Tag Archives: Winter

XC Skiing in Yellowstone [Bunsen Peak Trail]

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For the 2016 Superbowl, The Sexy Master Electrician decided to give cross country skiing another try after not being too fond of it last winter. We went back to Yellowstone and rented gear at the shop by Mammoth Hot Springs. We picked up a map and advice on where to go. They had just received new snow so we were pretty excited to go. We decided to try the trail around Bunsen Peak. Thankfully, the guy at the shop told us which way to go, I was thinking it would be easier to go the other way. That was not the case at all.

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We could have waited for shuttle to take us to the trail head but we decided to hike/ski up the road a few miles and not have to wait and hour or pay. Plus, this meant we got to ski through the Hoodoos. It was a bit longer than the guy thought to the trail head, but we made it. We were off on a beautiful blue sky day with no evidence of anyone being out there before us yet that day.

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The road up to the trail was mostly up hill, nothing terrible, but still up hill. The trail around the mountain was pretty flat and lovely. We eventually reached a junction to a trail that continued south were you can go to Indian Creek and later we ran in to some people who were on their way back from there.

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We stopped for lunch on the east side of the peak just before it started going down hill. And this was serious downhill with switchbacks and all. Something that I had no practice with on cross country skis and we both spent plenty of time on our butts. It’s hard to stop in these skis. We started to get the hang of it as the slope became less sever an there wasn’t a cliff on one side of us to worry about.
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In total it was just over 9 miles long and a nice fellow skier gave me a lift back to Shorty. After we dropped off our skis we headed down to the boiling river for a lovely soak before heading home.
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Sunday Afternoon Coffee [sixty-two]

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If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you I wish it would snow. We got dumped on a couple weeks ago and the skiing was awesome. Then it decided to get warm. Too warm and everything is melting. This is ruining my downhill and cross country ski time. The Sexy Master Electrician and I have 10 passes to Bridger this year so I really want the last month to be amazing!

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While we are on the subject of skiing, TSME and I skipped the Super Bowl again to go cross country skiing in Yellowstone. When we got there, we wanted to do a trail in Lamar Valley but the wind was so bad we opted to go back to Tower Falls. The trail is protected and it went 100 times better than our previous trip up there. On our way back to the Boiling River, we had a coyote come right beside us. He could have cared less. The river was amazing. We had it all to ourselves for quite awhile. The best.
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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that TSME decide to surprise me on Valentine’s Day and actually get me something and not even just one little thing. I came downstairs to flowers, wine, a Yellowstone Pendleton Blanket and chocolates. A late arrive hedge hog print arrived the next day. I don’t expect this to happen again any time soon but it was super sweet and he was pleased with himself for surprising me.

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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you about the second year studio crits I did on Friday. It’s so great to go back to the School of Architecture and see projects unlimited by scope, money, everything. Makes me want to do a random competition again.

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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that everyone in my office is about ready to snap. We are currently stuffed in a job trailer behind our actual office while it’s being remodeled. We’ve been in there since around Thanksgiving. We were suppose to move back in the office a week ago. We can’t move with out the trailer moving or bumping into someone. We’ve started compensating with too many cookies/candies/doughnuts and alcohol. At least the rooftop was open on Friday for happy hour since it was so nice.

 

B Bar Ranch [Get outdoors for MOSS]

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Right now, in Bozeman, ski season is long over, but this is the first of a few skiing posts that I will eventually get up here.  Last year I came across a fundraiser for Montana Outdoor Science School (MOSS) that was a day of cross country skiing and lunch and all proceeds go to the school. I wanted to go, but for some reason it didn’t. This year when I came across it, I sent out a message to some friends and signed us up. 

None of us had heard of B Bar Ranch, but we had heard that Tom Miner Canyon, where it is located at the southern end of Paradise Valley, was gorgeous. As we were driving out, there was very little snow on the ground in the valley. Meanwhile, Bozeman had a bit of a storm the night before and we saw several wrecks on the way over the pass’ and there was plenty of snow in Gallatin Valley. Once we turned off into the canyon we started climbing up and by the time we got to the ranch you wouldn’t believe there was no snow five miles north. 
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The area is definitely beautiful and we all want to go back for either hiking or skiing in the future. The ranch is several miles in and is a retreat of sorts in the summer for larger groups. In the winter, you can ski their groomed trails for $10. There are three locations that you can ski into and stay the night. That is next on the list, especially since it’s only two to three miles in on easy trails.
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We did a four to five mile loop before grabbing lunch in the Nordic tent. It is an old canvass tent with a wood stove in the center. One of the “cabin” you can hike/ski into is also an old tent. It was super cozy and lovely to hang out in. We talked about going out for another short run, but after resting realized we were a bit more sore than we thought, it was our first time out this season after all.
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MOSS was doing guided tours for those interested, but we had more fun out on our own and definitely plan to go back next year if it works out. Hopefully we get out there doe more than just the fundraiser.
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Bozeman Ice Festival

The walls

The walls

I vaguely remember the Ice Festival happening when I was in school here in Bozeman. I didn’t realize it was such a big deal until I moved back. Last year I watched them build the crazy structure on the Emerson Lawn as I would drive by, but I didn’t stop by to actually check it out. This year The Sexy Master Electrician mentioned wanting to check it out since it is a world cup of ice climbing thing. I was sold.

Bouldering tent

Bouldering tent

This was apparently the first time the UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme aka The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation) held one of it’s ice climbing competitions in North America.  Climber from all over the world were here competing. We watched a guy from Russia complete the route. The route was created by a local Bozeman climber and a well known Russian climber. We went in the afternoon to see some of the Men’s semi-final lead climb. Lead climbing is when you are climbing with no support above, you have to clip-in to the ice/rock wall yourself to create a support from below. Not only were these guys climbing up a wall, but they also had to climb around a suspended cube to get to the finish. I cannot even imagine having the core strength to do something like that. Insane.

Heading up the wall

Heading up the wall

We didn’t see any of the finals, though I’m sure they were amazing, we had dogs to watch. Next year I want to try and catch them. It was so impressive. It almost makes me want to take up ice climbiing, but I don’t think I should be doing any climbing with and ice ax in my hand…

Structure

Structure

Winter Art Walk and Christmas Stroll 2014

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Last year it was insanely cold here during the Annual Christmas Stroll. I think it was below zero and people were darting from store to store and pretending to have fun. Robin and I headed down with hot chocolates mixed with caramel vodka to help keep us warm. It sort of worked.

IMG_2676This year it was raining. The Sexy Master Electrician and I meet up with Robin and friends for a much more enjoyable stroll once the rain was gone. This time we were armed with spiked cider. This year the jumbo screen was up showing ski films and SLAM festival was in full swing. We didn’t do much other than wandering up and down Main Street. At the end people were lighting paper lanterns and letting them fly away, which was pretty cool.

IMG_2682The Winter Art Walks are always much more fun, I think anyway. The galleries are all open and most of the shops downtown have artists bring in work for the event. Most of them have wine and snacks for the people wandering through and this year, like last, the weather was perfect. We wandered around from gallery to gallery, collecting wine and checking out the art along the way.

IMG_2714My one complaint about art in this town, is that a lot of it is very western, very heavy, very literal. Some of it can be very nice, but I can only look at so many images of buffalo or dear or cows. There is some more modern, abstract work around, but not nearly as much as the western/mountain pieces. My favorite was the black and white images of New York displayed in a new wine bar, Corkscrew. Maybe just because they were of New York.

Megan, me, and Dawn at The Loft.   Image via Dawn

Megan, me, and Dawn at The Loft.
Image via Dawn

It was a great evening that end the same way last year did, on The Loft deck before heading downtown to enjoy a few drink with more friends and those on the Jingle Run, (Which I was suppose to do this year, but did not have proper attire…)

Jingle Runners

Jingle Runners

Maybe next year. For now, the downtown events are done and we have next summers art walks and music on main to look forward to!