 Here's a great aerial view from one of the MAFFs tankers:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Packing the bags

It's beginning a little early this year, I was kinda looking forward to enjoying the rest of my vacation. Oh well, Gold Creek here I come.

Monday, July 8, 2013

1600 strikes over W. MT and Idaho

lionmerchant — Tuesday April 24, 2012

More than 1,600 lightning strikes peppered central Idaho and western Montana on Monday, prompting state officials to schedule a patrol flight to scout for new wildfires.

Initial attack crews responded to two lighting starts Monday morning, one near Florence and the other near Seeley Lake.

The drying conditions led the Missoula County Fire Protection Association to raise the fire danger to high effective today.

Monday, July 1, 2013

5 Best Places to Raise Outdoor Kids

I found Outside Online recently ran this article, putting Missoula as one of the best places to raise to outdoor kids. Right now there is no rather place I would rather be, Montana summer is in its primetime.

New York City is a great place to raise a cultured, worldly kid. At just three years old, my Manhattan-born daughter has eaten delicacies my husband and I had never even heard of until we were in our twenties, and she has an appreciation for art exceeding that of most adults.

But when it comes to teaching kids to appreciate nature, the Big Apple falls short in a big way. Though it’s geographically close to a number of quick, fantastic getaways—kayaking in the Hudson and East rivers, climbing at the Shawangunks, hiking at Bear Mountain—it doesn’t exactly make it easy to give kids the kind of consistent exposure to the wild that will encourage them to keep going outside later in life. There’s no place to store the equipment, for one. And how often can we realistically get away from the city with one or more kids in tow?

We talked with some parents and grandparents of adventurous kids and asked them to make the case for their hometown (or the city or town they're scheming to move to). In making our picks, we looked for towns that had affordable housing, were close enough to the city to give kids exposure to museums and other cultural institutions, and, most importantly, had easy access to a variety of outdoor recreation. While this list is by no means comprehensive, these five cities are a solid bet for parents looking to give their kids an early entree to adventure.

Photo: Micah Sheldon/Flickr  

Montana's second largest city, sits at the confluence of three rivers—the Bitterroot, Clark Fork, and Blackfoot—and enjoys views of five distinct mountain ranges. Combined, these spaces make for some incomparable opportunities to immerse your kids “in a sea of wilderness even if you don’t have a car,” says writer Teresa Ponikvar, who went to college in the town. The downtown area is bike-friendly, and the Clark Fork Riverfront Trail is an ideal spot to introduce your young one to a bike; most of the trail is flat and wide. Rattlesnake National Recreation Area in the Lolo National Forest is so close to downtown that the city bus will drop you and your little one off at the park’s entrance.

Many sports and activities in Missoula are pegged to the seasons, with river rafting and fishing on one of more than 200 rivers and streams in the summer and cross-country skiing and other snow sports in the winter. For smaller kids or busier days, there are also plenty of park and rec spaces in the city proper, including McCormick Park, which offers free bike rentals in the summer and ice skating in the winter, as well as a skate park and ropes course.

With critters from mink to mule deer roaming the nearby woods, Missoula gives parents plenty of opportunities to teach kids respect for wildlife. “You know how in most places if you see the neighbors all gathered on the corner, it's usually because there's been a fire or a robbery or a heart attack?” she says. “In Missoula, it's usually because there's a wild animal doing something cool.”

The average home price in Missoula is about $200,000; rentals can be had for under $700.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ruh-Oh! 2013 Fire season outlook

graphic courtesy of Missoulian

Its way to early to early to be having fires in Western Montana. Just last night a 200 acre fire erupted SE of Philipsburg, wow. Best of wishes to one of our friends that lives very close to that area. 


Here's to hoping we get some more spring moisture. I had also been suspecting something was a miss with the snowpack, as I looked at the Lolo Pass camera, I noticed a remarkable difference in past years snowpacks in May. Take a look below:

My 2010-11 Lolo Pass snowpack timelapse -

A less interesting snow year -

The coming wildfire season looks tough for most of the western United States, but western Montana firefighters are expecting an average summer on the fire line.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell warned on Monday that national budget cuts mean 500 fewer ground personnel on fire lines this summer. They added money would be tight for preseason hazardous-fuels removal and postseason restoration work.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Best Rally car scenes

In another life I'd like to think i could be reincarnated as a rally car driver. I routinely scare the sh!t out of my wife during the winter getting sideways, so I should be able to race rally right? Looks fun, except for the crashing and what not. Check out the 7:04 mark if you have ADD and can't watch the whole thing

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mind blowing skillz and balls

This is the incredible moment a wingsuit flyer navigates his way through a narrow cave at speeds of 155 miles per hour.

Flyer Alexander Polli cuts through the air above a rugged mountainside in Spain. The jaw-dropping video was uploaded to YouTube by Epic TV yesterday. It begins with Polli jumping from a helicopter, which hovers above the Roca Foradaad Mountains in Montserrat, Spain

 Read more:

A little more lighthearted, but some serious dancing. I can't tell if it's real or not? Anyone?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Elk crossings

Found a few of these elk crossing videos, pretty amazing to see them keep pouring across the screen.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Another needle

We've been busy and probably only going to get busier, but I did manage to sneak away for a few hours last week. I biked and hiked and pushed and slushed and sweated. There was very little snow, only a bit in the shade. I lucked into this shed, about a 40" main beam and good mass, not too far from my finds last year. 

And in other news people are starting to guess at what this summer will bring. Little bit of weather nerd stuff for the Missoula area:

 Two significant or near significant records have occurred
 during the past two years.
 1. Missoula has not experience a temperature below 0 since
 Feb 25th, 2011.
 This is the second longest period on record. If a below 0 day does
 not occur through October 2013 the all time record of consecutive
 days without sub zero reading will be broken.  This is likely
 for there has never been a sub 0 day in Missoula from April
 through October.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I've been slacking on blog updates. Been busy with kiddos and putting together a new house. Flung a few arrows from the bow I got this winter, looking forward to this fall already.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Montana Ice Tsunami!

Things are always crazy weather wise in Montana. This guy captured what I would have to believe is fairly rare, at least on this scale. Pretty neat footage, especially the initial wave and then when it rounds the corner.

Weather across the state for skiers has been on hold for the last couple weeks. Western Montana got pummelled on the 10th of January by 2 feet of snow, and since then we've been mostly in high pressure mode. That means the Missoula Valley was in the deep freeze inversion. That broke a few days ago and now we are enjoying freezing rain. Yippeee

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Skiing as a profession?

So I've been planning out what my kids will do in life. You know, picking their careers and such, maybe even focused on what kinda $bread$ they can make. Because let's face it, a fireman's and a part-time environmental scientist salary's may not pave the golden retirement I have envisioned. You know what I'm talking about...your kid making big money, taking care of you as you start to get grumpy and decay. There's a big difference between me living with them or putting my as up in a swanky assisted living facility.

As I daydreamed, I stumbled across article on skier Bode Miller's 100 foot yacht being for sale. Hmmm...

Ding, the light bulb lit up so to speak. It might be a dim light but hey, if the likes of Bode Miller and Jon Olsson can make millions skiing, why can't my kids? Skiers have been racking up big pay checks and living lavish lifestyles for years. I mean look at

Jon Olsson knows how to ride in style to the ski hill

Bode is reportedly worth $8 million dollars. And Lindsey Vonn's networth is $3 million dollars! And what about good old Alberto Tomba, he was an international player no doubt! But don't get me wrong, some skiers like Tanner Hall remind me of straight up thugs.

What really spurred this whole stupid tangent was the huge smiles that I saw last week when I took my girls skiing separately up at Snowbowl. Being the first day of the year on skis, new 93cm skis to be exact, they were pretty excited. Warm up runs on the rope tow instilled the confidence they needed. Then up top with a little help from a ski leash, they were destroying beginner and intermediate runs.

Somehow I came across this ski coaching article, Don't Praise your children. What's that you said? At first by reading the title, I thought it would be total bullshit. But afterwards, it probably has some really good points, like this one:
  • Too much praise of any sort can also be unhealthy. Research has found that students who were lavished with praise were more cautious in their responses to questions, had less confidence in their answers, were less persistent in difficult assignments, and less willing to share their ideas. 

I leave you with a few minutes of floating the mild slopes of Snowbowl with my five year olds. I'm sure most of you detected the bit of my sarcasm, but if not, you might need to have your meter calibrated. The girls at this point are looking to be a veterinarian and a police officer. We're going to need to work on one of those professions.