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“You are ruining our track. Why can’t you go ski Pattee Canyon and leave our trails alone”, some man yelled to me as I skate skied my way back to the trail head in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area. It was 2005 and I haven’t been to the Rattlesnake corridor on skis since.

Since 2005 I have learned that the Rattlesnake is a public access area and I have every right to recreate out there. I am a considerate person and respect the ski track set down. I hike and bike in the center were hundreds of others do but even then I usually can not bike it anyway. I do run in the Rattlesnake as well.

Then there is this stupid rule I just read about over at in his post entitled “Skinning is Not a Crime”. What is up with skier mentality? Maybe I am just profiling. I just don’t get it. It could very well be my own problem but they just rub me the wrong way. Even if I do ski I want to do it in private and not let anyone know I am doing it. I just feel I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of knowing what I am doing. Because I really don’t enjoy it much but it is one of the only options in the winter.

Last night Jill and I meandered up to the Rattlesnake to check out the conditions.  just as I was walking my bike to a bridge to take some photos I hear a vocal skirmish unfolding.

“Why cant you go ride on the road?” … bitch, bitch, bitch, blah, blah, blah, blah.  I really couldn’t make out the other stuff he was shouting. Maybe it was because he was so angry he was splurting stupid stuff. Hmm, maybe I should blurt out some stupid stuff.

I can’t say I am proud that I decided to engage in the scuffle but I did, “You go ski on the road, common if you do I will”

Like that even made sense. Feeling that my statement may have not hit home I decided to come up with some extra verbiage.

“You just want something to bitch about don’t you?”

“What? What did you say”

As if skiing away and saying that is intimidating. I stood there waiting for the sounds of skate skis sliding to a stop. But they didn’t. I reflected on my last statement and decided it too was pretty stupid. Why couldn’t I ever come up with intelligent things to say during vocal disputes?

So it was another bully incident in the Rattlesnake. What is up with that area anyway?  Tonight is another installment of the Missoula Thursday Night Ride Group but I think I will show up with my bike. Not to irritate but because I want to. And I am bringing the much loved snow shoes. That will really rub the Rattlesnake bullies the wrong way.

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