Day 3 (part 2): Evening Run by Hope
Day three was our first full day in Red Lodge Montana, after filling our bellies with delicious tasting curry with rice we let it settle for a bit before going on a night time run. After the team had changed into running gear we all loaded up into the van and drove to Bear Track Trailhead. We were all full from dinner and started running up the trial. It was a narrow, single track trail where if your weren't looking you would trip on a rock jutting up from the ground. We ran for about twenty minutes until we reached a bridge crossing a river. At that point we grabbed a quick drink of water and headed back down the way we came. On the way down we kept talking and singing to avoid encountering a bear. Behind me Luc Handfield was singing “Sweet Caroline” and by the end of the run it was stuck in my head. The run down was so flowy where you bounce from one rock to another and stretch your legs to what seems like the splits in the air. Before we knew it we were back at the van and ready to drive home where warm brownies were waiting for us courtesy of Kade.
Day 4: Ski/Rollerski by Jackson Daniels
After a good nights rest we woke up to go skiing in the snow with Parkcity, once we awoke we got ready packed lunches and hit the road up the Beartooth pass. We came across the Parkcity van and decided we must drive for another 20 minuets to find the perfect spot to ski. Once we came to a consecutive decision with the Parkcity people we then proceeded to get our skis in and ski. I decided it would be fun to ski across the pond in 35 degree weather with high winds and the first try I made it across perfectly fine I the proceeded to ski around for a while longer. I then decided to try and Pond skim the pond again, it didn’t turn out as before I choose a bigger line to ski on and tumbled into the pond. If you want to see a video of the pond skim, click here.
We then drove home and decided to go roller skiing. On the roller ski we rolled into an empty housing development where there were only 2 houses. We decided to go and do some agility, the Coaches set up a course that consisted of a bunch of slaloms. Some were wide some were very tight and some crossed pavement and grass we only broke 3 ski pole tips 1 roller ski and 1 boot. After roller skiing we came back to the house and rested before we went on a run which we did not go and fight bears.
Day 5: Afternoon run by Kaiden
Spending time in Montana with the BBNT has started summer off on a great note. We’ve roller skied, ran, and have gone on explorations. One run we did stood out to me, and this was roughly 15 mile jog we did on our 5th day. We ran on the Silver Run trails that reminded me of Vermont. During the run we discovered this waterfall where we took pictures and climbed towards the top of the falls. Not only was it pretty, but we ran in groups which made it more enjoyable for everyone. Although it was raining we dressed well and fought through it. The river roaring alongside us and the constant watch for a bear made the run that much more fun.
The 2018 trip to Montana with BBNT has been an amazing experience not only because of what we’ve seen, but also because of the team itself. I’m hoping to attend as many trips with the team as I can!
Day 6 (part 1): Morning Ski/Mine Visit by Jackson Neuhoff
This morning we drove up the Beartooth Pass. As it had snowed the night previous, we couldn’t go too far before we hit the unplowed and closed portion of the pass. We went skiing (skate) off to the side of the road. The wind had drifted much of the fresh snow, leaving some places icy and others with several inches of powder. As we skied down, two distinct groups formed. They separated and went in different directions. My group went down along a mostly frozen creek before climbing up a steep, icy mountain face. The winds were strong on the face, blowing up huge gusts filled with particulate snow. It was brisk and beautiful. After we got back up to the road many people stayed in the vans for warmth, while others, including myself, explored our surroundings more. We then left skiing for lunch.
After lunch, Ted, Kaiden, and I left for a mineral locality I knew about. It was bearing a chromium rich serpentinite and perfect orthoclase crystals. To reach it, we went up the pass and then hiked half a mile each way. At about 10,500 ft, it is one of the highest elevation mineral deposits I have been too. The serpentinite was easy to find. It was rich in interesting specimens. The orthoclase crystals were harder to find, but prolific once located. After we had collected our fill, we headed back to the house. Thus ended the first half of our day.
Day 6 (part 2): Bike Ride by Abram
Normally I’d be bummed to be stuck doing a workout on my own while the rest of the team skied, but after one trip part way up the Beartooth pass on my bike I knew that I was in for a treat. Waking up to calm trees and an uncharacteristic lack of wind along the road further lifted my spirits and after a quick breakfast I set off up the road dubbed “the most beautiful drive in America” by Charles Kuralt. The first third is a steady climb up along rock creek through the trees and mountain meadows. Today this section was ideal climbing on a road bike, for the grade is challenging but not yet difficult due to the lack of wind. But soon, the road arises above the bottom of the valley, and the wind catches you right in the face. With the first nips of wind bite into your jacket and the road begins to steepen, the real workout starts. Soon, although not soon enough, I hit the first switch back and let the wind now carry me up the road. Enjoying the synergy between the gusts send along the mountainside and I.
Unfortunately with one switchback comes more, and I am quickly spun right into the head wind. At one point I am hit with a particularly nasty gust that catches my wheel at just the wrong angle and threatens to tip me over, but just in time I manage to snag the guard rail to prevent a very embarrassing “dead cow” in the road. After the majority of the climbing comes to a close the view opens to the neighboring plateaus and I see the slight dusting of snow from the night before. I stop at a pullout to snap a quick picture, and either from the 5,000 feet of elevation or the gorgeous view I burst out laughing. This view, this feeling of accomplishment, this is why I choose to suffer through trees and up mountains. There is nothing more profound than this feeling, nothing like it in the world.
Day 6 (part 3): Games with PC and BSF by Sid
Today in the afternoon our BBNT community met up with Park City and BSF (Bozeman) to play some fun games such as basketball and soccer to get some exercise. All of the teams met up at a small playground in the middle of Red Lodge. First we lined up in alphabetical order from first name and divided everyone into 4 total teams. After that, we sent teams 1 and 3 to go play soccer against each other and sent 2 and 4 to play basketball. Over the time all of the teams were together we all made new friends and some of us strengthened our bonds with one another with the people we already knew. My team didn’t do so hot in the mini competition because we lost all of our games but at least everyone was outside getting sunshine and socializing rather than playing on their phones inside and not being social. I’m pretty proud of myself because I stuffed Ted about two times when he was going up for a layup in basketball. But Ted Yewer also contested me in the game. Also Ted and Kade Aldrich teamed up and sandwiched people to get the ball back. Especially me because I was one of the better ones on my team and I had the ball a lot. When my team played Jackson Neuhoff and Abram Brown they played really hard and whenever Jackson received the ball from a rebound he would chuck it to Abram and they would score almost every time they did that. Those were basically the highlights of the day that was spent with the other teams.