Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wild Horse Island sunset

Here's a picture of the sun going down behind Wild Horse Island. I didn't know what else to call this post. I like to cruise in the shade of the east shore of the island at the end of a warm summer day. There were some unusual clouds in the sky.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Planet Flathead

I always feel like I'm on the edge of the planet at Flathead Lake.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

Stella 10 speed bicycle

When I was growing up my parents gave me a series of bikes. Some new and some used. My first speed bike was a hardware store 10 speed made by Nishiki under a different brand. The first time I shifted the gears on it I was hooked on cycling and realized the potential. I rode that bike on several distance rides, including to Flathead Lake and back from Missoula several times, a trip of 100 miles in one direction. I used to look down and see my shadow like this for hours upon hours.

I had several mechanical breakdowns with that first speed bike including the Shimano rear derailleur just falling apart out on the highway miles from Missoula. I rigged it so it would stay in one gear and rode 40 or 50 miles like that, but that was the last straw. (I haven't been a big fan of Shimano since actually) I think I was a 7th grader at the time. So my dad took me to Braxton's Bike shop in Missoula and bought me a decent French 10 speed bike. This yellow Stella SX6 10 speed. They supported me in my distance cycling and I think they were worried about my bike breaking down. This bike never let me down.

I had been wanting a Gitane as that was the cool bike to have at the time, but Sam Braxton took a look at me and sold us this Stella instead. I remember I didn't have much choice in the matter. It was yellow though, and yellow was my favorite color, plus it was French and a little more exclusive than a Gitane actually. Braxton said that I'd grow into this bike and it would last me for years. Those words have proven to be true. It fits me perfectly all these years later and is still a pleasure to ride. I think about Sam Braxton every time I ride this bike. There's a little white sticker on the top of the seat tube that says Assembled by Braxton Missoula Montana.

I have made a few changes to it and of course it's not my only bike, but it's pretty much the same as it was. I got a longer stem and new bars. I wore the wheels out and had Dennis Sparrow build a new set way back when. And I mowed lawns for a summer to buy that Stronglight 99 crank at the cost of $75, quite a bit of money for a crank back then. I think Stella was named after the builders wife, but it means star and I like the star in the crank. Notice the old school Christophe toe clips.
That crank has a 45 tooth "small" ring on the fron BTW. That makes Sunny Slope Hill out of Polson a bit of a pull on this bike at the end of a long day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Boathouse picture

From outside of the bubble to inside of the boathouse.. Here's a picture from inside of my boathouse... It's sort of a boathouse still life. Those outboard motors have been still for years. A guy can't have too many outboards in my opinion, working or not...

The one on the top is a Johnson and the one on the bottom is a Sea King.

I retain the rights to all of my photos.  Please do not use without permission.

Dayton Montana and Flathead Lake

Dayton Montana on Flathead Lake. Wild Horse Island is on the right. They just put a few more horses on the island for people to see when they go for a hike there. Until this winter they were down to one old horse. It was a one horse island. I saw it a while back and he didn't look that wild, but you have to have wild horses on Wild Horse Island. There are Bighorn Sheep and Mule deer on the island as well as other wild animals. I guess they could call it Wild Animal Island the next time they run out of horses...

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tourist Season in Montana

A bumper sticker I saw in Western Montana. I took a chance getting this picture actually. I'm sure I looked a little like a tourist standing there with my camera...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sailing on Flathead Lake

I had my first sailing of the summer on Flathead Lake over the weekend. It was pretty good as nobody was on Big Arm Bay. There was a lot of pine pollen in the water and I love that as it reminds me of my youth. There was also a lot of drift wood. Here's a picture of what I saw looking forward of the Hobie Cat with Chief Cliff in the distance.

Here's a picture looking up at the rig. You can see that my mainsail isn't downhauled enough causing the horizontal wrinkles. I have a hard time downhauling the main with my new sails. Plus I started pointing up into the wind as I took this pic causing the tell tails to flutter up. (the little ribbon in front of the triangle on the sail) It should be flying straight back if the sail is in proper trim.

Here's a picture looking aft with Big Arm in the distance. There wasn't much wind but I was moving right along on my Hobie 16. Hobie Cats are much faster than other sailboats and it makes them really fun to sail. Plus you can blow by very wealthy people in expensive yachts. That makes me feel good as I only spent $500 for my old Hobie. :)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Boating to Wild Horse Island

I made my first boat trip of the year to Wild Horse Island. Sailboats were returning to spend the night in Skeeko Bay.

I beached the skiff for a while and fished from shore. Everything was just as I left it except now all the plants were green and the island had a wonderful smell. I could hear a grouse drumming somewhere on the hill. They flap their wings to call a mate.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Pine tree in bloom

I noticed a pine tree in Montana that was in bloom. Soon yellow pine pollen will be floating in Flathead Lake and the other northwest mountain lakes. It's an image I've known my whole life, that yellow stuff floating in the lakes and sometimes it can be seen at a distance floating in the air above the trees.

I retain the rights to all of my photos.  Please do not use without permission.