Fall in the mountains came early this year. Returning to Billings from Cooke City on August 24th we decided to go over the Beartooth Pass. At 2PM the weather in Cooke City was partly cloudy and the traffic was relatively light for that time of the year. By the time we went past Long Lake and started up the switchbacks we encountered heavy rain, fog and snow. We decided it was prudent to turn around and take the Chief Joseph Highway back to Billings. Beartooth Pass was closed a couple of hours after we turned around. Unfortunately, we ran into fog, snow and hail going east on Chief Joseph. Stopping at Painters Outpost for coffee and M&Ms allowed for some of the weather to pass. No damage to vehicles or trailers.

Treasure State ATV’s annual outing at Basin, MT over the Labor Day weekend also produced a major change in weather. Monday we were down to four diehard riders. We started our ride up Basin Creek Road and went on Saul Hagarty to Cataract Creek Road and then back to Basin. Occidental Plateau was covered in snow. After returning to Basin we decided to go up Galena Gulch to Boulder, MT for lunch. Unfortunately the leader took 8694 which dead ended just before we could get back to 638. By that time it was cold, rainy with some snow. We returned to Basin and called it quits. Had tacos at the Silver Saddle in Basin and sat around our propane fire pit next to Basin creek. Ironically, the weather by 10AM Tuesday morning was perfect for riding (reasonable temperature, no wind and no dust). We needed to head home.   

The MTVRA State Ride held August 12-14 at Jefferson Creek in the Little Belt Mountains. My wife and I were out of state attending a funeral and were unable to attend. From what I have heard it was well attended with rider and campers having a great time. The Jefferson Creek area had trail routes for single track, ATV and UTV riding. Thanks to all who did the planning and to those who attended. 

A number of travel management plans and projects are being reviewed by MTVRA, clubs and other groups around the state. Among them are the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, the Bitterroot National Forest Travel Plan, the Divide Travel Plan and various BLM Travel Management Plans. Changes, closures and restrictions are on the minds of many people across the state. We should know more in the near future as to the extent of any legal filings and the need for possible legal fund drives. 

Have a great fall riding and recreating. Hopefully additional snow can wait for a while.

 

 

Bruce Reierson

President, MTVRA

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