I’m 31. Who cares what anybody thinks.

I’m not sure this is appropriate.

I’ve been working on a story about the new eminent domain law in Montana for the past three weeks. It involved interviewing politicians, powerful businessmen, a rancher, lobbyists, lawyers and a government official. Here’s a link to the final version: explorebigsky.com/newspost/turf-war.

I was worried if I posted that video of me double-fisting next to the edge of a cliff I’d risk my legitimacy — that someone I interviewed for a future story could find this.

Then I stayed up late last night reading my friend Megan’s blog, Minor Catastrophes. Her writing there is honest, hilarious, poignant and completely over the top. As managing editor at a set of print publications in Bozeman, she’s professional and kind, and produces a magazine that is thoughtful and intellectual, yet accessible to everyone. She’s also a badass mom and an accomplished endurance athlete.

So, hell. I’m 31. That’s three awesome and lucky decades. I can be professional and still stand as close to the edge as I want. Besides, when I talked to my mother about it, she said, “that’s OK, honey. I know you weren’t drunk.” Thanks, Mom. I love you.

I’d planned on having my 31st birthday party atop Gallatin Tower for six months. I’m so thankful to the awesome posse that rallied to celebrate the end of summer up there, grilling brats and zucchini, looking down at the headlights on Highway 191.

Last year, for my 30th, I went climbing in the Clark’s Fork with nine dudes. Pat wasn’t there because it was opening weekend of bowhunting season (he killed an elk). We downed a jug of Carlo Rossi. I tried my darndest to keep up.  That was appropriate.

I also owe a thank you to Cotton, the steady-handed videographer who captured the moment atop Gallatin Tower. A 1328 Cherry Drive resident since June, he’s an ex-football player, an aspiring alpinist, and a southern boy of Iranian descent who has a deep appreciation for aged beef. (Sorry, Cotton.) Tonight, while discussing natural selection, he quoted Dr. Seuss:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”


About Emily Stifler

I grew up in Vermont and live in Bozeman, Montana. I love topography: mountains, rocks, weather and people.
This entry was posted in Climbing, Montana, Mountains, Videos/sound and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I’m 31. Who cares what anybody thinks.

  1. tbc says:

    hey I think that means I am 31 now too!
    happy birthday em!
    your post is hil-ar-ious.
    hope things are well; we’ve gotta hang out someday soon!

  2. Holy crap! Did YOU really call ME a b-a-d-a-s-s? You pretty much just made my day. Emily.

    And girl! Happy, happy birthday. I’m so happy to know you. You inspire me.

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