Living Here Will Make You Crazy
I“don’t think this is an unfamiliar pattern for many of us who have moved to the valley somewhere along our way: the outdoor adventures we used to think were for extreme crazy people are now just a regular summer weekend.”
We lived in Madison, Wisconsin, when we had our first baby. One morning at a mom’s group, another mom recounted the weekend she’d just spent tent camping with a four-month-old. I came home and said something like, “Can you imagine camping with a BABY? We’re hardly sleeping as it is; why in the world would you want to pack up half the nursery and spend the weekend in a tent with a BABY? That sounds awful. Absolutely awful.”
Well, fast forward five years, during which time we moved to Kalispell and had two more kids. Labor Day weekend of 2013 found my husband working and me camping, in a tent, with our 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 2-month-old. And I swear to you, that camping trip with a group of friends was a million times easier—and more enjoyable—than being home alone all weekend with an infant and two high-energy kids.
I don’t think this is an unfamiliar pattern for many of us who have moved to the valley somewhere along our way: the outdoor adventures we used to think were for extreme crazy people are now just a regular summer weekend. A passing interest in trail running or hiking evolves into checklists of loops, summits and traverses. We used to pay for a half-day whitewater rafting trip; now we own a 14-foot Aire with a bench seat that converts to a camping table. Between the activities we already enjoy and the things our friends do that we’d really like to get into, our family budgets now include a line item for “Gear.”
The Go Local team had a lot of fun putting together this “Play Outside” issue, from spotlighting Pete Costain, who turned his passion for mountain biking into a trail building company, to the varied and awesome personal adventure (and misadventure) stories in our Field Notes section. We get the inside scoop on the pros and cons of piecing together life as a seasonal employee and hear what it was like to go family camping “back in the day” before all the chichi accessories. And we look at the bigger picture of preserving the outside spaces we cherish, from how the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation is working to make the wilderness welcoming to everyone to what’s happening to the three forks of the Flathead, as well as the Flathead Lakers’ time-sensitive campaign to preserve Bad Rock Canyon. Thanks for grabbing a copy; now get out and enjoy this wonderful place we call home!
Katie Cantrell loves camping, non-motorized boats, trail running, and everything about the North Fork. Though nearly every attempt to play outside involves telling her kids to stop complaining and get in the car because this is actually going to be a lot of fun, she still looks forward to every season of adventure. Find more of her stories at katiecantrellwrites.com.
Go with the flow Pete Costain combined his lifelong love of mountain biking with his eye for the perfect line into Terraflow Trails.FEATUREPhil Grove Y ou know a flow trail when you ride it: There’s an effortlessness to it, the ability to float along the corners at...
Field NotesWilder-Cred A good day outdoors is the one that brings joy.Leah Carlburg I love to get outside. I started to say that I love adventure. But really, I do not love adventure as I will describe in this essay. I love to smell the woods and feel the sun and...
HeadwatersContemporary Nomad Reflections of a seasonal worker.Illustration by Isaac Passwater BENJAMIN ALVA POLLEY M ist fell on the river and wet our faces as Mike and I forded the North Fork of the Flathead, with January chunks of ice and slush bouncing off...