Coffee’s cold this morning. Newsroom’s quiet. Not that I’d expect any different from a Thursday. Three years at the Indy and you get pretty familiar with the routine.
A lot’s happened since I last stopped over at wordpress. The run-down of what I’ve covered over the past few months: a missing Iraq vet in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, later covered by the Discovery Channel and Outside Magazine; concerns about the spread of fracking activity to north central Montana; the technological advancements at play in Missoula’s filmmaking community; money in Montana’s high-profile senate race, and where it’s going; partisan attacks on the environment; and, of course, my continued string of stories on pretty much every wildlife species in the Northern Rockies. The 8-hour trek to Fort Peck last month was grueling (surviving the Hi-Line drive required more Red Bull and Katy Perry than I care to admit). But witnessing the reintroduction of wild bison back to tribal land in Montana was well worth the drive.
I’ve locked myself into the Indy‘s Tester v. Rehberg beat through the 2012 electoral cycle, so lazy mornings like this one usually mean a romp through Federal Election Commission filings, OpenSecrets.org data and the latest Super PAC disclosures over at the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group’s “Follow the Unlimited Money.” In fact, I’m heading to Washington, D.C. a week from tomorrow for a Sunlight Foundation training seminar on following and reporting spending in federal campaigns. Great opportunity to catch up with some old Kaimin colleagues who live out that way, too.
Not that I haven’t made time for extra-curriculars. I relocated to the Riverfront area last fall, a kitschy third-floor studio about a half-block from work. It also happens to be dangerously close to the Khole. Not that I’m complaining. Spring even brought with it a nice reunion with Bill, my co-conspirator in hosting a small, informal writers’ retreat this summer. He braved a shitty drive from Utah to Butte for St. Paddy’s, an adventure I probably shouldn’t have written about for work, but did anyway.
Between assignments, I’ve been trying to rack up as many ski days as possible. The season’s crescendo, hands down, was a trip to the Bitterroot Valley’s Downing Mountain Lodge. Two days of sun-kissed backcountry powder, mixed with a generous helping of powerbars and Kettlehouse brew. But the season’s not over yet. Snowbowl’s got one weekend left, and, provided I can find a cheap pair of AT bindings around town, I’ll be sniffing out snow through July. TTFN.