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Everyone has missed the point. The best tamales ever made are called papusas lol
Pupusas are indeed excellent, but they scratch a slightly different itch than tamales. In my experience, they use a coarser corn masa and are little more focused on the filling, while tamales use a very fine ground masa that acquires a super creamy texture when combined with epic amounts of fat. Same idea, though.
 

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Pupusas are indeed excellent, but they scratch a slightly different itch than tamales. In my experience, they use a coarser corn masa and are little more focused on the filling, while tamales use a very fine ground masa that acquires a super creamy texture when combined with epic amounts of fat. Same idea, though.
An excellent take. What a world that we get to have both.
 

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Tamales aside, I've worked a summer event in western Montana 29 of the last 30 years during the first two weeks of August. Smoke can be very bad at times and it's often from fires hundreds of miles to the west. The advice from another poster about how fast things change and for people with lung issues is very real. Besides the fact that conditions will change with wind, rain, etc. it will also get steadily worse through the day. The fires usually damp down at night so it's not uncommon to wake up to pretty clear air and then watch it deteriorate throughout the day. Anyone with lung problems should be really well equipped, or maybe skip the trip.
 

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Came off the river 7/28. Intermittent very light smoke in the lower half of the river, but enough to bother a couple of people in our group. Waited quite a while for the pilot car on the drive out and probably should have done the Panther Creek route because we were headed to Stanley and it would nice to see something different. Saw a small fire on a right bank ridge between Big Creek and Ship Island Creek. But your conditions will most likely be completely different.
 

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Now I want some tamales.

Came off the MF early this morning. Hardly any smoke during the trip -- a mildly hazy day or two is all. A creek must have blown out somewhere up high because the last day or two had a little haze in the water, too.

The smoke was really bad driving up the Salmon canyon between Cache and North Fork.

We only had to wait like 20 minutes for a pilot car at Panther... partly luck, but also partly because today they were using two pilot cars, in opposite directions (we passed each other at Spring Creek), which probably really sped up the waits for both directions. No idea if they will continue that. If the folks (IDFG officers, today) managing the ends of the pilot section had told us the wait would have been longer than 45 minutes, we probably would have taken Panther to get out -- but I just sort of made up that math in my head. I heard some people were waiting hours for the pilot laps last week, which doesn't sound fun.

Hope this helps folks. Things can change, obviously. But it was pretty smooth sailing for us. Lots of respect to the firefighters and to folks near the fire who are stressed about their homes while watching happy rafters drive in and out of their vacations -- that's the part that made me feel odd.

Tamales!
 

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I haven't heard any reports back since the fire started. We are launching on 8/3 and I'm interested to hear how it is out there. Chief concern is air quality.

Anybody get in from a trip in the last few days?
We launched the 25th @2.25 from Boundary, top end was great, it was holding at 2.1 when we hit the Flying B. Trip was phenomenal and the weather was perfect. No smoke to speak of. The Wolf Fang fire was visible on the ridge line across the river from Elk camp, but no threat. Be prepared to be held up at some point on the drive back from Cache Bar. We waited at the mouth of Panther cr for about 45 min for a shuttle car. The Moose fire’s primary direction of spread is to the south and so hopefully the river road won’t be impacted for much longer.
 
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