In the winter, I have to search for something to write about on a weekly basis. In the summer I am often overwhelmed with so much happening I can’t really cover it all. This was one of those weeks.
Toughest were two memorials for longtime North Forkers who passed away, John Frederick and Bob Grimaldi. These two were close neighbors and political opposites. They were both valued community members and will both be missed.
Last week’s column didn’t really do the Interlocal justice. While I still feel it was one of the best ever, there were some criticisms. Yes, there is a new, safer, launch and take out site at Polebridge, proof that the USFS can act quickly when they could be held legally liable at great cost. There are still no new river rules regarding litter or toilet facilities. Granted, littering cases are not easy to make or obtain a conviction. Even so, the USFS current policy of just issuing warnings doesn’t seem to be working either.
Both the Park and Forest Service seem to be ignoring campers on the river. Numerous private residents have noticed multiple campers in the Park where camping is not allowed. Worse, multiple large campfires have been built on the gravel bars, probably by folks who think it is safe. A strong breeze can easily carry embers up to half a mile!
New plans to reopen the Inside Road sound good, but the Park is good at kicking problems down the road with no action ever taken. Case in point, last winter we were told Glacier would have a new portable air quality monitor in place this summer. Turns out, they still don’t have it. Maybe next year.
On a more positive note, Allen Chrisman chaired the annual Firewise Educational meeting before the Interlocal. This 2.5-hour presentation informs folks on how to mitigate the risks of wildfire. This includes protecting buildings, access and timber. Great speakers have ensured the popularity of this program every year.
I think ever North Forker know Mark and Margaret Heaphy. It would be hard not to. They can be seem almost daily running on the road in the summer or skiing in the winter. In between, they are vital parts of the North Fork Patrol - Mark as chairman and Margaret as secretary/treasurer.
Some folks may not know that they are also nationally-known endurance runners. Mark has completed the Hardrock 100 mile endurance run 20 times and Margaret has won the women’s division twice.
This race is a 100.5-mile loop with 66,100 feet of elevation loss and gain in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, much of it at 11,000 feet above sea level. An amazing feat.
Were also have a lot of fun. This week’s highlight was the pie auction, followed by the Crazy Hat Dance, featuring square dancing with caller Debo Powers.
There were 40 items donated for the pie auction. In addition to pies, there were also cakes, cookies, bread and even a stereo system.
Sales came to $1,130, which will almost completely pay for next year’s dust abatement. The top sale was Ruth Kinsolving’s key lime pie, which went to the famous “Montana Kid” for $125.
I got a bargain peach pie for $52, only because bidding was closed just as I wrote down my winning bid. Two people were standing by to raise the bid, but they were shut off. Thanks to everyone for their generosity and to Carole Bartram and family and Sandi Kelly for organizing the event.
Thanks too to the Ulrichsen family for organizing the Crazy Hat Dance, won by Rayna Eyster with her “Catch of the Day” hat. There was also a kids’ division winner, but I did not get the name.
The next event after this column is printed will be the History Tour on Aug. 11. Meet at Leighs at 10 a.m. to view the Billy Krose homestead and then travel to Mud Lake, where he was shot and killed. Hope to see you there.
Larry Wilson’s North Fork Views column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.