• A summer virga over the Little Belt Mountains and Middle Fork Judith River WSA.

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Photo by Patrick Colleran
On a quest for standing petrified trees (photo by Roger Jenkins)

On a quest for standing petrified trees (photo by Roger Jenkins)

A “quest.” This is what my friend Mike called our first hike in search of some standing petrified trees in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park.

Backpacking along Pitamakan Pass in Glacier N.P. (photo by Kerry Neils)

Backpacking along Pitamakan Pass in Glacier N.P. (photo by Kerry Neils)

The idea was to take my sister on her very first backpacking trip. Incidentally, this would also be her first time sleeping outside, her first time hiking in the Pacific Northwest, and her first time putting on shoes intended for dirt and rock and rain.

Florence and Ken Baldwin at Gates of the Mountains, near the wilderness area they helped designate

Florence and Ken Baldwin at Gates of the Mountains, near the wilderness area they helped designate

In 1958, husband and wife Ken and Florence Baldwin wrote a letter to 100 friends across Montana inviting them to Bozeman to discuss the support they could give to a Congressional bill creating a national system of wilderness areas.

MWA President Lee Boman presenting award to Dan Bennett (photo by Eric Heidle)

MWA President Lee Boman presenting award to Dan Bennett (photo by Eric Heidle)

Each year at Wild Fest, MWA honors several people for the work they’ve done championing wilderness, promoting quiet trails, and advocating for responsible management of public lands. We presented the 2016 Brass Lantern Awards to seven people this year. 

The Whitefish Range (photo by Steve Gnam)

The Whitefish Range (photo by Steve Gnam)

We recently teamed up with northwest Montana’s literary and arts journal The Whitefish Review to host two poetry readings that celebrated special places in the Flathead National Forest. 

Indian paint brush and backpackers in the Crazies (photo by Roger Jenkins)

Indian paint brush and backpackers in the Crazies (photo by Roger Jenkins)

First came black skies, then thunder, and then lightning bolts less than a half-mile away, reverberating in the cirque in which we were camped. Next came wind, driving rain, a bit of hail, and finally sleet. Lots of it.