Fifth Annual Robin Cox Memorial Weed Roundup – Update

Weed Wranglers

2013 Weed Wranglers

Come and join your neighbors at the NFLA’s Fifth Annual Robin Cox Memorial Weed Roundup this coming Wednesday, July 30th. Everyone will meet at Sondreson Hall at 10AM and the event should end around 2:30PM. Here is the schedule:

10 to 10:15 rolls and coffee
10:15 -11:00. Steve Robinson-Flathead County Weed Dept – sign up for free consultation /What to do if reported for weeds on your property.
11:00 Landowners share success stories.
12:00 Lunch
12:30. Dawn LaFleur – GNP Restoration Botanist on rev egging your land with natives
1:00 TrisHoffman USFS Weed Specialist weed talk
1:30. Experts will ID your weeds. Please bring weeds in tightly closed plastic bag

This event is hosted by Valerie Cox. Come learn about weeds and take action.

North Fork Garden Tour on Monday, August 4

During early August the last few years, the NFLA has sponsored a North Fork Garden Tour. People have had the opportunity to visit different gardens and ask questions about growing food, flowers, herbs, and native plants in the North Fork. Each garden host serves snacks to the visitors. If you have a garden that you would like to show, please email Debo at to be placed on this year’s tour.

There will be more information about where and when to meet later on in the week on NF News and announced at the NFLA meeting on Saturday.

Important NFLA meeting in August – Reminder

This is a reminder that there is an important NFLA meeting scheduled for this Saturday, August 2nd, where officers will be elected and proposed bylaw changes voted on.  The meeting at Sondreson Hall starts at 8PM and the elections will take place around 9PM.  Please bring a snack to share with your neighbors.  You can get more information about this meeting on the NFLA website.

Day 8 as a Volunteer Lookout

Monday, July 28

Unawah Mountain where I saw a lightning strike a few days agoAlthough I was expecting another blue-sky day, I woke to grey stratus clouds that covered most of the sky. Last night I could see a tiny light that was Rich’s campfire in Silver Basin. This morning, the smoke from their campfire was the only sign that they were there.

Unlike lookouts who serve for an entire season and get regular supply deliveries by pack train, all of the volunteer lookouts at Baptiste send up their boxes of supplies at the beginning of the season on one pack trip. Because the trail to Baptiste had not been accessible by mules until recently, the boxes of the first volunteers were carried up by fire fighters before we got here. Last night when Rich unloaded all of the supplies that his mules had hauled, I failed to notice that most of it was the gear for the next volunteer lookouts that will follow me. These boxes and gear bags had to be moved into the lookout this morning. I was relieved that a bear had not eaten everyone’s food during the night.

Volunteer supplies and gear copyEven before the morning weather report, I started hauling the nine heavy boxes and gear bags up 41 steep steps. Some were so heavy that I had to rest them on every other step as I made my way up. After nine trips and much panting, all of the supplies were in the lookout. The next task was to figure out how to store it. After some re-arranging, I found room for most of it under the bed and the work table.
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Hiker-Bear Incident Investigation Continues

An investigation regarding a hiker-bear incident that happened in Glacier National Park on Saturday, July 26, is ongoing. The Mt. Brown Lookout Trail remains closed for investigation purposes. Park personnel are monitoring the area for a bear that is believed to be injured as a result of the incident. Park visitors are encouraged to report any sighting of an injured bear to a nearby park ranger or visitor center. Routinely, park visitors are encouraged to notify a park ranger of any bear sighting within the park.   Continue reading

Pine beetle infestation not over yet

The Daily Inter Lake reports that while the mountain pine beetle epidemic has passed its peak, Montana forestry officials said Monday it’s not over yet. The latest survey shows more than 526,000 acres of pine trees in the state were infested with the beetle in 2013, officials told the Board of Land Commissioners.  Read the full story here.

Upgraded my Hughesnet – Update

We upgraded our Hughesnet earlier this month from a 7000 modem to a 9000 and got a new plan called Gen4 “Power”. Although we had some initial problems (the system shut itself down about four times a day), Hughesnet customer support was prompt and we got the problem fixed within a week of calling it in without any charge.  So as of today, we’re really pleased with the upgrade.  It’s faster and cheaper… what more can you ask for?

If you are thinking about going with Hughesnet or upgrading , give Juan Rivera-Strandberg from Frontier Satellite Northwest a call at 406-668-0458 #Ext102 or email him at Check with Hughesnet first to see what sort of specials they have going, then call Juan and see if he can match or improve on the offer.  Going through Juan directly might be the better option.

Following are some more details.

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Day 7 as a Volunteer Lookout

Sunday, July 27

Suzanne and Richard Hildner relaxing and telling stories in Baptiste LookoutThe day dawned clear and bright. Breakfast was a festive occasion this morning with friends who had stayed overnight. Suzanne cooked pancakes with the huckleberries that she and Richard had picked on their way up the day before. They had packed in butter and maple syrup to top it off. The pancakes tasted so good that we all ate way too many!

When we were all sitting around talking in the lookout last evening, Richard had casually drawled “Don’t ya think you should call in that smoke over there?” With a look of shock on my face, I jumped up to look where he was pointing…….until I realized that he was yanking my chain. Richard entertained us with stories about clearing the Baptiste helispot 49 years ago during his first season with the Forest Service. Later that summer, he and some other guys who were stationed at Betty Creek decided to hike up to Baptiste Lookout after dark with only one headlamp. They slept a few hours in the lookout and hiked back down to go to work at 8am. This story reminded us about how crazy we were as young people. Continue reading

MagoGuide showing at Secrest Studio’s art show

MagoGuide will be joining other local artists at the Secrest Studio’s 6th Annual Art Show on August 1. Morgan Hart of MagoGuideHere is your chance to meet author Morgan Hart who will be signing copies of all three of his books.

And if you’ve enjoyed the photos on and, here is your chance to meet photographer Patti Hart and see some of her favorite photographs including a Montana classic and produce from a North Fork garden.

For more information about the art show including times and an address, see this post.

Secrest Studio’s 6th Annual Art Show – UPDATE!

6th Annual Secrest Studio Art ShowThis is a reminder that Secrest Studios is hosting its 6th Annual Art Show on Friday, August 1st, from 4-8PM at 14045 North Fork Road, Polebridge, MT.  This year Lee Secrest, artist in residence at the Secrest Studio, will be featuring wood designs.  In addition, works of visiting artists will also be on sale. Come join your neighbors and friends for some wine, d’oeuvres, and beautiful local art.  For more information call (406) 253-­‐7362 or email  You can also download a flyer: 6th Annual Secrest Studio Art Show.