Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Terra nullius

Well, it's almost winter, so we're growing our hair out.


So many places to see, and so few weekends with good weather to get to them. After wondering for a few seasons about a place on the edge of the Big Hole called Mussigbrod, we spent the weekend there. How was it? So-so.



After thousands and thousands of miles, we are close to retiring the Chariot. Cooper is now bike commuting to day care, and in September was knighted the city's bike commuter of the week.


He won an ice cream cone for his efforts.

Another fill-in-the-gap spot: Fishtrap -- the Montana one. Dozens more spots like this.


Noah and Ginny and son came up with us for a remarkably quiet weekend.


Look at the map and pick a spot. Here's Cabin Lake.


One last evening bike ride.


This summer and fall we continued our quest to bike the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route through Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia, and in three weekends I knocked out a big stretch, including Elk Lake to Banff. I've now done about one-third of the Montana and Canada portion of the route -- but more than that in a way, actually, since I don't use a shuttle but instead bike each part in each direction. I'd like to write more about this great trail some day but for now here's a few photos.

The Morrell-Clearwater Divide:


Medicine Lodge:



Looking across to Fleecer:


Back home, catching up on some reading.


This was the first photo I took of Patrick Carter's crash. I had just locked my bike up at Missoula International Airport when I heard an oddly loud plane take off. I looked up to see his yellow biplane launch nearly straight up, then go silent as it hit its apogee and turned toward earth. For a moment I thought it was going to hit me, but the crash took place about 50 yards away.


I ran over to the site, but there was nothing to do to help. There was not a part of the plane that was not on fire. Later, I sent the photo the Missoulian and talked to Kathryn Haake. Carter was of renown in a way I did not completely understand, but I wound up talking to media outlets in Alabama and New York about his passing and the better-composed photos taken after that one above were published sort of widely. Someone suggested that I should have sold the photos instead of give them away, but it did not seem right to make money off someone's fiery death.

Galveston. Kind of unreal that we could go swimming in mid-October, but I guess I'd forgotten how things go in Texas.


Brazos Bend: not as natural as it looks.







The ever-present need to keep the closets clean.