Feature Article: Winter Recreation in Yellowstone
Article 1: This Date in History: March 29, 1968
Article 2: Vacationing in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho
Article 3: Calamity Jane: The West’s Most Wild Female
Tired of skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling in your local scene? Then take advantage of winter’s last few days, and plan a trip to Yellowstone National Park. America’s oldest national park is always beautiful, but the scenery is further enhanced with the solitude of winter and the lack of sightseeing crowds. Combine this with a great escape into Yellowstone terrain that few, if any, visitors ever see, and you’re rewarded with a one of a kind outdoor adventure.
Most of Yellowstone is backcountry and managed as wilderness; many miles of trails are available for skiing. Track is set only on a few trails. All unplowed roads and trails are open to cross country skiing and showshoeing. When skiing on unplowed roadways used by snowmobiles, keep to the right to avoid accidents.
There are dangers inherent in wilderness: unpredictable wildlife, changing weather conditions, remote thermal areas, deep snow, open streams, and rugged mountains with extreme avalanche danger. When you choose to explore Yellowstone, you experience the land on its own terms; there is no guarantee of your safety. Be prepared for any situation. Carefully read all backcountry guidelines and regulations, and know the limit of your ability.
Most trails are marked with orange metal markers attached to trees. Few streams have bridges. Parties venturing into the backcountry should carry a USGS topographic map and a compass and know how to use them. Even on a wellmarked trail, it is easy to get lost in a “whiteout”or blizzard. Only skiers thoroughly familiar with the area should attempt off-trail travel. When planning your trip, get specific information on conditions from rangers at a ranger station or visitor center.
Park elevations with adequate skiable snow range from 7,000 to 10,000 feet (2133 - 3048 meters.) Skiers and snowshoers who live at lower elevations should take a short day or overnight trip to test their capabilities before attempting longer outings. A Backcountry Use Permit is required for all overnight ski trips. Contact a park ranger at a ranger station or visitor center before you begin aski trip whether for a few hours or several days. Trip planning should include allowances for limited daylight, snow conditions, temperature extremes, and the number of people in the group, their experience and physical condition. Overnight ski and snowshoe trips during December and January are difficult due to short days, extreme temperatures, and soft snow. Learn as much as you can about winter survival. Talk with park rangers before you leave on any trip. Choose skis and boots made for touring or mountaineering. Narrow racing skis won’t provide enough surface area to break trail.
Many of Yellowstone’s roads are groomed and open to snowmobiles though this may change soon. Personal snowmobiles may be brought into the park or they may be rented in several different locations. Businesses with permits to rent snowmobiles or conduct guided snowmobile tours can be found on Yellowstone’s Permitted Winter Businesses page. The park’s lodging concessioner, Amfac Parks & Resorts, also provides snowmobile tours & rentals along with various other winter services and activities. All snowmobile operators must be aware of park regulations, so plan accordingly to ensure the best possible winter outing.
Partially reprinted from “The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia.”
This Date in History: March 29, 1968
Montana’s Most Notorious Labor Strike
In 1967 and 1968, Butte was home to the longest and costliest labor strike in Montana history. Fed up with poor wages and nearly non-existent benefits, 7,200 Anaconda Company copper miners walked off the job on July 14, 1967. Despite labor relations meetings and desperate attempts to draw the employees back to work, Butte’s copper mines sat idle for 250 days. On March 29, 1968, the state’s most notorious labor strike finally ended when workers voted three to one for a settlement. The company agreed to gradually phase in salary increases of fifty cents an hour, as well as increases in health insurance, disability, pension, and unemployment insurance. As an extra bonus, the company agreed to pay workers’ medical expenses that were incurred during the strike.
Although some miners stayed in Butte to wait out the strike on the picket lines, many left Butte in search of temporary employment. It is estimated that workers traveled to at least fifteen other states during the strike in an effort to make up the more than $34 million they lost in wages during the company strike. Within days of the strike’s end, workers were back on the job site, but it took months before the deteriorated mining equipment was back up and running efficiently.
Vacationing in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho
The most famous explorers relied on a knowledgeable guide, and now you can too. The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia is your essential reference guide for discovering every corner of Montana mile by mile. User friendly and packed with everything you need to know about the Treasure State, this single volume offers more information than nearly a dozen other top Montana guidebooks combined! Discover for yourself today why everyone is raving about this bestseller!
Think you already know everything about Montana? Then consider exploring the Cowboy State. The Ultimate Wyoming Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia offers the same comprehensive information and easy to use format used in the Montana book. Explore the mountains, deserts, hot springs, state parks, and history of this neighboring western state!
Last but certainly not least, be sure to watch for the first edition release of The Ultimate Idaho Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia due out later this year!
Calamity Jane: The West’s Most Wild Female
Calamity Jane was born Martha Jane Canary, in Princeton, Missouri in 1852, the oldest of six children. As a child she was a tomboy and had a passion for riding horses. In 1865, at the age of 13 the Cannary family made the five month journey, stopping in Virginia City, to take part in the quest for gold on their way to Salt Lake City. During their migration Martha practiced hunting with the men, and by the time they reached Virginia City, she was an accomplished rider and gun handler.
From 1866 on, she and her family moved around quite a bit-to Salt Lake City where her father died the next year, and then onto Wyoming where she helped scout for the army. During her travels she worked when she could find it, and even took up prostitution, although she always seemed to prefer men’s work.
In the early 1870s Martha Jane Cannary was christened “Calamity Jane,” known for her reckless daring riding and good aim. In 1876 Calamity Jane crossed paths with Wild Bill Hickok, and they remained good friends, (she told some they were married) until his death. She was known for causing a bit of trouble by stirring up the occasional saloon fight, and was said to have had a problem with alcoholism. Calamity Jane moved around most of her life and found it difficult to settle in one place. She did however spend some time in Montana, residing in Livingston for a period, and outside of Laurel where her cabins still stand today. She also called Big Timber, Castle, and Harlowton home for brief periods. When she died in 1903 at the age of 51, Calamity Jane was buried, at her request, next to Wild Bill in Deadwood, South Dakota.
Reprinted from “The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encylopedia.”