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Big Sky July 13, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue 14

BSCC Parks and Trails Gala

rider: shane maloney // Photo by david reeves

Exploring life, land and culture from the heart of the Yellowstone Region

Big Sky Weekly

Mountain Biking at big sky resort Lone Peak Expedition: A local's perspective

Big Brothers Big Sisters Celebrity Golf Tournament

Big Sky's locally owned and published newspaper

Publisher of the big sky weekly



2011 big sky chamber of commerce

Business of the Year July 13, 2012 Volume 3, Issue 14 PUBLISHER Eric Ladd


BBBS Celebrity Golf Tournament – July 15 – 16 Hobnob with celebrities, test your golf skills and raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County.


Grand Marshall car from the 2011 Big SKy Country Fair parade Photo by Kaela Schommer

Operation Never Forgotten – July 17 – 23 Help Big Sky and Bozeman welcome wounded warriors to our communities while they enjoy the best outdoor activities our state has to offer.

editorial assistants Taylor Anderson, Renae Counter Distribution Director Danielle Chamberlain VIDEO director Brian Niles

Big Sky PBR – July 31 – Aug. 1. The inaugural Big Sky Professional Bull Riding tour won “Event of the Year” for 2011 from the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. Although this year’s PBR sold out in the first 48 hours, more tickets may go on sale before the event. Check for updates.

Big Sky Food Festival – July 17 Serving up fabulous food outside on the lawn at Buck’s T-4 Lodge since 1997.

videographer Chris Davis Account relations coordinator Kacey Brown Operations director Katie Morrison WEB Developer/Designer Sean Weas CONTRIBUTors

Jamie Balke, Robin Brower-McBride, Buscrat, Maren Dunn, Felicia Ennis, Siri Fossel, John Holtzman, Brian Hurlbut, Chad Jones, Max Lowe, Matty McCain, Mike Mannelin, John Marshall, Anne Marie Mistretta, Heather Morris, Brandon Niles, Joseph T. O'Connor, Eric Ossorio, Ersin Ozer, Tori Pintar, Laura Schaap, Kaela Schommer, Jeff Stickland, David Tucker

32nd annual Big Sky Country Fair – July 28 Themed “Wild Blue Yonder,” this year’s Country Fair will have a parade, local and regional vendors, a dunk tank, a car wash, a petting zoo, live music and even a high-heeled race.

Gallatin County Fair – July 18 - 22 Themed “The Best in the West,” the fair is more than a century old. Pig wrestling, mutton busting, bronc riding, theatrical jousting, amusement rides, mud boggin’ and cotton candy. How could you miss this?

Big Sky XC – Aug. 24 – 26 The world’s fastest off-road motorcycle racers come to get their butt’s kicked on the rowdy trails at Big Sky Resort. This great spectator event also has races for all ages and abilities.

BSCC Parks and Trails Gala – July 21 Cocktails, silent and live auctions, a gourmet dinner and a nine-piece R&B and Soul band—all to benefit parks and trails in Big Sky.

Big Sky Weekly Distribution

Editorial Policy

Outlaw Partners LLC is the sole owner of the Big Sky Weekly. No part of this publication may be reprinted without written permission from the publisher. The Big Sky Weekly reserves the right to edit all submitted material for content, corrections or length. Printed material reflects the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the opinion of Outlaw Partners or the editors of this publication. No advertisements, columns, letters to the editor or other information will be published that contain discrimination based on sex, age, race, religion, creed, nationality, sexual preference, or are in bad taste.

Letter to the Editor Parameters The Weekly accepts letters to the editor to give readers a platform to express their views and share ways they would like to effect change. These should not be Thank You notes. Letters should be 250 words or less, respectful, ethical, state accurate facts and figures, and proofread for grammar and content. We reserve the right to edit letters. Include: first and last name, address, phone number and title. Submit to:

ADVERTISING DEADLINE For July 27 issuE: July 20, 2012 CORRECTIONS The Big Sky Weekly runs corrections to errors we’ve printed. Please report them to

2 July 13, 2012

This summer, southwest Montana =and Big Sky are packed full of fun events, big and small. We’ve reported on many of them in detail in this issue of the Weekly. Here are a few of the highlights: Bike to Farm – weekends, July 14 – Aug. 19 Know your farmer, and get fit along the way!


© 2012 The Big Sky Weekly Unauthorized reproduction prohibited

Summer events



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OUTLAW PARTNERS & THE BIG SKY WEEKLY P.O. Box 160250, Big Sky, MT 59716 (406) 995-2055

Table of Contents Community...4 Local News...8 Regional..10 Opinion...11 Montana...14 Yellowstone...16 Gallery...17 Sports...18 Health...21

Business...22 Outlaw News...25 Classifieds...30 Business Profile...31 Real Estate...28 Outlaw News...26 Environment...30 History...33 Food & Dining...34

Outdoors...36 Gear Reviews...39 Events...40 Entertainment...43 Fun...45 Columns...46 Back 40...48





96 properties sold in the last 6 months

“There has never been a more opportune time to purchase real estate in Big Sky” Sold Properties

List Price

Close Date

Sold Properties

List Price

Close Date

Sold Properties

List Price

Close Date

Fairways 2156


Jan 3, 2012

Cowdrey Unit 9


Mar 14, 2012

288 Firelight, Firelight Chalet


May 3, 2012

199 Candlelight, Firelight Chalet


Jan 7, 2012

Crail Creek Club 620


Mar 14, 2012

Moonlight Mountain Home 57


May 4, 2012

19 Meadow Village Unit 2B


Jan 10, 2012

Cowboy Heaven Luxury Ste 2D


Mar 14, 2012

Crail Creek 616


May 6, 2012

Lot 25 Porcupine Park Sub


Jan 17, 2012

Summit Hotel 10602


Mar 15, 2012

32 Low Dog Rd.


May 9, 2012

Fairways 2148


Jan 18, 2012

Cowboy Heaven Lot 20


Mar 15, 2012

Moonlight Mountain Home 4


May 10, 2012

Lot 8 Little Coyote Rd.


Jan 23, 2012

Deer Run H-1


Mar 19, 2012

487 Grey Drake Road


May 10, 2012

Big Horn 14


Jan 27, 2012

Big Horn 10


Mar 23, 2012

Cabin 18


May 10, 2012

Big Horn 19


Jan 27, 2012

Cowdrey Warehouse Units


Mar 23, 2012

135 Lower Diamond Hitch Road


May 10, 2012

1929 Chief Joseph Trail


Jan 27, 2012

10 Candlelight, Firelight Chalet


Mar 26, 2012

The Pines Condominium C1


May 11, 2012

2620 Curley Bear Rd.


Jan 30, 2012

Antler Ridge 105


Mar 26, 2012

473 Firelight, Firelight Chalet


May 14, 2012

Beaverhead 1433


Feb 2, 2012

Strawberry Ridge Lot 3


Mar 27, 2012

Moonlight Mountain Home 51


May 14, 2012

Hill Condo 1296


Feb 6, 2012

1955 Little Coyote


Mar 29, 2012

Lot 13 Sawbuck Rd.


May 15, 2012

Lot 6 Chief Joseph Trail


Feb 7, 2012

Cedar Creek Condo 47


Mar 30, 2012

Ranch 116, Crow Point


May 16, 2012

Hill Condo 1314


Feb 9, 2012

1003 Lone Mountain Trail


Mar 30, 2012

456 Firelight, Firelight Chalet


May 16, 2012

Summit Hotel 10306


Feb 10, 2012

Hill Condo 1350


Apr 3, 2012

350 Low Dog Road


May 16, 2012

339 Low Dog Road


Feb 14, 2012

87 Starlight, Firelight Chalet


Apr 6, 2012

Cabin 15


May 18, 2012

Moonlight Mountain Home 2


Feb 15, 2012

Hill Condo 1319


Apr 8, 2012

19 Meadow Village Drive 2G


May 24, 2012

Glacier Condominium 149


Feb 16, 2012

Cowboy Heaven Cabin 9


Apr 10, 2012

3 Black Moon


May 24, 2012

Alpine Meadows Suite 6D


Feb 17, 2012

Firelight Condo A17


Apr 11, 2012

15 Rising Bull Rd.


May 25, 2012

Hill Condo 1247


Feb 22, 2012

Lot 31 Porcupine Park Sub


Apr 11, 2012

Meadow Village Ctr. Ln. Unit D


May 31, 2012

Hill Condo 1288


Feb 24, 2012

Firelight Condo D17


Apr 13, 2012

472 Firelight, Firelight Chalet


May 31, 2012

245 Karst Stage Loop


Feb 24, 2012

Hill Condo 1221


Apr 20, 2012

Cabin 14


Jun 1, 2012

Firelight Condo C2


Feb 28, 2012

Lot 70 Goshawk Trail


Apr 20, 2012

Lot 74 Eagel View Trail


Jun 5, 2012

Summit Hotel 10912


Feb 29, 2012

Powder Ridge 2


Apr 25, 2012

Cascade Lot 286


Jun 8, 2012

Firelight Condo B11


Mar 1, 2012

120 Cheyenne Road


Apr 25, 2012

Hill Condo 1315


Jun 15, 2012

Tamarack Court Condo 7


Mar 2, 2012

Silverbow 39


Apr 27, 2012

Alpenglow 18C


Jun 15, 2012

Moose Ridge 20A


Mar 5, 2012

Lot 92 Settlers Loop


Apr 27, 2012

2115 Little Coyote


Jun 15, 2012

Stillwater Condo 1002


Mar 6, 2012

Gallatin Bldg Unit 8


Apr 30, 2012

2160 Lone Walker Road


Jun 18, 2012

Park Condo 288


Mar 6, 2012

145 Karst Stage Loop


Apr 30, 2012

Cowboy Heaven Cabin 24


Jun 19, 2012

Summit View Ph 1, Lot 9


Mar 9, 2012

The Pines Condominium L2


Apr 30, 2012

Alpine Meadows Chalet 69


Jun 20, 2012

Pine Ridge Condo 9


Mar 12, 2012

35 Rainbow Trout Run


Apr 30, 2012

86 Candlelight, Firelight Chalet


Jun 21, 2012

Summit Hotel 10811


Mar 13, 2012

394 Candlelight, Firelight Chalet


May 2, 2012

Shoshone Hotel 1937


Jun 27, 2012

Call me directly for up-to-date market information: 406-539-0121 Representing buyers and sellers in:





Jeff Helms

Big Sky Town Center Office M: 406.539.0121 E:

All information is derived from MLS sources and deemed reliable, however, is not guaranteed. Data is subject to error, omissions, prior sales, price change or withdrawal without notice and approval of purchase by Seller. We urge independent verification of each and every item submitted, to the satisfaction of any prospective purchaser.


Big Sky Weekly

Local scholarship to help fund outdoor education Calendars fundraise for the Erika Pankow Fund By emily stifler

tops, are all in good taste: working on the tram, skiing the south face, posing on a snowmobile, riding the Triple chair, and standing with snowboards and snow cats.

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – Sometimes, tragedy begets positive change. Erika Pankow’s death in a 1996 explosives accident rocked the Big Sky Ski Patrol community. Pankow, a second year patroller, was doing avalanche control work on a serious storm day. She never came home. With great enthusiasm for life and helping others, Pankow had made many friends in the ski community.

And the scenery isn’t half bad either. “I love this one,” Loomis says, pointing at a black and white shot at the top of Lone Mountain. “I love the skyline, you can see through the Spanish Peaks, all the way to the Tobacco Roots.”

“She was really a special lady,” said friend and fellow patroller Jay “Magnum” Frisque. “She was somebody who worked from the heart. She always had a big smile.”

That particular day was cold, and the wind was blowing about 35 miles and hour, Turner recalls. The crew—two lift ops, three patrollers and Turner— would get psyched up inside the Tram top shack, and then run outside to shoot photos.

Many locals and businesses wanted to donate in her honor, and Frisque, together with the Big Sky Ski Patrol, founded memorial and scholarship funds in her name. “Everybody stepped up. Everybody offered to help,” Frisque said. More than 100 donors pitched in, including at least 20 ski patrols from around the West. The memorial fund was used to create a plaque for Pankow, which is in Erika’s glades in Big Sky’s Bavarian Forest, and also a plaque for another Big Sky patroller killed in an avalanche accident, Dave Stutzman. One final plaque—for Big Sky’s first ski patrol director Jim Kanzler—is still in the making. After the accident, many ski patrols across the Western U.S. created more intensive training and documentation programs for avalanche control work, said Larry Heywood, an avalanche expert who investigated the incident. Heywood also had a hand in revamping the National Ski Area Association’s avalanche control guidelines and said the accident was a driving force to make the guidelines much stricter.

patroller Ody Loomis and Frisque worked together to bring the scholarship fund back. “I thought it was such a great thing for the community, and it shouldn’t just be sitting there dormant,” Loomis said. Plus, she said, she’s thankful she’s not afraid to do her job and that today’s “policies and management help make it safe for us to be out there.” Spearheading the project, Loomis contracted local photographer Ryan Turner to shoot photos for an 18-month calendar “Women of Big Sky.” Loomis describes the project as “a huge group effort…. All the girls came together and said ‘let’s do this.’”

“It was like being sandblasted,” Turner said, adding that the girls were so tough that they didn’t even race back inside right away. “They seemed to really have a lot of fun when they were doing it as a group.” The calendars go on sale this summer, and proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund. And as it did at its inception, the fund’s board will have representation from Big Sky Search and Rescue, Gallatin Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, and Big Sky Ski Patrol. Pankow was a member of each organization. The fund will provide financial support to individuals interested in advancing medical, search and rescue or avalanche related skills and will also help acquire equipment like sit skis, outriggers or prosthetics.

A different local business sponsored each month of the calendar, and Turner, graphic designer Lisa Ankeny, and web designer Lindsay Pruett did much of their work in-kind.

Full or partial scholarships will be given out twice a year, in November and April, and will depend on availability of funds in the scholarship account. Preference will be given to residents of the greater Gallatin Valley area and to high school students.

The scholarship fund initially went toward avalanche and medical education for locals, but with no follow up fundraisers the money eventually ran out and the fund was all but forgotten.

The calendar is a mixture of black-and-white and color photography, a combination of fun, sexy, whimsical and badass. The women featured are ski patrollers, snowmakers, snow cat drivers, chairlift operators and maintenance crew members and Dirtbag queens.

“The more people that get avalanche training, the better for all of us,” Frisque said. “Erika would approve of that. She would approve of the calendar. You don't have to be a patroller to be part of the skiing community.”

But the ski patrol community and those who knew Erika didn’t forget. And over the past year, Big Sky

Turner’s photography skills are evident, and the images, many of which feature the women in bikini

Visit mid summer to buy a calendar or download a scholarship application.

Artists came from across Montana for Big Sky ArtWalk BIG SKY – Cliff Rossberg woke early on Sunday morning, July 8, drove to Yellowstone, and shot photos of wolves and other wildlife. The Great Falls-based artist was back in Big Sky by 10 a.m., painting wildlife at the ERA Landmark Real Estate office in the Meadow Village Center. Part of the fourth Big Sky Meadow Village ArtWalk, which took place July 7 – 8, Rossberg’s live painting drew a crowd, said ArtWalk organizer Louise Astbury. “He even sold a few paintings,” she said. Astbury works at ERA, which sponsors the now biannual event.

4 July 13, 2012

This was the first time the event has been two full days, and it drew 25 Montana artists from as far away as Glasgow, Miles City, Billings and Helena. They included painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers and a children’s book illustrator. The artists set up their work between nine other businesses in the Meadow Village, and they saw constant, steady visitors, Astbury said. “The artists did well,” said JoDean Bing, another event organizer. “Everybody I talked to wants to come back.” Having it over two days made the atmosphere relaxed and also helped

the artists, Astbury said, because “people looked the first day, and a lot of sales happened the second day.” Sales were in fact up from the winter event, and Astbury thought attendance was, as well. Local band Bluebird Sky played outside the Clock Tower Building on Saturday, and Morningstar Learning Center had success with its new children’s program “Pintsized Picassos that afternoon. The Meadow Village Center funds the event and allows artists to participate at no charge, but in turn

takes a 5 percent commission for promotion of the next ArtWalk. Neighboring Historic Crail Ranch also had an artists’ market on Sunday, which was unrelated to the ArtWalk, but the two helped promote each other. The winter 2013 ArtWalk is set for Feb. 17, which is the Sunday of Presidents’ Weekend. And next summer, the event will include a quick draw, in which the artists will create live works outside, and sell them at live auction to benefit the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, Astbury and Bing said. E.S.

Yellowstone Club & Continental Construction Present

JULY 31 & AUGUST 1, 2012

PBR’S BEST BIG SKY TOWN CENTER COWBOYS & BULLS “It’s going to be a wild ride”







2011 Champion Beau Hill

Thank you to all of our sponsors.

EVENT OF THE YEAR Produced by Outlaw Partners & Freestone Productions

Big Sky Weekly


Big Sky Weekly

BSCC’s Parks and Trails Gala is July 21 BIG SKY – For the first time ever, the Big Sky Community Corp. is holding its annual fundraiser in the Community Park. This is a benchmark for the nonprofit organization, which has been fundraising, building and maintaining parks and trails for 14 years. At the Parks and Trails Gala on July 21, the BSCC will host a silent auction and a live band in one tent, and a dinner and live auction in another. Proceeds from this fundraising event will directly benefit new parks and trails projects in the area. “It’s a big deal that we’re moving it to the park,” said BSCC executive director

Jessie Neal. “It creates a great experience for the people attending, and also an opportunity to showcase the park and the hard work the BSCC and their generous donors put forth.”

multi-use fields, and basketball court, as well as miles of trail, and the success and establishment of recreation programs and children’s camps.

with its 110-car parking lot nearly full on many evenings. “It’s not just softball. It’s disc golf, the [old] skate ramp, and multiple nights of soccer, lacrosse and ultimate Frisbee.”

The event, which starts at 6 p.m., will also feature appetizers, a cocktail hour, dinner catered by the Corral, and live music and dancing from nine-piece R&B and Soul band Blue Jack.

Bozeman’s Stronghold Fabrication will have a new artificial climbing structure framed by the time of the Gala. Dreamland Skateparks will have started work July 16. The Oregon-based company has done many of the skateparks in Montana and the west coast, and is one of the best in the country, Neal said.

Sponsors of the BSCC Gala are Outlaw Partners, STOA Management, Lone Peak Brewery, Lohss Construction, Bozeman Audi, Nordic Hot Tub, Big Sky Conoco and On Site Management.

“We’ve really stepped it up with auctions items,” Neal said. “This is a whole new category of event.” Past fundraisers have made possible the expansion of the community park, which included the new softball and

The Community Park has been hopping this summer, Neal added,

For tickets, information, sponsorship opportunities, or to donate auction items, contact Jessie Neal (406) 9932112 or E.S.

Featured auction items:

Seven night stay at Villa Paradiso, Bali Classic car tour and gourmet dinner

You and up to nine friends will be welcomed at with cocktails and canapés at Tom Gerrard’s home on Aug. 8. Enjoy 
a private tour of Gerrard’s classic 1950s and 1960s American convertibles, one of the top privately owned collections in the country. Following the tour, enjoy fine wine and a gourmet dinner prepared by a private chef.

A once in a lifetime opportunity! This exquisite three-bedroom private home is located near the beach, on the tranquil eastern coast of Bali, and has views of the ocean and the nearby lush river valley and mountains. There is also a separate fully self-contained cottage by the pool. Villa Paradiso also has a private 40-foot pool, a shallow pool for children, a day spa and a restaurant. Also included: round trip transportation from the airport, breakfasts, massages, one dinner, diving or snorkeling excursion, housekeeping.

Baldface Lodge cat skiing

Two seats on a four-day, all-inclusive cat skiing trip at Baldface Lodge, British Columbia. Trip is Jan. 14 – 17 and is with the Outlaw crew.

Golf with the pros

Three-night stay and Golf at Pronghorn Golf Resort in Bend, Ore. 
A 1988 issue of Golf magazine signed by Jack Nichlaus and framed signed photo.

Casa San Marco, Italy This restored, four-bedroom home is located in Cortona, a 3,000-year-old Etruscan hill town. Situated in Tuscany between Florence and Rome, Cortona is on the main rail line and also the main Autostrada between Rome and Florence.

Big pearls for the Big Sky girl A Bolo styled lariat with two jumbo baroque teardrop Tahitian Pearls on leather. 18kt gold caps and 18kt gold slide with diamonds. Handmade by jewelry designer Shelly Bermont.

6 July 13, 2012

Occupying the top two floors of a former 16th century palazzo, Casa San Marco overlooks the stunning church of San Francesco and the valley below. It’s just up the hill from Cortona’s main Piazza Repubblica, where people congregate to talk, shop and eat. The house will sleep 8 – 10 people, and the main floor has a large living room with an adjoining library that opens out onto a terrace where one can watch the sunset with a glass of local wine. The kitchen has been remodeled and has a large dining area.

community Letter: Support Lone Peak Cinema We have a treasure in our midst and should all work to support it. This treasure is the Lone Peak Cinema. We have been a number of times and had a wonderful time, but we would like to see more people attend. The young people who started this venture have taken a big risk to provide the citizens of Big Sky community with an opportunity for entertainment. Their theater is excellent....comfortable seats, great sound and absolutely the best popcorn. Enjoying a movie even once a month (more would be better:) would go a long way to help keep this great movie theater in our community. -Jan and Jim Cummings

Summer social: Ski Bridges of Madison County By heather morris

moonlight community foundation

MOONLIGHT BASIN – What do you do with the reputed “longest ski bridge in America” when the snow has retreated to the peaks and the sun sets late at night? Have a party, of course. The second annual “Ski Bridges of Madison County: Summer Social” will be on July 29 from 5 – 7 p.m., on the long ski bridge near the Moonlight Lodge. The Moonlight Community Foundation is hosting the event. A part of the proceeds will go to the Big Brother/Big Sisters of Gallatin County, and the foundation will have a presence at the charity’s celebrity golf tournament, which is July 16 at the Big Sky Golf Course. More then 50 people came to the inaugural Ski Bridges event last August, and most of the money raised went toward design and fabrication of interpretive signs for the Ulery’s Lake hiking loop,

which begins at Moonlight Lodge. The signs, which will be installed this summer, provide information on the wetlands, wildlife and peaks in and around Moonlight. While last year’s event was attended by mostly homeowners from the north side of Lone Peak, the committee hopes people from across the area will attend the gathering this year, and also check out the new trail signs. A group of Moonlight homeowners started the foundation last year. Today, it is focused on education, conservancy and youth development in the Moonlight and Big Sky areas. “The Moonlight Community Foundation is dedicated to giving back to the entire Big Sky community,” said committee member Gayle Parseghian. Purchase tickets for the Ski Bridges of Madison County summer social by calling (315) 529-6577. We hope to see you there!

More Results Selling more real estate than any other firm in Big Sky for the second year running.

Morningstar Learning Center using resort tax funds to pay off mortgage By renae counter

big sky weekly editorial assistant

BIG SKY – Morningstar Learning Center has a mortgage payment plan on its new building thanks to funding from the Big Sky Resort Tax Board. Morningstar was allocated $24,000 to use toward paying off the new site, a sizable increase after being denied funding last year. “The Morningstar Board was really excited and thankful for the money from the resort tax,” said Tracy Jacobson, a Morningstar board member. The group plans to refinance the building which will result in a $25,000 saving on the mortgage. This saving will help to keep costs down, Jacobson said.

Morningstar is Big Sky’s only state certified childcare and preschool facility. As a nonprofit, it relies on grants, fundraisers and donations in order to keep tuition costs manageable. According to Jacobson, Morningstar strives to “keep tuition affordable for the Big Sky community.” Morningstar moved to its current location, 659 Spruce Cone Drive, in October of last year. The new facility “functions and serves more than perfectly for our needs with plenty of space for toddlers and preschoolers,” Jacobson said. Now that it has enough money to go toward mortgage payments for the whole year, Morningstar is looking at being more financially stable. The board has discussed plans for expansions on the building in the future, but for now isfocused on the space it has.

Jason Parks, Broker 406.580.4758

Branif Scott, Broker 406.579.9599

Ania Bulis, Broker 406.580.6852

Sandy Revisky, Broker 406.539.6316

Jackie Miller, Broker 406.539.5003


In the 6/29 special health section of the Weekly, the author of “Gel Sense” wrote that Hammer Gel has dextrose, a simple sugar. There is no dextrose in Hammer Gel, which is an all-natural product. For more on this Montana-based company, see Chris Davis’s review on page__.

*Based on 2011-2012 information from Gallatin Association of Realtors MLS Data | 406.995.4009

local news

Big Sky Weekly

Calcutta returns to the Big Sky PBR July 31 Bull riding event boosts community morale, sponsors say big sky weekly staff writer

BIG SKY – The Calcutta auction is returning to the Big Sky Professional Bull Riding tour event this summer on the evening of July 31. Later that evening, rising country music star Morgan Frazier will play an outdoor concert in the Town Center. Starting at 6 p.m. in the PBR arena, the Calcutta auction will split the 35 PBR riders into teams of seven, which will each be raffled off to betters. A pot will be put together, and the gamers who bet on the winning rider go home with half. The other half will be donated to two local nonprofits, the Big Sky Community Corp. and the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation. Last year the event raised more than $18,000 for YCCF. Bull riders will also be on hand that night, signing autographs and socializing. Both that event and the Morgan Frazier concert are free and open to the public. The vendor village will open at 6 p.m., and the concert will start at 8 p.m.

“She has that classic Nashville voice,” said Brian Hurlbut, general manager of the Arts Council of Big Sky, describing Frazier. ACBS is bringing Frazier to town as part of its summer music series, which often features up and coming artists. Frazier, who is 18, is originally from Texas and has been playing music, performing, and writing songs since she was 7 years old. She recent signed with Curb Records, and the Big Sky show is part of her first big national tour this summer. “The fact she was coming through Montana during the rodeo was a natural fit,” Hurlbut said. One of the Calcutta’s key sponsors is Fay Ranches, which is hosting its annual client party in Big Sky during the PBR. The real estate brokerage is also a chute and barrel sponsor at the main event the following night. The Big Sky PBR is an “up close and personal event that isn’t done anywhere else,” said Jenny Davison, who organizes Fay’s client party and comes

Where Big Sky Comes Together

Country music star Morgan Frazier will play an outdoor concert in the Town Center July 31.

from a rodeo background. The small nature of the show and the way the arena is set up allows “people to get close front row seats pretty much anywhere you sit,” she said.

“Everyone thinks of Big Sky as a ski place but it’s much more than that. It’s as much fun—if not more—in the summer, with all the things to do.”

"Last year's PBR was an extraordinary success,” said Yellowstone Club principal owner Sam Byrne. The club will again be the event’s title sponsor this year.

Murphy likes seeing local businesses come together to put on the PBR, and said summer events like this contribute to the morale and the fabric of a community.

“The energy was fantastic and the event could not have been more fun for me and my family…[It] created a signature summer event for the entire Big Sky community.”

farmers market: Join 80+ vendors every Wednesday from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at fire Pit Park for the farmers market, starting July 11. • fresh Produce, herbs, plants, flowers, freshly prepared food, baked goods • Local and regional artisians • Live music and much more! 8 July 13, 2012

July 31

A Calcutta auction will be held at the PBR arena in the Town Center, and is free and open to the public. It will start at 6 p.m. The Morgan Frazier show, also in the Town Center will start at 8 p.m.

Bringing the PBR to Big Sky was also an accomplishment for local business, Byrne said.

“The Yellowstone Club has a vested interest in the success of our local business community, so we are always looking to support events that will in turn support the local business community." Jim Murphy, from the event’s presenting sponsor Continental Construction, echoed that sentiment. Growing the summer activities schedule will bring new people to Big Sky, which will help drive the economy, Murphy said.

“It’s not only something you can do, but something your community can be proud of.” It’s also a nice way for Continental to give back and be involved in the community, he said.

“To see something blossom and grow from the ground up, it’s fun. “A lot of local businesses have stepped up. Ticket sales have been robust. People want to come back.” Murphy credited Outlaw Partners CEO Eric Ladd (publisher of this newspaper) for getting the Big Sky PBR off the ground, and Sam Byrne “for stepping up that first year and believing in what was then just an idea.”

s s e l e m ti e uni qu c i r o t s i h

FLATHEAD LAKE HISTORIC TIMBER was harvested from pristine wildlands surrounding Flathead Lake at


the turn of the 20th Century. Millions of feet of this lumber sank to the bottom of the Flathead, where the cool water preserved and enhanced the beauty of the wood over the last 100 years. Northwest Management Inc. is salvaging the submerged logs with the aid of scuba divers, giving new life to this uniquely beautiful, brilliant colored timber. Every aspect of these “historic timbers” is hand manufactured piece by piece by our well trained staff who sort and select materials designed to meet your specific needs.




local news

Big Sky Weekly

Big Sky XC draws X-Games riders Dirt bike race is Aug. 24 – 26 By emily stifler

check out Saturday’s events too, especially to support several youth racers from Ophir School that will be participating.

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – The Big Sky XC race on Lone Mountain is gaining attention from some of the country’s top dirt bikers.

Last year’s race brought people from Florida, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Canada, Miller said, filling more than 100 hotel rooms and closing down the free skier parking at Big Sky Resort for camping.

Three medalists from the 2012 summer X Games Endurocross have confirmed they’ll be racing in Big Sky this August, Big Sky XC organizer Joe Miller said. Men’s silver and bronze medalists Cody Webb and Cory Graffunder will be here, as will the women’s bronze medalist Chantelle Bykerek. Another six X Games riders have also committed to the race, and several more are considering it. It’s a big deal having riders of this caliber come to town, says Bozeman rider Mark Weirich, who’s currently in first place in the 40+A class in the Montana XC series. “Those are the fastest extreme enduro riders in the world,” Weirich said. And while the race is part of the National Hare Scramble series, which has tight singletrack courses, Weirich says the Big Sky XC is actually more like an extreme enduro event because of its difficulty. “It’s tough—tough to ride it fast and finish. You’ve got to keep your bike going, and your body.” An architect in Bozeman, Weirich was the 2010 AMA National Hare and Hound series champion (high speed desert racing) and also did the entire National Hare Scramble series in 2008. No other course on the series is as gnarly as Big Sky, he said. “A lot of guys that race both those series are from California, and despite the fact that there are a lot of rocks in California, they don't ride them the way we do up here. The locals definitely have an advantage, because that’s the type of terrain we ride all summer for fun.” Now in its forth season, the event has grown each year. Miller estimates that in total, 1,000 people came to Big Sky for last year’s event, including more than 350 riders.

“The race attracts some of the country’s fastest motorcycle racers, and it truly is a fun spectator sport. It’s the type of event where you can watch a professional athlete from just feet away from the action.” Photo by John Marshall

This year, there will be a series of six different races over two days. Because each race is broken down into classes, there are events for everyone, Miller says, from age 4 – 60, from beginners to professional athletes. The pro race, which has a $10,000 purse, starts at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday and will last three hours. The entire mountain will be open for hiking, and trail maps marked with prime viewing spots will be available that day. More of the action will be visible from the Swift Current chairlift than in past years, Miller said, and the lift will be open for spectators. To allow preparation and clean up before and after the race, and to maximize safety during the weekend, Big Sky Resort will temporarily move its mountain biking chairlift access to Andesite Aug. 23 – 27. The Lone Peak Tram Expedition will continue running during the race weekend. A pro racer autograph session will be held in conjunction with the youth/novice awards ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday night in the Huntley Dining room. Youth/novice classes take place all day Saturday. Miller encourages the Big Sky community to

Big Sky School District name official As of July 1, the Ophir School District #72 is now the Big Sky School District #72. The website address is now Email addresses for all staff will be changing over the summer as well, but the previous addresses and website will forward to the new ones during the transition period.


There is also a spectator friendly endurocross section (which is like an obstacle course) near the base area, but to get the most out of watching the race, Miller says you really have to be involved in it. “It’s best to come expecting you’re going to do some hiking. The endurocross section is exciting, but the story unfolds out on the mountain.” He suggested catching the chairlift up and watching from multiple spots on the hike back down to the base area. Kenda tires is the event’s title sponsor, Klim technical gear is the presenting sponsor, and Yamaha Corp./Blitz Motor Sports are the pro purse sponsors. Tire Rama and Ressler Motors are the supporting sponsors.




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regional NorthWestern Energy to upgrade Gallatin Canyon transmission line By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BELGRADE – The transmission line that connects Belgrade and Big Sky is getting an upgrade, starting this summer. NorthWestern Energy will start construction on a new 161 kilovolt line in late July or early August and work through the fall, said Claudia Rapkoch, a spokeswoman for the company. The current 69 kV line between Four Corners and the Meadow Village substation in Big Sky is at capacity or above during some times of the year, Rapkoch said. The other transmission line feeding into Big Sky is a 161kV capacity line that comes into the Lone Mountain substation from Ennis. NorthWestern is finalizing easements with the majority of private landowners along the new line’s northern segment and will start work there. Traffic delays caused by construction may be possible, Rapkoch said. The new line will be taller than the current one, and the cross arm will be slightly larger. Most of the supports will again be single pole structures. The new line will be installed alongside the current one because it cannot be taken down until the new one is operating. Its path will remain mostly the same, differing only in two areas, one near Four Corners and one in Gallatin Gateway. As segments of the new are built and tied into the system, the corresponding segments of the old line will be removed. “[The upgrade is] important for future growth, and for high demand situations either brought on by extremely cold or hot weather, or during ski season,” Rapkoch said

Big Sky Weekly

Bike to Farm

As it stands now, if a fallen tree or a wildfire shut down one of the lines during the busy season, the other would be maxed out. In that situation, Rapkoch said, power delivery would be affected. In addition, because NorthWestern’s grid is interconnected, all parts of the system must perform well for the utility to provide reliable power. “A problem over here can ultimately create a problem someplace else,” Rapkoch said. “Having [the new line] is important for all for the customers in the area.” This project is part of NorthWestern Energy’s larger plan to increase capacity and reliability for Big Sky that’s already included the 2010 construction of a new Meadow Village Substation. The Ennis Line will also see an upgrade at some point, Rapkoch said. Because it’s rated at 161kV capacity but energized at only 69kV, the utility will install equipment to increase its capacity instead of having to replace the entire line. NorthWestern also upgraded the line between Three Rivers and Four Corners seven years ago. “Because the Gallatin Valley has seen so much growth in the last 10 years, it’s definitely an area we have had to work really hard to keep up with,” Rapkoch said. NorthWestern Energy’s shareholders will fund the Gallatin Canyon upgrade, which is expected to cost in the range of $35 million over the next few years. The charges will be incorporated into the utility’s rate base, which is regulated by the Montana Public Service Commission and paid by all customers. The Forest Service is still completing an environmental impact statement for the section of line that runs through public land in Gallatin Canyon. NorthWestern expects to finish that portion over the next two years.

The bumper sticker “Who’s your Farmer” has been around for a while. This summer, the Human Powered Mountaineers are taking that idea to heart, leading peddle-powered rides to organic farms in Gallatin County. “Ditch your bike for the day, the week, the summer, or for good,” says Chris Bangs, the group’s founder. The rides will be on weekends for six weeks in a row, starting July 14. They’re open to the public, free of charge and suitable for a broad range of riders. Each farmer will give the group an hour-long tour, helping people “get more in touch with the food they eat and the people who produce it,” Bangs said. Bike to Farm’s other sponsors are 406 Brewery and the Leaf and Bean Coffee House. Scheduled farm visits: •

Three Hearts Farm, July 14, 18 miles

3 Fiddles Farm, July 21, 20 miles (with at stop at 406 Brewery for a free beer)

Gallatin Valley Botanical, July 28, 9 miles

Harvest House Farm, Aug. 4, 20 miles

Slabtown Farm, Aug. 12 , 28 miles

Norris Hot Springs, Aug.18 – 19, 74 miles (This weekend ride includes camping, music, dinner and soaking in the hot springs and has a small charge.)

All the rides start at 10 a.m., leaving from the Leaf and Bean Coffee House (35 West Main Street. Riders will be need to bring their own lunch and be prepared to ride 20 to 30 miles. For more information, check out Human-Powered Mountaineers’ Facebook events page or blog at humanpoweredmountaineers.

ONF asks public to help welcome injured warriors to Bozeman and Big Sky BIG SKY – From July 17 to 23, the Big Sky and Bozeman communities will be hosting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans visiting from around the country who have physical and invisible wounds. Approximately 55 warriors and their caregivers will travel to the areas and participate in an event organized by Operation Never Forgotten called the SAS (Sports, Afield and Stream) Project. The goal is to help the warriors discover new skills, mentorship, passions and hope through outdoor sports, hunting, fishing and wilderness adventures. ONF is encouraging the public to welcome the veterans at the airport on the afternoon and evening of the 17, or at the Gallatin County Fair Rodeo on July 21. The group is also inviting the public to join warrior guests for entertainment at Big Sky Resort on Friday, July 20. Comedian and former Marine, Mark Sweeney, will emcee the evening, and musicians Lucas Hoge, Adele Morgan and Devorah will perform. ONF held its first SAS event at Big Sky Resort in winter of 2011. The nonprofit, non-partisan 100 percent volunteer group works to connect civilians and the military through national awareness campaigns and support for deployed troops, wounded warriors, fallen heroes and military families. ONF also supports Gold Star Families by creating personalized outdoor digital billboards posted in their hometowns.

Injured veterans speak out to support peers The public is invited to join warrior guests for these topics at Big Sky Resort Missouri Ballroom on July 20:

"Uncovering the Tragic Reality of PTSD" David Philipps is the author of Lethal Warriors, a must read according to Tom Brokaw. Drawing on harrowing prison, family and police interviews, Philipps takes readers into the action overseas, and also portrays the heartbreaking drama unfolding at home, where soldiers are at a loss to readjust as they fail to reintegrate back into society because of PTSD. "Family Strength… More Power than a Bomb" SFC Mike Mills, along with his wife Suki, describe his horrific journey from the IED explosion followed by countless surgeries, to the secondary PTSD with their family. Mills will explain how he has turned his battlefield at home into a mission to help other injured Veterans and their families adjust and heal. "Surviving PTSD" CPT (ret) Jesse Sellars commanded soldiers that received 97 individual awards for heroism, valor and gallantry on the battlefield, two of which were awarded to himself. After successful treatment with PTSD, Sellars speaks around the country and has been highlighted on 60 Minutes, The Discovery Channel, PBS, The History Channel, FOX News, CNN, CBS, The Military Channel, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Time.

July 13, 2012 11


Big Sky Weekly

MSU professors visit Jack Creek Preserve Partnership proposed big sky weekly staff writer

ENNIS – A group of Montana State University professors visited the Jack Creek Preserve this June, touring what will soon be the new Outdoor Education Center and interpretive nature trail. Part of the Earth Sciences, Ecology, Animal and Range Sciences Department, the 10 professors also spent time walking through some different habitats in the 4,600-acre preserve, which sits between Big Sky and Ennis. The idea was to introduce them to the facility and natural laboratory that will be available to their students as soon as this coming fall. The foundation aims to conserve and protect wildlife habitat in the preserve and the surrounding area, and to connect young people to ecology, conservation, wildlife management and hunter conservationists. It has offered summer camps for school children for the past seven summers. The professors’ visit was part of the foundation’s effort to expand the reach of its mission to MSU students. It’s currently starting the process of formal-

izing what may be come a partnership with the school. The group explored some of the preserve’s diverse habitats, which range from 6,000 to 8,500 feet, brainstorming possible research projects. They were excited about the opportunity for students to do fieldwork there. That kind of experience will help them be competitive in the job market when they graduate, said Bob Garrott, director of MSU’s Fish and Wildlife Ecology Department, who is also on the foundation’s board. Professor Dave Roberts, who heads MSU’s Plant Ecology Department, envisioned having undergraduate students inventory vegetation on the property, and also map vegetation distribution. The preserve has several non-productive grassy areas in need of restoration to make them more attractive to elk and deer. Assistant Professor Bok Sowell, from the Animal and Range Sciences department, suggested it would be interesting to do small controlled burns in these areas over several years to see what would regrow.

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Dave McWethy studies climate history by looking at tree cores and lake sediment cores. He thinks that some of the alpine lakes on the preserve could have been there since the last glaciations and would like to take core sediment samples and collect climate data.

Jack Creek Preserve executive director Katie Alvin showing the MSU professors the boundaries of the The professors “were Preserve. Photo by Siri Fossel

enthused before they got here, but they were even more enthused once they saw the diversity of habitat and flora and fauna and elevations,” said Jack Creek Preserve founder Jon Fossel. Fossel himself was “fired up” about the concept. “You can learn a lot more out here than you can sitting in a classroom in Bozeman,” he said. The foundation this spring broke ground on the Outdoor Education Center. The facility will have classroom space to accommodate 50 people and overnight sleeping space

for 40 students and teachers. It will be powered by a mini-hydro plant onsite, and will use solar resources to heat water for showers. The center will be open seasonally to the public and available for use year round by educational and community organizations. The foundation anticipates the building will be completed by next spring. Visit for more information.


Big Sky Weekly

Trails Bond could ensure Gallatin Valley retains sense of place By David Tucker

big sky weekly contributor

BOZEMAN – For many outdoor enthusiasts, Bozeman is paradise. That sense may soon grow if a bond proposed by Commissioner Chris Mehl passes the Bozeman City Commission. On June 18, the Commission heard testimony from Commissioner Mehl and dozens of citizens favoring a general obligation bond paid for by Bozeman property owners. The bond would use a yearly tax ranging between $30 and $45 over the next twenty 20 years. The public’s overwhelming support of the measure speaks to the region’s commitment to preservation and its legacy of outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship, a commitment that, for many, defines the Gallatin Valley and characterizes its citizens. Over the years, many local nonprofits have partnered with private landowners, businesses and government organizations in the greater Bozeman area to ensure that places for outdoor recreation are preserved and expanded. In one recent example, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust held the Longest Day of Trails event on June 22, a membership drive aimed at raising awareness for the organization’s mission of maintaining and expanding the Main Street to the Mountains trail system in and around Bozeman. Earlier in June, on National Trails Day, the Bridger Ski Foundation partnered with the U.S. Forest Service, Wilderness Recreation Partners, the Dirt Concern, and citizen volunteers to improve the Hyalite Reservoir ski trails for summer recreation, another example of how broad diverse partnerships are creating excellent outdoor opportunities. In Big Sky, the nonprofit Big Sky Community Corp. also took advantage

of National Trails Day to focus on trail upkeep. Twenty-six volunteers came out to work on the Black Diamond/ Little Willow Way trail, Kircher park, and Ousel Falls, adding rock, filling in a slumping hillside, and fixing the transition on and off the bridge at Kircher Park. BSCC’s mission—to unite and build the community through parks, trails and open spaces—has received strong and consistent support from individuals and businesses in the Big Sky community and also from the Big Sky Resort Tax Board. More recently, regional entities like the Bozeman REI and GVLT have also shown a growing interest in working with this community-oriented nonprofit. At the July 16 Bozeman City Commission meeting, the council will vote on a motion that would add a parks and trails bond referendum to the election ballot in November. With voter turnout expected to be high due to the presidential election, the city is uniquely poised to gauge its citizens’ commitment to the preservation and expansion of open spaces. It’s the council’s responsibility to put the matter in the hands of the voters, and the voters’ responsibility to show up at the polls and cast their ballots for an issue that concerns us all. Agriculture, conservation, outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship have all contributed to making the Gallatin Valley the place it is today. The population boom and the economic diversification the region has experienced is due in large part to people seeking to take advantage of this natural gem. As more people come, the impulse to develop, build houses and subdivide ranches grows. If the commitment to preservation doesn’t grow alongside the population, the region will lose the qualities that make it so attractive to businesses and families: its sense of place.


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montana: Political commentary

Big Sky Weekly

Rehberg and Tester slow to shake ground in country’s most important race By Taylor Anderson

big sky weekly editorial assistant

During the first senatorial debate between Sen. Jon Tester, Rep. Denny Rehberg and Dan Cox, a Ravalli County Libertarian, one thing was made perfectly loud and clear: This election, one of the most heated in a gargantuan election year, will not bring any new rhetoric to the table. It’s an interesting thought, given Montana’s Senate seat could be make or break for which party runs Congress. But the two main party candidates are playing old cards in a state whose middle ground is looking to follow a leader.

rising after they leave school. The answers I got from each candidate were cookie cutter responses that could have been lip-synched by the audience.

“The cost of tuition is something that we need to be concerned with,” Rehberg said. “The fact that our graduating seniors are getting out, and one out of two are having a difficult time finding a job is a different part of that.” In laymen’s terms: We need to fix the economy so students can pay their loans. “We have a package that’s over the Senate. We hope the Senate will join in and solve this issue before it becomes a crisis.”

I was on the three-person panel for that June 16 debate, alongside Nick Ehli, managing editor of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and Jan Anderson, editor of the Boulder Monitor.

Again: The other side is at fault if rates rise.

My first question, initially directed at Rehberg, asked how he planned to ensure students can expect student loan rates to keep from

Tester countered, pointing out that Rehberg’s view hurts everyone when he suggests we should pay for keeping the rates down by taking


money from the health care bill. Alluding to the House-passed bill, Tester said, “Unfortunately to pay for that, they took it away from health care prevention mostly focused on women. That’s robbing Peter to pay Paul. You can’t do that.” In laymen’s terms: I am the candidate to vote for if you’re a woman. I’m a middle class American. Tester went on to talk about subsidizing education as an investment, expecting out of it a generation of middle and upper class workers that will be able to pay back the subsidies with high-wage jobs. But this isn’t a two-person race, and Dan Cox, the third candidate, reminded the audience he’s read the U.S. Constitution, and nowhere in that document is there a guarantee for helping students go to college. He compared student loans to the housing bubble before it burst, and warned that if the government doesn’t get out of education, it will cause another meltdown. Hark! Something new. Something the others should probably address. Students are racking up thousands in debt to obtain a degree that’s not returning the favor anymore. And that’s bad.

releases all declaring he had, in essence, won the debate. In truth it wasn’t a debate; it was instead two candidates appearing in front of a crowd together. Nothing new was brought up, and no real combat came to light. If that doesn’t change, this election will remain a coin flip come November, with the middle ground leaning toward Rehberg. If Tester wants a shot, he’s going to need to put on his big boy boxing gloves. The top three issues for each candidate as of July 2012: Tester: 1. Rehberg supports the unpopular Citizens United ruling. 2. Rehberg is a “mansion rancher,” a wealthy developer and not a middleclass Montanan. 3. Tester is a rancher who knows what’s best for Montanans. Rehberg: 1. Democrats haven’t passed a budget in more than 1,000 days. 2. President Obama’s policies are jobskillers, and Tester has voted for them 95 percent of the time. 3. The Affordable Care Act is a jobs killer, bad for Montanans, and needs to be repealed.

Although that, too, could have been guessed right out of Cox’s mouth, the third-party candidate does bring some spunk to the monotony. If there is a chance for new rhetoric, Cox may be the one to bring it.


Before the end of that debate, the Tester campaign sent out 15 press

3. I’m not going to win, but I’d like to open the eyes of Montanans and shake up the two-party mindset.

1. Get the federal government off the backs of people and businesses. 2. The federal government (but not necessarily state government) is creating more bubbles similar to the ones created before the recession.

On June 28, 2012, the Board of Madison County Commissioners, in cooperation with the Sheriff/Fire Warden, the Director of Emergency Management, and all Local Fire


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Big Sky Weekly

MAERA helping house horses, livestock during wildfires BELGRADE – The Montana Awareness, Education and Equine Rehab Association, a nonprofit in Belgrade, has opened its facility to help anyone anywhere who needs to move horses or livestock from any fires to get them out of harm's way. MAERA is also opening its doors and paddocks for found animals or those in need or rehabilitation due to extreme injury. MAERA has outdoor paddocks and 150 stalls, and can house over 400 horses/livestock. The facility has 24hour supervision, and the group will also providing hay, sawdust, vet care and transport at no charge, and has trailers ready to shuttle livestock if needed, as well as volunteers for transportation across all states. Quite a few animals displaced by the Beartrap II Fire have already come to MAERA, and “what’s awesome is that they were all able to go back home,” said executive director Sasha Hyland. The group will pick up stock or horses, help with rehab, and can then arrange for transportation back when danger

Maera rescue horses

Photo by Laura Schaap

is over or when the animal has recovered. The services will be available all summer long and includes stock found without owners. It also has access to an airplane in Montana and will use it to fly over burnt areas and look for horses and livestock. MAERA is also networking with pilots in other states to set up similar programs.

“We’re trying to find out what people are still missing,” Hyland said. Volunteers are on call with horses and trailers, so if they locate stock they can go wrangle them up. MAERA is located at 16355 Frontage Road (recently changed to 150 Overo Trail) in Belgrade, Montana. Call before dropping animals off.

Bozeman Olympics? Not yet By Joseph T. O’Connor big sky weekly contributor

BOZEMAN – The debate began in 2010, as soon as Montanans heard the rumors that Bozeman hoped to submit a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. On Facebook, YouTube and in the blogosphere, people bickered over whether the Olympics would help or hurt Montana. Some said the revenue would bolster the state’s economy, while others argued the games would turn the pristine landscape into a veritable circus. It actually wasn’t clear if Bozeman was planning to enter a bid at all. But for now, the hype and circus will have to wait. On July 3, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced it was not submitting a U.S. bid for the 2022 games, in favor of focusing on this summer’s games in London and on possible bids for the 2024 and 2026 Olympics. In a carefully prepared three-minute statement during a media teleconference, Scott Blackmun, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO and Larry Probst, USOC chairman, laid it on the line. “The board has unanimously agreed that we would not submit a bid for the 2022 winter games,” Probst said. Blackmun and Probst said the board’s decision, made during a two-hour discussion last Tuesday, stemmed from the committee’s desire to give the U.S. the best chance at winning a bid to host the Olympics, and that putting together a bid for the 2022 games was unrealistic. “It wasn’t about not bidding for 2022,” Blackmun said. “It was more about what strategy gives us the best chance for submitting a winning bid.” Probst added that pushing back bids for the games allows the committee to further cultivate its relation-

ship with the International Olympic Committee, the governing body that ultimately decides what international city will host any given Olympics. Tom Kelly, Vice President of Communications for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, said his group is disappointed in the USOC’s decision to not submit a bid for 2022, but understands its position. “A bid you put forward that’s not strong can have negative implications that can be significant,” Kelly said. A weak bid, one that underestimates cost or hasn’t considered other logistical impacts, wastes the IOC’s time and can even undercut a country’s bids in the future. Jon Greenspon, CEO for the Big Sky Committee for the Winter Games, feels the USOC had to forgo bids for the 2022 games because of money issues caused by a long-standing dispute between USOC and IOC over marketing and broadcast revenue sharing that was finally resolved in May after two years of negotiations. “It generally takes 7 to 14 months to put together a comprehensible bid,” Greenspon said. “There was not enough time for us to put in a true and good bid or enough time for the USOC to look at all the sites and meet with all the authorities necessary.” Montanans were divided about Bozeman potentially hosting the 2022 winter games. Olympic mogul skier Heather McPhie, a 28-year-old Bozeman native, feels torn. “It could bring so many opportunities for kids to participate in different types of sports,” she said. “And I would love to compete in the Olympics in my own country, but it would kind of change the town. I’m a little protective of Montana.” Greenspon said some members of his committee felt cheated by USOC’s decision, but that he and other members were also relieved. The work to make Bozeman home to the Olympics will have to wait, at least for a year. Greenspon says his committee plans to bid on the 2026 winter games.

The group is also looking for volunteers, donations, hay, buckets, feed and additional supplies, as well as temporary fencing, corrals and panels. For more information or to get involved, contact MAERA executive director Sasha Hyland at (406) 6003756, (406) 551-4913, or sasha@ A list of missing and found livestock is available at

Transportation Bill signed: Recognition for Montana "traffic jams" By deb courson smith big sky connection

BOZEMAN – Commuting in Montana sometimes feels like a zoo, with the state's abundant wildlife traveling along, and over, roads. Recognizing the dangers for people and animals, the new federal transportation bill signed by President Obama over the July 7 weekend grants state and federal agencies, along with tribes, funding to retrofit roads to prevent collisions. Rob Ament, road ecology program director at the Western Transportation Institute in Bozeman, says there are several solutions to pursue. "Wildlife underpasses, animal depiction systems that warn drivers that animals might be on the road, to invest more to protect motorists from large wildlife." The Federal Highway Administration recently filed a wildlife-vehicle collision report with Congress, documenting a 50 percent increase in collisions over the last 15 years. The report estimates there are up to two million such collisions each year, which rarely end well for the animals, and sometimes result in human fatalities. Ament says all those crashes are expensive, too, with damages totaling more than $6 billion a year nationwide. He praises the new transportation bill for addressing the problem. "So it's taking into consideration the safety of motorists with wildlife-vehicle collisions, and the need for roads not to disrupt wildlife movement." He says the bill also allows for structures to protect small animals and reptiles, such as pipes or tubes under roadways.

July 13, 2012 15


YNP joins social media America’s first national park is now on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. The park is using social media to help expand its reach of public information and better connect with worldwide audiences. Through these platforms, it will share blog posts podcasts photos and videos about popular sights, sounds and experiences, and also to get out daily information about wildlife viewing safety, road closures and other visitor news. Since the park set up a Twitter account a few years ago to provide wildland fire information, it’s gained more than 13,000 followers and now tweets on everything from road and weather conditions to wildlife and geyser updates. Within the first few days of launching its Facebook page, “likes” for Yellowstone numbered nearly 40,000.

Big Sky Weekly

Park visitation up compared to last year The park recorded 674,498 recreational visitors in June 2012, up more than 6 percent from last year, and second only to record levels reported in 2010. The number of recreational visitors entering Yellowstone for the first six months of the year is also up compared to 2011. The park recorded 1,044,570 recreational visitors from January through June 2012, compared to 941,723 during the same period in 2011, that’s nearly an 11 percent increase July is typically the park’s peak visitation month, followed by August, June, September and May.

The primary online repository for much of the park’s trip planning and other information will continue to be the park’s website at

YNP # of Visitors in June



Follow Yellowstone at:


200,000 0







New Yellowstone Winter Use Plan On June 29, Yellowstone National Park released a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Winter Use Plan that contains alternatives for managing the park in winter. Ultimately, the SEIS will establish a framework for managing the parks’ winter resources and values. This draft SEIS will determine whether motorized winter use in the interior of the park is appropriate, and if so, the type, extent and location of this use. The range of alternatives may be found in the sidebar.

Range of alternatives

All action alternatives would include development of Best Available Technology for snowcoaches by the 2017-2018 season, BAT standards for snowmobiles, 100 percent guided snowmobile use, Sylvan Pass Avalanche Control for Alternatives 2 and 4, and adaptive management. Sylvan Pass would be closed under Alternative 3.

Operators would decide how to split their daily allotments of transportation events between snowmobiles and snowcoaches.

Should OSV improve further and vehicles meet an enhanced BAT standard of 66 dBA for snowmobiles and 71 decibels dBA for snowcoaches, additional vehicles may be added to each transportation event.

All snowmobile use in the park would be guided. One non-commercially guided group of up to five snowmobiles would be permitted into the park daily through each entrance. Non-commercial guides and members of their group operating snowmobiles would be required to complete both online and onsite training.

Alternative 1: No action •

Public OSV use wouldn’t be permitted because the 2009 to 2012 interim regulations expired after the 2011/2012 season.

The draft SEIS has three proposed action alternatives, and one that would leave the status quo. Its stated objectives are to provide for visitor use, experience and accessibility; protect resources, including wildlife, sound, air quality and wilderness; ensure health and safety; to improve coordination and cooperation; and promote park operations and management.

Non-motorized access throughout the park and wheeled vehicle use along the northern road would still be allowed.

Up to 318 snowmobiles and 78 snowcoaches would be allowed daily.

The National Park Service’s preferred alternative, Alternative 4, groups visitors in “transportation events.” One event equals seven snowmobiles together, or a single snowcoach, and management is according to the groups’ effects on the park.

All OSV interim regulation requirements would continue, including commercial guiding and BAT standards for snowmobiles.

Submit comments electronically: logon to http:// and select “2012 Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.”

Submit written comments by mail or hand delivery to: Yellowstone National Park Winter Use SEIS P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Park officials believe this kind of management would provide “a sustainable solution for winter use management that protects park resources,” and allow for “greater flexibility, a cleaner, quieter park, and… more visitors into the park.” The comment period for the draft SEIS will close Aug. 20. In the meantime, the NPS will hold four open house meetings in local communities—West Yellowstone, Cody, Bozeman and Jackson—to present its preferred alternative, answer questions and formally hear public comments. For more information, visit the Yellowstone Winter Use website:

16 July 13, 2012

Alternative 2: Continue snowmobile/snowcoach use at 2011/2012 limits

Alternative 3: Transition to BAT snowcoaches •

This would initially provide up to 318 snowmobiles and 78 snowcoaches per day, the same levels as the interim regulation.

After the 2017/2018 season, when all snowcoaches must meet BAT requirements, snowcoach numbers would increase up to 120 per day, with a corresponding decrease in snowmobile numbers to zero during a three-year phase-out period.

East Entrance to Fishing Bridge (Sylvan Pass) would be closed to OSVs during the winter season once the phase-out of snowmobiles is complete.

Alternative 4 (NPS preferred alternative): Manage OSV use by transportation events •

110 total transportation events per day, with up to 50 events allocated for snowmobiles.

Snowmobiles and snowcoaches will be subject to robust sound emission standards—68 decibels and 75 decibels, respectively by the 2017/2018 season.

Get involved Public participation will help shape this project, and there are a number of ways to be involved.

Attend a public meeting Jackson, Wyo Monday, July 16, 6:30 – 9 p.m. The Virginian, 750 West Broadway West Yellowstone Tuesday, July 17, 6:30 – 9 p.m. The Holiday Inn, 315 Yellowstone Avenue Bozeman Wednesday, July 18, 6:30 – 9 p.m. The Wingate by Wyndham, 2305 Catron Street Cody, Wyo Thursday, July 19, 6:30 – 9 p.m. The Holiday Inn, 1725 Sheridan Avenue

Section 2:

Big Sky Weekly

July 13, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue No. 14

business, health and environment

Western artist Tom Gilleon among several celebrities at BBBS golf tournament By JON HOLTZMAN

Kennedy’s inaugural parade, served on a ship in the Cuban missile blockade and is a Vietnam veteran.


R. Tom Gilleon, a Montana-based Western artist, is best known as a painter of iconic, archetypal teepees. His large paintings, which hang in many museum and private collections, sell for upwards of $40,000.

He worked as a technical illustrator for Pan American World Airways and as an illustrator for the NASA Apollo missions. He joined Walt Disney Imagineering Studios and led the design team for Epcot Center. Later Gilleon did conceptual artwork for the development of Disneyworld Paris and Tokyo.

Longtime patrons of Moonlight Lodge have seen several of Gilleon’s major works in the lodge’s public areas. His work is also exhibited at Big Sky’s Creighton Block Gallery.

More recently he worked with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Company to create conceptual visions of the first commercial spaceport in the world—or rather off the world!

Gilleon donated an original 20” by 20” oil entitled “Twilight’s Last Glow” to Big Brothers Big Sisters for auction at the organization’s celebrity golf tournament in Big Sky, July 15 – 16. But he didn’t stop there. The artist also gave the group a 24” by 20” giclee of a painting titled “Blue Norther,” and his publishing house added a 24” by 20” "Twilight's Last Glow", a painting by Tom Gilleon, will be auctioned off at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Celebrity newly released giclee of a painting titled “16th Hole, the Reserve at Moonlight Basin.” Golf Tournament Cocktail Party on July 15. will be comfortable in their company. He went to A giclee is a fine art quality reproduction, on the University of Florida on a baseball pitching canvas, which uses archival, fade-resistant inks scholarship. from multiple color cartridges of pigment-based materials. Gilleon arrives in Big Sky fresh from a show at Mountain Trails GalGilleon will also appear as a celebrity golfer at the lery in Jackson Hole, 11th annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Celebrity Wyo. His one-man exTournament at the Big Sky Resort course July 16. hibition, “The Iconic The reception for celebrities and the charity aucWest of R. Tom Giltion will be at the Summit Hotel, on Sunday, July leon,” was presented 15 at 7 p.m. by the Booth Western Art Museum in CartThe original oil, as well as two tickets to the 55th ersville, Georgia from Annual GRAMMY Awards, will be auctioned January through May live, said Barb Rooney, Big Sky Resort vice this year. president and 11-year member of the tournament planning committee. Rooney welcomed anyone He began his career interested to the reception. as a commercial and technical illustrator, Gilleon, a native Floridian, comes by his interest but had several experiin Western art and Native American lore from a ences that informed family background. His grandparents raised him, his life as an artist. and his grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee. As a member of the U.S. Navy, Gilleon Most of the celebrities at the tournament are curmarched in John F. rent or former professional athletes, and the artist

Gilleon also created matte (scenic background) paintings for the movie “Dick Tracy” and has illustrated a children’s book. In the 1980s, he and his wife Laurie, also an illustrator for Disney, moved to Montana to focus on fine art painting. Today, they live on a 2,000-acre ranch north of Great Falls that they restored, and Gilleon’s work hangs in permanent museum and private collections, including the C. M. Russell Museum. Writer Jon Holtzman is chair of the 2012 Big Brothers Big Sisters Celebrity Golf tournament.

July 13, 2012 17

sports to help the team get younger or more athletic. Bryant is an old 33 (he entered the league straight out of high school), and Gasol is 32. Bynum, at 24, is the only young star on the Lakers squad.

Lakers Get Nash By brandon niles

big sky weekly contributor

LOS ANGELES – After the Lakers lost in the second round of the playoffs earlier this year, NBA fans have been speculating over what the team will do next to compete for a title next season. Always at the forefront of trade rumors, the Lakers have yet again made a splashy transaction, adding twotime MVP Steve Nash to the team. Nash, a perennial All-Star point guard and long time Phoenix Sun, will join shooting guard Kobe Bryant on the Lakers backcourt. Combined with Bryant and fellow All-Stars Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the front court, Nash should be able to revive a Lakers offense that too often relied on isolation plays last season and was snuffed out by a younger, more athletic Oklahoma City team in the playoffs. The Lakers will still need to contend with age, as the addition of the 38-year-old Nash does nothing

What the Lakers will lack in youth, they’ll make up for in experience and basketball IQ. Nash is one of the smartest distributors in the league and will instantly improve the Lakers’ pick and roll offense, helping to improve Gasol’s offensive efficiency. Additionally, Nash will relieve pressure off Bryant, allowing him to save energy and perhaps prolong his career. The Lakers gave up very little to get Nash, just four likely low future draft picks. What he adds should be well worth the reported $27 million he’ll receive over the next three years. The team has long been in search of a high-impact point guard, and Nash has been one of the most prolific and dominant players at his position over the past decade. How much time he has left is a mystery, but Nash takes excellent care of himself and he has the skill set that allows for a longer career. Rather than relying on athleticism, Nash uses pin-point passing and deadly shooting to set up his teammates and keep opposing defenses honest. Nash averaged over 12 points and nearly 11 assists last year for a Phoenix team with far less talent than the Lakers. While perhaps not the MVP candidate he was several years ago, he should have more than enough gas left in the tank to help his new team advance further in the playoffs for the next couple of years.

Put your home in good hands.

Big Sky Weekly

Some fans question whether a different offensive system will be conducive to Nash’s talents; others wonder if Bryant’s effectiveness will be diminished by the arrival of another player who excels with the ball in his hands. Most likely, these issues will be minimal to non-existent. While accustomed to dominating the ball, Bryant has repeatedly mentioned his respect for Nash’s ability and will likely appreciate the backcourt help he’s been lacking throughout most of his career. Nash on the other hand, has the kind of work ethic and selfless mentality to work in any system and make those around him better. Nash’s presence should take pressure off Bryant, providing him with more open shots and opportunities at the basket. In other words, Nash will allow Bryant to take better shots, rather than consistently having to create his own opportunities. Ultimately, this is a low-risk move for the Lakers that pairs up two of the best backcourt players from the past decade as L.A. makes a final push to get Bryant a sixth championship (and Nash a first). Only time will tell if the plan will work, but it’s clear that the road to the finals in the Western Conference just got a little harder. Brandon Niles has done online freelance writing about the NFL since 2007. His articles range from NFL news to team-specific commentary. A communication studies graduate student at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Niles is also an avid Miami Dolphins fan, which has led to his becoming an avid Scotch whisky fan over the past decade.

Big Sky Softball schedule Field 1 - 530pm Field 2 - 530pm

Field 1 - 645pm

Field 2 - 645pm



















Make Up #4











Make up #5










Look for continued schedule in future issues of the Big Sky Weekly.

Offering Full Service Property Management & Home Owners Association Management in Big Sky

Call us to learn why our services make a difference (406) 995-7220 | Located in the Meadow Village directly across from Big Sky Furniture, next to ERA Landmark

18 July 13, 2012

National League Team 1 Big Sky Resort Team 2 Country Market Team 3 Scissorbills Team 4 Big Sky Christian Fellowship Team 5 Cab Lizards Team 6 Black Bear Team 7 First Place/Cabin American League Team 8 Hillbilly Huckers Team 9 Eye in the Sky Team 10 Milkies Big Dogs Team 11 Beavers Team 12 Broken Spoke Team 13 Lone Peak Brewery Team 14 Connecticut Softball Club

Big Sky Weekly

Join us on the porch this summer baked goods | pizza | $2 pbr | sweet iced tea | fresh lemonade | iced coffee

we deliver 406.995.2305 open 7 days a week 7am-10pm view menu at: located in westfork plaza mall, Big Sky

Integrity. Vision. Craft.

For available Continental Properties at Yellowstone Club call Bill Collins at 1-888-700-7748 or visit

July 13, 2012 19



• • • •

• • • •

$9,000,000 • #175380 • Call Erin 579-3583 337.5 +/- acres outstanding commercial property unique mountain hideaway spectacular mountain views


$1,050,000 • #180623 • Call Stacy

20 acres Triple Triangle Ranch extraordinary views and ski trail access desirable, private enclave contiguous to North Fork Tract 8

20 +/- acres, spectacular views located on gentle slope, private driveway ideal for a new home, well is drilled convenient to all of Big Sky



$614,000 • #181216 • Call Tim

condo unit #1659, 3 bd, 4 ba, 1,950 +/- sf ski/in, ski/out, upgraded free standing condo great furniture package, indoor hot tub Spanish Peak views, agent owned



• • • •

• • • •

$320,000 • Call Don

2 bd, 2 ba, 1604 +/- sf remodeled like new furnished, lower level unit fireplace, indoor hot tub

$1,075,000 • #175582 • Call George


$225,000 • #181151 • Call Stacy

.25 +/- acre level building lot overlooks golf course great views of the surrounding mountains municipal water, sewer, utilities are adjacent

• • • •

162.4 +/- acres section 5 zoned commercial/residential close to hunting, skiing, hiking great mountain property


• • • •

$995,000 • #175374 • Call Erin

$695,000 • #176399 • Call Don


$4,000,000 • #175378 • Call Erin 579-3583

81 +/- acres runs parallel to Highway 191 zoned community commercial great development potential

• 20 +/- acres (16 +/- acres zoned community commerical, 4 +/- acres zoned residential • Big Sky water and sewer accessible • West Fork of the Gallatin borders parcel

BEAVER CREEK W, LOT 13 • • • •

$5,000,000 • #182936 • Call Peter

Big Sky Weekly

$950,000 • #180527 • Call Stacy

20 acres Triple Triangle Ranch hiking and ski trails to lot desirable, private enclave contiguous to tract 2 to create 40 acres

2500 LITTLE COYOTE RD • • • •

$495,000 • #183440 • Call Stacy

2 bd, 3 ba, 2403 +/- sf Spanish Peaks Club condo #13 A end unit on the pond upstairs den and downstairs bonus room

• • • •

3 bd, 5 ba, 4,500 +/- sf home 8 +/- acres (2 contiguous lots), pond $50,000 allowance for kitchen upgrade fabulous mountain views

$899,000 • #180839 • Call George

• • • •

4 bd, 4 ba, 3,500 +/- sf furnished with over $124,000 furniture next to flowing creek with outstanding views heated 2 car attached garage


$410,000 • #183610 • Call Tripp 579-6978

• • • •

4 bd, 3 ba, 2776 +/- sf close to Hebgen Lake panoramic view of the mountains full daylight basement

BEAR CREEK, LOT #68 • • • •


$199,900 • #183893 • Call Don

2.3 +/- acre estate lot adjacent to Bear Creek Spanish Peak Views, trees beautiful home site, well is in

• • • •

$199,000 • #180293 • Call Eric

2 bd, 2 ba, 1,207 +/- sf furnished condo corner unit, spacious kitchen 1 car attached garage close to Big Sky Town Center


GALLATIN CANYON CABIN $190,000 • #183761 • Call Lynn 581-4268

• • • •

406 +/- sf 1 +/- acre, picnic area, fire pit 150’ Gallatin River frontage boarders USFS, great access


RAMSHORN, LOT 4 • • • •

$189,500 • #180395 • Call Don

nice level building lot all season easy access great views of Porcupine Creek electricity and phone to lot

• • • •

$149,900 • #183116 • Call Stacy or Eric 2 bd, 2 ba, 868 +/- sf sold furnished w/ hot tub on deck gas fireplace, lots of storage well cared for unit, view of ski slopes


$99,000 • #156549/#156551 • Call George

• • • •

46 & .5 +/- acres lots wonderful building sites, gorgeous views water and sewer (septic) metered purchase 1 lot or make an offer on both

Stuart Koch, Sales Associate, 406.581.1225

health & wellness

Big Sky Weekly

Ask Dr. Dunn By maren dunn

big sky weekly contributor

My roommate had an allergic reaction a couple of weeks ago but can't pinpoint what it is. Should she carry an epi-pen? Allergic reactions can cause a wide spectrum of symptoms, from itchy skin to life-threatening breathing problems. Sometimes the allergen responsible is easy to identify, other times not. What’s most important to understand is the difference between mild allergic symptoms versus life-threatening symptoms so proper treatment can be administered as quickly as possible. Most allergy symptoms are caused by the immune system’s hypersensitivity to a normally harmless substance. What happens is this: IgE antibodies (produced by the immune system) recognize the substance, and then trigger other blood cells to dump their contents, including histamine. This cascade manifests as symptoms wherever it takes place, such as the skin or the airways.

When a mild allergic reaction occurs in the skin, itching, hives, flushing and swelling are common reactions. If the skin involved is the lips or oral mucosa, swelling in this area is called angioedema and can be a sign of a more serious situation. When the reaction is in the respiratory tract, sneezing, nasal congestion and itchy mouth are common. More serious respiratory reactions include wheezing, shortness of breath or choking. The mild symptoms can often be managed with over-the-counter medications, while the more serious ones should be treated and monitored by a medical provider.

medical attention immediately, even if they have already self-medicated with an epi-pen. \ If you have suffered an allergic reaction of any kind, it’s important to discuss it with your medical provider, who can determine what treatment is appropriate for you, and whether it’s necessary for you to carry an epi-pen.

In anaphylaxis, a life-threatening full-body allergic reaction, many systems become involved, including the cardiovascular and neurologic systems. Anaphylaxis manifests with many of the above symptoms, and also a fast heart rate, dizziness or passing out, nausea, vomiting or a sense of impending doom. Immediate treatment with epinephrine is mandatory. Since some cases require additional treatment to stop the reaction, people with anaphylaxis should seek

Maren Dunn, D.O., is owner of Gallatin Family Medicine, a medical clinic in the Big Sky Meadow Village. Have a question? Email her at

New Bozeman Emergency Room now open BOZEMAN – The walls are up, the floors are finished and equipment is in place. Phase I of the newly constructed Bozeman Deaconess Emergency Department is ready to receive patients in 19 state-ofthe-art examination rooms, most of which are dedicated to specific medical needs. The new facility will allow the Emergency Department to deliver better care through increased efficiency, said Angela Jennings, Emergency Department manager. Previously, the department spent a lot of time moving people because it only had three high acuity rooms. Along with two cardiac rooms directly across from the nurse’s stations, there are two trauma rooms equipped to handle the most acutely injured; three orthopedic rooms; two OB/GYN rooms with bathrooms; one general treatment room connected to a new decontamination shower; an isolation room with a new negative-pressure system; a room reserved for ear, nose and throat cases; two secure rooms for at-risk patients; and five general exam rooms. There also are eight places in the halls with full hookups to treat patients in the case of a major disaster, along with alcoves for digital imaging equipment, crash and suture carts, a nutrition area and a wheelchair/stretcher park. Other rooms are designated for staff, consultations, families, phlebotomy, oxygen storage, clean and soiled utility, offices and a medications. The new Emergency Department uses an advanced nurse call system

that will be installed hospital-wide and a pneumatic tube system to the main laboratory that “saves a lot of leg work,” Jennings said. Not only does every examination room have a computer, each also is larger to accommodate stretchers, family members and equipment.

In all, the completed project, including fixtures, furniture and equipment, is expected to cost $15 million, with nearly $9 million donated by community members through

the Bozeman Deaconess Foundation. The new facility will be able to accommodate 38,000 patients annually anticipated at the Emergency Department by 2020.

Designed by CTA Architects and Engineers and built by Martel Construction, the facility reflects Bozeman Deaconess Health Services’ commitment to going green, said John Sommer, the senior project superintendent. “We recycled as much construction waste as we could,” Sommer said. “We chose high-efficiency motors on pumps and fans, installed highefficiency, low-wattage lights, and put in lots of effort to use products that are easy to clean and durable, like the anti-microbial flooring and wall covering.” Before construction began, Martel built mock-ups of various rooms, where staff were able to bring in a stretcher and move equipment around. “That was hugely helpful in getting staff input and ownership,” Jennings said. While the new space was operational July 10, the construction workers won’t be retiring their hammers yet. Phase II, expected to be completed in January 2013, will include a complete renovation of the current 10-bed Emergency Room into a new triage area with seven updated examination rooms, for a total of 26. The rest of the space will be converted into reception, waiting, admissions and children’s play areas.


July 13, 2012 21


Big Sky Weekly

Chamber annual meeting and awards BIG SKY – Positive and optimistic was how David O’Connor described the atmosphere at the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and awards dinner, held at the Moonlight Lodge on a summery evening June 28. “I think people’s businesses are starting to come back,” said O’Connor, who is chairman of the Chamber board. “I think the summer tourist season is going better than people thought, and we thought it would go well anyway.” While many chambers in the U.S. have seen a decline in the last few years, Big Sky’s has continued growing, even through the recession. This last year it had the highest retention of any chamber in Montana, said membership director Robin Brower-McBride. Currently, it has 440 members, and in June received an unprecedented 12 new commitments. “People are coming out of the woodwork,” she said, crediting the Chamber’s ongoing projects like wayfinding signage and new

visitors’ center for “generating quite a buzz.” In his ‘state of the community’ address, O’Connor discussed the progression of these larger projects, thanked the Big Sky Resort Tax board for its support, and also officially announced the new executive director hire, Kitty Clemens. “We’re doing a lot of these things as a community,” O’Connor said after the event. O’Connor, took time to publicly thank all the Chamber staff, including “last but not least,” Brower-McBride, who received a standing ovation. For three months this winter, BrowerMcBride was the only Chamber employee. A lot of people would have packed up and left, O’Connor said, but she dug her heels in and got the work done. Marne Hayes, recipient of the first ever Chet Huntley Distinguished Achievement Award, was the Chamber’s executive director for 10 years until she left in December. Hayes also received a standing ovation. E.S.

Event of the Year – PBR

Members of the Big Sky Chamber voted for the following awards for the year of 2011/12. Quotes are from nomination forms.

“Direct benefit to entire community and a lot of fun!”

Chet Huntley Distinguished Achievement Award – Marne Hayes This award is given in recognition of a distinguished individual who has made a profound and long-term contribution to the Community of Big Sky.

Nominees: Classical Music Fest, Summer Concert Series, Big Sky XC Project of the Year – Bozeman – New York direct flight “Making getting here easier is key to Big Sky’s growth! Also a great show of all entities working together for a common cause.”

“Congratulations Marne and thank you for your years of leadership and service at the Chamber.” Business of the Year – Lone Peak Cinema

Nominees: Wayfinding [signs], Big Sky Parks, Cowboy Hall of Fame, Ophir School, Lone Peak Tram, Visitor Information Center

“An indoor activity for Big Sky – super necessary for our growth!”

Community Person of the Year Ryan Hamilton

“A business created 100 percent with the community in mind.”

“A million behind-the-scenes efforts: park district, wayfinding [signs], entry monument, strategic marketing efforts, bike race, PBR, Big Sky on [Yellowstone National Park] map, hockey, farmers market, centralized recycling, effective lighting plan, and overall a person who sees the big picture of how working to strengthen our community will also make our individual businesses stronger.” Nominees: David O’Connor, Marne Hayes, Katie Grimm, Eric Ladd, Steve Johnson, Loren Bough, Robin Brower-McBride

Nominees: Geyser Whitewater, Buck’s T-4, Alpine Property Management, Big Sky Town Center, Bugaboo Café, AllTrips, Moonlight Basin, Grizzly Outfitters. Green Business of the Year - Big Sky Shirt Co. “Green materials, recycled materials and company founded on environmentally sound practices.” Nominees: Lone Peak Physical Therapy/The Gym, Ophir School, Big Sky Landscaping, AllTrips







AUG 9:


AUG 23:

JULY 26:


AUG 10-12:





AUG 16:





JULY 31: AUG 2:

22 July 13, 2012


B I G S K YA R T S . O R G


Big Sky Weekly

Chamber board meeting By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

The Chamber has landed in its new building on the corner of U.S. 191 and Lone Mountain Trail, and the board held its first meeting in the new space July 10. The Chamber’s new executive director Kitty Clemens called in to the meeting on a conference line and weighed in on some of the discussion. Clemens will arrive in Big Sky July 15 and stay for two weeks, starting her job. She’ll move to Big Sky permanently Aug. 15. The group discussed possible property improvements, considering the building will now have significant traffic. To set up a new digital phone system and wireless Internet, it’s working with Montana Opticom. Informational racks and displays are all set up, thanks to donated labor from Big Sky Build, and the building is outfitted with furniture from the previous occupant. During the meeting, several tourists stopped by—a good sign for the excellent location, all agreed. The board also discussed plans for the new wayfinding signs and lighting along the base of Lone Mountain Trail near the Conoco, which may be up as soon as this fall, and for the planning and design of the proposed entryway monument. “This is the community brand, the community look and feel—it’s our brand,” said Ryan Hamilton, who is heading up both of those projects for the Chamber and will hold future public meetings regarding the design of the monument.

The group has been finishing up a deal with AD Creative, a marketing and design firm out of Billings that created the new community logo and branding standards guidelines and helped with initial strategic planning. The final images and guidelines will be available later in July for community partners. The Chamber has learned a lot in the last year, said board member John Richardson. “It illustrates where we’re at and where we want to go as a community, even though we may not quite have gotten it from AD. We have a sense of where to put our efforts going forward.” In AD’s defense, said board chairman David O’Connor, “We started a year ago and asked them to help better tell the Big Sky story. In those hours of meeting time, we got a lot further down the road than where we were a year ago.” The group agreed that associating the community with Yellowstone Park is some of “the best branding we can have,” said board member Bill Simkins. “It’s known around the world.” Since Big Sky is only 18 miles from the park boundary, “we’re truly one of the gateways,” said Chamber membership and programs director Robin BrowerMcBride after the meeting. The board also passed a motion to hire local designer Vega creations to create a vinyl sign for the Visitors’ Center building that will include the word Yellowstone. “The key is right here, right now, it’s done,” Richardson said about putting up the sign.

Businesses come together for After Hours summer blowout By robin brower-mcbride big sky chamber of commerce

On Thursday, July 19, the glass garage doors of the Big Sky Health and Fitness in the Meadow Village will be rolled up for the Business After Hours event of the summer, hosted by Lone Peak Physical Therapy, Redleaf Consulting, OZssage Therapeutic Spa, Netwave and Greene Construction. All current and potential Chamber members, patients and clients are invited. Raffles will include a 90-minute “body revival session” from the Body Therapy Collection at OZssage, two personal training sessions at Lone Peak Physical Therapy, and two month long gym passes at Big Sky Health and Fitness. In addition, pay for any service that day from OZssage’s Custom Facial and Skin Care or Body Therapy Collection and receive a discount.

Wander upstairs to Redleaf Consulting, which provides clients with high quality, cost-effective and timely engineering solutions. Visit Netwave, a local webpage designer and hosting service. Say hello to Greene Construction specializing in just that! There are many new faces in the Chamber’s growing membership, so before heading over to see the Black Lillies take center stage for the free Thursday night concert in the Town Center park, come enjoy ales from Lone Peak Brewery and have a tasty appetizer while catching up on the exciting state of business among your colleagues. Chamber After Hours functions are hosted monthly on the third Thursday, and offer a venue for members to network and build contacts for increasing the exposure of their businesses. For more information, contact the Chamber office at (406) 995-3000.

Ultimately, Hamilton said, there will need to be a comprehensive sign plan for the entire building. The board also discussed possible staffing and volunteer expansion. To cover this summer’s needs at the Visitors’ Center, Brower-McBride has trained two local girls home from college and is paying them with state grant funding. The talk turned to Country Fair, which this year is July 28 and is in its 32nd year. While the event is positive for community morale, the Chamber doesn’t make a profit on it. BrowerMcBride later said she envisions it will some day be a collaboration between benefitting organizations like the Arts Council of Big Sky, the Booster Club, and the Big Sky Community Corp., and partly funded by resort tax. Brower-McBride also mentioned the growing number of tour busses coming to Big Sky, including a group of 44 people with Cavalier Tours that came through July 6 – 7. The group, all elderly people from the southeast, flew into Billings and spent the day there, then spent two nights in Big Sky on the way to Jackson, Wyo. Three other large groups are set to come through this summer, something Brower-McBride has helped facilitate.

She also updated the group on her work to host a TEDx event in Big Sky, and said she’s now applying for 2013 licensure. In another effort to bring visitors to Big Sky, the Chamber has secured $15,000 from the Montana Convention and Visitors Bureau to revamp the Chamber website and change the url to The board hopes to have an agency starting to work on that new site by September.

New members The following businesses have committed their membership investment to the Chamber recently: Alpine Adventure Guides Amp Electric Big Sky Chimney Big Sky Computer Solutions Big Sky Trout Centre Sky (rejoined) Gallatin River View and Interpretive Insty Prints Jerico Studios Landscaping for Less Lone Peak Outfitters Montana Opticom Montana Law SCS Vinyl


Big Sky Weekly

GRG moves to Town Center BIG SKY – The Gallatin River Gallery has moved to the Big Sky Town Center, across from the fire pit. Along with the new space, original oil paintings by Russell Chatham, as well as works by other artists are now on display. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. or by appointment. (406) 995-2909.

Shuttle to Big Sky offering new Yellowstone luxury tours Trips are customized, private BIG SKY – Shuttle to Big Sky and Taxi recently added a new division of its business that will specialize in customized private tours of Yellowstone. Guests of Yellowstone Luxury Tours will be able to explore the park based on their “whims and the knowledge of an experienced guide,” says Catherine Gilb, the company’s marketing director. Fit for all ages, the tours will use a Mercedes sprinter van, and incorporate activities like kayaking, horseback riding and riding in a stagecoach into

the day. A gourmet picnic lunch is part of the package. Yellowstone Luxury Tours provides door-to-door service from Big Sky, Bozeman and West Yellowstone. A licensed tour operator through the National Park Service, the company’s experienced guides share more than 30 years of experience working in and around the Yellowstone ecosystem. For more information, contact us at (888) 684-1167 or visit

Lone Peak Expedition triples business in first week BIG SKY – As far as Nick Efta is concerned, it’s pretty exceptional that you can get to 11,166 feet without hiking. Efta is Big Sky Resort’s Basecamp Operations Manager, and he’s talking about the Lone Peak Expedition, which is taking people to the top of Lone Mountain in the summer for the first time ever. Starting June 28, the program initially offered two trips a day, but demand was so high the resort bumped up to six as of July 6. At that rate, 60 people a day can ride the tram, said Big Sky public relations manager Chad Jones. Most of the trips are full, and the first wedding atop the tram is planned for mid-July.

“It has been hugely successful,” Jones said. “The coolest thing is you can take your grandmother, or your 5-year-old up. In the winter that could never happen. It’s really designed to be able to get anybody up there.” The program has room to grow, Jones said, naming a new deck and “peak finder” installed on the summit this year, and the possibility of adding a coffee and snack shack up there, too. Lone Peak Expedition will run at least six trips through Labor Day and continue as long as weather allows until the resort closes for the off-season in October. To read a personal essay about a local’s view on the program, turn to page 48. E.S.

BIG SKY ’S FULL SERVICE GROCERY STORE Hand- cut meats • Fresh baked goods • Gourmet items • Beer & wine

LOCAL F R E SH Delivery available - have your rental unit stocked upon your arrival! 406-995-4636 Open 7 days a week, 6:30am to 8pm Extended hours 6:30am to 10pm December 15-April 15 and July 1- Labor Day

Located in the Meadow Village Center next to Lone Peak Brewery

24 July 13, 2012


Moonlight Club Founding Memberships Available


membership joining fee

ANNUAL SKI PASSES for members, spouses, and immediate family

DISCOUNTS on Moonlight Basin owned retail and dining facilities

PREMIER GOLF MEMBERSHIP with advance tee-time reservations

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LEGACY PRIVILEGES with membership transfer to family members

EXCLUSIVE MEMBER EVENTS bringing together member families and the Moonlight Community

Inquire at (406) 993-6012 or

Classifieds for rent


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Big Sky Weekly

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26 July 13, 2012

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Big Sky Weekly

Ari-O Jewelry By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – Jeweler Ariane Coleman is focused. She easily spends three days making one of the necklaces in her Fine Artisan line, she says.

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“I can start at eight in the morning, and five at night will just be there all of a sudden. I just get so engrossed in it— wanting it to be perfect, playing with how things look. Three days will go by and it will feel like three hours.” On top of designing and constructing, she also imports beads for the necklaces from India and the Czech Republic. If she decides the piece would look better in gold, she ships out it out to be gold plated. Coleman, 35, is a Billings native and has lived in Big Sky since 1998. She learned metalsmithing at MSU, graduated with a degree in fine art in 2004 and officially opened Ari-O Jewelry in 2009. Coleman says a semester she spent studying metalsmithing in Italy still influences her work, particularly the more complex layered pieces, that she builds with rivets instead of soldering the metal. “Every tool we had, we had to carry on our back and share, so it really taught me how to think outside of the box and redefine myself without the crutch of a torch.”

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Besides, she says, she gets bored doing the same thing over and over again. “The key to success as an artist is to reinvent yourself, so if you have a return customer he or she comes and sees something new.” Coleman hopes to move her shop out of the garage and to a small space with a storefront by this fall. With that, she’d also like to hire a couple of interns through the MSU metalsmithing program and up Ari-O Jewelry’s production. “If I can turn this thing I love into making a living, it would be my dream,” she says. And Big Sky is a good place to do it.

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With five different lines of jewelry, including one for men, Coleman has a broad range of styles and price. The fine, layered, sculptural pieces have been on display in Gallatin River Gallery for several years, and she’s selling her newer “boho chic” beaded bracelets at the Big Sky Farmers Market this sumIf either mer. Also new to her work are copper pendants and buttons.

Coleman’s community supports her: When she sent out an email asking for votes to be considered for a small business grant from Chase credit cards last month, she accumulated the 250 votes she needed for the nomination in eight days.


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“I’m trying to have a really broad spectrum market, everything from the high-end jewelry which only sells to a certain group, to the beaded bracelets and the copper necklaces to another type of customer.”

box is checked an additional proof will not be sent out to customer. Look for Coleman and her son Orrin at the Big Sky Farmers Market this sumIf your proof is not returned mer, or find her work at JP Woolies and Gallatin River Gallery.

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real estate

Big Sky Weekly

Big Sky returns By eric ossorio

prudential/ossorio real estate

For the past few years we’ve all been hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. Just when the news cycles seemed the bleakest, a ray of hope would peek through the mist... when things started moving into positive territory, another shoe would drop and correct the mood. And then there’s Big Sky in the summer. What’s not to like? A new movie theatre is now showing first run films in a first rate facility. New restaurants have added to the selection of fine dining venues. There are zip lines, mountain biking trails and outdoor concerts. The days are sunny and the evenings are cool. And real estate prices are at pre2004 levels—that seems like a bargain, and it is. Even the afternoon thundershowers only help add drama to the already beautiful panoramas. While not completely insulated from the events affecting the rest of the country, this resort community has developed a strong attraction for many people, and it’s continued to improve and grow—not always in a

linear progression, but grow nonetheless. Following the triple blows of the Yellowstone Club reorganization, the Moonlight Basin reorganization, and then the liquidation of the Club at Spanish Peaks, the area is now somewhat chastened by the recession, but in a solid position for continued growth. A much-improved Highway 191 makes driving Gallatin Canyon from Bozeman to Big Sky smoother than ever. The Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport’s expansion was perfectly timed, and the facility can now receive more than 400,000 visitors annually and has added more direct flights. The Big Sky ski resort posted its largest ever skier day-count numbers last winter. Moonlight Basin had its most profitable ski season ever, according to MLB reps. Yellowstone National Park down the road anticipates record-breaking visitations in 2012. The sporadic recent reports of the national decline in housing inventory are mirrored in our local supply of housing stock. Here’s what that means for the Big Sky market: There are currently 101 “improved” properties listed in the Meadow area

for sale—those are homes, condos and town-homes. In the Mountain Village there are 152, with a high-end listing for $5,850,000 and a low end of $59,500 in the Hill Condos. So, what’s sold? Well, 81 Mountain Village properties sold in the last 12 months—67 properties for under $1 million and 14 for more than $1 million. The top end property sold for over $5 million. In the Meadow, 100 properties sold during the past year. Four of those sold over the $1 million mark, seven were sold for between $500,000 and $1 million and 89 sold for under $500,000. Twenty-nine sold for between $250,000 – $500,000 and 61 units sold for under $250,000. Thirtynine of those sold for under $150,000. Of the 181 properties that sold in the past year, the average DOM (days on market) was 230, with a several sales on the market for 0 days... (priced attractively, no doubt), and 14 properties listed for over 600 days, seven of which were listed for over 1,000. Evaluating both areas, there are 253 currently listed properties, and there were 181 sales in the last 12 months. This shows that over

70 percent of the supply of housing was absorbed over 12 months. Seventy percent absorption means that there are still some listings out there, which have failed to attract a buyer, for some reason or another; however, with a 3.6 month supply of housing, the market is tightening up. We’re seeing price increases in some sub markets. In Cascade, for example, the high price two years ago was $1.25 million for a single family home. This past spring there were three sales—at $1.39 million, $1.5 million and $1.65 million All and all, those are nice Big Sky market returns. Eric Ossorio is a managing broker of the Prudential Montana/Ossorio Real Estate Group in Big Sky, where he works with this wife and partner Stacy. He’s lived in Big Sky for 20 years, and been a broker for 35. Having almost seen it all, he sees no reason to live anywhere else. Contact him at (406) 539-9553 or

Marcie Hahn-Knoff joins Winter and Co. Real Estate Marcie Hahn-Knoff recently joined Winter and Co. Real Estate as a Broker Associate. An experienced broker who has worked mostly in Utah ski resort communities, HahnKnoff will work in both the Big Sky and Gallatin Valley markets.

and a broker since 2007, she has facilitated numerous land acquisition, income property, second home and residential real estate transactions. In this role, she hopes to help mountain enthusiasts looking to escape to Montana.

Her connections with business owners and friends in Montana, Park City and Salt Lake City are a huge advantage, says company owner Shawna Winter. Interest in Big Sky and Moonlight Basin resorts has been growing consistently, Winter says, something that’s illustrated by the first ever Freeskiing World Tour stop at Moonlight this past winter.

More at

An avid outdoorswoman, Hahn-Knoff has spent almost two decades exploring the West. Selling real estate since 2004

28 July 13, 2012

Big Sky Weekly





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Big Sky Weekly

The time is now

Long-term vision for the Gallatin Range needed for both people and wildlife story and photos by Kelsey Dzintars

big sky weekly staff writer

The communities of Bozeman, Big Sky, Livingston, Gardiner and West Yellowstone know the Gallatin Mountains as an exceptional outdoor recreation area. With 10,000-foot peaks, majestic canyons and internationally known “blue ribbon” trout streams, opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, climbing, skiing, horseback riding, and motorized recreation abound. The range is also a vital component in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of few large, intact networks of wild lands left in North America. A designated Wilderness Study Area since 1977, the Gallatins still lack permanent protection. With the populations of nearby towns and cities burgeoning, demand for fresh water and recreation use have both grown dramatically over the last 30 years. Many organizations are calling for the community of people around the Gallatins to come together to finally make a decision how to best protect this valued land before it’s too late. One such group, The Wilderness Society, is working to highlight the wildlife piece of this puzzle to inform discussions about the future of the range. “Up to this point much of the conversation has surrounded recreation,” said Jennifer Miller, The Wilderness Society’s Montana Program Manager. “We


wanted to gain a better understanding of how wildlife use the area, to make informed decisions moving forward.” To further this goal, The Wilderness Society commissioned a wildlife report of the area from biologist Steve Gehman, The Gallatin Crest provides a diversity of habitats essential for wildlife to thrive. co-founder of the Gallatin-Bridger-Big Belt Corridor Ecosystem. The Gallatins and other Wild Things as a primary link. ranges northwest of the park provide a Unlimited in Bozeman, a nonprofit diversity of forest that the animals need organization dedicated to increasing Wildlife corridors are vital for large speand use, he says. the effectiveness of wildlife and habitat cies requiring significant sized ranges, management in the Rocky Mountains. and also as connection corridors for “The most important issue is to keep an smaller animals and plants, Gehman eye on our outdoor recreation usage and Gehman’s 40-page report, completed says. keep in mind what that means for wildin December of 2010 and updated May life,” Gehman said. “Be aware of the fact 2012, gives detailed observations on The Gallatin Range is also key to linkthat we are pushing into wildlife area.” the area’s species, and also the interests ing habitat for wildlife at a continental of land and wildlife management agenscale, from Yellowstone National Park Some organizations, such as the Citizens cies and the conservation community. to Canada’s Yukon Territory. Stretching for Balanced Use, a coalition of motorIn it, he stresses that the Gallatin Range 1,988 miles, a link like this would conized and mechanized recreationists, plays an important role in maintaining serve multiple species and allow gene believe the current designated Wilderhabitat connectivity. flow between distant wildlife populaness Study Area is too restrictive. They tions, say wildlife conservationists. say trail inventories in Montana show “The northern end of the range forms a very little if any resource damage from linkage to a major wildlife corridor that Grizzly bears, which remain on the off trail riding. Others add that surconnects the Greater Yellowstone Ecoendangered species list after a November rounding tourism-based communities system to the Northern Continental 2011 9th Circuit ruling, are one species like Big Sky could economically benefit Divide Ecosystem,” he writes, naming that need such a corridor. by opening up more trails for recreation opportunities. After WTU research from 2006-2008 discovered an increased grizzly bear The Wilderness Society hopes “a diverse population in Tom Miner Basin, the group of people who enjoy the range for group conducted surveys in the northdifferent reasons” can support further ern Gallatin Range in 2010 and 2011. protection for the area, ensuring clean Visual and laboratory analyses of hair water and healthy wildlife habitat, while samples concluded the range outside of also allowing for increased recreational Yellowstone National Park is now home opportunities. to 28 grizzlies, 20 of which were bears identified in Tom Miner in the 2008 With the evidence of increasing wildlife analyses. presence closer to Montana cities, and outdoor recreation on the rise in these In an interview with the Weekly, essential habitats, a need for permanent Gehman attributed this migration to protection for the Gallatin Range has food opportunities in these drainages not become ever more pressing, Miller said. available inside the national park, and also to the widespread die-offs of white“There is no better time than now.” bark pine in the Greater Yellowstone

This June, the Wilderness Society teamed up with EcoFlight to provide local journalists the opportunity to fly over the Gallatin Range with biologist Steve Gehman to learn more about the diverse and essential habitats of the area. EcoFlight pilot Bruce Gordon aims to educate others through the use of small aircraft and aerial perspective. “I want people to get their own experience,” Gordon said. “I want them to learn.” Conservation in the Gallatin Range is one of EcoFlight’s many projects. Learn more at

30 July 13, 2012

A copy of Steve Gehman’s wildlife report can be downloaded from:

How to report wildlife observation data collected in the Gallatin Range Wildlife data collected by citizens is an increasingly valuable resource for biologists and forest managers, especially if sufficient and specific information is included. The Wilderness and Recreation Partnership is particularly interested in observational data on wildlife that is less commonly seen. Data may be submitted online at:

Creighton Block

Rob Akey Greg Alexander Jim Barrett Diana Brady Lynn Cain Todd Connor

John DeMott Jerral Derr yberr y Flavia Eckholm Edd Enders Thomas English Mark Gibson

Don Grant Mimi Grant Frank Hagel Ott Jones David Lemon Asha MacDonald

Mike Patterson Paula Pearl Jacqueline Rieder Hud Gar y Lynn Rober ts Daniel San Souci Deb Schmit

Laurie Stevens Dave Swanson Ezra Tucker Shirle Wempner

ARTI ST PR O FI LE Originally from Austin, Texas, Thomas English has been a Montana resident since 1991. English is an avid outdoor painter as well as a studio painter. He has par ticipated in many shows throughout the United States and his work has been widely collected. English has par ticipated many times in the C.M. Russell Auction, Quick Draw, and Masters in Miniature. Other shows include the Treasure State Invitational, the Montanan Land Reliance, Plein Air Tucson, Masters in Montana, and many galler y shows. He was invited to attend the annual Glacier National Park “Superintendents” Hike and many times to the annual “Russell Ride” at the Circle Bar Ranch, near Utica, Montana, as an “ar tist guest”. English has had one-man shows at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Ar t in Great Falls, Montana and at the Hockaday Museum of Ar t in Kalispell, Montana. During the Hockaday Museum showing the museum purchased one of his paintings of Glacier National Park for their permanent collection. His work has been displayed at the Governors’ Mansion in Helena, MT, and he also was awarded the prestigious “Ar tist in Residency” in Glacier National Park. He is a founding member and was the first President of the Montana Painters Alliance.




p rov i d ed by

Tom English “October Afternoon”



Spirits & Gifts

4 0 6- 9 9 3 - 9 4 0 0


Ar twork also displayed at Outlaw Par tners and Lone Mountain Ranch Dining Room

Big Sky Weekly


Treatment of noxious weeds in big horn sheep winter habitat By Renae Counter

big sky weekly editorial assistant

destroying native plant life. Weeds including spotted knapweed, hoary alyssum, houndstongue, oxeye daisy, Canada thistle, chet grass and musk thistle have populated these hundreds of acres near Big Sky, causing damage not only to the land but the wildlife as well, said Jennifer Molher, coordinator of the Gallatin/Big Sky Noxious weed committee. Once noxious weeds find their way into an area, it’s quick and easy for them to reproduce and travel. One prime example is houndstounge, which is identified most easily by its sticky seeds called spurs. These attach to big horn sheep and other wildlife, which then transport them. Hikers, motor vehicles and natural elements like wind are also modes of noxious weed transportation.

Photo by Matty McCain

BIG SKY – Noxious weeds have invaded the winter range for the big horn sheep living near Big Sky. Known as the Spanish Peaks Big Horn Sheep Herd, approximately 150 of the animals spend winters in the lower elevation areas between Moose Creek and the corner of Highway 191 and Lone Mountain Trail. Noxious weeds are nonnative, invasive plant species that cause harm to an ecosystem by overpopulating and

Molher has worked in collaboration with the Gallatin County Weed District, the Gallatin National Forest Service, the Montana Department of Transportation, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to reclaim the area, one weed at a time. The group began spraying the herbicides Forefront R&P and Telar along with pulling noxious weeds last year, with the project continuing into 2012. For two days in late June, crews of 12 – 14 volunteers climbed the steep slopes along Highway 191 and Lone Moun-

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The idea is that with repeated efforts, the weeds will be reduced or eliminated, and native vegetation will again begin to flourish. This, Molher says, will benefit sheep and also other wildlife. “A healthy winter ranger equals healthy sheep,” Molher said. Four elements are crucial for a healthy sheep population: plentiful wild grasses and shrubs, reliable water sources, a wide range of view to see predators, and bare slopes to escape danger. Noxious weeds have taken hold on much of the area though, pushing out native vegetation. The ensuing soil erosion causes slope corrosion, which in turn can find its way into nearby creeks and rivers as a pollutant, Molher said. Opponents of such treatments point out that the spray used to kill the weeds is toxic itself, and remains in the ecosystem for many years. “We tend to spray as a gut reaction and not think about the level of disturbance it is causing,” said Matt Lavin, a professor of Plant Biology at MSU. Noxious weed sprays will kill broad leaf plants, meaning native wildflowers also die as a result of spraying. The group replaces the dead plant life with something that will thrive such as native grasses. The noxious weed committee tries to use the smallest amount of chemicals possible, but Molher says they’re necessary at times. Julie Cunningham, a biologist for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, has been studying the herd since 2009 and has records dating back to 1980. With a population of approximately 150 this year, the herd is stable, she says. It could support a gain or loss of 20 percent and still be

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tain Trail, equipped with 37-pound plastic backpacks full of spray, and began taking down the weeds.


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healthy, but any more than that would make the population unstable, she said. “When conditions get really hard, fewer sheep will be able to make a living.” Because big horn sheep are on the U.S. Forest Service’s “sensitive species” list, the Gallatin National Forest manages the animals carefully to ensure their conservation. “Noxious weeds don’t obey fence lines,” Mohler says, meaning that because they’re on private land as well as public in the winter range, it will take collaboration to reclaim and maintain a healthy habitat. Molher urges private landowners to control and maintain noxious weeds that may have spread onto their land. Effective weed management can be made with proper treatment over a certain course of time, depending on the amount of noxious weeds and how long they have inhabited the land. “More people treating noxious weeds creates more pressure to protect the environment,” Molher said. “Landowners begin to realize that if they don’t take care of their land it affects the wildlife.” Gallatin/Big Sky Noxious Weed Committee works under the Big Sky Natural Resource Council which receives funding from the Big Sky Resort Tax. This year BSNRC received $19,000 in resort tax funding for weed control projects. From that, $225 was allocated for this project to cover supplies for the crew. Gallatin/Big Sky Noxious Weed Committee conducts free landowner visits as well as offers a cost share program to help with effective treatment of noxious weeds. Visit for more information.

Section 3:

Big Sky Weekly

July 13, 2012 Volume 3 // Issue No. 14

life, land and culture


Images of America: Big Sky

Local historians co-author book on early history of Big Sky

By emily stifler

big sky weekly managing editor

BIG SKY – When white settlers arrived in the Big Sky area in the 1880s, many experienced such hardship and failure that they soon packed up and left. Few individual and family names appeared from one 10-year census to the next. Those that did persist were hardy and flexible, says local historian Anne Marie Mistretta. They went from trapping to mining, to ranching, to seasonal work at the emergent dude ranches. One family, the Crails, managed to sustain a stock ranch the longest. When they homesteaded along the west fork of the Gallatin in the early 1900s, they were miles from their nearest neighbors. They lived there for 50 years, running a herd of cows and sheep and living off the land.

Photos clockwise from top left: Haying at Crail Ranch, "Rocky Mountain" Dick Rock, Skiing at Karst Photos courtesy of Anne Marie Mistretta and Jeff Stickland

“The Crails and other ranchers were incredibly selfsufficient,” Mistretta said. “They had generators, built their own buildings, and had their own milking cows.” Some of the other longtime residents of the area, like the Karsts and the Lemons, were entrepreneurs who supplied services to locals and tourists, Mistretta notes. Pete Karst started motorized trips from Gallatin Gateway to West Yellowstone with a pair of Cadillac busses in 1913. The trip took two days. Billy Lytle brought the first personal car to the area in 1915, and by 1920 nearly every rancher and homesteader had one. The road was primitive, however, and it took an entire day to get from the West Fork to Bozeman. Drivers had to be prepared for up to three flats per trip. In their forthcoming book, Images of America: Big Sky, co-authors Mistretta and Dr. Jeff Strickland depict stories like the Crails’ in detail, giving a sense of what life was like for early settlers in Big Sky and

Gallatin Canyon through photos, character sketches, anecdotes and historic records. “It's about the hardy, the persistent, the ‘trials and tribulations’ of trying to create and sustain a life, lifestyle, and a community,” Mistretta said. More than 175 historic photos bring those stories to life. The authors did much of their research at the Gallatin Historical Society’s Pioneer Museum, the Museum of the Rockies, the County Land Records Office, and the Renne Library at MSU. They spent a year poring over historic letters, journals, legal documents, family photos and government archives, and interviewing local people whose families had been in the area for generations. “Stories came from here, there and everywhere, and photos came along with them,” Strickland said. They also found that many people from the earliest generations were already gone. “Their stories needed to be told,” Mistretta said. The book’s careful detail is astounding, said Al Lockwood, chairman of the Historic Crail Ranch

Conservators, which helped facilitate the book’s publishing. “Some of it changed the fundamental things we’ve been saying all along about local history,” Lockwood said. “It was fun, like a little detective experience,” Mistretta said about the meticulous research process.

The book starts with the Hayden Expedition in the early 1870s, which surveyed much of the region, and has chapters about logging, mining, homesteading, ranching, recreation and tourism. It concludes in 1970, when local Freddy Pessl and Olympic gold medalist Jean-Claude Killy helicoptered to the top of Andesite to determine whether it might be a viable ski resort. “You can’t stop turning the pages to read and look at the next picture,” Lockwood said. “I think it’s going to open up a tremendous amount of interest in Big Sky history.” Images of America: Big Sky is being published as part of an Arcadia Publishing series. The book will be available Oct. 29, but advanced orders may be placed through Crail Ranch or at the BSCC booth at the Country Fair or the Big Sky Farmers Market. All proceeds will go to the Crail Ranch.

July 13, 2012 33

food & dining

Big Sky Weekly

New Rainier Cherry dishes at Rainbow Ranch Lodge story and photo By Renae Counter

big sky weekly editorial assistant

BIG SKY – Children run barefoot in the lawn above the Gallatin River. Inside, parties of guests are being treated to appetizers and drinks. The dining room fills with couples and families enjoying fine dining in Montana. Summer is in session, and Rainier Cherries have made it to The Restaurant at Rainbow Ranch Lodge. The logistics of sending fresh fruit to 50 states nationwide caused a delay in the cherry shipment, which arrived at Rainbow Ranch on July 6 instead of July 1, setting back the feature date. But now the bushel is in and ripe for the picking. June 10 marked the cherry feature kick off, with Executive Chef Matthew Fritz’s appetizer Duck Confit with Rainier Cherry Marmalade, Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Glaze. Chef Fritz created the dish out of a previous autumn entrée that featured apples. “Poultry and fruit work well together,” Fritz said. “The cherries make the dish fresh and great for summer time.” The wild breed duck is slow cooked over a course of days, giving it a rich flavor. Paired with the

sweetness of Rainier Cherries and tartness of grilled radicchio, this dish captures the entire taste palate. Rainier cherries are known for their light color and tart taste. Atop the duck, they come in perfect sized marmalade chunks, filling the dish with unique fruit flavor.

to entice people to come down once a week and sample it.” Sweet treats such as cherry pastries and a cherry sorbet are currently being tested in the kitchen.

Though succulent, the Duck Confit is just a starter to Rainbow Ranch’s other delicious summer options. Cuts of elk and bison have been favorites this summer. The trout, which comes from the hatchery in Ennis, is stuffed with crab and served to look like sushi rolls. With enough cherries to supply the month, Chef Fritz and his staff are planning to prepare other cherry dishes, as well.

“Events like this are really fun for the kitchen because its keeps us inspired and creating,” Fritz said.

“The idea is to offer a new dish every week,” Fritz said. “We can use the new cherry dish as a way

New options for lunch in Big Sky Several Big Sky restaurants are open for lunch this summer for the first time ever.

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34 July 13, 2012

Lotus Pad Sit in the shade outside on the deck and sip minty Green Dragons as the summer breeze blows past. Some dinner items are offered on the lunch menu, like lemongrass beef and tamarind salmon, but some are available only at lunch—try the grilled short ribs and papaya salad or the Panang curry. Drink pitchers and beer buckets are killer. Lunch is 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. First Place Pub At last, First Place Pub is open for lunch. The Cuban sliders and tuna tacos are both popular, and the veal Parmesan rivals the burger for size. Choose from several different salads or a lunch special. Lunch is 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Gourmet Gals While the gals have been open for lunch in the past, they recently expanded their menu. Six flavors of all natural gelato are available every day with toppings like huckleberry, homemade granola and bacon. They’re also added a delivery service on weekdays. Lunch is 11 – 3 p.m. Olive B’s Big Sky’s newest bistro offers an assortment of lunch items and a full bar. Try the crispy calamari salad, the BLT or Olive B’s famous grilled cheese. The lamb burger, Ruben sandwich and ribs are also popular. Patio seating has a view of Lone Mountain. Lunch is 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Ousel and Spur Pizza Co. Enjoy a variety of lunch items and a full bar at Big Sky’s newest restaurant. Try the meatball sandwich and or one of the day’s selections of pizza by the slice, which is only offered during lunch hours. The newly finished outside patio makes for the perfect summer lunch, picnic tables and all. Lunch is 11 a.m . – 2:30 p.m.


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We have access to opportunities at Yellowstone Club, The Club at Spanish Peaks, Meadow & Mountain Villages, Moonlight Basin and the Canyon

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Big Sky Weekly

Mountain biking on Lone Mountain By Renae Counter

big sky weekly editorial assistant

BIG SKY – Alongside my long love for skiing, I believe I may be able to find a place for mountain biking. For my first time ever riding the trails, I went with a group of friends to the lift-accessed trails on Lone Mountain last week. Pedaling across dirt and rock with fields of green was a much different mountain experience than skiing through fields of snow, but it was a great way to enjoy this hot Montana summer. Though I lost the training wheels some time ago, my proficiency on a bicycle isn’t the highest. My personal bike, a little, bright red Gary Fisher, has seen more pavement than dirt. And as for downhill, rocky trails—those are been way out of my bike’s league. So, when I arrived at Different Spokes Bike Shop and was equipped with a 40-pound, full suspension Norco Bomber, I was intimidated. The sheer weight of it, and the fact that the tires were as thick as my arm, reinforced that I was in for an adventure. Armored in knee, shin and elbow pads, gloves and a full-face helmet that made me feel like Darth Vader, I was prepared to take on the mountain.

Makenzie Brosious, of Different Spokes Bike Shop, accompanied me. Brosious has been an avid mountain biker for almost two years, and with experience racing triathlon and road bikes, so I was reassured by her knowledge and ability.

Knees bent, hands forward—that’s a lot like skiing, I thought while slowly inching my front wheel toward the trailhead.

Once I got going, I found it was a game of staying balanced, knowing how to turn and keeping the bike We began on the road just right from underneath me in control. As the the top of the Swift Current chairlift. morning progressed, I realized how With plenty of room and minimal loose much it resembled skiing, minus the rocks, it was a good snow: Your shoulders starting point to get do the turning while Buy lift tickets to ride Swift Current in Basecamp, use to the beast of you look at where you the Different Spokes bike a bike. I was able to want to go; shifting shop or Big Sky Sports. play around with your weight is a must the full suspento stay on your center sion, bouncing the of gravity; and a relaxed bike and plowing over large rocks upper body is ideal. rather than swerving around them. Weaving through close-knit trees, I With the basics in hand, it was time kept my hands close to the brakes. I to take on the trails. Pulling up to stayed focused, directing my attena patch of trees, we were greeted tion to my balance. by a blue sign marking Cairns Way. Mountain biking trail systems are Exiting the first patch of trees, I rated the same way as ski trails, so found Brosious waiting on the road. I knew I was in for an intermediate Below us was Montana wilderness route. at its finest— colorful wildflowers stippled a green field, back-dropped “Just remember to keep your knees by the Gallatin Range and our famous bent and elbows wide,” Brosious said blue bird sky. before directing her bike in the trail and disappearing in the trees. After a quick recap, Brosious led the way to the next entrance.

Unlike the first trail, which was mostly grass and dirt, this one was covered in loose rocks. Tight switchbacks slowed me to a crawl, as I tired to ride the berms (the walls of dirt surrounding the trail), as Brosious had suggested. The second trail was much more difficult, a black diamond in my opinion, but I left with only one minor incident involving the bike, a tree and me. Because Big Sky Resort offers liftserved mountain biking trails ranging from beginner to advanced, it’s a great place to learn to ride or test your skills. Both mountain and cross country bikes, as well as full protection gear, can be rented from Different Spokes Bike Shop, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The chairlift runs from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. daily, weather permitting. There are also cross country trails for those who enjoy the burn of an uphill ride. It only took a morning of mountain biking for me to get hooked. I’ve already begun planning when the next adventure will be, as well as scoping the internet for bike deals. The forecast for this summer is a stellar one, and I’m excited to get out and enjoy it.

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Toyota of Bozeman 877-221-8432 INSERT DEALER INFO HERE

36 July 13, 2012

BSCC Board Barb Rooney Steve Johnson Lyndsey Owens Jim Jones Leslie Piercy Trever McSpadden Al Malinowski Tom Owen Sponsors STOA Management Outlaw Partners Lone Peak Brewery Nordic Hot Tubs Lohss Construction Stacy and Eric Ossorio

Executive Director Jessie Neal Events Committee Shelly Bermont Eric Ladd Krista Mach Kim Reeves Barb Rooney Kristen Kern Ennion Williams Jeanne Johnson Barbara Kaufman Connie Lunt Betsey McFadden

Contact Jessie Neal for more information 993.2112


Big Sky Weekly

Sacajawea Peak – 9,665 feet The hike from Fairy Lake to the summit of Sacagawea follows a short, steep and superb trail through stunning alpine terrain. I saw blue bells, thimbleberries, sunflowers, bear grass, violets, gentian, all in bloom. Be prepared for wind on the summit, and beware the washboards on the dirt access dirt road. Mileage: 2.2 miles one way Getting there: From downtown Bozeman’s Main Street, take North Rouse Ave., which turns into Bridger Canyon Drive (MT 86). Roughly 21 miles north on 86, go left onto Fairy Lake Road, which dead-ends at bathrooms and the Sacajawea trailhead. Did you know? Sacajawea peak is 2,000 vertical feet above the lake.


'3 peaks, 3 days'

Livingston Peak, Elephant Head and Sacagawea Peak STORY AND PHOTOS By felicia ennis bella treks

To celebrate summer in Montana, I gathered together friends for the second year of what I like to call ‘3 peaks, 3 days.’ During the adventure, we hiked to the top of three mountains in three consecutive days. This year the peaks—Livingston Peak, Elephant Head and Sacagawea Peak—were just a short drive from my home in Livingston. For me, the highlights were being with friends and having great conversations, seeing fields of wildflowers, cooling off in a mountain stream, eating wildflowers and tasting their sweetness, skiing in my tennis shoes down a snow patch on Elephant Head, and sipping a cool beverage back at the truck. Here are the stats, in case you want to give it a try:

Livingston Peak – 9,314 feet The trail ascends through shady, forested terrain, and in and out of the Suce Creek drainage. Livingston Peak is home to wildflowers, falcons, moose and a bear or two. The hike takes about five hours round trip. Mileage: Five miles one way Getting there: Heading east out of Livingston, take Park Street to Swingely Road. Right before the

pavement ends go right at forest service sign for Livingston Peak. The road after that is bumpy, winding and rocky, but was in better shape than I expected and took me about 30 minutes.

Felicia Ennis was born and raised in Montana. She is owner and founder of Bella Treks, an adventure travel company specializing in development of once in a lifetime trips all over the world, including Patagonia, Antarctica and Montana. Call (406) 223-2595 or email travel@ to set up a complimentary 30-minute “Dream Destination” consult.

Did you know? According to, Livingston Peak is the 406th highest mountain in Montana and the 5,347th highest in the U.S.

Elephant Head – 9,423 feet The best part about hiking to the base of Elephant Head is the drive down Mission Creek to the trailhead. The scenery is stunning; however, the final quarter mile is narrow and bumpy—not recommended for low or really wide vehicles. The other best part of hiking up Elephant Head is the swimming hole. Small, deep, refreshing. My friend Mike thought the peak was not only our destination, but also “the source of our world that day.” He must have had fun! Mileage: Five miles one way Getting there: Heading east out of Livingston, take Park Street to Swingely Road, go right on Bruffey Lane, and a right on the narrow road to the 63 Ranch, through two gates. Road ends at trailhead. Did you know?According to Elephant Head is the 359th highest mountain in Montana and the 5,067th highest in the U.S. Bear Grass

Big Sky Hikers' summer 2012 schedule Date






July 19

A Pika Point

Taylor Fork-Wapiti Creek

12 miles

2,400 ft.

Rich Piercy (993-2303)

B Deer Lake

Deer Creek

9.4 miles

2,720 ft.

Jeff and Karen Strickler (995-4768)

C Gallatin Riverside Trail

35 MPH Bridge

4 miles

500 ft.

Gina Macdonald (995-7172)

A Monument Peak

Private Property

12 miles

3,000 ft.

Leslie Piercy (993-2303)

B Lava Lake

Lava Lake

6 miles

1,600 ft.

Hilda and Keener Hudson (995-7442)

C Windy Pass

Portal Creek-Windy Pass

4.6 miles

1,260 ft.

Henrietta and Doug Gale (995-7951)

A Monument Peak

Private Property

12 miles

3,000 ft.

Leslie Piercy (993-2303)

B Lava Lake

Lava Lake

6 miles

1600 ft.

Hilda and Keener Hudson (995-7951)

C Windy Pass

Portal Creek-Windy Pass

4.6 miles

1,260 ft.

Henrietta and Doug Gale (995-7951)

July 26

August 2

Look for continued schedule in upcoming issues of the Big Sky Weekly.

38 July 13, 2012


Long pants suggested - nettles on trail

Rough Road to trailhead


Big Sky Weekly

Trail Creek Cabin By ersin ozer

big sky weekly contributor

The covered front deck on the Trail Creek Cabin is the best spot I’ve played cards all year. Friends and I backpacked the two miles into the Forest Service cabin last weekend, which sits in the northern Gallatin Range, southeast of Bozeman. As we relaxed on the deck on Saturday evening, taking in the views of the surrounding Gallatin and Absaroka mountain ranges, elk and deer traversed the large meadow below us. The cabin sits where the Bozeman Ranger District built its first ranger station in 1906. The current building replaced that structure in 1924, and originally acted as a guard station to house forest service rangers and crews traveling the mining route between Bear Canyon and Paradise Valley.

Set at 6,223 feet, the one-room cabin is used today as a four-season base camp for hikers, mountain bikers, hunters, skiers and fishermen. It has four beds, a wood-burning stove, an outdoor fire pit, a livestock corral, propane lanterns, splitting mauls, shovels and plenty of firewood. Getting there: Take the Trail Creek exit off of I-90, east of Bozeman. Drive eight miles south on Trail Creek Road, turn onto Newman Road, and drive one mile to the trailhead. The two-mile hike is mellow, but you can also access the cabin with an ATV or with snowmobiles in the winter.

Big Sky, Montana 5 miles South of Big Sky - HWY 191, Mile Marker 43 menu online - - 406-995-4249

Booking: We booked the Trail Creek Cabin through for $35 a night. That site has more information on Trail Creek and other forest service cabins, including availability, locations and access.

Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Drink • Dine • Den

Gear reviews Ruffwear Palisades dog pack story and photo By chris davis

big sky weekly staff writer

By chris davis

big sky weekly staff writer

I'm relatively new to Montana, and in my time here I’ve met surprisingly few true "locals." This is due, I think, to the fact that the true locals spend their free time far out in the mountains and only emerge during ski season. I’m in true awe of many Montanans’ desire to put their bodies to the test. I can identify with that desire, and it's the number one reason why I moved here. Even when I was a flatlander I was pushing how far I could bike and run at every possible opportunity.

I've taken my dog Gunner out on several hikes with his new Ruff Wear Palisades pack this spring and summer and have had plenty of trail time to decide if it was worth weighing him down with his own water, food, waste bags and tennis ball, or if it's more effective for me to just throw them in my own day pack.

In 2010, as I was preparing for my first fixed-gear century cycling ride, my brother recommended only two things to me before he wrote me off as being an idiot for attempting 100 miles without breaks or the (novel) ability to stop pedaling. Those two things were Hammer Gel and BodyGlide.

Gunner is an extremely energetic working dog, and he gets anxious if I don't give him some sort of task to accomplish. Considering his desire to please me, I never felt bad for assigning him to carrying his own things. In fact, he seems to wear the pack with pride.

Since that time I carry only a few things in my bike’s saddlebag: two tubes, the necessary tools, and a sufficient number of servings of Hammer Gel. I've tried other gels, but I don't intend on straying from Hammer again. You won't feel like a super human when you use it; you'll feel like yourself, without cramps and with a clear head.

Not too long into our first hike I had to fill up one of his waste bags, and being in a "pack it in, pack it out" situation, it was only appropriate for him to carry his own waste bag out. With a little bit of tinkering, the Palisades’ adjustable straps make it easy to get an exact fit, and there are endless sizing options. Gunner seemed comfortable while he was wearing it on the trail, although the extra weight made it harder for him to navigate steeps and narrows, which he quickly adjusted to. Perhaps most of all I appreciated how effortlessly the bag unclips from the harness, making it easy

Hammer Gel

Gunner cruises the trails in Big Sky

to relieve him of the weight if he wants to play or if we find ourselves in a technical spot during a hike. The only downside of the pack is that the supplied one-liter water flasks have push/pull lids, which were a bit leaky.

In fact, I look forward to the suggested one to two servings an hour during extended bike rides—a shot of flavor does quite a bit for me to get excited and refocused. They're made with high-quality and effective ingredients, taste really delicious, and are made in Montana, where people really get after it hard. Hammer Gel is available in nine flavors. My favorite flavor is probably apple cinnamon, because try as I might, I can't get too far away from my apple-growing flatland roots.

July 13, 2012 39

EVENTS big sky

Planning an event? Let us know! Email and we’ll spread the word.

Big Sky Community Corp. Parks and Trails Gala

Yoga on the Deck

Big Sky Community Park July 21, 6 p.m.

Moonlight Basin Mondays thru Aug 27, 9:30 a.m. Yoga with Anna

The Art Barn Tuesdays, 8:30 – 10 a.m. Early Bird Yoga (406) 600-7565 Fridays, 6 – 7 a.m. Evening Expeditions

Basecamp, Big Sky Resort 6 p.m. daily

Bozeman Frisbee

Bozeman REI July 25, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

From Grace to Red Shoe Courage

MSU Intramural Fields Mondays, 6 p.m.

Ruby’s Convention Center July 24, noon – 4:30 p.m.

Bogert Farmers Market

Gallatin Canyon Women’s Club

Bogert Park Tuesdays, 5 – 8 p.m.

Home of Marge DeShields July 25, 1 p.m.

Poet Luke Warm Water

Free Community Appreciation BBQ

Monday Night Bike Rides

First Security Bank July 26, 11:30a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Town Center Fire Pit Until July 30, 6 p.m. Friday Night Trail Ride & Cookout

Cedar Mountain Corrals at Moonlight Basin Friday and Saturday thru Oct. 15, 4 p.m. Big Sky Resort Brewfest

Big Sky Resort July 14, 5 p.m. Big Brothers Big Sisters Celebrity Golf Tournament

Big Sky Golf Course, Summit Hotel Cocktail party and silent auction – 7 p.m., July 15 Golf tournament – 1 p.m., July 16

Rockin’ TJ Ranch Farmers Market

Map and Compass Basics

Choppers July 25, 9 p.m.

320 Steak House Restaurant Wednesdays, 5:30 – 9 p.m.

Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture July 25, 11:30 a.m.

Mondays thru Sept. 24, 5 p.m.

live music: Rising Lion

Hayride and Riverside BBQ

Lunch on the Lawn – Blue Voodoo

Bozeman REI July 16, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Big Sky Resort July 20, 5:30 p.m.

Big Sky's Mountain Village plaza turns into a Wet 'n' Wild water world Big Sky Mountain Village July 25, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

320 Steak House Restaurant Mondays, 5 – 8 p.m.

Backpacking Basics

Operation Never Forgotten

Wet N’ Wild

Monday Night Pig Roast

live music: Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers

Big Sky Town Center July 26, 7 p.m.

Elk River Books July 17, 7 p.m. Monroe Crossing

Pilgrim UCC July 17, 7 p.m. West Paw Design 1st Annual "Keeping It Green" Event

Gallatin Valley Regional Park. July 17, 4:30 p.m. “Be Who You Is” Photographs by Thomas Lee

west yellowstone Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo

Bike Maintenance Basics

West Yellowstone July 20 – 22, 10 a.m.

Idiots Olympics

Cinnamon Lodge July 27

Buck’s T-4 July 17, 5 p.m.

Museum of the Rockies Fridays until Aug. 17, 1 – 3 p.m.

Grizzly Outfitters and Lone Peak Cinema Event

Gallatin Valley Back Country Horseman 25th Annual Poker Ride

Big Sky Town Center July 18, 5 p.m.

Bridger Bowl July 14, 8 a.m.

Big Sky Farmers Market

The Bridger Strings

Big Sky Town Center July 18, 5 p.m.

Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture July 15, 11:30 a.m.

Black Lillies

40 July 13, 2012

Holiday Inn July 26, 4 p.m.

Choppers July 26 – 27, noon

Bozeman REI July 19, 6:30- 8 p.m.

Gallatin County Farmers Market

Gallatin County Fairgrounds Saturdays, 10 a.m. live music: Bridger Creek Boys

Bozeman Brewing Co. July 16 and 23, 5 p.m. live music: Hjortsbery, Bad Betty

Bozeman Public Library July 16, 7 p.m. Art Crossing Reception

Bozeman Public Library July 16, 6 p.m.

Farmageddon 2012 Music Festival

Kole Moulton & LNLY RD

Music on Main: Cure for the Common

Wild West Pizzeria & Saloon July 21, noon

Downtown Bozeman July 19, 6:30 p.m.

Fish Camp Boys

Dinosaur Discovery

Cinnamon Lodge July 21, 5 p.m.-2a.m.

Harmony Market

Live Music: The Boozehounds

Big Sky Food Festival

4th Annual Cinnamon Fest

Museum of the Rockies July 26, 10 a.m.

Wild West Pizzeria & Saloon July 19, noon

320 Ranch July 16, 4-9 p.m.

Choppers July 20, 6 p.m.

Historic Tour of Bozeman

Prarie Devil Iron

Gallatin County Fairgrounds July 19 – 22, 10 a.m.

Big Air in Big Sky

Downtown Bozeman July 26, 6:30 p.m.

Lunch on the Lawn-The Hooligans

Gallatin County Fair

Choppers July 19, 10 p.m.

Music on Main: Polecat

Rodeo Arena Tuesdays – Saturdays, 8 p.m.

Living History Farm – Museum of the Rockies Wednesdays until Aug. 15, 1 – 3 p.m.

Live Music: In Walks Bud

Bozeman REI July 26, 6:30- 8p.m.

Bozeman REI July 18, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Wild West Wednesdays

Big Sky Town Center July 19, 7 p.m.

Bears and Backcountry: What you need to know

Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture July 18, 11:30 a.m.


Big Sky Art Rendezvous

Big Sky Weekly

Don’t Close Your Eyes

Equinox Theatre July 20 – 21, 8 p.m. Guys and Dolls

Ellen Theatre July 20, 8 p.m. 5th Annual Ride to the Fair

July 20 to register Used Gear Sale

Bozeman REI July 21, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Here is How, Bozeman!

Bella Park July 21, 10 a.m. Band Perry

MetraPark July 22, 9 p.m. The Best in the West

Gallatin County Fairgrounds July 22, 8 a.m. Live Music: Charlie Parr

Filling Station July 23

Wild West Pizzeria & Saloon July 26, Noon

livingston & paradise valley live music: Fossils

Pine Creek Lodge and Café July 14, 8 p.m. live music: Big Caboose & The Soul Penetrators

Chico Hot Springs July 14, 9:30 p.m. live music: Ashley Buchart

Chico Hot Springs July 15, 9 p.m. Movie Night Railroad Silent Films

Livingston Depot July 17, 7 p.m. Livingston Farmers Market

Sacajawea Park July 18, 4:30 p.m. Pine Creek Open Blue Grass Jam

Pine Creek Lodge and Café July 19 and 26, 7 p.m. Two Story Ranch

Pine Creek Lodge and Café July 20, 8 p.m.

EVENTS Big Sky Food Festival a summer staple BIG SKY – When Mike Scholz and Devon White created a new summer event for Big Sky in 1997 they decided it should showcase the creative talents of local chefs. The Big Sky Food Festival was born, drawing 100 people to the first annual event. Scholz with his partners David O'Connor and Chuck Schommer at Buck's T-4 Lodge, hosted the festival every year since. White, owner at the Corral, continues to be a driving force behind the event, rallying enthusiasm among his regular clientele and consistently occupying the top popularity spot each year. Today the Big Sky Food Festival draws 1,400 – 1,600 people. Many travelers plan visits to Big Sky around it, and food and wine enthusiasts from across southwest Montana make it a mandatory summer event. The event is held outside on the lawn at Buck’s, and live music provides a festive backdrop. Most local restaurants participate, as do as representatives from American wineries and local breweries. Each establishment sets up a booth, offering small plates costing $2 – 4. Guests can choose from more than 70 menu items and 40 wines.

Red Ants Pants Festival White Sulphur Springs July 26-29, 3 p.m. Willow Creek Art Walk Willow Creek Galleries July 20, 5 p.m.


Each year, O’Connor says, participating chefs use the opportunity to “have fun with the foods and styles they use every day in their own establishments.” Previous menus have featured fun twists on traditional fair food like “homemade wild game corn dogs,” “chicken fried Rocky Mountain oysters,” “wild boar barbecue sandwiches,” “ostrich satay” and “antelope ‘White Castle’ burgers.”

Pine Creek Lodge and Café July 21, 8 p.m. Memories of Conway

Music Ranch Montana, Livingston July 26, 7:30 p.m.

virginia city H.S. Gilbert Brewery 4 and 8 p.m. Second Saturday Farmers Market

July 14 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Living History Weekend: Capture of Steve Marshland

Livingston Fairgrounds July 20 – 21

July 14 – 15

Sonic Boom

Elling House July 21, 7 p.m.

Two Bit Saloon, Gardiner July 20, 10:30 p.m. Gallatin County Ranch Rodeo

Livingston Fairgrounds July 21, 6 p.m.

Paul Boruff

Dog & Grog

norris hot springs music

Bale of Hay Saloon July 20 – 21, 9 p.m. Terry Hill

Elk Tournament

July 14, 7 p.m.

Livingston Golf Course July 21 – 22

Danny Freund

Exit 288

July 15, 7 p.m.

Chico Hot Springs Saloon July 20 – 21, 9 p.m.

Dan Dubuque

Summerfest in the Park

Edis with Mark Schlenz

Livingston July 20 – 22


Big Olae and Brown

The Brewery Follies

Wrangler Team Roping


This year’s Food Festival is Tuesday, July 17 at Big Sky’s Buck’s T-4 Lodge. The hours are from 5 – 9 p.m. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged.

Music Ranch Montana, Livingston July 20, 7:30 p.m.

Bear Creek School House July 21, 5 p.m.


There have also been some astoundingly good classic dishes, O’Connor said, naming “grilled bison with wild mushrooms,” “Indian flatbread with curried pheasant” and “lacquered Muscovy duck spring rolls with wasabi-whipped potatoes and sweet red chili.”

Pam Tillis Concert

Cowboy Poetry Night


July 20, 7 p.m. July 21, 7 p.m.

Build your dream and let the memories begin.






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Freestyle Motor Cross show in front of Choppers Grub & Pub in Big Sky, MT - watch C E N T E R



on jumps, tricks and stunts at this thrilling event.


Fun for families and people of all ages.


Live music and festivities following the show at Choppers!


RISING LION July 25 42 July 13, 2012

Sponsored by

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Wilco and Blitzen Trapper at Big Sky Brewery, Missoula, June 28 Photos by Max Lowe

Big Sky Weekly


Big Sky Weekly

ACBS summer concert series brings Black Lillies, Nicki Bluhm Free shows in Big Sky Town Center July 19 and 26 By brian hurlbut

arts council of big sky

BIG SKY – The Black Lillies, an awardwinning Americana band from Nashville, will play at Town Center Park on Thursday, July 19 as part of the Arts Council of Big Sky Summer Concert Series. “Earthy and gritty, their songs speak of pain, love, revenge and revelry with such spirit that they seem to be carved out of the planks of an abandoned backwoods cabin,” wrote Relix magazine about the Black Lillies. Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Cruz Contreras founded the group in 2008, and it now also includes electric guitar and pedal steel whiz Tom Pryor and drummer Jamie Cook, both formerly of the everybodyfields, as well as bassist Robert Richards and vocalist Trisha Gene Brady. They play a mix of country, roots, rock and blues, straight from Appalachia. In April 2009, the Black Lillies released Whiskey Angel, their debut recording. Recorded live in Cruz’s living room, it

appeared on “Best of 2009" lists across the country and won the Independent Music Award for Best Album, Americana. The group’s current album, 100 Miles of Wreckage, has also been nominated for awards and spent more than five months on the Americana radio Top 40 charts. Performance highlights include playing Bonnaroo Music and Arts, Pickathon, CMA Festival and Fan Fair, Americana Music Festival; appearing on National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage; and four separate PBS concert specials. The band played its first show on the Grand Ole Opry in June 2011 and has played there nine times since. The following week, on July 26, ACBS will bring the refreshing, soulful sounds of Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers to town. Nicki came to Big Sky last summer with her husband’s band, the Mother Hips, and she’s excited to return with own group this year. Listen to her vintage-tinged brand of rocking country, and you’ll understand why this is a breakout year for Nicki.

some restaurants do italian food. some do chinese food.


we deliver 4069952305 44 July 13, 2012

serving breakfast lunch & dinner

Her music is like an enchanting friend you've known for a short while but feels like you've known forever. Her story began at a New Year's Eve party, when she sang an impromptu blues song that caught the attention of musician/producer Tim Bluhm (The Mother Hips). With his encouragement she began to write songs and perform; and they soon recorded her debut album Toby's Song (2008), which appeared on Jambase's top 10 albums of the year. They married shortly after and formed her band with childhood friend and guitar player, Deren Ney. With the addition of Steve Adams on bass (ALO), Dave Mulligan on rhythm guitar and drummer Mike Curry, the band has continued to grown. Nicki has since shared the stage with Chris Robinson, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Steve Kimock, Jackie Greene, Pegi Young and Josh Ritter. Since her sophomore album, Driftwood (2011), Nicki has become the “it girl” of the San Francisco music scene, perform-

ing with her band, the Gramblers, as a duo with her husband, and as a guest artist with other revered performers. Driftwood’s sound ranges from the AM magic of Linda Ronstadt, to the charming duets of Johnny and June Cash, to smokey Memphis soul. Nicki’s warm, strong voice and striking presence have undeniable appeal, confirmed by her sensational performances and rousing reception from music lovers at every show. She and her band are gaining traction with their Van Session recordings on YouTube, in which they perform a cover song while driving in their tour van. Their version of “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates has almost a million and a half views. All of this summer’s concerts are free and take place in Town Center Park on Ousel Falls Road in Big Sky. The park opens at 6 p.m., and music typically starts at 7 p.m. Food and beverages from local vendors will be available. All ages are welcome—but please no glass containers or pets. Parking available. For more information and to hear songs from the artists, visit


Big Sky Weekly

Buscrat's Fables: The contrast between Wilbur and Vern What caused such a contrast? Maybe one brother was rich and the other brother was poor, or maybe one was ambitious and the othern was lazy. Did one brother just have the pride to take care of his place while the othern gave no never mind?

While traveling the other day I seen a couple houses out in the country. Although they was very different in looks, it didn’t seem too strange ‘til I met the two brothers that lived in ‘em. On the right side of the road was a two-story yeller and white house with a wraparound porch. It was adorned with colorful flowers and surrounded by fresh cut grass and shady weepin’ willer trees. Behind the house were an abundance of trees. A rainbow arced over the house, from one end of the property to the other. On the other side of the road, directly across from the yeller house, was an identical two-story house that was not so well kept. This one was gray and decrepit, its paint faded and peeling. Weeds surrounded it, and the trees had no leaves on their branches.

Well, I discovered it was none of them thoughts when I met Vern and Wilbur. Matter of fact it was the durndest thing I ever seen. “Good afternoon fellers,” I said. “Nice day ain’t it?” “I thank the good Lord for days like this,” Vern said. “I don’t know,” Wilbur said. “We never have enough good days like this. Besides sunny days like this make the weeds grow. I’ve got enough weeds.” Right then I noticed another color stretch across the rainbow over the yeller house. A dark cloud mustered up over the gray one, thundering and raining. Just then one of the neighbors walked up and gave each of the brothers a huckleberry pie. “I’m surprised you even brought me one,” Wilbur said. “You always bring

Vern twice as much stuff, and he always gets the better ones. But thanks anyway.” “You can choose which pie you’d like first then, Mr. Hinkle,” she said. Wilbur reached out and took one of the pies. Vern took the other pie, and said, “Oh, I love huckleberry pie. Thank you for taking the time to make these. You make the best pies in the world, Mrs. Carter.” Mrs. Carter’s eyes grew and her smile widened twice’t as wide. “Why, thank you, Vern. If you’d like I’ll bring you some ice cream to go with it.” “Don’t go out of your way,” Vern said. “But if you happen to come by, I’d love some of your homemade ice cream. I been telling folks it’s the best in the county.” Mrs. Carter turned around and happily sauntered away. Wilbur’s pie sunk in a little and turned dark on the edges like it was burnt. Vern’s smelled delicious, a specimen of a perfect pie.

While we was all admiring Vern’s pie the constable drove up. “Just letting you know that there has been some vandalism in these parts, so be on the lookout,” he said. “It’s about time you looked for the vandals,” Wilbur said. “They smashed my pumpkins on my porch.” “I’ll give you a few more pumpkins, Wilbur,” Vern said. Then he turned to the constable. “I appreciate you keeping our town safe, Constable. Thank you for the good work.” “No problem, Vern,” the constable said. “You know, I’ve got some extra fencing material if you’d like it for your garden to keep the rabbits out.” “That’s quite neighborly of ya, Constable. I’ll gladly accept,” Vern said. Right then the last pumpkin at the gray house rolled off the porch and exploded as it hit the ground. The pumpkin patch at the yeller house grew double the pumpkins while we was a standing there. Buscrat's fables are simple stories that teach a moral. Buscrat welcomes you to visit and post your comments regarding the fable.

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further fetchins Adventures between Montana and Alaska

Swat. Swat. Run! By mike mannelin

Swat. Swat. Run!

winter, freezing temps, snow, or more wind.

He landed with the precision of a fighter pilot, braving the gusty winds. The air was full of the flying little black dots. I can’t say how they do it in these conditions without running into each other. Once he safely found the best spot to insert the needle, he did so without hesitation. I hit him before he even knew it was coming, squashing the gigantic mosquito the second I felt him bite.

Running is the only escape. I can outrun the bugs if I pick up the pace to a fast jog. If I turn and head into the wind, they don’t stand a chance.

Swat! Swat! Run!

big sky weekly columnist

It’s July, and the bugs are bad in Alaska. By bad, I mean I’m in the middle of their favorite habitat and they know it. My mouth stays closed when I breathe, and if I’m walking with the wind, I run. The swarms take about one second to encapsulate my head. And they all party together: mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-um’s, you name it. If it’s small and it bites, it’s probably flying circles around my head. As a human in an animal’s world, I’m a part of the food chain, and I do believe I’m a delicacy. It seems human flesh is rare in this part of remote Alaska, and it’s got to be easier pickin’s than the bears or the caribou. I swat with my hands, and still they swarm between swats. I had started carrying a head net in my pocket for just such a windless occasion, but I can’t bring myself to wear it. “I just gotta get used to it.” I say to myself. “They’re not biting.”

Mouth closed. Hood up. Swat. Swat. Run! They outnumbered me by a million to one, and they were winning. I couldn’t stop for 2 seconds to tie my shoe. There they were, the same swarm that was around my head a quarter mile ago. How did they follow me? I thought I ditched them. Should I put on the head net?

I figured by the time their big hatch was over and they were on their way elsewhere, I would be well trained to run a marathon. I even came up with a solution for those training plateaus some runners had been complaining about. Perhaps I should box up the bugs and send them to trainers around the world. I think I may be on to something. Swat! Swat! Run! Mike Mannelin is a skier with roots in Minnesota, Montana, and Alaska. He gains his inspiration in life by spending time in the mountains with friends.

Swat. Swat. Run! I could only run into the wind for so long before I had to turn around and head back. Swat. Swat. Run faster. I could only run so fast. It was no use. I stopped and walked, breathing through my teeth so I wouldn’t inhale or swallow any more bugs than I had to. I cut the grass around the cabin a couple days before, hoping it would send all the little ones out and about with the wind. It only seemed to make matters worse. They were everywhere. The only cure is

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wanderer at rest

The great outdoors, etc.

By jamie balke

big sky weekly columnist

Having been a major wimp and not gone camping for a couple of years, I knew it was time to get back in the tent. My brother is a raft guide on the Gallatin River, and I decided to meet him after work on Monday and sort out finding a campsite then. I stopped by the Forest Service office in Bozeman that morning for maps and advice about fire restrictions and campgrounds, then headed home to dig through my closet in search of my long mislaid equipment. We were going car camping, so I packed a French press, heavy camp chairs and a Therm-a-Rest. Since our evening would start late, I decided to pick up a prepared meal from the Co-op on the way out of town. Clearly, we would not be roughing it. I also bought a relatively inexpensive bundle of wood from the grocery store, which—as if designed for forgetful people like me—conveniently came with kindling and matches. I met up with my brother around 7:30, and he immediately presented a map drawn by one of his co-workers that showed the way to an “awesome campsite.” To get there, we’d have to make several turns onto Forest Service roads that weren’t labeled and a possible stream crossing. It was relatively late in the evening, so I showed him an established campground on one of the maps I’d picked up that morning. Plus, I said, because of fire restrictions, we could only have a fire at a Forest Service campground. He acquiesced, and we caravanned over to Spire Rock. The spot we picked was in a beautifully forested area with enough of a break in the canopy to see the rock formations for which the campground is named. Our site was far enough from the neighboring ones, and right next to Storm Castle Creek.

As the sun was setting, I re-learned how to set up my tent. My brother worked on building a fire in the ring, and I described to him how I’d spilled food on my pants earlier in the day and was convinced I was going to be disemboweled by a bear. Perhaps I should have changed my clothes if I was so worried. As usual, my imagination was totally overactive. We plopped down in the comfy camp chairs by the fire and tucked into a meal of salads, berries and brownies. My brother had spent all day on the river and ravenously attacked a bag of bagels, roasting them on a stick over the fire. He explained interesting and useful information about building campfires, and I taught him that in Girl Scouts I learned if the smoke blows in your direction, you should yell “fuzzy bunnies.” After extinguishing the campfire, I crawled into my tent. My brother slept under the stars. Curled up in my sleeping bag, I tried to convince myself that my tent was a bear shield. Finally, the sound of the creek lulled me to sleep. In the morning I visited the outhouse, which was covered in moss. It looked like something you might find in the Shire. There, I was confronted by the lowest toilet that I’ve ever encountered—apparently designed by and for hobbits. Later, after a breakfast of apricot juice, coffee and bagels, we hung out at the campsite as the sun reclaimed the sky. In addition to being a great re-acquaintance with camping, the trip was a good reminder of the incredible recreational opportunities in this area. Jamie Balke moved to Bozeman in the fall of 2009. She can generally be found behind the cover of a book, meandering down a trail or desperately trying not to kill houseplants.

Noun: wild or rough terrain adjacent to a developed area Origin: shortened form of “back 40 acres”

Big Sky Weekly

For the Big Sky Weekly, the Back 40 is a resource: a place where we can delve into subjects and ask experts to share their knowledge. Topics include regional history, profiles of local artists and musicians, snow and avalanche education, how-to pieces for traditional or outdoor skills, and science.

A local’s look at the Lone Peak Expedition By katie morrison

big sky weekly staff writer

A change in perspective can be refreshing. Stand on top of a mountain on a clear, bluebird day, and take in the view from every direction. It might seem cliché, but it’s true: Mountains give you new perspective. And besides, they’re one of the main reasons I love it here. Lone Mountain is the peak I see every morning as I take my dog for a walk. It’s what I see every evening on my drive home from work. When I turn the corner at the Conoco station, it’s there, welcoming me back to Big Sky. You might think it would be easy for me to take this mountain for granted, but instead, it has the opposite effect, pulling me closer each day. I recently had the fortune of standing atop this beautiful peak, and remem-

bered all over again how different the perspective of looking at the mountain is from being on its summit. A long time skier and Big Sky resident, I’ve been on top of Lone Mountain many times during the Photo by Chad Jones winter. There is the first trip up the tram each season, riding in a car of giddy locals who all race to sign out for the Big Couloir or North Summit Snowfield. There’s the excitement of arriving on top with a handful of friends, preparing to ski down on a two-foot powder day in the middle of

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March. Even the adventure of following the ropeline down when the top of the peak is veiled in clouds and snow is blowing into my face to find a few untouched turns is a reward. These interactions with the mountain are all special to me, but the peak in the summer is another experience. There’s a saying that people move to Big Sky for the winter but stay because of the summer. The day I rode up the tram was perfect: 75 degrees, sunny, with a slight breeze. My husband and I sat on the Swift Current chair in shorts and tennis shoes, with long-sleeved shirts, water and sunscreen in a backpack. Mountain bikers tore down trails below us, and hikers meandered through the woods. When we unloaded at the mid-mountain station, a truck with safari seating was waiting for our group. After a short drive, full of its own beautiful scenery, we arrived at the tram station and piled in for the trip to the top. It felt strangely spacious compared to the winter ride I was accustomed to, with everyone having a view looking outward as the guide pointed out the mountains around us. The real perspective change came at the top, however. The world seemed to slow down as I looked at our little town below. From 11,166 feet, you can’t see movement in the valleys, just a quiet landscape of smaller moauntains, green meadows and teal mountain lakes colored by glacial sediment. As the valley stood still, the mountaintop came alive. White butterflies fluttered by me. A ladybug warmed itself

on a piece of shale. The cool breeze felt refreshing as it chilled my legs. I picked up a handful of snow, and it melted into my hands. Every direction I looked was a world unto itself, everywhere, contrasts. The Tetons were just visible at the edge of the southern horizon, while the Sphinx, almost unrecognizable without its winter coat of snow, felt close enough to touch. Bright green meadows at the base of Cedar Mountain stood out against the drying yellowish grass in the neighboring Madison Valley. A slight pinkish hue from the fires burning to the Northwest gave the midday sky a sunset-like look. I became more aware of myself—of my heart beating slowly and my breathing as it deepened. A sense of calm came over me, and I wanted to stay there all day. I realized that in all of the times I’d been on top of the peak before, I hadn’t really ever taken it all in. I’d been focused instead on my route to the bottom, even if I took a quick look around while waiting for my time slot on the Snowfield or as I skied toward the Yeti Traverse. When it came time to go back down, I didn’t want to leave. Our group loaded back on the tram and quietly rode back to the lower tram station. As the others went back to the truck bound for the base area, we decided to hike instead. We just weren’t quite ready to join the world below. For more information or to make a reservation, visit