Just would like to reply to your comment on mountain bikers and bikes in wilderness, and your blanket assertions you have made regarding the mountain bike community. Please don't let two anecdotal incidents color your entire perception of an entire group of outdoor enthusiasts. If we let the irresponsible actions of a few define policy, then every user group would be denied access to all areas. Yes, I have been "almost injured" by other mt. bikers while I've been mt. biking myself. I have also been "almost injured" by horses while hiking and biking, and a hiker did really injure a friend while he was mt. biking at Lewis and Clark caverns this spring. After being told that mt. bikes are not allowed on the trail (they are), he was then pushed off the trail down into a ravine. The sheriff was there to meet the hikers when they returned to their car, whereupon they cowardly denied the incident. Should I, through your logic, take the same view about hikers and horseback riders, and opine that they should be excluded from using some areas (although I am a hiker as well, and I have good friends who are horseback riders and whose right to ride in wilderness and other areas I support)? The wilderness mandate (which is now apparently being extended to wilderness study areas as well) is hypocritical, as it allows the destructive use of horses under a "traditional use" clause, and has completely changed my view 180 degrees. I used to be a very strong wilderness supporter. Now I am not, due to the misguided actions of the groups and individuals who have proclaimed wilderness as theirs for their own particular use. No wonder the mt. bikers are concerned! Of course we will continue to oppose new wilderness designation as long as the hypocritical mandate is in effect! Also, it is the actions of people like you that have forced the mtb community to align themselves with the motorized use community, and of course that has nothing to do with wilderness as those areas have always prohibited motorized use. That was quite a stretch of logic.
If we want to try to create zones for each particular use, fine. We can have hiking wilderness areas, horseback wilderness areas, and mtb. wilderness areas clearly defined. But really the nature of the terrain is what dictates use. Many wilderness trails cover ground that is not suited for mountain biking. We stay away from those trails, by and large, leaving them for the hikers and horses. Perhaps better would be to create more trails that are appropriately suited to each use (although this will increase impact in the wilderness), and in areas where shared use is appropriate, we can all try to be more tolerant and friendly.
I would like to add that I strongly support roadless area protection. I also support the idea that some areas should be left off limits to people altogether, in some areas. I ask you to make me a wilderness area supporter once again, by creating recreational opportunities for quiet use of wilderness areas, as well as other trails, instead of limiting them.
See you on the trail,
Jake G., Belgrade, Montana (hiker, backpacker, wildlife watcher, berry picker, and yes, mountain biker)
Too bad, you could have shot that thing.
Did you encounter any wildlife on your trips to the Bighorn Crags?
Bear, Sheep, Goats, Elk, Wolves
This is beautiful country to be sure, and it was even more beautiful before it all burned back in 2000. I pick up sheds occasionally, but mostly I just go out for walks on the weekend. I found a pair of 6-point elk antlers on a ridge just north of here two years ago. On the weekend when I took that picture, there was a guy who had apparently gone back there with a pup tent and sleeping bag to spend six days hunting sheds. It must have been rough, as the temperature was down to 15 degrees that morning at the Clear Creek Campground.
Thank you, idhillsnhorns, for visiting and for your comments. I believe I took this photo looking east from our campsite at Fawn Creek. We had just floated the last 20 miles of the Middle Fork, turned the corner, did all the re-permitting stuff, and continued another 18 miles to this camp. A VERY long day!!
Neat picture. A couple of years ago there was a fire there that was started by some people with fireworks. The firefighters got it out before it spread too far. Are you a shed hunter by chance ?
my, my jp, you take some good pictures ;) Are there any bucks left this year?