Friday, December 26, 2008

I will not be eating pecan pie anytime soon.  I spent Christmas with what I can only think was food poisoning, and am home sick from work today.  Ick.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

I hope you're excited for Christmas.  Mullet is.

Friday, December 19, 2008

snow and snow

We did get the deep freeze after last weekend, and it wasn't that bad.  Something like -24 degree wind chills.  Easy.  It's been much worse in my years living in ND.  The Twin Cities really doesn't get that bad, although everyone would have you think it.  Don't get me wrong, the weather does get lethal, but the deep bitter cold of the ND prairies will take you out and then do it again.  The snow came after the cold, and it actually got to the point of hampering my bike commuting.  It wasn't that I couldn't ride in it, it was the motor vehicle missiles (people loosing control of their SUVs they feel so warm and cuddly and overconfident in.)  I just don't have a safe route to work after I get out of STP and into the suburbs, which are less bike friendly and built with only cars in mind.  So on the super slippery days, I may have to suck it up and start my pickup to get to work.  Sad.  I'm writing to the city and seeing if there is any way to lobby for safer bikeways over I-494, my trouble spot.  Right now the only way is a busy road, albeit with big shoulder, but still a shoulder that sees wiping out automobiles when it's slick.  
The good news with all the snow is that there is all the snow!  Skiing and snowshoeing and winter camping can start!  And of course indoor climbing will continue.  I will not be bored.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


So right now I'm sitting in my apartment, reading Ghost Trails, by Jill Homer, relaxing on a messy Sunday, and I checked the weather split between here in STP, and the old stomping grounds- Grand Forks, ND.  It's currently raining and starting to get colder.  30 degrees now, and we were almost at 40 today.  In Grand Forks, it's -12 degrees (F), with a wind chill of -45.  Gross.  Our turn for the deep cold will happen tomorrow morning, but I doubt it will be that bad.  Winter in the North.  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

MSH 08 summer climb

I never did blog about a great trip that happened earlier this year, so I thought since I'm inside recuperating from a big class I taught for the last two weeks I'd take a moment to write about it.  It's been somewhere around a decade since I first had the chance to climb Mount Saint Helens.  I thought I'd return, this time with Alison and our friend Ty.  Mid-summer we headed out to Portland and drove up to the mountain.  When we arrived, it was typical summer weather for MSH- hot, sunny, and dry.  Wear your sun-screen.  We enjoyed a good free campsite, ate a good meal over a fire, filtered all the water we needed, and even had a couple beers chilled in a nearby snowbank.  We talked to a couple other climbers, who had also heard the news we had on the way out to the mountain- tomorrow would bring rain.  Bummer, but not a no-go yet.  In the morning, we awoke early as planned to head out on the climb as planned.  But getting out of the tent we saw what we had already heard as soon as we woke up- lots of rain, and very low visibility.  We were sill below treeline at our camp, but cloud line was much lower on the mountain and we were well inside the storm that had enveloped the mountain.  Many climbers we turning down the mountain before starting.  But still many were going.  I should also mentioned that over 5 times as many climbers as normally allowed on the route we were taking were given permits that day due to a reservation computer glitch.  So even with the terrible weather, more climbers were on Monitor Ridge (our route) that most days in the peak season.  We decided that since we could continually see that posts marking the ridge route, and since we were GPS-equipped, we'd give it a try.  Although it is normally referred to as a "climb", Monitor Ridge is truly just a "strenuous hike and scramble", so we didn't have to worry about carrying technical gear.  We followed the route past the treeline, through most of the boulder fields that mark the second third of the route, and stopped just prior to the last third, which is a pumice slope that leads to the crater rim.  With sideways winds, constant soaking rains,  and no view to enjoy, there really wasn't any point to push to the summit other than to extend the wait until dinner (seafood back in Portland).  Even though we didn't top out, I enjoyed the challenge.  If you know me, you realize that I don't like to sit idle, and things that push me outside and even cause discomfort seem to be my relaxation.  A tough soggy day on the mountain is better than a comfortable day spent in a cubicle.   Highlights:

Camp at the base of MSH:

About to enter the gross weather and start slogging upwards...

Monitor Ridge under rainfall (some climbers can be made out):

Who ordered this storm??

5.10a for Alison!

Alison climbed her first 5.10a at the gym this week!  Like I said earlier, VE has been good for our climbing, seeing as we live in a very cold northern locale now and the outdoor climbing is not accessible many months of the year, nor is it close to home.  It's been great to see her get stronger, and she's now climbing routes that give me a run from time to time.  Sweet.  Great job, babe!  

Friday, December 05, 2008

It's on.

Cycle-commute into work this morning:  8 degrees.  Headwind bringing a -5 degree windchill.  Dark of course.  Now the snow is falling.  Winter.  Bring it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Regular Climbing

For some reason I haven't mentioned on my blog that Alison and I joined the indoor rock climbing gym here in STP: Vertical Endeavors.  It's been great to have regular easy access to climbing.  We can even go after work, which is pretty hard to do outside in MN considering the drive required.  It's given me the chance to actually improve, rather than remain at the same climbing ability for the reason that it was so infrequent for me to get the chance to go.  I'd say I was comfortable climbing up to 5.9, with the ability to pull out a 5.10a once and a while when I got ambitious.  Not particularly impressive considering I've climbed over a decade now.  I'm now occasionally onsighting a 5.10d, and working on breaking the 5.11a barrier.  If you're not familiar with climbing grades, here is a descent description if you're bored sometime.  5.11a is certainly not among the grades being considered "hard" by good climbers these days, but for a guy with a job and a wife and bills and a biking habit who doesn't climb that much, 5.11a is pretty hard.  I'll be quite please to accomplish that grade, and I think I will pretty soon if I keep at it.  Plus, it should be noted that grades are completely subjective to who set the route, local opinion, type of rock (or gym), type of climb (steep face, crack, dihedral, roof, chimney, etc., blah blah blah), so yeah, it depends.  But 5.11a is still hard for me.  :)  Sweet.

A goal...

For several years, I've been tossing around an idea in the back of my mind.  One of those "dude, it would be sweet to actually do that" things that an outdoorsy guy thinks about when it's dark and cold outside and he's dreaming of the next few trips to put together.  It may not be the same type of trip that many dream up, but it's something I've wanted to do based on my background.  I'm from North Dakota, and I'm a slightly obsessive cyclist.  I have a touring bike.  I love to camp.  I love covering a lot of ground on two wheels.  One only has to connect the dots to see that I need to cross my home state on my Long Haul Trucker.  I think 2009 will be the season.  It's an odd time for me to decide to tour across a state, seeing as it just started snowing to commence the long nasty St Paul, MN winter, but it's never bad to set a goal, even if it's a ways out.  I think as far as touring goes it will be a fairly easy one to put together.  I'd really prefer to cross epic miles going coast to coast, or UT to AK, or something of the sort, but work is just always there ruining those types of semi-rational thoughts.  So, something simpler, yet still noteworthy, such as crossing a state is a start.  I haven't begun to plan any routes or made any official plans, but I've decided to give it a real go this next year.  Hopefully whatever life has coming will allow the goal to materialize and be met.  That's all for now, just needed to write it down.  Goals work better if you write them down and people can harass you about them.  :)  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Afternoon of one-speed wanderings...

The past couple days I've spent indoors, working, relaxing, and taking in the Banff Film Fest.  It was time to get outside before the work week interrupts again.  I called up Nate and we headed out for an urban singlespeed ride, as the local MORC-maintained mtb singletrack is going through a lot of freeze/thaw cycles and is too delicate to ride without tearing it up.  We started by rolling down the center boulevard of historic Summit Ave here in STP, which actually does have dirt singletrack, and it wasn't muddy at all.  From there we turned south, dropped down to the Mississippi River bottoms and rode the rocky shoreline, taking a breif stop to check out Hidden Falls, which wasn't falling enough for a picture, then ended up cruising the gravel roads of Fort Snelling State Park.  We ate, then took off for Minnehaha Falls on the way up the Minneapolis side of the river.  It was running slowly, and has started it's process of icing over for the long winter.  Paved bike path, (and some secret singletrack that was also dry enough) brought us back to Summit and then home.  Seeing as we made an awful lot of stops to try riding over obstacles we found with our 29 inch wheels, and took a lot of round about explorations of paths/singletrack/backroads along the way, and just generally gawked at the beautiful early winter day, we managed to spend four hours out.  So in other words, a good singlespeed ride with no where in particular to go and no real time constraints.  Yup.  

The KM and Minnehaha Falls...

Mississippi River...

Secret Singletrack...don't bother looking for it, it's probably a whole .2 miles long.  :)

Surly and River.  Good afternoon.  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Karate Monkey!

Yeah, so ever since I moved to UT and sold my Surly 1x1 which I used to live on, I've been missing it.  The decision to see was based on the fact that riding a singlespeed in UT is nothing short of painful.  Everything involves long climbs, followed by rocky fast descents.  Riding rigid and singlespeed is a poor choice.  Not saying it can't be done, I just saw a one-speed Surly on Porcupine Rim (on the trip discussed two blog entries ago), but it takes a special kind of crazy (I have it on some days, but then I just look at my full suspension rock-eating efficient FSR and come back to the real world.)  At the time it made sense to switch to geared riding.  It did, and it was a good choice.  But then we quickly moved back to the midwest, and my lack of rigid steel  singlespeed (read- winter ready stead as well) has been driving me nuts.  I had the perfect rig for the Twin Cities- heck, Surly is headquartered here.  Well, I surfed and surfed craigslist and eBay for a loooong time, and I'm happy to say I found the perfect deal.  I'm the smiling owner of a barely (seriously- it's in great shape) 22" Surly Karate Monkey.  Mighty fine bike.  The guy I bought it from pretty much gave it to me, as he works for Quality Bike Products, and built the thing for cost I'm sure.  So yeah, be jealous of my find.  :)  It's set up as the single speed 29er it is popularly found as, but the guy also just threw in (here, have a bunch of free money) a nine speed drivetrain if I choose to gear it.  I may, the further into the winter headwinds we get, but I'm enjoying simple riding and little maintenance.  Plus, I found I'm able to hit Ramsey Hill (local lung buster- it's way wussy compared to UT though) on it single, so I can't really say the gears are necessary.  I have to say it took me back riding it the other night in the cold temps singlespeeding through the dark.  Felt like years past on the 1x1.  Good.  Many an adventure will be had atop the Karate Monkey.  I'm not selling it if I move to the mountains.  :)  Keep your paws off.  

The old 1x1, shown in a common storage place, a messy Grand Forks apartment full of bikes and gear. 

The end of my grieving :)  -the new Karate Monkey, enjoying a lap at Lebanon Hills...

Banff Mountain Film Festival

Last night, Alison and I attended the first of two nights (going again tonight) of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, currently visiting Midwest Mountaineering in Mpls.  Makes for a sweet night out.  It's a collection of award winning outdoor films from the main festival in Banff.  If you've never checked anything like this out before, it's totally worth the cost (which really isn't the worst considering what we all pay to go to the friggin' Olive Garden without blinking an eye).  Go sometime, enjoy.  It's entertainment even if you aren't the running around outside yourself type.  Cool to see what people are doin' out there.

Monday, November 17, 2008

MTB'ing Moab, OCT '08

October brought a long awaited return to Moab.  It’s not that I haven’t been there within the past couple years, cuz I have, but not to mountain bike, which was the purpose of this latest venture.  One might say that riding fat tires in Moab is the principle reason to go there.  Probably, but I’d say the climbing is mighty fine too.  Didn’t do that this time, but didn’t find the trip lacking either.  Seeing as it’s so damn expensive to fly with my bike (NWA will let me bring 100lbs of crap between two checked bags plus a carry on and personal item as an employee, but a 50 lb bike case by itself is apparently unacceptable), I rented from Poison Spider Bicycles, a local bike shop in Moab, and I think one of the best (although Moab is small there are somewhere around 7 quality shops due to the enormity of riding culture there.)  I rented a Trek Fuel EX7, which I’d have to rate as adequate for the job, but not as cool as my Stumpjumper which was hanging up at home wondering why.  The West is what it’s made for.  Sad.  That aside, the riding was as I remember it- stellar.    We (myself, Kelly, and friends from MN- Nate and Emily)  rode Amasa Back the first day, and took it further than I have in past years.  We didn’t just top out on the initial climb as normal, but continued along the top of the Mesa that leads out above the Colorado river and eventually overlooks the mines of Potash, which in my visit two years ago Alison, Ty, and I rode out to via road bikes.  It was a different view from what I think was a couple thousand feet above.  You never can quite tell unless some topo map or local can tell you for sure.  But you can surely tell it’s damn high and straight down.  I enjoyed the climb up, having been without long, technical climbs that I got used to living in Northern UT.  We sessioned a few hard rock piles, mostly failing but loving each try.  The biggest challenge for me this trip was breathing.  I’m am again a Midwesterner that can’t breath at altitude.  It really hits you.  The descent was a blast, but I’m going to have to say that Poison Spider didn’t watch the pads on my disc brakes very well, as they were less than ideal at high speeds.  Not what you want on technical rocky terrain.  I was pinching my fingers between brake lever and bar before getting enough stopping power.  Not comfortable.  I compensated the next day by moving the levers in so as to pull on the very ends, and it did the trick.  Still, give an expensive rental pad that aren’t super worn.  Come on.   They’ve always been wonderful shop so I’ll let that one go.  I still bought a t-shirt.  J  The next day brought the biggest push.  For the first time (since we all have jobs now), we took the shuttle van far up into the La Sal mountains to ride down from Hazard to meet up with Porcupine Rim, which I’ve blogged about before as my favorite trail ever ridden.  Still is, but I have even more respect for it’s harshness after this trip.  The La Sal trails (which I don’t even remember the names of) were a reminder of Wasatch riding- fast high altitude (translation, lung busting) gravely singletrack with lots of baby-heads (small round rocks protruding from the ground, which I know is horrible term, but it is what it is) and sharp rocks as well.  Basically, a great place for suspension and the right tires.    I miss that feeling of getting tired from descending.  Not possible in MN.  Maybe in the ND Badlands, but probably not.  The day saw over 6,000 vertical feet of downward travel on two wheels over many many rocks.  To use a slightly overused term in most mtb circles- epic.  After the alpine singletrack of the La Sals, we transitioned to the Upper Porcupine Singletrack, or UPS trail, which is technically not supposed to be ridden (BLM disputes I think), but if you know where it’s at, which one of us did, and you follow that person, no one’s around to see you ride it.  And you have fun.  It’s basically an extension off the top of Porcupine Rim, and way worth the ride.  But be careful, there’s a lot of places you could disappear and not be found for a while, the trail follows the Rim, which is quite tall, so don’t try to be a hero.  No when to walk your bike, as is good advice in Moab in general.  Also, if you crack yourself along the trail in general, it’s a helicopter ride or a long long super miserable hike out, which will end in the dark for sure.  Porcupine Rim in and of itself was still there, the same trail I’ve raved about.  But I’ve never ridden it after already descending so far and thus with already blistered hands.  I looked down at one point to see blood coming through my glove.  One blister decided to open up.  Didn’t hurt until the next day, but looked pretty ugly.  My blister was not the injury of the day.  The trail bit hard at only 1.75 miles to go till the finish at the Colorado River.  Emily had the biggest endo I’ve seen to date in person.  Her front tire washed out to the left on some sand, and she fell to the right, and over a 12 foot cliff onto rock upside down with bike on top.  Bad news.  15 feet in all after starting atop her bike.  She was super tough through the whole thing; not a tear shed.  And Kelly, being an EMT from his ski patrol experienced was able to figure out her condition.  It was lucky.  She could have easily broken her pelvis, which out in the backcountry can lead to death by way of internal bleeding, but did not.  She came out with a badly bruised sacrum (the end of your pelvis).   We did get a walk-out search and rescue ordered, and the trip from crash to ER was around 4 hours.  Not bad for coming off the Rim.  But it was a bummer for her to have to close out such as great ride with a huge crash.  We’re all glad she’s ok though, to state the obvious.   Moab does at least have to tasty eats, and we were able to shake off the excitement with some good food and brew.  We hoteled it for the night so Emily didn’t have to put up with tents and 35 degrees injured, and drove back to SLC in the morning.  Getting back to MN was an adventure too with reduced flights and non-revenue status; it took two days and we missed a day of work.  Well, in the words of Office Space, “I wouldn’t say we were missing it.”  J  Long story short, wonderful trip with a sting in the middle.  Go to Moab.  Ride huge, but respect the wildness of UT.  Do your best to stay upright, and don’t take the battle with gravity too far.   

Pictures, in pretty much reverse chronological order...

At the top of Amasa Back...

"The blister" that's descending till it hurts...

Bummer...hey, that's a sweet Intense 5.5 you crashed...

SAR walk out...

There's a Christmas card shot...Nate and Emily

There's the Castle Valley mesas and Casselton Tower down there (usually you're saying up there)

One UT hardman and three MN heavy breathers at 9,500 feet.  :)  No, I'm not as fat and my jacket blowing the wind eludes.  :)

Shuttles and a whole lot of money in full suspension bikes...

The "stairs" at the beginning of Amasa back.  I've sucessfully ridden down them a few times, and believe or not, Kelly has nearly successfully ridden UP.  Nice.

Chillin' above Potash...

Resting on top red rock and below the La Sals.  I love Moab.

Sessioning on Amasa Back...

More of the same...makes for an excellent afternoon.  Screw cubicles.  

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yeah, so you may be thinking- "Ben, your blog sure has sucked lately."  Your right.  But it's not due to my lack of having anything to write about.  I've had quite a bit of fun the past month, including a Moab trip and a bike purchase.  You'd think I'd have updated on that.  I haven't though, because of my addiction to fun.  You see, I've been working a lot of hours at my job too, and during the time I actually have off I tend to bike or climb, or travel to bike or climb.  This ends up meaning that I don't write.  Bummer.  I do intend to update you all with the latest adventures soon, but as of tonight I still have to keep you waiting.  That is if you haven't abandoned the habit of checking treadnorth already.   Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall MTB ride in MN...

Had a great fall mountain bike ride in the fall colored forests of MN yesterday with Nate and Emily Goltz.  It was an odd day for October, being that the leaves were a brilliant fall showing, but we were riding with temps in the upper seventies, and got to ride out a small isolated thunderstorm.  Made for muddy last few miles, but hey, what mountain biker doesn't like getting completely dirty once and a while?  Sometimes I forget what a sweet mountain bike I have living here in MN.  I think it may be my favorite ride if I were still living in Bountiful, but the riding here is sparse.  What exists is fun, I'll give it that, but there is no where near the experience to be found here as in UT.  Which brings to mind that I'm headed to Moab this week!  Yes, it's been a couple years now and it's time to return.  I'll be heading out this Tuesday night and returning Sunday, getting a much needed break from work.  I've worked so many extra hours this summer on a special project that I basically have an extra week of vacation built for this year.  Not bad.  So it's off to ride in the old Spring Break stomping grounds of southern UT.  We'll probably get a bit of bouldering in in SLC, and crack climbing while in Moab as well.  That's the good life.  I'll give you a report when I get back.  And oh yeah, the Alaska blogs aren't finished yet either.  I've only bothered to write about half that trip yet.  Man am I distracted.  As you were...

One of the obstacles at Murphey Hanrehan Regional Park, MN...

Emily singlespeeding through the fall colors...

Nate showboating through the fall colors.  :)  Approved.

Mud anybody?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Making beer...

I decided to pick up yet another hobby this summer, as I'm someone who doesn't sit idle well.  This time it follows my love of food and drink, the latter being the current subject.  There is extremely well stocked and knowledgeable home brewing supply store here on Grand Ave in St Paul, and I decided after reading up on the hobby to try it out.  Glad I did.  I had a great deal of fun learning how the beer making process goes, and brewing my first batch.  I chose an EPA ingredient kit modeled after St Paul's flagship Summit EPA.  I like a great tasting brew just like a great tasting meal, and I think I'm hooked on brewing my own for a while.  It ended up costing me around 64 cents per home-brewed beer (after the equipment), which is a fantastic price for great beer.  Stop by sometime if you know me well and I'd be happy to treat you too a glass- it turned out great and has gotten rave reviews from everyone I've shared it with so far.  For now, enjoy the pix of the process:

Steeped grains:

Prepping the primary fermentor- Mullet did not trust all the hoses and containers for a second, but he sure was interested in the whole process:

Right after pitching the yeast into the cooled wort and sealing the fermentor:

Bottling with Ty after a few weeks of waiting:

Headwaters 100 Year 2008

I rode my strongest century this past Saturday.  It was at the yearly Headwaters 100 in Park Rapids, MN.  This one's become a yearly tradition for me and some of my road buddies.  Role call this year ran pretty thin; only myself and friend Nate Goltz showed from the old crew which numbered around 6 or 7 depending on years.  Nate is running the Twin Cities Marathon this coming weekend, so he elected to ride the 45 mile short option of the event, so I rode the full miles mostly solo.  Some guys Nate went to law school with showed for that one though, so I shared a few miles with them.  
I can tell all the commuting (18 miles roundtrip) from my St Paul apartment to my Eagan workplace is paying off.  I've also been adjusting the amount I eat on longish rides, and it's working.  I felt strong at the finish this year and sprinted the last couple miles at 22 mpg.  Those who know me realize that I usually don't end that strong, so it felt great.  I'm getting the sick urge to go bigger next year and move beyond the realm of century rides into a 150-200
 mile one-day ride.  We'll see.    

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MN mini tour..

Well, this happened back in June, but I've been meaning to blog it since then.  I finally used my Surly for something other than riding to work.  Every time I loaded it up with office clothes, the same old lunch, and commuter garb, I could hear my touring bike growl a little.  A nine mile jaunt through suburbia only to sit in the corner of my windowless office for who knows how many hours is not a way to treat touring bike nor rider.  So I finally got it loaded up with camping gear and ventured out of town.  Actually, I drove the first couple miles cuz I was short on time and it was the only way to get as far away from the city as I'd intended.  I took the Gateway Trail from just outside St. Paul to the highways of Washington County, MN, then on to Interstate State Park on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.  It was hot and sticky, as are many MN summer days, but it was nice to get out and ride, have a fire, sleep in a tent, not work, etc.  I intend on more touring; I don't know with the falls schedule already filling if I'll get the Surly out of town overnight again in '08 but more trips will follow.  Touring a great distance (ocean to ocean, or UT to AK are possibilities) is still on my "bucket list".  Most people have some of those type of lifelong intentions, and few make it happen.  The sad statistics make me realize it may be the type of thing to force into happening if you can find the right way.  Still thinking.  Still time.  If I get to 50 and haven't done it it'll be time to drop everything and go.  But for now, a night out in MN was fun:

My two workhorses.  I prefer the two-wheeled option, but the other tends to get me to UT quicker under tighter timeframes.  :)

In Washington  County, MN...

Gentle descent down to Marine on St. Croix...

Campsite along the St. Croix River...

The combination of campfires and bikes will always make me smile.  It was a good day...

AK day 3

We continued on further into the park on the third day in Denali.  This is done by purchasing a ticket to ride the park bus system (the only way to get past mile 15 of the 90 mile park road).  It takes several hours to travel into the park as the road is gravel, rugged, and slow.  Sweet.  Anyhow, we chose to head in all the way to the Eilson Visitor Center, which is near the bottom of Denali itself (Mt McKinley to those who disregard it's proper native name- we European types are good at barging in and claiming/renaming things which are already established).  Our route took us past a lot of fantastic alpine tundra scenery full of small to very large wildlife.  Caribou, Dall Sheep, Grizzlies, Marmots, Moose, Ptarmigan, Fox, and lots of flying things I couldn't define.  It was so great to see a part of the earth that is mainly undeveloped (save for the one gravel road we traveled to the visitor center- which has little services of any kind other than educational displays and restrooms.)  The rest of the park is pretty much as it always has been for this era.  We didn't get to see Denali, which was shrouded in cloud.  We were told that it had only been visible 4 days in the past two months.  It's typical to have to make several trips to the Park to see the mountain, since it's cloudy/raining much of the summer.  It's hard to imagine we were standing under a 20,000 ft mountain and couldn't tell, but that's about it.  I really want to go back and see it hulking over me; sunset is the dream.  

A hike down a gulch by the Eilson Visitor Center revealed that we were in moose territory:

Other hikers passing up through the brush back to the visitor center:

Never seems to be a "quick" way to hike in AK; good thing Alison has a purple backpack:

Don't let the expression fool you, I like some kinds of hardship, liking bushwhacking AK!

Overlooking braided rivers flowing off the Polychrome Glaciers:

Alison taking in Polychrome Pass.  The world is bigger than us my friends....

Polychrome Pass area:

Difficult to spot, but here you have it- a mother Grizzly and two cubs...look for the blond dots...

View where you could normally look up and see 20,000 ft of mountain.  Not this time...