Bozeman smoke and bears- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bozeman smoke and bears

    Holy cow! My office is about 1 mile from the base of the Bridgers and I can't even see them at 9am today. I even wimped out and decided to drive to work instead of inhale smoke the whole way.

    Is anyone else letting the smoke keep them off the trails? If you have been out this weekend, was the smoke less bad up high?

    I rode NW Gulch on Saturday and the air was clear but the smoke seemed a lot worse on Sun and Mon.

    Also, Venom600 mentioned in another thread that he ran into a black bear on Stone Ck. The bear wasn't too afraid of people. Last year there was a young black bear breaking into vehicles at the Fairy Lake campground. I also saw a big pile of fresh scat at Bridger last week. It sounds like it could be the same one - keep your heads up out there.

  2. #2

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    Passing thru

    Hey dir-T,

    Just read your thread, and didn't know about the fires in your area! I also posted a thread this morning looking for a possible riding partner in Bozeman tomorrow evening or Thursday morning!

    Can you also send me a phone number or web site for the LBS.

    Hope to ride while on the road this week.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sauvage
    Hey dir-T,

    Can you also send me a phone number or web site for the LBS.

    .
    Bike shops, take your pick...

    Bangtail Bikes - 587-4905
    Chalet Sports - 587-4595
    Owenhouse Bike and fitness - 587-5404
    Summit Bikes - 587-1064

    Fires...

    We're getting lots of smoke from the Derby Mtn Fire south of Big Timber (something like 200k acres). Maybe I'm just being a wuss but when I go outside lately my sinuses get blocked, my throaght gets soar, and my eyes get itchy. I'd offer to ride with you tomorrow night but with the air being as bad as its been I'm afraid to commit to doing anything outdoors.

    I'm trying to use this thread to gauge my level of wussitude

  4. #4
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    I had to echolocate along I-90 yesterday...

    It's bad. I can't even see the Scratchgravel Hills, much less the Big Belts. Even the South Hills are hazy, and that's measured in 100s of yards. DEQ's Air Qualiy page rated Bozeman unhealthy yesterday, and I'm guessing today as well. I was in JH over the weekend, and came home via Gardiner and Livingston. I thought the smoke was primarily from the Derby fire, and would get better after Livingston, but it was thick all the way to Helena. It was starting to break a bit at the western end of the Helena Valley. The drive through the Paradise Valley was crazy; couldn't see mountains anywhere. It's not just the Derby fire, although that's the big one. DEQ's air quality page reported that we got unfavorable wind conditions that brought smoke from all over the place yesterday. There's a complex of fires in the Paradise Valley, and the map makes it look like central Idaho is all on fire.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive
    It's bad. I can't even see the Scratchgravel Hills, much less the Big Belts. Even the South Hills are hazy, and that's measured in 100s of yards. DEQ's Air Qualiy page rated Bozeman unhealthy yesterday, and I'm guessing today as well. I was in JH over the weekend, and came home via Gardiner and Livingston. I thought the smoke was primarily from the Derby fire, and would get better after Livingston, but it was thick all the way to Helena. It was starting to break a bit at the western end of the Helena Valley. The drive through the Paradise Valley was crazy; couldn't see mountains anywhere. It's not just the Derby fire, although that's the big one. DEQ's air quality page reported that we got unfavorable wind conditions that brought smoke from all over the place yesterday. There's a complex of fires in the Paradise Valley, and the map makes it look like central Idaho is all on fire.
    Yes, Helena is disgusting right now. Yesterday I got out and rode hard up at Maupin Creek in MT City and it wasn't bad. In fact, I was climbing like a goat and made my steepest/gnarliest clean of the year. But leaving the house to run errands around town my eyes burn. The Bitterroots near Missoula seemed pretty hazy on Sunday during the Bitterroot Resort Race.

  6. #6
    jones'in
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T
    Holy cow! My office is about 1 mile from the base of the Bridgers and I can't even see them at 9am today. I even wimped out and decided to drive to work instead of inhale smoke the whole way.

    Is anyone else letting the smoke keep them off the trails? If you have been out this weekend, was the smoke less bad up high?

    I rode NW Gulch on Saturday and the air was clear but the smoke seemed a lot worse on Sun and Mon.

    Also, Venom600 mentioned in another thread that he ran into a black bear on Stone Ck. The bear wasn't too afraid of people. Last year there was a young black bear breaking into vehicles at the Fairy Lake campground. I also saw a big pile of fresh scat at Bridger last week. It sounds like it could be the same one - keep your heads up out there.
    It'll be keeping me off of the trails too, at least for the next day or two. Was out of town all weekend (DMB at the Gorge, baby!!) so I came back to this nasty air yesterday. I'm hoping to get a good ride or two in this weekend if the air clears up a bit.

    Re: the black bear
    Yep, he broke up out of the brush at the Stone Creek trailhead and onto the trail. I had ridden up the road from Bridger Canyon Rd and was just turning onto the Bangtail Ridge trail when he(she?) popped up and onto the trail. Stood on all fours ~10-15ft in front of me for a good 20-30 seconds (seemed like minutes to me). I raised my arms and yelled at it and.....nothing....just stared at me. After the 20-30 seconds were up, it just turned around and ambled up the trail. I turned around, not wanting to follow it all by my lonesome and w/o my pistol or a can of bear spray. It didn't seem aggressive, but it certainly wasn't afraid of me either.....

    --Ben

  7. #7
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    I rode the 3 miles to school today and feel like I spent all night in a bar. It even smells like smoke at MSU inside my office, and my head is starting to hurt. . .

    Reminds me of living in the Bitteroot Valley during the fires of summer 2000. . .

    I did my riding at the State DH championship on Saturday, Spenser lake in Whitefish sunday, and the Alpine 7 trail by Glacier on Sunday. A good mix of DH shuttles, "freeride" and then a 6 hour trail ride. There was smoke there, but the kind that still allows several miles of visibility.

    The drive home last night was interesting, the sun dissapeared for a while behind the smoke and reappeared red and sinister right before setting. We saw a smaller fire burning right of the road driving by swan and seely lakes.

  8. #8
    jones'in
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    If you're interested in the fire, this is a great site:

    http://www.geomac.gov

    - Click on 'Wildfire Mapping'
    - Then choose the 'DERBY MT' fire from the drop down in the upper right

    Pretty good tracking info...try turning on the HMS and MODIS thermal satellite to get very up to date burn info. There are a couple of fires going on over in paradise valley too.

    --Ben

  9. #9
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    I don't feel so guilty about not wanting to ride now.

    John, how was the E100 for you?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T
    John, how was the E100 for you?
    The E100 is a great way to not feel guilty about not wanting to ride for a couple weeks too. . .

    The short version: 17th overall, fifth in my class, I beat all the bozemanites there and all of the MTBR's I saw, had no front brakes for half the race, got hailed on twice and ate around 8,000 calories of hammer gel. It was a great experience and I'll be back next year for sure.


    Here is the long version:

  11. #11
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    no XC?

    Quote Originally Posted by jparker164
    ...I did my riding at the State DH championship on Saturday...
    Why didn't you stick around for the XC on Sunday??? I was there Sun, but not Sat. I would say the smoke was worse Sun than Sat.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa
    Why didn't you stick around for the XC on Sunday??? I was there Sun, but not Sat. I would say the smoke was worse Sun than Sat.
    I'm not really much of an xc racer to begin with and after the E100 I have no interest in racing up hills anymore. . . I rode with my friend Ben Parsons (he took 3rd) on sunday and he said it was the worst course he raced on all year so I don't feel too guilty about not making it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jparker164
    I'm not really much of an xc racer to begin with and after the E100 I have no interest in racing up hills anymore. . . I rode with my friend Ben Parsons (he took 3rd) on sunday and he said it was the worst course he raced on all year so I don't feel too guilty about not making it.
    just giving you a hard time. I rode the chairlifts at snowbowl after the race and discovered the DH is sorta fun but not my thing. they apparently had to make some last minute changes to the race course because of land use permits or something. They shortened it and there was really no single track. mostly dirt roads, steep up, sketchy brand new cut trails traversing some ski runs, then steep roads down. but they had raffle prizes.

  14. #14
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    Silver lining?

    Soooo, is anybody familiar enough with any of these burning areas to know whether the fires will open up some new, good BC skiing this winter?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T
    Soooo, is anybody familiar enough with any of these burning areas to know whether the fires will open up some new, good BC skiing this winter?
    I thought the fires were in idaho. I heard that on our news, I think.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa
    I thought the fires were in idaho. I heard that on our news, I think.
    That's funny. I thought the fires were in Montana.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank
    That's funny. I thought the fires were in Montana.
    LOL, I guess I need to check the news again. there is a big one here in the Big Timber area that I think is affecting Bozeman. I always thought the prevailing winds carried the smoke/weather from the west to east 'round here

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa
    LOL, I guess I need to check the news again. there is a big one here in the Big Timber area that I think is affecting Bozeman. I always thought the prevailing winds carried the smoke/weather from the west to east 'round here
    That's usually the case but once in a while the low altitude winds come from the east. Sometimes it's because a low pressure front will come up from the south and if it moves in just right we get east winds accompanied by rain. It seems strange to me that we've had such persistant east winds lately without any hint of rain (I have some trees outside my office that act like great windsocks and I spend a lot of time staring at them - it's been from the east all week so far).

    But anyway, it looks like the south-west perimeter of the Derby fire is burning on some mountains with lots of northern aspects on the north end of the Absorkas. With the dense trees out of the way it might make for some good turning without too long of an approach. Same thing for those P-valley fires although I haven't really looked too hard at any maps to see exactly where they are or what the terrain is like.

  19. #19
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    You don't have to guess where the fires are

    because there's a lot of info on the web from various federal and state agencies. The USFS fire map for example: http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/#

    Within Montana, DEQ has a meteorologist on staff to provide a smoke forecast. If you're curious about what weather conditions are pushing smoke here and there, check that page out: http://www.deq.mt.gov/FireUpdates/index.asp

    Once you get onto a decent agency website, you can spend lots of time clicking through to other linked pages. Overhead imagery, reports of fire behavior and fuel type, etc.

  20. #20
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    We're getting the air ( if you can call it that) over here, too - Spokane. I think it's coming down from the Okanogan area, combined with wheat harvest. Makes for EEW. I can't even think about riding and taking that stuff any further into my lungs that required just to live.

  21. #21
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    skiing

    Dir-T, I believe for the most part, the Derby fire area doesn't get enough snow to cover most of the crap on the ground. There is the fire up Mill creek though. Might be good snow cover up there. The Big Creek fire is in mostly poor access, not enough snow, type of terrian too. And it's also in an area of the Gallatin travel plan that will get shut off to mountain biking in order to save it for wilderness character. Hah!
    Have you ever skied in upper Trail creek where the Fridley fire burned in 01? It looks good from a distance. Greg

  22. #22
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    your a wuss leverich was good today and bzmn crk to mystic out new world was great monday. Cmon it wasnt ttoo long ago we were suckin down cig smoke in all yhe bars dntn.
    toughnup buttercup not many more days of trails left smoke wont stop this fool.

  23. #23
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    Hey Greg, it's great to hear from you! I hope your recovery is going well and that you're enjoying what is no doubt a fun supply of meds. Do you think you'll be able to go to the GVBC end of year party next week?

    I have gazed at the old Fridley burn a few times. I'll have to look at a map to find access points and then go out and explore this winter.

    Brymihay, you're right. Wednesday was good riding at the end of the day but even the DEQ rated the air as very unhealthy on Mon and Tues. And what's with the "we"? I haven't hang out in a smokey bar since I was teenager. What are you, some kind of amateur?

  24. #24
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    brymihay<-------fully amatuerian
    pro = getting paid to do dumb chit
    a lil smoke never killed anyone lol cept maybe that one time...

  25. #25
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    Dir-T, I plan on seein you next week and tippin a beer. Greg

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