Future plans

Bill Hatcher photo; the legendary Dial-Tobin-Adkins Alaska Range bike traverse.  Look at that tiny pack!

The past weekend of fun and the extensive germ exposure of my job caught up to me, and I’ve spent the past two days feeling achey and sluggish, trying to not get any more ill.  Hopefully it works.

Life up here in the Flathead can feel claustrophobic.  The ever present (unless it’s below zero) fog from Flathead Reservoir is the number one factor, how I ended up living somewhere so not like the desert southwest in terms of sun exposure is a matter of some speculation.  We’re also two hours from the interstate (my parents found out there’s a surcharge to mail stuff here v. Missoula), which makes a hypothetical escape all the slower.  Beyond that, this is a forgotten corner of the world, an attribute made very evident at my job.  Folks move here because they want to get away, and somehow the not inconsequential concentration of people and the consequent trappings of civilization (Super Walmart, mini-malls, ski resorts) only serves to make more obvious the extent to which the normal denizon of the Flathead is a few standard deviations removed from any broader standard of normalcy.

It’s also been since July of ’09 and the Markagunt epic since we’ve been down to canyon country.  Far, far too long. I’d like to go soon, and fulfill some longstanding plans in the process.  First on the list involves biking and packrafting.  Doing, in essence, Doom’s route with minor variations, and doing it faster.  Moab to Escalante, or vice versa.  So, I have two questions:

-Who has a bike and raft and wants to go with?

-What are you, my rabid readers, dreaming of for the coming year?

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13 thoughts on “Future plans

  1. My friend Brett and a buddy did the Lost Coast this past summer. They may be game for a bikerafting trip in canyon country (http://www.bikingthelostcoast.com/).

    My plans for 2011 include fulfilling a longtime goal of canoeing the Namekagon and Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway from the source, South to my hometown. Also, spending as much time in the Absaroka-Beartooths as humanly possible.

  2. Welcome to Northwestern Montana! I grew up in Libby, where the summers are beautiful and the winters are inversions. It used to be worse when everyone heated with wood stoves though!

    Since I’m living in Memphis now, I’m hoping to make it back to Montana and up into the mountains this summer when it’s ridiculously hot and humid down here. I’d like to do a long adventure in Glacier or the Bob…but we’ll see what happens.

    1. I’d take this winter, with ice fog and -10 temps, over another midwest summer. I grew up near Cincinnati, and working landscaping during the summer was brutal.

      1. I totally agree with you. Marathon training in June and July almost killed me last summer! And it was the first time since 1990 that I didn’t ski. I’m at least going to ski this winter. We’ll see if another summer kills me or not.

  3. Life in Juneau was clausterphobic for its own reasons, but I’ve been surprised by how dreary it is in the Missoula area during the winter. Southeast Alaska gets a lot of precip, often of the liquid variety, all winter long, but it also has a fair number of sunny days to break up the gray, at least after October has passed. I do prefer that kind of dynamic weather to Missoula’s constant overcast grayness, but I admittedly have gotten out a lot this winter and thus don’t have any reason to complain.

    I’d love to join you on one of your backcountry adventures this year, but I’ll probably stay packraft-free for at least I while yet. I expect you don’t have nearly as much interest in 100-percent-land-based hiking and/or biking adventures, but if you cook one up, let me know.

  4. ugh. I’m feeling trapped in DC, grey skies every day. 2.5-3.5 hours from the nearest waves (which are inconsistent, at that) and shoulder injury gradually sapping my strength for staying in shape to safely paddle my surfboard in the cold and rough winter water.

  5. Hey I’d love to join up. I just got a packraft (have not used it yet) but am an avid white water rafter so I think I cuold pick it up and just bought a mt. bike. we talked a while back, i live/work on the navajo res and hit the san juan frequently for weekend trips. i would love to do a doom style packraft trip and have been itching to get into the sport. if you have space for me i’d love to do it. lemme know!

    – matt

    1. Will do Matt! Any experienced paddler will pick up packrafting in whitewater almost instantly. About as easy as paddling gets.

      I’d love to talk to you about your work, too.

      1. Hey again, just thought i’d see what you have cookin in terms of trips for the coming year. you still interested in doin a san juan run? i just got off a 4 day trip on the lower yesterday that was spectacular……early season = no other people. lemme know if you are still eyeing this trip or any other adventures in red rock country.

        hope all is well.

  6. 2011?
    -First river trip ever on the San Juan in UT around Bluff and Mexican Hat
    -Speed-attempt of the AZT, nobo beginning in mid-april.
    -Running Jemez 50
    -Running another 100 (Bighorn, Grand Mesa, The Bear)
    -Learning to packraft in the waters around Crested Butte
    -Bikepacking thru the Andes

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