2013 Easter Jeep Safari Saturday, March 23 – Sunday, March 31, 2013

Written by Jennifer on . Posted in Travel

Check out Moab Jeep Safari and other epic 4-wheeling adventures!!!!

A letter from a member of the Moab Chamber of Commerce:

Jeep Safari: The Jeep Safari was started in 1967 by the Moab Chamber of Commerce. The very 1st trail was “Behind the Rocks Trail” (according to what has been told to the club President, the road was made or improved with a BLM employee and equipment.) The “Moab Rim” was then added the next year. In those days, individual ice cream packages were dropped by airplane to the trails at lunch. All the leaders were Chamber members, there was no charge or entry fee, and only a Saturday trail. To register you showed up Saturday morning and signed up for the trail you wanted. The Safari was run this way through 1982 at which point the BLM required a permit and insurance. The Chamber was no longer able to run the safari and approached the club to run this event.
The Jeep Safari itself, and participation in the event has grown since the club officially formed in the early 80s. Once the event was coordinated by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers, the registration moved from the Chamber building north of town, to Lion’s Park, and on to what was called “the Barn” which is where McStiff’s is currently located near Center and Main. Over the years the increase in participation grew to expand the trail riding to more days until it finally reached a nine day event. “Big Saturday” still remains the culmination of the event on the Saturday of Easter weekend. With the increase in numbers, the registration was moved to the Spanish Trail Arena where it is located today several miles south of the city of Moab on highway 191. This also became the location for the raffle, Boy Scout BBQ dinner, and vendor showcase.
Red Rock 4-Wheelers: A few years prior to 1983 the club had been formed as a small local organization by George Schultz. Most of the meetings were held in members homes. In the early months of 1983 after agreeing to take over the Easter Jeep Safari members (Leaders) were being recruited to run the Safari. And that transformed the club to what it is today. We have gone through many changes and added many new members, but we haven’t forgotten that the club was formed as a family club to have fun and promote responsible 4-wheeling. So now, instead of just Jeep Safari, we have the Labor Day Camp Out, trails of the month, we cleanup and mark the trails, and participate in other club outings. We also work to keep the roads that we have open.jeeps_on_hill

Christmas Stroll in Bozeman, MT

Written by Jennifer on . Posted in blog, Events, Travel

Every year a very small stretch of US 191 is closed in the city of Bozeman MT for their annual Christmas Stroll.  This is an enchanting event for all ages with activities ranging from visiting Santa, shopping, listening to live music, and so much more that the downtown businesses of Bozeman have to offer.
For the 32nd year the city will block traffic and detour down the one way streets on either side of  US 191/Main st.  For those willing to travel, this is one of the best small town events in America.  Each year offers different unique perspectives on how the Gallatin valley has changed and continues to provide an incredible community through quality people despite the growth.
During my college years at Montana State, the Christmas stroll was often seen as a last big night before having to save money to get home for Christmas or to get presents for loved ones.  Often times the gifts were found while looking through shops windows walking with friends, while enjoying a cup of hot cocoa and peppermint schnaps.  As we would walk the streets with friends, couples, families, and plenty of other smiling faces, everyone would fall back to simpler times when life wasn’t about technology, but about community.  Caroling, meeting new people, listening to music, shopping, and being a part of something larger than the commercial aspect of Christmas.
This will always my favorite night to be in Bozeman.  No matter the weather or the circumstance, the Christmas Stroll will always bring people from all over into one community no matter what their background may be, and that to me is worth the trip to go back as often as I am able.
 Words from a local Montana resident received on US191.com/contact or info@us191.com. Let us know if you have something to blob about!
For more info, go to : http://www.bozemannet.com/events/bozeman_christmas_stroll.php
Overview: Bring the kids and sip eggnog, hot chocolate, or a hot toddy as Santa Claus sings Christmas carols and lights Bozeman’s holiday lights along with 6,000 locals and visitors at the annual Bozeman Christmas Stroll.

When: First Saturday in December, from approximately 4 pm to 10 pm.

 You can find the celebration in downtown Bozeman on Main Street

Details: Enjoy horse drawn wagon rides, pictures with Santa Claus, a gingerbread house display, other family entertainment, holiday shopping, and holiday treats like caramel apples, cotton candy, popcorn, cider and so much more!

Get some fresh air, throw a few snowballs (snow permitting!), and do some holiday shopping along Main Street during the Christmas Stroll while enjoying live entertainment at the Emerson Cultural Center and other businesses.

Grand Teton National Park

Written by Jennifer on . Posted in adventure, Travel

At less than 10 million years old, Teton Range is the youngest mountain range in the Rocky Mountains. The Tetons continue to rise at a rate of about 4.5 inches every 100 years. Just as it is growing in size, I only expect it to grow in popularity as well. One of my favorite experiences within this mountain range took place in Grand Teton National Park this year.

I entered Teton National Park from the south entrance this past May. US191 took me through the beautiful, quaint, resort town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and then it was just a short drive north to the entrance of the park. To my amazement, I was greeted by a grizzly bear about 100 yards off 191 not but a quarter of a mile into the park.  I had never seen one so close before and out of all the ways to see a grizzly, this was one of the safest. There were 4 park rangers, most of which with riffles in their cars in case anything went wrong. We were all very aware of the big beautiful creature, but it didn’t seem to mind or acknowledge the fact that we were there at all. The bear wondered and grazed for little berries and for every nonchalant step he took towards the crowd, the park rangers would push us back too, keeping all spectators at a minimum of a 100 yard range. This was a great first impression of Grand Teton National Park; an impression that was solidified the entire journey into Yellowstone National Park.

The parks are connected by a 27-mile-long parkway named after John D. Rockefeller Jr. The parkway stretches 24,000-acre acting as an extension to Grand Teton. Grand Teton is nearly a tenth of the size of Yellowstone, which at 2.2 million acres is almost impossible to explore in a single visit. From hiking to climbing to kayaking to wildlife viewing, Grand Teton and the parkway are an ideal destination for sightseers and adventurers.

The highest peak of Grand Teton rises to 13,770 feet which beckons world-class climbers. With more than 20 miles of paved pathways, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, fantastic fishing opportunities and more than 1,000 front-country campsites, Grand Teton appeals to casual vacationers as well as hard-core thrill seekers.

Jackie Skaggs, who is now the park’s public affairs officer, arrived in 1976 to work for one of the park’s concessionaires and never left. Jackie says “The rugged Teton Range is the Swiss Alps of North America, We have charismatic wildlife that range from something like a little pika in the talus slopes in the Teton canyons to the large bison, elk and grizzly bears on the sagebrush flats.”

“What makes Grand Teton special is the relative ease in which you can lose crowds and experience the wonderment and solitude of the wilderness on a trail” stated a couple when asked about their experience at Grand Teton.

Grand Teton National Park ; live it, explore it, love it.

The Natural Bridge

Written by Jennifer on . Posted in adventure, Travel

Just a short drive off  US 191 on highway 298 south of Big Timber, Montana is the Natural Bridge. The Natural Bridge is one

of the most spectacular sights that I have seen to date.  I viewed the bridge at low water. The hike starts by walking across a man-made bridge where the Natural Bridge is seen to your left from the back side. The Boulder River flows beneath you and seems to disappear when it hits the Natural Bridge that is made of limestone. A beautisul sight, but the impressive outlook is yet to come. On the other side of the bridge the river pours out into  a 105 foot tall waterfall. In high water the entire creek is pouring over the edge as well as through the underground channels

The land that surrounds that falls also connects to both the Gallatin National Forrest and Yellowstone National Park.

A man by the name of Ian Garcia actually jumped the falls in 2008. He was no doubt experienced in his kayak and risky for taking the fall. Ian survived, but he was ejected from his kayak and fortunately was able to swim out of the maelstrom at the base of the falls. (See picture) . Ian was lucky, taking such a leap is obviously not recommended.

The Natural Bridge area is complete with a picnic area and a handicap accessible quarter of a mile path. Such beautiful scenery for all to enjoy, be sure to add the Natural Bridge to your list of attractions to see off US 191!





The Flaming Gorge

Written by Jennifer on . Posted in adventure, blog, Travel

The first sight I had of the flaming Gorge was off US191 just outside of Vernal, UT. Even at dusk, it was captivating. The Flaming Gorge encapsulates over 200 thousand acres of land and water that are almost equally divided between Utah and Wyoming. It rises over 50o feet above bedrock. The Flaming Gorge Dam is what holds in the waters of the Green River to form the reservoir, which extends just over 90 miles to the north. The elevation of the Flaming Gorge is at  6,045 feet. It’s water is cold, even on hot summer days. This is not only great for all kinds of water sports, but amazing for fishing as well. More specifically, the trout love the cold water. That is why Flaming Gorge is famous for its trophy lake trout. Many trout of 30+ pounds  are caught each year. The Utah record went 51 lb 8 oz, and there may yet be a bigger one swimming in the reservoir.  Kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass are also said to be popular in the gorge. There are five full-service marinas to this spectacular sight that provide launching, storage, and maintenance. Along the side of the Gorge is the Ashley National Forest .The forest is thick with evergreen trees, pinyon pines, and junipers that grow down to the waters edge of clear blue. Also found at the Gorge are petroglyphs (rock art), created by ancient tribes and still viewed by both modern tribes and visitors to the Gorge. The Flaming Gorge got its name by and explorer named Major Powell. After he and his men saw the sun reflecting off of the red rocks, he deemed it the “Flaming Gorge”. I can tell you from experience, the sunset and the reflection of the clear water is still as beautiful today. Whether it is to water-ski, jet-ski, boat, relax, or fish, the Flaming Gorge should be a destination on everyone’s list!

Written by Jennifer on . Posted in adventure, blog, Travel


Summer in Big Sky is filled with a world of fun and exciting things to do with the whole family! Starting with free concerts downtown every Thursday, beginning on the 4th of July. Locals say one of the big hits every year is “Cold Hard Cash”; a johnny Cash cover band which will be playing on August 30th. Before then, on  Aug 7th, enjoy Shakespeare in the Park or classical music on Aug 10th,11th, or12th. The best part? ALL OF THESE EVENTS ARE FREE! They are all paid for by Arts Council of Big Sky/Resort Taxes! These are just a few of many things besides great shopping, fine dining, and a world of outside activities there is to do in Big Sky. For more information visit the chamber of commerce website at BIGSKYCHAMBER.COM.


Written by Jennifer on . Posted in Travel

Boat-Float-A-Palooza has been launched this year as an exciting addition to the Yellowstone River Boat Float.We are very pleased to have signed Micky and the Motorcars out of Austin, Texas, as our headliner and guests Tom Catmull and the Clerics from Missoula as the opening act.

Both are huge compliments to the Yellowstone River Boat Float and we look forward to an enthusiastic crowd to appreciate this music on the banks of the Yellowstone. Now established as one of the best drawing bands on the lucrative Texas music circuit, Micky and the Motorcars had plenty of time to make their latest album, accumulating a large stockpile of songs before members entered Austin’s Creek Studios. Frontman Micky Braun collaborated on many of the songs with musicians such as his brother, Reckless Kelly lead singer Willy Braun, as well as Randy Rogers, Kevin Welch and Robert Kern. The Brauns actually wrote the title track “Naive,” which Micky calls “your classic wife-cheats-on-the-husband. husband-comes-home” thing several years ago in their native Idaho. “It never really panned out. so I sat back down and we ended up getting good rock ‘n roll version;’ he said. The next song “Long Enough to Leave,” written by Micky Braun and Randy Rogers, covers familiar territory for someone traveling almost two-thirds of the year. “It’s about being on the road, but never being able to stay/’ Braun said. “Every time you get comfortable you have to peel out.” Micky and the Motorcars have earned the reputation of being one of the busiest touring bands doing more than 200 shows each year They have played with other heavy hitters such as Cross Canadian Ragweed, The Randy Rogers Band, Willy Nelson, Reckless Kelly and at countless music festivals. Tom Catmull and the Clerics present an electrified, roots driven sound supported by the upright bass, pedal steel/electric guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica, drums and some leaping around. Imagine the aggressive nature of the Old 97’s occasionally reined in by the lyrical and musical flavorings of John Hiatt or Phil Lee. With the sophomore release of their album, Glamour Puss, this band has furthered its reputation to both showcase original music and to leave people sweaty and exhausted at the end of the night.  Tom and the Clerics have been voted “Best Musician” and “Best Band” for 2007, ’08, ’09, ’10 and ’11. They’ve earned cult following in Montana, and are excited to make their debut in Big Timber at the Boat Float. Please go to Boat-Float-A-Palooza on Facebook to check out the details, get directions and ticket info or contact us at boatfloatapalooza@gmail.com for any other questions. Also check out the bands at mickyandthemotorcars.com and tomcatmull.com. Make plans to attend and have a spectaular weekend


Ousel Falls in Big Sky

Written by Jennifer on . Posted in adventure, Travel


Ousel Falls is located in the West Fork of the Gallatin; just a short drive up from town circle in the beautiful quaint town of Big Sky, Montana . In less than a mile easy hike are three amazing views of different tiers of falls on the Gallatin River. The handicap accessible trail is rich with lush, mossy, enchanted, canyon floor setting for anyone to enjoy.  Crossing bridges on the switchback well maintained path, the falls get increasingly bigger in size.  The walk is lined with towering Engelmann Spruce trees ans comes to a picnic table for hikers stop to rest. The ending view is nothing short of breath taking and the magical feel of the place is something both my dog and I did not want to leave


Tag-A-Long Expeditions, Moab Utah

Written by Jennifer on . Posted in adventure, Travel

When I walked into the Tag-A-Long office, I was greeted by two sincere smiles, one of which was Sarah Sidell. Sarah took the time to tell me about their excursions and how they go about going the extra mile. I was nothing short of impressed. With excursions ranging from 1-6 days,  both guided and on-your-own, there is truly something for everybody.

Tag-A-Long specializes in a number of advertures all located in Canyonlands National Parks. Have experienced and knowladgable locals take you up the Green River or Colorado River whether by raft, kayak, canoe, or jet boat. If its thrill or relaxation you seek, Tag-A-Long is eager accommodate your wants and needs.

The adventure does not stop at the river; see sites created by Pueblo Indians, hike the famous “needles” of the park, see petroglyphs few have ever seen, untangle the Maze, or climb the Grand Staircase.

Want to do both? With Tag-A-Long you can combine a river trip with exploring Canyonlands back country to make the perfect see-all experience that is fit just for you.

With over 40 years experience, Tag-A-Long will make sure you are both well prepared and well looked after. The excursions are limited to small groups, so book today to guarantee your date!

To research details such as packing list and which tour suites you, go to www.tagalong.com or call 800-453-3292. Don’t Wait!

Arizona The Beautiful

Written by Jennifer on . Posted in Historical, Travel

Most things that naturally occur can become petrified over time, but the sight of petrified wood is something of beauty, history, and wonder. In northeastern Arizona, just a short drive off US191 on highway 40, is the Petrified National Forest. The park covers about 146 square miles, encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands in the Navajo Nation. The northern part of the forest is a gateway into the Painted Desert. From beautiful colored wood to beautiful stone, the properties of both aid the other in thier creation.

The vast landscape of the Painted Desert features rocks in every hue – from deep lavenders and rich grays to reds, oranges and even pinks. The desert is composed of stratified layers of easily erodible siltstone, mudstone and shale of the Triassic Chinle Formation. These fine grained rock layers contain abundant iron and manganese compounds which provide the pigments for the various colors of the region. Thin resistant limestone layers and volcanic flows cap the mesas. Numerous layers of silicic volcanic ash occur in the Chinle and provide the silica for the petrified logs.  An assortment of fossilized prehistoric plants and animals are found in the region, as well as dinosaur tracks and the evidence of early human habitation.

The Painted Desert is not where this adventure stops;  it is so close to the Grand Canyon National Park, you would be a fool not to press on to see the largest canyon in the US. Geologists say that over the last several million years the Colorado river has carved the canyon to what it is today

Three Beautiful Sights, one amazing state..

It is not the deepest canyon in the world (Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal is far deeper), nor the widest (Capertee Valley in Australia is about 0.6 mi/1 km wider and longer than Grand Canyon); however, the Grand Canyon is known for its visually overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape.

While writing this I wondered to myself “How Long Does It Take For Wood To Petrify”. I googled that very question and came up with an article by John D Morris that was titled just as such.  His explanation below about the difference of petrified would in Yellowstone National Park vs those found in the Petrified National Park I found most interesting.

“In the first type of petrification, the wood decays in a hot, silica-rich environment. As each molecule of wood decomposes and is carried away, it is replaced by a molecule of silica. Eventually the replacement is complete, with the mineral impurities in the silica being responsible ”
“The other type of petrification involves the total infiltration of the porous wood by silica-rich water. The silica (or in a few cases calcite, or a combination of both) plugs up the pores, preventing complete decay. This allows individual cells to be remarkably well preserved, and in many cases the tree ring pattern can easily be seen. The petrified trees in Yellowstone Park are of this type, with tree rings readily visible.for an array of beautiful colors in the final product. This type of petrified wood can be polished, and often becomes an object of incredible beauty. Once silicification is complete, there is no organic material remaining, but since on occasion the light and dark portions of the tree’s growth rings may decay at different rates, hints of the tree rings may be preserved if the minerals present change over time. Many of the petrified trees found in the Petrified “Forest” of Arizona are of this type.”

“Wood can also be petrified in field settings. During one field experiment, researchers dangled a block of wood down inside an alkaline spring in Yellowstone Park to see what effect this hot, silica-rich environment would have. In just one year, substantial petrification had occurred. I recently read an advertisement in a magazine for real “hardwood floors.” The company was petrifying wood commercially. The point is, it does not take long ages to petrify wood, it just takes the right conditions.”