We left the heavy smoke behind in Bozeman & Livingston but you can still see it in the photos

Most of the holiday weekend was spent in my studio and office.  I don’t mind – at all.  Friday I played hooky to join a batch of girlfriends for a bit of mountain biking in the Tobacco Root Mountains.  Neva and Shannon (visiting from California) were leaving town the next day and we just HAD to get out and play!

On the trail (well actually Neva was in the bushes puking)

The Jefferson River nearby offered a refreshing finale after we crossed the railroad tracks and crawled under a barbwire fence.   We disturbed several large crayfish while wading into the shallow river.  I laid down in the frigid slow current – tingly then numb.  Later that evening mom and I watched an eerie impressive moonrise after dinner and grocery shopping together.  The moon was HUGE – puffed up 4-5 times its normal size; perhaps an attempt to outdo the oppressive heavy forest fire smoke.

I met Felicia in the late afternoon Monday to climb Britney Spears Arete after putting in a productive eight hours of work.  We were efficient and motivated to get the climb in before sundown.  A loud gusher, the creek in the narrow steep Emigrant Gulch is animated even this late in the season.  Zaydee leapt ahead of us during the forty-minute approach up the steep scree slope to the base of the artete.  Covered with soft deep green moss and multi-colored lichen – the multi-pitch climb is rarely done despite the fine aesthetic qualities.  We went from the truck to the top and back in less than 2 hours.  Sweet.

Top of Britney Spears Arete

The extra “spoonful of sugar” in our holiday outing was dinner and a soak at Chico Hot Springs on the way home; a cherry-topped ending to a labor-filled weekend.

Zaydee checks out the view while I gear up at the base of the climb