05 February 2007

The Moulton Journal: a new skier

Some people are like squirrels, hiding away information about their favorite activities the way squirrels hide nuts. I enjoy what I do, and if others are interested, then I like to help them get into it. Thoreau said, "In wilderness is the preservation of the world." I would modify that to, "In nature is our salvation." So I'm a bit messianic about getting others to do outdoors-stuff. Of course, don't ask me just where a I shot my last elk ("Just above the heart.") or where I caught my last mess of trout ("Right in the lip, everyone of 'em.").
Howard Smith lives out on the Moulton Road, just below the ski trails. He downhill skied while living in Germany, but his cross country thing on skinny skies is new to him. We hunt together once in awhile, and I've been urging him to ski. He gets a lot of exercise walking back and forth from his house to the barn to tend his horses, but winter in Montana needs to be more than that or shooting the neighbor dogs for bothering his chickens

Here's Howard on Big Flat (aka Moonlight Flats); his house is on the ridge more-or-less in the center of the photo.

And here he is on a downhill run. I've loaned him my old Karhu fishscale skis with a big sturdy set of 3-pin telemark boots. A little slow, but a very stable set-up.

One of the pleasures of teaching something is that the teacher gains new perspectives. In this case, I slowed down and appreciated some aspects of The Moulton that usually blur past in my aerobic haste--like this old trail sign, one of the few remaining original signs made by Dave Carter with a woodburning kit. Another shotgun blast or two, and it'll become just a memory.

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