For dogs and their human, a new favorite spot


Coaxed out of my apartment a few days ago by one of the most beautiful stretches of fall weather in memory, I found myself on the banks of the Clarks Fork River just southeast of Laurel.

I was enjoying myself, but the three dogs accompanying me were downright ecstatic. Miles of trails wind through a river bottom thick with chest-high grass and cottonwood trees, and for the dogs, plenty of opportunities to slide down the gravel banks for a swim or a drink of water. Continue Reading →


From the Outpost: With Curtis, at least a sliver of hope

David Crisp

Regular readers of this irregularly filled space know that I am no fan of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines. I have written columns:

* Criticizing his foolish and un-American bill that would tie congressional pay to balancing the budget. Why un-American? Because the bill would allow millionaires like Daines to hold hostage for partisan ends the paychecks of middle-class representatives like his Democratic opponent, Amanda Curtis. It’s a dumb idea, and the fact that a Democrat, John Lewis, argues that members of Congress shouldn’t get paid unless they pass a budget doesn’t make it any smarter. Continue Reading →

Circus, sound bites, cliches: A night at the great debate


Amanda Curtis does not think the United States can be “the policeman of the world.” Nor does she believe that Congress should “kick the can down the road.”

Steve Daines said his policies are good “not only for this generation but our children and our grandchildren.” He also said “we need to have both sides coming to the table and coming to an agreement.” Continue Reading →

Terry Badlands beckon on a perfect fall day


TERRY — We went to the Terry Badlands on Saturday knowing that the natural bridges—huge spans of sandstone over a dry gulch—were prime attractions of the area.

What we didn’t know was that one of the first things you encounter as you approach the badlands from the frontage road west of Terry is a bridge of an entirely different kind: the old Milwaukee Road railroad bridge across the Yellowstone River. Continue Reading →

In memoriam: Misty Upham


News item: A body believed to be that of missing actress Misty Upham has been found in the Seattle area, police said on Thursday.

I first interviewed Misty Upham a few months ago, and it ended eerily. Out of the more than 1,000 interviews I’ve conducted, our three conversations, each lasting about an hour, were uniquely unshakeable. Continue Reading →

Citizens appeal for transparency on gas flaring, oil spills

Oil board

Two members of the Northern Plains Resource Council appealed to the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation on Wednesday to make information on oil spills and gas flaring more readily accessible to the public.

“We thought perhaps you could take a look at what North Dakota does,” Deborah Hanson told the board during one of its regular meetings in Billings. Continue Reading →

Lay of the Land: City boy


Lay of the Land: A series of essays on the spirit of Montana

I don’t know what to do in the wilderness and I seldom go to it. I live in Missoula, Montana, perhaps one of the best cities in America for easily accessing world-class wilderness areas, and yet I am an infrequent visitor to the hills surrounding town. Sometimes, when I am feeling lazy, I blame this on the fact that I have neither a car nor a driver’s license, but then I remember a 20-minute bike ride will do, because I live in Missoula, Montana. Continue Reading →