Thursday, February 21, 2008

Celebrate Glacier

If you have been following the news around here you know that BP America was considering a coal-bed methane project in British Columbia. There was serious and legitimate concern that this project could damage the Flathead River Basin as a result of runoff and pollutants. The river flowing from this area empties into Flathead Lake.

The announcement of this coal-bed methane development in SE British Columbia triggered a major uproar by citizens in NW Montana. It has been in the news and discussed on talk radio for months. Today we received word that the BP America President, Bob Malone, told Senator Max Baucus that they would not be going forward with the project.

In a day and age when protecting the environment and adopting 'green solutions' to global warming is all the rage, this is a welcome decision. It is ironic that in any discussion of global warming, Glacier National Park is always mentioned as an example of one of the casualties of this phenomenon.

Anyway, this is very good news. Someone grab the Champaign!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cabin Fever Days

The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see...
Are the 'Bar Stool Races' held each year
During Martin City's Cabin Fever Days.

I hope that Robert W. Service's offspring won't mind me borrowing a couple of lines from the author's famous poem, "The Cremation of Sam McGee". But the "Northern Lights and strange sights" seemed like a good way to introduce you to a winter celebration held here each year called 'Cabin Fever Days'. This year it was held during the Feb. 9/10 weekend).

Billed as a fundraising event for the communities, Cabin Fever Days is a reason for the locals to get out of their homes and cheer on their favorite (I guess you'd call them skiers?) for the annual 'Bar Stool Races'. Hungry Horse, Coram and Martin City are three tiny communities located just outside Glacier National Park and while the snow flies, there isn't a whole lot to do during the long winters.

The main street through town is blocked off and racers compete against each other for bragging rights that will earn free beers at the local saloons long into next summer. The "skis" are anything but... entrants create elaborate sleds mounted on skis that look like anything from 3-ski motorcycles to beds and busses. We saw lounge chairs, soap-box derby-type creations, metal beds, tractor parts and exercise machine frames bolted to skis and sliding down the hill. Watch the video...

Mostly, the event was a hoot. People enjoyed themselves, and the local saloons haven't done that much business since the Park closed and the tourists went home. Click on over to Glacier National Park and see more about Cabin Fever Days.