Skating the backcountry I’ve skated before, but this time it feels like flying. The ice is smooth and fast; it takes almost no energy for me to glide from one side of the lake to the other. I push with my left leg and flow along...

After 37 years, Big Sky Resort’s ski patrol director is hanging up his coat and cross  During his first week of work ski patrolling at Montana’s Big Sky Resort in 1982, Bob Dixon was buried in two avalanches. He also saved someone’s life. By that time, the 33-year-old...

One of Montana’s most expensive Hereford auctions “Would you look at the butt on that bull?” The auctioneer calls out, as smiles crack in the crowd. “Let’s start this fella out at $15,000. Anybody give me $15,000 for this bull? Cowboys, cowgirls, get your ropes ready. Oh...

A writer takes to the wintery open road Dense fog hangs above Montana’s Bitterroot Valley on this, a crisp December morning. The fog creates a mushroom cap of mist, through which it requires low beams to yield even a sliver of visibility. I’ve inched south from...

THE PLAN WAS HATCHED LESS THAN 24 HOURS BEFORE DEPARTURE. It had been too long since we’d been out. Enough of town, traffic, chores, work, and deadlines. We didn’t have much of a window; we couldn’t leave until after work on Friday and had to...

ELLIOT GARFIELD IS A MAN OUT OF TIME. Not hourly time, though as a UPS delivery driver, he is in a perpetual dust cloud of a hurry on his route of graveled Northeast Montana backroads. And not seasonally, though he can seem time-deprived as he rushes...

ALTHOUGH THE EVENTS TOOK PLACE NEARLY 50 YEARS AGO, I still remember them as vividly as yesterday. A warm September sun hung suspended in the endless prairie sky, reminding me why my new Montana license plates seemed so proud of the sobriquet they bore. To the...

I’M STANDING ON THE CHUNK OF MADISON LIMESTONE in a meadow filled with grass and midsummer flowers. Asters, yarrow, buckwheat, prairie smoke with its Einstein-hair stamens, lupine with pods, yellow paintbrush, buttercups, delphiniums, grass, and piles of horse poop surround the rock and fill the...

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