23 Jul Letter from the Editor: How Big is Your Bucket
Outside the window several inches of heavy snow have turned the Gallatin Valley into a winter wonderland. The white stuff is a blanket of promise at the start of this long season — some cross country ski trails in town are already groomed, the ski clubs leap for joy as dryland practices shift to real skiing, the hockey fanatics are watching the weather report in hopes that they may pour the ice a little earlier this year, and a ski patrol friend reports the beginnings of good coverage at Bridger Bowl.
Yet amidst the news of winter, I also received an invitation to mountain bike a new loop, to squeeze in the last ride of the season. Reluctantly, I rebuffed the invite, with work as my excuse, but I had to admit that with a forecast of 38 degrees as a high and snow predicted, it didn’t sound very fun anyway. I realized my regret was not so much in saying no, but in saying goodbye to warmer months, and even more so in thinking about all the things I didn’t get a chance to do. That list is long.
In the 16 years I’ve lived in Montana and the many in Wyoming before that, I’ve never floated the Missouri River or fished the Paradise Valley spring creeks or mountain biked in Idaho or set foot on The Grand Teton. There hasn’t been time to bird hunt in Eastern Montana, nor hike the Wind River Range, nor ice-climb Targhee. Abashedly, I’ll admit I’ve never been on a sleigh ride nor slept in a yurt. I have not travelled a dinosaur trail, stayed at a famous dude ranch nor panned for gold. What?!, you might say, incredulous. In my defense I can provide a litany of memorable adventures I have had in the region. But, as you know, there is so much to do and see.
So, in response to all the should-haves and could-haves that each of us rack up year upon year, in this issue we’ve compiled the ultimate directory of things-to-do in the Northern Rockies, from extreme to easy. In addition to our regular editorial roster, check out our 2010 Big Sky Journal List. We have highlighted some of the best excursions and idylls in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The endeavor was simple. The BSJ staff asked: What is on your bucket list in Big Sky Country? The answer is more complex: How big is your bucket?
The 2010 BSJ List is a chance to look forward to incredible adventures to come. It seems the sky is the limit! Tell us what you have on your ultimate to-do list: write a good, old-fashioned letter or go cyber and post your top five Northern Rockies goals on our website, www.BigSkyJournal.com or at www.facebook.com/bigskyjournal.