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Dear Friends and Family,
We’d love to hear from you.
Please leave us a note in the comments at the bottom of the page, and let us know where y’are and what y’rdoin’.
This was a big year for us. Chase is in High School, Stephanie and Ryan celebrated their 20th anniversary, and Ryan turned
Snippets of the rest of the story (in keeping with the
Spirit of Christmas Letters, we’ve distilled it to just the good stuff to make our lives look really awesome) can be found in the photos below.
May you experience the love of Christ today. Godspeed, friends.
Ryan, Stephanie, Chase, and Maia
Our 2012 Christmas postcard.
Every year, we remember the loss of our two littlest ones – Rylee and Jacob – usually on a local river.
Winter fishing at Axtell Bridge in the Gallatin Valley.
Chase caught this winter whitefish caught via tenkara on a rare January day where the temperatures snuck up into the 30s.
Celebrating Ryan’s birthday at home.
Ryan’s winter camp in the Bridger Range during the District Camporee.
Chase and Walker at the District Camporee.
Trace Atkins concert.
Ryan’s igloo on a troop campout in the western Absarokas.
Chase’s poster at the State Science Fair.
Chase served a term as our troop’s Senior Patrol Leader this year. Here’s the leadership crew from our troop.
Tarp camping again, this time in the southern Gallatin Range near Palisade Falls with the troop. We skied into the backcountry for this one.
Chase’s snow shelter – a giant snow pit secured by logs with a classic Blue Tarp roof.
Chase and Ryan explored the Hyalite mountains on backcountry skis this winter. Here’s Chase’s first trip on randonee gear, skinning up to the Lick Creek Meadows.
Chase and Michael at the spring orchestra concert.
Our troop went to the Absarokas for a youth leadership camp this spring. One of the exercises was “doing more with less” (of course), with a return to woodcraft. All of the Scouts were issued tarps and ropes – which they fashioned into both shelters and packs. This one was Ryan’s.
A warm fire at our outpost camp on an island in the West Boulder River drainage, Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. That’s Chase on the right.
Chase’s recital group – students of Mr. Michael Certalic – at the spring recital.
Maia looking pretty in the back of the Tacoma on the Madison River.
Membership in our family requires that you feed the dog a cookie without using your hands. Stephanie shows the technique.
A family hike up Drinking Horse Mountain in the northern Gallatin Range – one of our staples for some good uphill exercise and pretty views of the Gallatin Valley.
Chase, as the Senior Patrol Leader, and emcee of the troop’s spring Court of Honor.
Ryan spent 10 days in Arizona this spring in Glen Canyon with some of our long time clients and friends. Here, exploring ancient ruins in the Escalante Arm of Lake Powell.
A nice tenkara-caught smallmouth bass from Lake Powell.
Trekking through Labyrinth Canyon. Our group included my friend from New York and his very adventurous 70-year-old parents; we all had to swim through a cold, deep canyon slot to get to this spot.
The iconic Rainbow Arch.
An alcove campsite in the Escalante Arm.
Chase with his English/Science/Advisory teacher, Wendy Pierce, at the Rotary Awards banquet.
Chase spent his birthday at his last Honor’s orchestra concert of the year. Here’s mom with Michael and Chase.
Decked out for the last orchestra concert as a pirate rebel.
We had to give Milo up for adoption this year, and our vet kindly took him and nursed him back to good health. He’s now happy and free on a ranch in Paradise Valley.
On a day hike up the Sourdough Creek drainage.
A wet and cold and snowy day in the southern Bridgers.
A hike up Cottonwood Canyon.
Exploring high desert trails above the Jefferson River.
Chase spent his birthday – where else? – on top of Drinking Horse Mountain.
Ryan enjoying the view on the top of the Continental Divide in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness.
Chase enjoying the view of Paradise Valley from the top of the Hogback in the northern Gallatin Range.
Sleepy, or depressed?
Maia, camping at Georgetown Lake.
Crossing a stream in Corbly Gulch.
Early season hiking comes with a little mud (Corbly Gulch).
Wildflower season kicks off with Forget-Me-Nots.
Chase graduating from the Takacshin National Youth Leadership Training at Camp Arcola.
Camping on the Big Hole.
Hiking in the Bangtail Mountains, looking back towards Ross Peak in the Bridger Range.
Chase paddling our carbon fiber canoe through Gates of the Mountains, while on a four-day canoe trek with the troop.
Celebrating Chase’s 8th Grade Graduation at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Salmonfly on the Yellowstone River near LeHardy Rapids.
Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.
Chase spent a week trekking with the Yellowstone High Adventure Outpost, Camp Buffalo Bill (Cody, Wyoming). Their trek took them over Pelican Pass and out the Lamar River drainage. Trout heaven.
Crossing rivers while trekking in Yellowstone.
Making fried cheesy mac. Layer thick slices of cheddar in the bottom of the pan, add cooked noodles, top with pepperoni. Bake until the cheese is browned on the edges.
One of the smallest wildflowers in our region – only 3mm in diameter. Maybe some type of sandwort?
Our Lamar Valley crew from YHAO.
Getting the stat book ready for the Billings Mustangs game. The Mustangs are a minor league team for the Reds, and still represents the passion of American baseball.
Troop backpacking trip to Emerald and Heather Lakes.
Chase’s first grayling, caught on a tenkara rod from Emerald Lake.
Magenta paintbrush near Heather Lake in the Hyalites.
Our high adventure trek this year was a traverse of the Spanish Peaks. Here’s the crew, Chase on right.
Chase spying for trout in upper Chilled Lake, the massive face of Gallatin Peak is the backdrop.
Storytelling on Indian Ridge at 10,000 feet in the Spanish Peaks.
Chase starting the descent from Indian Ridge.
In August, Ryan spent three and a half days guiding clients from Indiana on a packrafting and tenkara fishing trip. We covered 65 miles of river from Emigrant to Big Timber.
Patrol Leaders Council at the Jordan House.
Chase’s introduction to river packrafting on the Madison River.
Packrafting without a packraft on the Madison River.
Maia, Ryan, and Steph on a hike in Sypes Canyon, Bridger Range.
Stephanie looking back into the Gallatin Valley from the top of Sypes Canyon.
Ryan with a “typical” trout from a high lake in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness.
We held our Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp courses this year in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness in the Continental Divide Corridor.
Ryan’s camp at Warren Lake on one of our Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp courses.
Hiking above Brighton, UT in the Wasatch Range on our 20th anniversary.
We spent our anniversary in northern Utah. Here, we’re on a hike in the Uinta Range at about 10,000 feet.
September 5 – 20 years. Celebrating at the top of Summit Peak in the Wasatch Range.
Stephanie looking out at a high lake in the Western Uintas.
Doing all of our favorite things to celebrate our 20th – hiking, fishing, and being in the mountains. Steph with a monster brookie from a Uinta high lake.
We spent one night camping in the Tetons. Here, we’re night biking on the trail through Grand Teton National Park.
Looking back down on a high lake en route to the top of Summit Peak.
Crow Creek Falls in the Elkhorn Range backcountry.
Bikepacking with the troop in the Trail Creek area.
This years’ school pictures – in the backcountry of course – Beartrap Canyon of the Madison River. No, we didn’t take hair gel. River water and algal slime seems to do the trick just as well.
The icy and frozen landscape of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness during our second Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp trek at the end of October.
Ryan’s snowy camp during the Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp course.
No, it wasn’t the Mariner’s year, but the Cougars certainly got redemption on Apple Cup Day. You know what they say – that’s the only game that matters.
We found this fixer-upper (a squatter’s cabin) in the Northern Bridgers on a day hike.
Ryan and Stephanie on the Chestnut Mountain Ridge in the northern Gallatin Range.
Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man. Chase’s first tux experience, fall orchestra concert. This year, he’s in the Bozeman High School Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra.