Keeping busy in Chains

Finding sanity within the panic



Outside Thoughts

I’m sure you are aware of our current crisis. Cities and businesses are closing down for the unforeseeable future, and guidelines for keeping distance from each other leaves the individual to wonder what to do on any given day. This Lockdown attitude infers that we should be staying inside and reading the news, or flipping through our fancy phones. I’m sure fellow adventurers, like us at Explore cannot live our days this way. When I am “stuck” in my own mind, inside the house, I lean towards a meltdown. Now that spring is finally here and our weather has been warming, I’ve found that the only way to keep my mind from imploding is to spend some time outside. Spending time outside doesn’t mean that you have to be contacting and possibly spreading COVID cooties. Montana has plenty of places we can share with minimal other people while having a good time and maybe some self reflection. Here are some of my favorite things to do in the spring that help keep my body and brain busy to relieve some of my panic.



Long Walks on the Beach.

Not exactly the beach, More of woods walking that anything. Being the owner of a dog that loves this time of year’s weather, Nature walks are one of our favorite things. Bozeman’s wide variety of trails around the Gallatin Valley never leaves us wanting more. You can stay on the trails or spend some time away from them. These 50 degree days that we have been having lately are making some of the south facing hillsides feel oven-like. Make sure you bring the right sneakers when venturing about right now. Constant snowmelt will leave some sections of trails awful soupy. This is a great time of year to keep an eye open for fallen antlers and do a little extra by picking up left behind trash.



X-Country Skiing

This is something I’ve not done much of in my past. But I had a couple chances recently and it was a darned good time. There is still plenty of snow in the mountains around BZN, but Big Sky and Bridger are closed for the season so chairlifts are a no go. Being a snowboarder, edgeless ski are equivalent to me reading Hebrew… zero comprehension. I have never been so terrified of a bunny slope; but that little bit of terror helps keep my thoughts off others things revolving around civilization. X-country skis can be used for exercise (believe me, you can get your sweat on quickly) or leisure walks through the woods that are not frequented by many other people. An A+ outdoor activity for sure.






Spring Fishing

After five months of winter and very little time on/in our rivers and lakes, late March and April is easily one of my favorite times to try and find some hungry fish. Walking along the banks of our rivers with my dog most always brings much needed solitude close to home. Floating your favorite section of water this time of year can many times be had all to yourself as well. When it’s 50 degrees and sunny you don’t need much underneath your waders to be comfortable all day. I’ll be trying out my new favorite fly this April, the Corona cased caddis pupa. I’m bound to catch something 🙂






I don’t mean running out to my favorite supply store and stocking my truck full of paper products. Most of our ground is thawing for the year so it is time to start getting our gardens in order. Start tilling, weeding (soon) and selecting new veggies and annuals. I love starting seeds inside to try and mature some of Montana’s slower crops. Making new raised beds or remodeling older ones and getting bulbs in the ground is a great way to spend some of these sunny days. My goal for our garden beds at Explore this year is to fully mature some kind of melon, hopefully more than one, and consume it!