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featured 10. KAT GEBAUER, Green Kat Photography



business 16. I WANT HER JOB Liz Plosser, Health Magazine

health 26. SUGAR The Gateway Drug



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View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

W W W . 4 0 6 W O M A N . C O M Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2020 Skirts Publishing



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The Glacier Fairy Adventure Girl

Kat Gebauer

Then one day, when you least expect it, great adventure finds you. By Mary Wallace Photos by Green Kat Photography

How does one go from a painfully shy teen to a mild-mannered photographer, to an avid adventure seeker? Ask Kat Gebauer. One peek at #KittyKatBoomBat on Instagram reveals a multi-talented, multi-faceted, and multi-adventuresome personality! Upon first meeting, Kat is - at once - engaging, intelligent and full of life.  


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A recurring theme on her Instagram is a set of pink fairy wings. Hiking and running trails in Glacier Park have become a weekly ritual. Kat and a friend or two would pick a hike or run ranging from 15-30 miles, backpack filled with snacks, bear spray (she’s deathly afraid of bears), her big SLR, and ALWAYS adorning the pack are her pink fairy wings. Sometimes when friends visit, wings and tutus of various colors will pop fun into their backcountry adventures. (Kat ALWAYS wears the pink wings, it’s no surprise seeing her Instagram feed what her favorite color is). Why do they do this? Mostly for fun and laughs, but they have become great conversation starters. Typically, when meeting a passerby on the trail, you smile, maybe a wave, murmur a quick hello. But when there are wings and maybe a tutu, she nearly always gets a laugh and short conversation getting to know fellow hikers a little more. In her group of trail friends, Kat has become known as the Glacier Fairy. The pink wings spark more happiness, give her drive, and remind her to be light on her feet and heart. Keep scrolling on her Instagram feed, and you will see that Kat is an avid hiker, snowboarder, skier, runner, dog lover,

and mountain climber. She's only been traveling in her recent years, but since starting she has been to Italy, India, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Amsterdam, Nepal, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and her most recent trip to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Kat has a series of geographic map coordinates tattooed on one forearm - each one representing one of the firsts in her life. Her first hike in Glacier and in Montana - Mt Reynolds, Everest Base Camp - first multi-day adventure trek, Machu Pichu - first time alone in a new country, Polebridge - first 50-mile Ultra Race (the local “Two Bear Ultra”) - The China Wall first multi-day run thru the Bob Marshall wilderness, Cotopaxi - first mountaineering experience at Aconcagua - first summit of the seven summits in Argentina. Kat grew up in Door County, which is the Wisconsin equivalent of Whitefish, with her parents and her two brothers. They always had pets ranging from guinea pigs to birds to hamsters, and a dog. She didn’t have an adventurous friend growing up and spent most of her childhood playing sports, tag-like games with the neighborhood kids, and riding her bike all over the county.


Her thirst for adventure was awakened when, as a teenager, her Aunt & Uncle invited her to accompany their family on a ski vacation to Steamboat Springs. It changed everything for her future dreams and plans. Living near a ski area and being able to ski would be an important part of where she would end up on her life’s path.

Kat graduated from the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse. She started off to become a physical therapist. Her mom is an art teacher, and Kat switched partway through, following her mom’s footsteps (somewhat), to study art and photography. She good-naturedly shared that, as much as she learned in college, she learned much more from her boss while working at Wisconsin’s largest natural light portrait studio.

These days, to support her adventure addiction, she spends much of her time on her photography business, Green Kat Photography, which includes elopement & portrait photography, commercial work, and real estate photography. What she enjoys about her real estate photography is that it's always an adventure walking into an unknown home, and she can do it on her own schedule. Her particular style of architectural photography is unique, in that she shoots the photos somewhat

darker than normal and pulls the shadows out during the photo processing. Realtors love her because her shots are so eye-catching that some properties have been sold sight-unseen, based on photos alone.

Her wedding and elopement photography is fun and colorful. Photographing real estate mixed with weddings eventually became too large a workload and she had to scale back. She put out in the universe that she just wanted to shoot fun weddings and elopements. And guess what - the universe presented just that. In the last 10 years, all her weddings were seeking a photographer who could provide candid, vibrant colored, easy-going, and FUN photography. For several years, she was also the primary photographer at local skijoring events, so she has a portfolio full of awesome shots from that, as well as family photos and headshots. Kat works HARD, even though scrolling through her Instagram would tend to make one think she plays quite a bit. She makes it a point to use every free minute to run or ski. In the busy season, she sets two days a week aside and totally enjoys all


the fun and movement she can fit in on those two days. Her favorite type of photography, of course, is adventure photography . . . hence the fairy-winged hiking, running, and skiing photos. As much as she loves her solo time out in the woods, she’s come to appreciate adventuring with friends… since she needs a subject to shoot enjoying the public lands. When she is not hiking or working at her photography business, chances are she is running. When she signed up for her first marathon, everyone but one person told her she couldn’t run that far and was silly; that was all she needed to prove them wrong. Now Kat runs in 4-5 ultra-races per year, which are 50-mile races in backcountry terrain. She is registered to run in one race per month from April until October. One of her favorite ultra-races is, of course, the LaGrizz Ultra in Polebridge, MT. It takes a lot of stamina and will power, but she has her happy thoughts, and sometimes music, to keep her going. She is not in it to win it, her purpose is to push herself, beat her last personal best, and have her “mandatory” day off from working. Kat says there is always a considerable amount of camaraderie at trail race events.



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When asked about her bucket list, Kat admits that she doesn’t have one, but she is totally open to suggestions! “Actually,” she laughs, “Everything that people suggest doing, going along with them on is on my bucket list.“ Which is mostly how she came to be involved in a two-week mountaineering school in Ecuador last winter. Her friend Steve asked her to join and document him climbing Aconcagua, which Kat had never heard of. “Sure!”, like she usually says, always opening life up to new experiences and challenges. To acclimate for Aconcagua (which sits 22,841 ft), they booked a 3-summit trip climbing volcanos in Ecuador. The school was an adventure in and of itself; they started off with some lower elevation hikes and climbs to acclimate – climbing 15,000 feet, 17,500 feet, and finally a climb just short of the summit of Cotopaxi. The climb teams leave the base of the volcanos around midnight. Their first summit


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attempt on Cayambe started with a blinding blizzard. Finally, at 3 pm, the volcano presented clear skies and perfect new snow. But, around 1000 ft shy of the summit, the teams heard a “whompfing” sound and had to turn around due to high avalanche danger. On their second attempt… she learned lots of lessons in mountaineering: Lack of sleep (1 hour), only half a snicker bar, barely any water… and the tricks altitude plays in your head. Less than 100 vertical feet from the summit of Cotopaxi at 19,347 ft she had her first experience in giving up. It was after this experience that she got a tattoo on the palm of her hand. It says Mind/ Matter (Mind over Matter). It serves to remind her that she can achieve most anything she puts her mind to and to think twice before giving up. A month later, she summited the tallest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas -Aconcagua, in Argentina. During the 17 day trek around South America's notable seven summits, she photographed her friend Steve and the rest of their team through daily activities, rest days, crazy meals of breads and sweets, and the climbs up and down as they shuttled their gear moving back and forth from one camp to the next. She describes

the summit day experience as both the worst and the best day of her whole life. It was the hardest thing she has ever done, but after her experience on Cotopaxi, she was able to push her way to the summit. After summit day her lead guide, Andy, told her that, because access to the world’s highest mountain (Everest) was not possible at that time of year, she was actually the tallest woman in the world for the thirty minutes they stood on the summit of Aconcagua that day.

Her current personal work is following Steve Stevens on epic world adventures and his bid to climb the seven summits. She’ll follow as many as she can; they have finished two so far. Elbrus and Denali will be her next, and she will hopefully catch Steve going to or coming from Everest. Sadly, this season’s climbing has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns. Kat currently resides in Whitefish, with her two beautiful dogs who are always game to go along on whatever adventure she is, as evidenced often on the #KittyKatBoomBat Instagram page. Due to her hobbies, it seemed prudent to learn how to self-rescue and help others, so she volunteers



for both Flathead Valley Search and Rescue and Flathead Nordic Backcountry Patrol.

Upon first impressions, Kat is, at once, both poised and enthusiastic. There is also an underlying current, a tightly coiled bundle of energy. Kat admits that she has always suspected that she has Attention Deficit Disorder. She has learned how

to manage it –finding that the more active she is, the better. If she feels she is losing focus, a trail run usually gets her back on track. Coffee helps. It might be fair to say that she has learned to use her ADD to her advantage. And she has given herself permission to just be herself.  

She and a friend have collaborated to form Hitched406. It is a one-stop-shop designed to take care of most of the details for Montana elopements – smaller affairs in which they can help provide the whole experience - the planning, fun ideas, photography via Green Kat Photography, and her friend as the officiant, master treat and cake maker, seamstress, and more! They love to plan the adventure of an elopement in Glacier Park, Flathead Lake, Big Mountain, the wilderness, or any location of the bride & groom's choice. Montana is a popular place for elopements. 

A dream of hers is to buy a van and deck it out, live the simpler life, and travel around taking active portraits of her subjects participating in all kinds of adventures in the outdoors. Perhaps adding a nighttime Northern Lights experience, star trails, and lakeside campfires during the season always with her dogs along for the fun! An Adventure Photography business, if you will, which hopefully will inspire others to take on their own adventures.


After all, if it’s not fun, why do it? We have one life to live – enjoy every little minute!


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Integrative Medicine for Better Health By Kristen Hamilton

Whitefish Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine owner, Aylee Thierfelder, L.Ac. is back in the Flathead Valley helping local residents live active, pain free lives. Thierfelder, a licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist was born and raised in Whitefish. She found acupuncture years ago when struggling with her own health and not getting the relief she needed through traditional methods. “Acupuncture and herbal medicine not only improved my condition, but benefited my mental health, energy level and overall sense of well-being,” said Thierfelder. “I’m not sure what my life would be like without this medicine.” Thierfelder is now a third generation native of Whitefish. Her mom, Megan McFadden, successfully co-owned and operated Swift Creek Cafe in Whitefish for 21 years. Her grandmother, Mary MacDonald was a nurse at North Valley Hospital for 30 years and her grandfather, Francis MacDonald worked for the Great Northern Railroad as a conductor.

Aylee graduated from one of the top Acupuncture schools in the country, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, and started a small private practice in Portland, OR as well as a family with her husband, Michael. Last year, they decided it was time to move their family away from the noise and stress of the big city and get back to a simpler life in Montana that had been calling them for years. “In a place as beautiful as Whitefish it’s key that people are feeling good physically and mentally so they can enjoy all that Montana has to offer. Most of our patients cannot or prefer not to take more medication or get surgery to assuage their conditions,” said Thierfelder.


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“I figured I would have to just live with the pain,” said Greg Gibson, a patient. “I was skeptical at first, but acupuncture changed my life.”

Gibson began seeing Aylee for pain related to chemotherapy and lingering effects from a skiing accident 5 years prior. “I think she does a heck of a job,“ Gibson said. “I haven’t moved like this in 20 years!”

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Pain concluded that acupuncture is effective for a number of chronic pain conditions. Results indicated that the effects of acupuncture were persistent over time, and that the benefits lasted for at least 12 months.

Whitefish Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine offers more than just acupuncture.

The clinic offers custom herbal medicine, microcurrent therapy, electro-stim and “No-Tox” Facial Rejuvenation because once you feel good you want to look good. They focus on evidence-based methods that yield recovery rates as high as 95% for some cases. Their emphasis is treating patients with complex and chronic conditions who have been struggling to find answers.

“I figured I would have to just live with the pain,” said Greg Gibson, a patient. “I was skeptical at first, but acupuncture changed my life.”

profile} Thierfelder has several herbal supplements on hand that she prescribes to her patients regularly. She also works with herbal pharmacies nationwide to fill custom formulas specific to the patient’s needs and presenting conditions. She notes there has been an uptick in demand for immune boosting, antiviral and stress relieving herbs given the current state of the nation. “The COVID-19 issue has people on edge, and we are seeing a lot of that stress here in the clinic. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are well known for stress relief and boosting the immune system. These two combined methods often help, especially in high-risk groups and those who are more affected by the situation. It feels necessary to provide some kind of relief to the community in these times where there’s so much uncertainty.”

At Whitefish Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine every new patient is scheduled for a consultation to determine if they are a good candidate for the treatment programs. Patients are then recommended a customized plan given their specific history, symptoms and medical diagnosis. “Acupuncture works best with duration and frequency. We can do a lot more in 12 treatments over 6 weeks than we can in 12 treatments over a year. We want to achieve and maintain lasting results for our patients, so they get better and stay better. The research and clinical experience show, this is how you do it.”

Thierfelder says seeing the strength, resilience and healing capabilities of her patients is the best part of the job. Now, it’s even better since she’s back in the Flathead Valley serving the community she grew up in and loves.

Whitefish Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine (406) 863-6001 www.whitefishaim.com



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Liz Plosser I Want Her Job

Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health Magazine By Brianne Perleberg This article originally appeared on IWantHerJob.com. Photo courtesy of Liz Plosser

Liz Plosser discovered a love for marathon running, and one day during a long run with her Team in Training running group, she first shared her soul’s dream—to be a magazine editor. At the time she was working in investment banking, and she knew deep down it wasn’t the path for her. And while she was learning a lot, and admits the job gave her the training to make a mean Excel spreadsheet, it simply wasn’t her life’s passion. “That really forced me to do some soul-searching about what made me happy,” Liz says.

Now, with a 15-year career in the wellness industry on her resume, Liz is living her dream out in real life as the editor-in-chief of Women’s Health. (She’s also now a triathlete in addition to a marathoner, too!) At the helm of the popular health magazine for females, Liz has brought her passion for fitness and a fresh new vision to the magazine. Others are taking notice too, as Women’s Health received a recent ASME nomination and Adweek Host List for Hottest Women’s Health Magazine. Previous to working at Women’s Health, Liz oversaw digital strategy as the senior vice president of content for Well+Good. Before that she worked as the senior director of content and communications at SoulCycle. And before both of these tenures, Liz worked as the former deputy editor of Self, and helped earn Cosmopolitan its first-ever national magazine award while overseeing the global brand’s health coverage.

When Liz isn’t editing articles and crafting headlines, you can find her sweating it out in the morning, and spending time with her three kids in the evening. Liz loves working out so much that she’s even hosted


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her last three birthday parties at SoulCycle! She’s on a mission to empower women to own their mornings and their strength.

What is something you learned in your jobs working in various roles in the health sector that helps shape your perspective today as editor-in-chief? Having worked in editorial (at SELF,  Cosmo and Time Out Chicago), on the brand side (as senior director of content at SoulCycle) and in the digital space (as SVP of content at Well+Good), I think I’ve had unique opportunity to experience how women think, feel, talk about and experience wellness at every touchpoint. Since women interact with Women’s Health every day in so many different ways, I think those experiences have been incredibly valuable for me.

What is a ‘Day in the Life of Liz’ like? How much time do you spend editing, generating content ideas, meeting with editors, etc.?

Every day is different! I try to do the things that require the most creativity and brain power first thing in the morning—big brainstorms, editing a complicated piece and cover lines.

On the topic of idea generation, what sources do you look to for inspiration and content ideas, or even issue themes? The Women’s Health team is in Slack, and a lot of our story ideas and issue themes come out of the topics that resonate with us there … as well as in brainstorm meetings. Sometimes a little story idea will come up, but while talking it over as a team, we realize there is something much bigger there, and we’ll blow it out across our channels. I can’t tell you how many times



I’ve had a lightning bolt moment or cracked a tough concept while I’m doing my morning run or strength training. I wish I had more time to be out and about exploring all of the amazing things happening in the wellness space— because often the best ideas come from living your life!—but fortunately my amazing team of editors is doing that every day.

What is the part of your job that gets you excited to come to work every day?

All parts! There are so many opportunities for our brand on all of our channels and in new ones, too … it’s a dream to come into work every day with my incredibly talented, passionate, hardworking team members.

What part of your work stressed you out the most? Have you found any methods that help for dealing with this?

At Women’s Health we are a tiny but mighty team, which means everyone wears many hats. The days go by in a flash! I have to remember to pace my energy throughout the day—it’s so easy to hustle from one thing to the next with your heart racing the entire time!—so I have plenty left in the tank at the end of a long day and for my kiddos and hubs when I get home from work.

As someone who understands what it takes to be healthy better than most, what tips can you offer that you’ve found personally useful for staying as healthy as possible as a working woman with after-hours emails, short lunch breaks, etc.? I find that I perform my best when I’m getting enough sleep, sweating regularly, and eating clean, colorful foods. All of that is easier said than done, but I really try to hit at least two out of the three every day.

What is something about your job that you want others to know about?

How fun it is! I tell people every single day that I have the best job in the entire world, and I mean that with all of my heart.

What are some future goals for you, and your vision with Women’s Health?

I think the biggie is to relentlessly push Women’s Health to grow and evolve. We have such an exciting opportunity to be the go-to health and wellness destination for women across the globe, and to find new ways to reach and resonate with our audience.

What advice do you have for others looking to work either at a magazine or in the health and wellness industry?

This industry changes quickly! Being nimble and agile is a key to success, whether you’re in publishing or wellness in general.

Any parting advice?

Work hard and with a positive attitude. I’ve made mistakes, fallen down many times … I’m proudest of myself for getting back up and finding the inner strength to push forward. A lot of it is mental: If you really believe you can do better, you’re halfway there. Brianne Perleberg, a born-andraised Montanan, is the founder of I Want Her Job, an award-winning website featuring curated career conversations with women changing the future of business. She also is the co-founder of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, a Top 100 Careers podcast on iTunes. You can follow @iwantherjob on Instagram.



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A DREAM Turned into Reality

A DREAM volunteer instructor partners with an athlete on an adaptive paddleboard on Whitefish Lake.


Celebrating 35 Years of promoting inclusion and providing empowering experiences in the great outdoors. By Julie Tickle, Executive Director DREAM Adaptive Recreation

It was quite the coincidence to learn that the founder of DREAM Adaptive Recreation in Whitefish, Montana currently lives 40 minutes from my hometown in western New York. As the new Executive Director, I couldn’t wait to give her a giant hug and hear the important details of our organization’s history directly from the source. It’s not often you get to sit down with a real-life trailblazer.

When Dottie Maitland started her Flathead Valley travel company, Tours by Maitland in 1981, she wasn’t aware of the profound impact she’d have on our community and beyond. However, not long after opening, she received a phone call that would etch a life changing new mission into her heart.

Dottie was contacted by a family looking to visit the area who had a member with cerebral palsy. She recalls their excitement when she confirmed their trip, as they had been turned away by all other tour companies due to the challenge of supporting someone with a disability. They had started to think that their dream was not a possibility. Dottie conducted some research and put together an itin-


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erary for the family that included visits to Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park. Although the family was thrilled, Dottie recalls being shocked at how few places were accessible to people with mobility challenges.

Immediately after the family’s tour Dottie invited friends Jane Lopp and Larry Dominick to form a fact-finding group to spearhead advocacy efforts in the local area focused on accessibility. Dottie then traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Congressional Compliance Board and returned armed with new ideas and information. It wasn’t long before they realized additional support was needed if they were to gain any traction. You see, this was all taking place five years before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. The team grew when Larry McMillian, Dennis Jones and Jim Oliverson joined the crew. Important relationships were built with the Forest Service, Glacier National Park, the Bureau of Land Management, and City Parks and Recreation Departments. In 1985 they formally founded Disabled Recreation Environmental Access Movement, what we now know as DREAM Adaptive Recreation. The group’s main mission back then was to educate the community about accessibility issues.

The DREAM team didn’t waste any time. Some of their first projects included: Working with Glacier National Park and the Forest Service on paving the Trail of the Cedars, making campgrounds, fishing access and bathrooms around the Flathead Valley accessible, and adding paved pathways and improving the pool area and restrooms at Kalispell’s Woodland Park.

Dottie Maitland, Founder (right) and Julie Tickle, Executive Director (left) connect in western New York; “I am so proud of what my dream became.  Thanks to many, it continues to grow.” - Dottie Maitland



One of the most incredible early accomplishments was the creation of “The Glacier Park-Flathead Valley Accessibility Guide to Undiscovered Montana” in 1988. To create this guide businesses were asked to provide accessibility information about their facilities and services. In the first round over 100 responses came in. DREAM then sent individuals who used wheelchairs to personally check each listing before being approved for print. After the first publication, they were overwhelmed by a second wave of businesses and groups that didn’t originally send information. These groups primarily wanted to know what they could do to make themselves more accessible. The hard work paid off and the community showed interest in becoming more inclusive. Copies of the guide went on to be distributed nationally through the United States Travel and Tourism Offices and worldwide through the Department of Commerce.

In 1988, Dottie was quoted in a local paper saying “It (the guide) shows everyone that we are thinking ahead to the future…” We’re so glad that they did! From their early advocacy efforts, adaptive recreation programs soon followed: · Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort · Nordic Skiing · Water Sports Programs that include water skiing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, boat rides, tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking and swimming · Weekly Paddle Programs consisting of paddle boarding and kayaking on many local lakes and rivers, including Lake Mc Donald in Glacier National Park · Mountain Biking · Military Veteran Programs

Fast forwarding to 2019, DREAM Adaptive staff and volunteers provided over 1,080 lessons for individuals with cognitive, physical and sensory disabilities. Our small but mighty staff has worked tirelessly to become a leader in disability advocacy and awareness by providing educational opportunities and partnering with other valued community organizations.

Outdoor recreation undoubtedly improves health, promotes an increase in self-esteem, facilitates new relationships, fosters a sense of belonging, and helps people gain independence. We take great pride in the authenticity of our programs as they help individuals with disabilities gain valuable skills and confidence that will continue to permeate through various aspects of their lives.

Dottie’s DREAM has continued to grow and our mission is far from over! Thirty-five years after DREAM was founded, individuals with disabilities are still considered a vulnerable and underserved population, due to a myriad of inequalities that still

exist in our society. We are committed to addressing these challenges as we continue to break down barriers and provide more empowering and inclusive opportunities for all.

There are many ways you can get involved: VOLUNTEER!

DREAM’s longevity and success can be greatly attributed to the dedication and commitment of more than 125 volunteers annually. In 2019, more than 5,200 hours of service was devoted to DREAM’s mission. We always need more help! No previous adaptive experience is necessary to volunteer, as all training is provided. In addition to sport roles, volunteers are needed for administrative tasks, event committees, equipment maintenance, and more.


Outdoor recreation is something to be shared. Our year-round lessons and opportunities are provided for people with disabilities ages 5 and up, and include family, friends and the community whenever possible. We serve individuals with cognitive, physical and sensory disabilities. Participants


Photos from top to bottom: A group of mountain bikers enjoy a beautiful day on the trails. A DREAM hand cyclist competes at the inclusive 24 Hours of Flathead at Herron Park in Kalispell. An adaptive athlete water skis around Echo Lake at a DREAM Water Sports day. 406 oman.com  19



A local high school athlete prepares to sit-ski with her classmates at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

range from the never-ever looking to learn a new sport or experience a new adventure, to the more advanced athlete looking to try new equipment, refine their skills or reach loftier goals.


Donations are critical now more than ever to support the growing demand for our services. DREAM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is solely funded by individual donations, grants, and corporate partners. Did you know one of our adaptive mountain bikes costs over $12,000, and sit-skis range from $5,000 - $8,000?

BECOME A DREAM MAKER. In celebration of 35 years of service, donors are encouraged to contribute a reoccurring donation in the amount of $35/month. Consistent giving provides predictable revenue which allows DREAM to spend more time on direct program initiatives. As a DREAM Maker, you receive exclusive announcements and opportunities throughout the year. Supporting DREAM through an event is another great way to learn more and introduce your extended circle to our mission. ·Register your team of four for the annual Golf Scramble at Village Greens on Saturday, Aug. 22nd ·Save the date for the Annual Snow Ball at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake Friday, March 5, 2021 ·The date for the annual Shred-a-Thon at Whitefish Mountain Resort will be posted soon


Please visit our website dreamadaptive.org where you can register for programs, sign-up to volunteer, donate, or purchase tickets to an event. We hope to see you on the trails!

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Anew U Cryospa By Mary Wallace

Introducing Anew U Cryospa, the valley’s newest spa, which promises an experience of relaxation, rejuvenation and a renewed sense of purpose! Owners, Tony & Tracey Corpron, are thrilled to bring their new stateof-the-art Cryoskin system to the area. But they cheerfully admit that they didn’t set out to open a spa. They had simply been looking for body sculpting cryo-equipment for personal use; but then they found the Cryoskin system and it is amazing!

It was while they were in the process of researching where they could purchase a Cryoskin system that two things happened. First, their supplier happened to mention that there wasn’t anyone in Western Montana offering this treatment; did they want to consider opening their own facility? And second, when a lovely salon/spa space suddenly became available in a central valley location, it seemed as if the planets were lining up to help them decide that it was meant to be! They signed the lease and signed on for the comprehensive training to become certified to offer Cryoskin to clients in the Flathead Valley. Anew U Cryospa has been open about four months and offers the innovative Cryoskin 3.0 for body slimming/sculpting, skin toning/lifting, along with a variety of esthetician services, massage therapy techniques, spray tanning, hair, and nail services.

So, what exactly, is Cryoskin? Basically, it’s a 28-minute session to permanently destroy fat cells, using controlled thermic shock technology. Just heat followed by cold. The treatment is fairly new to the U.S.; however, it has been in use in Europe for over 21 years.

Cryoskin utilizes the science behind cryolipolysis to provide non-invasive solutions for slimming, toning, cellulite reduction, and facial toning, reduction of fine lines, while increasing the production of collagen, an amazing anti-aging treatment. Cryolipolysis is the use of sub-zero temperatures to destroy fat cells in the body. This works by triggering apoptosis (cellular death) of the fat cells, and the subsequent production of healthy new cells for a tighter, toned, younger and more slender appearance.


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How does a Cryoskin treatment feel? The treatment begins with a warming segment, and then gets cold very quickly. (Yes – it does get quite cold, but is not painful, just cold.) Most don’t have any kind of skin reaction, although some may experience some redness, similar to having rosy cheeks after being outside in cold weather. Clients are then encouraged to relax while being treated to warm towels after their treatment.

What exactly, is Cryoskin?

Basically, it’s a 28-minute session to permanently destroy fat cells, using controlled thermic shock technology. Just heat followed by cold. profile} Results vary – everything from less than one inch to up to three inches during the first session. Both men and women have had great results; however, men usually see a more immediate result, while women experience more appreciable results over the course of a week or more. In the days following a Cryoskin treatment, the body sloughs off the frozen fat cells and creates healthy new cells, once collagen production has kicked in. It is recommended to schedule sessions approximately every 2 weeks, to ensure the body’s lymphatic system has time to recover between treatments. Most clients report that they leave each session looking and feeling amazing; many choose to have multiple sessions until they achieve their desired result. Anew U offers a free Cryoskin consultation to determine what will work best for each of our clients.

For many, the results are meant to be a permanent solution, but of course, it does depend on each person, their lifestyle, the particular treatment they have had done, and various other factors. Some clients like to book a touch-up session once or twice a year.

Unlike some fat loss and cellulite treatments that can actually damage the skin and cause nerve damage, Cryoskin treatments are completely non-invasive, using the science that works with the body’s natural systems. Any side effects are mostly of a positive nature. Some patients may experience weight loss; others might notice a reduction in the appearance of cellulite or stretch marks (due to the increased collagen production). As mentioned before, some might experience some temporary redness of the skin.

The new spa is located at 32 Village Loop in Kalispell, in the very corner unit of the complex at the intersection of Whitefish Stage Road and West Evergreen Drive. Their hours are Monday – Friday 10 am -6 pm, and on Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm. They will be offering seasonal discounts and invite the valley to watch their Facebook page (#AnewUCryospa) for specials or to directly book an appointment online. Visit https://anewucryospa.com/ or call them at (406) 309-2888 for more information. The Corprons are pleased to welcome the addition of a team of licensed and certified professionals who round out the services offered at Anew U Cryospa - including facials, microdermabrasion, eyebrow and eyelash treatments, massage, spray tans, nails and hair services. The entire team is eager to provide the best in the valley to help you “Be the Best You.”



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All Things

Trex withLisa Stanbo Life is just better on the porch!

By Mary Wallace Photo by Amanda Wilson Photography

Meet Lisa Stanbo, the new Area Sales Rep for Trex Deck! Lisa was in the valley recently for the Flathead Building Association’s Home and Garden Showcase, and we met to catch up on all things Trex. She has been with the company for four years, and since she hails from Spokane, she likes being centrally located to serve her company territory encompassing eastern Washington and western Montana. By her own admission, Lisa just loves to talk about Trex products. “It’s not just a deck,” said Lisa, “it’s a haven - a retreat in your own back yard.” Whether for a large gathering place for parties or a cozy oasis for your family, Lisa and the teams at Flathead Valley Trex suppliers have all the resources to take a client’s dreams from a rough concept to a finished, functional outdoor living space.

“Trex is primarily used for decks, docks, boardwalks,” says Lisa. “But over the years, the company has developed railing systems, their Elevations steel framing systems, fascia, Rain Escapes (dry spaces below decks), furniture, lighting, outdoor kitchen units, pergolas, innovative fire & water features, and many other applications designed to create living outdoors experiences that are limited only to each customer’s imagination.” So what, exactly, is Trex decking? Is it environmentally friendly? Trex is an eco-friendly, high-performance composite alternative to wood decking. It makes for beautiful and functional outdoor living spaces. Made with 95% recycled material, Trex consists of half hardwood sawdust and half recycled grocery store type bags. Trex products actually keep 400,000 tons of waste out of landfills per year. As a matter of reference, a 500 square foot deck saves a landfill from approximately 140,000 plastic bags. The finish (shell) on each composite board is also made with recycled material.


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Why not just use wood? Why are Trex products superior? According to Lisa, they are manufactured entirely in the USA and have a 25-year warranty, much longer than natural wood. Trex won’t rot, warp, or splinter. It won’t fade, so it does not need seasonal painting, sealing, or staining. Termites do not like Trex decking. Trex comes in 23 colors; and can withstand years of sun, rain, sleet, and snow. It is low maintenance and cleans up with soap and water.

Lisa’s mission is to provide training and support for the contractors and staff at our local lumberyards so that they can help their customers design & build an outdoor living space that is right for each. Lisa does a considerable amount of traveling for her job, but she loves the variety, and she enjoys being the intermediary between the Trex design department and the suppliers and building professionals who are continually dreaming up new ways to use Trex. She said she loves working for a wonderful company with top-notch products.

Trex is a versatile product with styles for every budget and price point. It can be installed by Weekend Warriors (DIY-ers) using the design tools, how-to videos, and project calculators offered on Trex.com. Those looking for a local contractor to work on their project will find a list of local Trex-Pros on the website, as well.

Trex Company Inc was founded in 1996 and has been publicly traded (NYSE: TREX) since 1999. Trex is headquartered in Winchester, VA, and they have a second manufacturing plant in Fernly, Nevada. Trex products are sold in over 40 countries across the globe. Trex is truly an environmentally friendly company and is one of the biggest recyclers in the United States.

Lisa is proud to report that no live trees are ever harvested to create their products. She is also proud of the fact that the company has contributed both product and expertise to several environmental projects - including a boardwalk project at the Maui Wildlife Refuge at Kealia Pond NWR in Hawaii, and the Theatre & Kid Zone at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. Trex is a supporter of the Solar Decathlon, a yearly green building competition held in Washington, DC. Locally, Trex decking and railings were showcased in the outdoor living spaces of the 2019 HGTV Dream Home in Whitefish, Montana. Several slopeside Whitefish Mountain treehouses also feature Trex deck products.

When not working, Lisa is a soccer mom who loves spending time with her family and fitting in some skiing when she can. And sitting outside on her Trex deck. She really loves that, too.



The Gateway Drug By Thomas Flass, MD, MS, pediatric gastroenterologist at Montana Children's

OK, so first the good news: dietary fat and cholesterol have been cleared of all charges (for the most part). With the exception of trans fat and hydrogenated oils, recent meta-analysis has shown no strong link between dietary fat and heart disease, or stroke. Yes, even saturated fat. That is a large departure from what we have been told for the last 40 years. Which means that steak for dinner is not likely to clog your arteries or make you fat. Unless you have it with a glass of juice or soda or a donut. Now for the bad news. Sugar is a killer, and is likely responsible for not only the fattening of America, but also the epidemic of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and possibly even cancer. This has been known since the 1970’s, but thanks to some “contributions” to key scientists and politicians, sugar got a hall pass while dietary fat got wrongly incarcerated. This is not a conspiracy theory, evidence to back this up


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was published November 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine, after being picked up by the New York Times on September 12, 2016.

exercise- and some are referring to Alzheimer’s as Type 3 Diabetes.

The result of these dietary shenanigans is what we see today all around us. Obesity rates have increased 50% per decade since the 1970’s (from 13% to more than 40% of Americans today). In the next few years we will be surpassing the high water mark- with 50% of US citizens classified as obese! This is not an aesthetic issue, we are not concerned with cellulite and love handles. The explosion of metabolic related diseases may represent the downfall of the American Healthcare system. 30 million American adults and children now have Type 2 diabetes and 100 million have pre-diabetes (increasing cardiovascular disease and other health risks). The projected costs of caring for these folks will likely bankrupt Medicare in the next few years. From 2012-2017, the estimated cost of caring for Type 2 diabetes spiked from 240 to 327 billion dollars. Yes, billion. Per year. Spent on a disease that is almost completely preventable (and in many cases reversible) with diet and lifestyle adjustments. And by the way, Alzheimer’s disease (which represent the most costly long term debilitating disease ever seen) may be to some degree preventable with diet and

So if these diseases of western culture are so preventable, why aren’t we preventing them? It appears to be the perfect storm of politics, money, the food industry and our biology. We will start with our biology. We are genetically designed to like sweet things. In nature, sweet foods (fruits) were only available seasonally in most climates. We would gorge on fruit in the fall to gain weight for the winter, knowing that in a few months it would be gone until the following year. In nature, concentrated sugar was not available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In fruits, the sugar comes packaged with a lot of fiber, and healthy antioxidants as well. Throughout most of history, sugar was not concentrated into liquid or powdered form, where we could get hundreds of calories of sugar in a few gulps or bites with no fiber, no antioxidants. This concentrated sugar overloads our body’s capacity to process the fructose component of sugar in a healthy manner, and leads to increased

In the next few years we will be surpassing the high water mark- with 50% of US citizens classified as obese! “bad” fat in the bloodstream and our livers, increased levels of inflammation in our bodies, leading to pre-diabetes and eventually type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Sugar is addictive. These large boluses of concentrated sugar have recently been shown to stimulate the “reward center” in our brains in a manner identical to cocaine or other drugs of abuse. The food industry has been aware of this for some time. Start reading your food labels and look at the number of foods that have added sugar in them. It may go under any of a dozen names, but there is added sugar pumped into the majority of the processed foods sold in the USA. This is not just in cookies and candies, but other items you wouldn’t expect- breads, condiments, meats, packaged dinners, yogurt, peanut butter, baby food, etc. Sweet foods sell more, and we unconsciously keep eating more of them. This constant dosing of sugar is silently damaging our bodies and leading us down the road to ruin. Just one sweetened drink per day was estimated to increase risk of type 2 diabetes by almost 20% (Imamura, BMJ 2015). Contrary to popular belief, the damage goes on even in those people who are not significantly overweight or obese. There are actually more “normal weight” Americans with metabolic dysfunction on the road to type 2 diabetes than there are obese individuals with the same condition. This is called “TOFI”- Thin Outside and Fat Inside. They may not look it from the outside, but these folks may be ticking time bombs, with their internal organs cased in fat, their arteries narrowing, but outside appearing relatively normal weight. Despite the mounting evidence that sugar is a killer, little has been done about it. There are powerful forces that have prevented any real action for years, as the low-fat fiasco continued to be perpetuated. “The times they are a changing…” The tide is slowly turning. Medical professionals are slowly beginning to appreciate the evidence showing the dangers of excessive sugar. A dietary guidelines advisory committee to the Department of Health and Human Services stated in 2015 that they could not recommend a low fat high-carb diet for any health reason. Cities are passing their own “sugar tax” on sweetened drinks to help offset the cost of caring for all the diabetics. Some schools (not enough) are finally outlawing soda machines on campus. The military is VERY concerned about this obesity trend, which is viewed as a major threat to our national security. The document entitled “Too Fat to Fight” (published in 2010 by a committee of high-ranking retired military officers) should have been a wake-up call long ago, yet 71% of young adults are not eligible for military service, largely due to health and obesity related reasons. Something needs to be done now, as we are already heading down a really bad road. Take action. Protect your children. Start with your own diet and your children’s diet, and commit to drastically reducing your family’s intake of sugar. The World Health Organization recommends less than 25 grams of added sugar per day (a soda is 39 grams). Read labels and start counting grams of added sugar NOT calories. Eat more real food that you cook yourself, and cut down on packaged and processed foods full of sugars and additives. Buy food from local farms and ranches. Drink water and cut out the sweetened drinks and save them for a rare special occasion. Ditch the desserts and stop using candy as a reward for your kids. Make sure that your schools are removing the sugary drinks from their campuses if they have not done so. Watch the documentary “Fed Up” or read Dr. Robert Lustig’s book “Fat Chance.” Get educated, get mad, get healthy. For more resources go to www.sugarscience.org



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Protecting Each Other: COMMUNITY


In February 2020, Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) and North Valley Hospital (NVH) partnered with Flathead City-County Health Department and the Montana State Health Department to address the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. With a surge in cases of COVID-19 across the nation, KRH has focused its efforts on patient and employee safety, as well as community education to help stop the spread of the virus. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes within six-feet of someone. It is also possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Statistically, seniors 65 and older and immunocompromised individuals are the most vulnerable populations affected by this virus. As more is learned about COVID-19, leading health officials suggest taking serious precautionary measures—including social distancing and/or sheltering in place, frequent handwashing and sanitizing of high-touch surfaces, and isolating yourself if feeling unwell or showing symptoms (dry cough, fatigue, fever, muscle aches). Although we cannot control our current conditions, we can control how we prepare and care for our patients, employees and community. KRH continues to take several steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. An established 24-hour call center is available for anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or in need of medical evaluation or advice. Please call (406) 890-7272 for adults or (406) 890-7273 for children.

KRH also established three screening facilities — in Kalispell, Whitefish and Eureka — to help evaluate those who develop respiratory symptoms. All locations are staffed by Kalispell Regional Medical Center and North Valley Hospital staff and are identified with “Respiratory Screening Facility” signage.


“These respiratory screening facilities protect the population, patients, staff and visitors from exposure while allowing for the continuity of operations and patient care at hospitals

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and clinics,” says KRH Chief Medical Officer Doug Nelson, M.D. “Most patients infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms such as fever, cough, and muscle aches and are advised to stay at home and rest, drink plenty of fluids, self-isolate, and take over-thecounter medicines to treat their symptoms. Patients with moderate symptoms who feel they need medical attention should visit one of the screening sites. Patients who develop severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, dehydration, or extreme weakness are encouraged to seek emergency care.” KRH continues to provide accurate, educational resources and up-to-date information on our website at www.krh.org/covid19, as well as on the KRH and NVH Facebook pages.

How You Can Help

evolves. Help KRH reach a goal of building an inventory of 10,000 masks! Visit www. krh.org/ProjectPPE to download patterns and learn how you can help our health care workers here in the valley. If you can’t sew or have supplies, the Emergency Response Fund was created for monetary donations to ensure that those who are working on the front lines continue to have the resources they need to care for this community. We welcome any message of hope, comfort, thanks or encouragement to our employees, as well. Letters can be sent to 310 Sunnyview Lane, Kalispell MT 59901 or email foundation@krmc.org.

There could come a time when Personal Thank you to all of our volunteers and comProtective Equipment (PPE)s may be signif- munity members for helping with these icantly reduced as the COVID-19 situation projects. Let’s protect each other.


Modern Day Preparedness By Callie Reagan


One of the first lessons that I learned while obtaining my Master’s Degree in Public Health Preparedness was the impact that each individual’s resiliency has on the success in the event of an emergency. In Randall Larsen’s book Our Own Worst Enemy, the Retired Airforce Colonel mentions and is a strong advocate for the 85 percent rule. This 85 percent rule is the belief that 85 percent of the solution or recovery from a disaster is from the public’s personal preparedness. Typically for the first to about 72 hours after a disaster, the ground zero area is on its own, meaning that it is responsible for the care and initial actions using its own police, fire, EMS and other services. There is no possible way for these services to care for all individuals that could be affected by the crisis or disaster. Response needs to be concentrated on the areas where devastation is most greatly felt. This is what we are currently experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are currently in the middle of this experience people might think that it is too late to be prepared. Now, I am not talking about going out and buying everything at the store, but there are things that we can do to make ourselves more prepared for things like the coronavirus.


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Most of us are not going to be going to the extent that we are going to turn into preppers and build bunkers in the back yard as cool as that would be. That’s not what we need. What we need is the ability to react to situations and bounce back as quickly as possible. Here are some ways that we can do that.


Experts say that you need to have both a short term and long term savings. You also want this to be diversified, meaning that you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. Start with saving $1000. If possible, have this in cash. There are times where access to the bank will not be an option. After that start saving for three months of expenses and grow from there.


To truly be prepared you need to have the necessities to stay alive. This is food and water. To start, make sure each person in your household has a 72-hour kit that contains water, food, blanket, and a basic first aid kit. From there you can grow to a weeks worth, then a month and if possible up to one year. The most important thing to remember here is that the items that you stock need to be things that you are really going to eat. Have treats like cakes and brownies. Make sure you have the basics that will make living off these items easy rather than a nightmare. Make sure you


rotate these items and use them so you know how to prepare them.


In some emergencies, there are restrictions on your travel. When we look at Montana, we are a big state with big gaps between populations. A simple way to be prepared is to try to keep your car’s gas tank at least half full and in good working order. This allows you to travel to friends and family’s homes with little inconvenience. Being prepared in these simple ways doesn’t ensure that you are ready for any and every experience. However, preparation leads to a home, family, community, and state that is more able to care for themselves. While the devastation is still felt, there is a feeling of empowerment and confidence in the community and household that is prepared. Being prepared for local emergencies like fires, flooding, power loss, etc. allows the local responders, city and state governments to help bridge the gap between federal aid and personal preparedness. Being prepared also allows you to be an asset in your community. It may mean that you personally never need to use these safety nets, but you are able to help others that may be displaced from their homes or unable to care for themselves. If there is one thing that we have learned with the coronavirus, it is that we are in this together and we are not alone.


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Yoga, Play, Love, Repeat By Holly Moore from Love Yoga Photos by Jill Jones

When we find ourselves faced with life’s challenges, it can be easy to get stuck in negative thinking and endless cascades of worst-case-scenarios. This thinking is based on fear and anxiety about the future, which takes us out of the present moment and out of our bodies. It is during dark times, that we are called to integrate our yoga and self-care practices to help us regain focus on the truth of things. You can access the possibility and light of the present with a child’s mindset. Let go and commit to being silly. Be playful, curious, unhinged, and free with your movement. The following exercises can be done anywhere. But you might find them even more healing if you can get outside and move.

What follows is a playful, cardio yoga-based practice, made for those with young kids in mind but they can be done solo as well. They are strengthening and nature-based exercises to get you into your body and out of your head. I also include a lot of these exercises and poses into my Power Sculpt and Barre classes, so I hope that you’ll also feel a little spirit of the studio in these moves. The idea here is to have fun, move a lot, and breathe deeply; cherish your body, your family/friends/ pets, and the things that will remain regardless of what’s happening in the world around us.

Let’s start with a simple cardio warmup with some exercises that are great for all ages. Do each of these exercises for one minute, or until you’re really feeling your body get warm. Set a timer or even make this into a contest with your kids to see who can do each exercise for the longest or fastest.


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Warm-Up Jog in place

(or around the block or driveway)

Jumping Jacks Hop on one foot (do both sides)

For these next exercises and poses, you can set a timer for 1-2 minutes for each set or go until you really feel the burn. Mountain Pose into Alternating Lunges

Stand in Mountain pose with your feet hip width distance and arms down by your sides. Roll your shoulders down away from your ears and engage your legs and core. From there, step your right foot forward into a high lunge position, while bending your front leg to 90 degrees and keeping your back leg mostly straight. Step or jump back to mountain pose and then step forward with the opposite foot. Repeat. (If you have kids, say “Superstar” as you lunge forward.) Unicorn Gallops: Hold your lunge position on one side and bring your palms together overhead, creating a unicorn “horn” and then gallop around keeping that same leg forward. Then switch sides. Bring in whatever sound effects feel appropriate.


Plank Mountain Climbers

Come into plank pose. Puff up the area between your shoulder blades and draw your belly button in toward your spine to fully engage your core. Draw your right knee in toward your nose and then extend it back to plank. Switch sides and start to move a little quicker. (With kids, pretend you are running from a yeti or dinosaur.)

Tree Pose

Stand in mountain pose with your hands together in prayer, with legs strong, feet together, shoulders down, and gentle gaze. Roll your weight into one foot and float the opposite foot off the ground. Bring the sole of your lifted foot to the inside of your standing thigh or calf. Take 2-3 deep breaths and then switch to the opposite side.

Complete the remainder of this sequence inside, or a place where you can crank up the music and then snuggle in for rest. DANCE PARTY!! Put on your (or your kids) all-time favorite song, turn it up, and dance like your life depends on it! Repeat as many times as you like. BREATHWORK - COUNTDOWN TO CALM: Sit tall in a cross-legged position. Breathe in and out through your nose. Count to five on your inhale and then do the same on your exhale, emphasizing slow deep breaths. With kids you can count aloud.

Bear Walk

GRATITUDE PRACTICE: Say out loud at least five people/places/ things you are grateful for. Bonus points if you can say more than five.

From plank pose, come to all fours position and take a few rounds of cat/cow. Inhale as you drop your belly and arch your back, and exhale as you round your spine and look in toward your navel. Then, from all fours, press into your hands and lift your knees just an inch or two off your mat or ground surface. Look forward and start to crawl around your space, keeping knees just hovered from the ground and bent to 90 degrees. Stay engaged through your core and make sounds effects as applicable.

Star Pose into Triangle Reps

Come into star pose- Stand tall, bring your feet wide and point your toes out. Lift your arms parallel to the ground. From there, stay lifted and open through your front body, and bend to your right side as you touch your right hand to your right thigh and then lift your left arm straight overhead. Come back through star pose and then switch sides. Start to move back and forth between right and left sides, only moving your upper body as your lower body stays strong and rooted. (If you have kids, you can sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as you move from side to side).

SAVASANA: Cuddle up with your partner(s) in crime and play a soft, soothing song for snuggle time and rest. Now’s also a good time for a massage of your hands, feet, head, neck and shoulders either for yourself or whomever you were lucky enough to share in this practice today. Namaste! www.loveyogawhitefish.com



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Fear Not Young Ladies!

The Ins and Outs of the First Gynecological Exam SCREENING

By Kasey Patton, WHNP, PMH-C

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend a young woman’s first visit to the gynecologist sometime between the ages of 13 and 15 years, unless indicated sooner. This information may make any teenager reading this want to hide the magazine…But wait! Things have changed significantly in the last 10 to 15 years in regards to a young woman’s screening and wellness care in our offices. Gone are the days when a teenager is required to have a full female exam just for setting foot in a gynecologist’s office. The newest recommendation is that there is no need for a pelvic exam on women under the age of 21 that is not having symptoms consistent with genital tract disease or dysfunction, even if she is sexually active. A Pap smear is also not required on any woman under the age of 21 regardless of sexual activity.


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If there is concern of sexually transmitted disease, we will most likely be able to screen a sexually active woman by using a urine specimen obtained in complete privacy by the patient during her visit.

So, what exactly happens at a female screening or wellness visit for a teenager?

A thorough medical history is obtained as well as detailed information about your periods and any other concerns. I prefer to have a parent or guardian present during this portion of the visit as many teenagers do not have knowledge of their family

histories. When it comes to asking more personal questions, such as about sexual activity and any private questions that the patient might have, I will offer to have the parent or guardian step out of the room to allow for questions that might feel too embarrassing to ask with an audience. Counseling may also be done at this time regarding safe sex, substance abuse, and healthy lifestyle. After we are done taking a complete history, a brief physical exam is often performed. For patients younger than 18, a physical exam similar to that at a pediatrician or

health} family practitioner’s office will be performed. If she is older than 18, a breast exam may be taught and performed as well.

Sexual Activity

Ideally, a teenager will be seen prior to having sex. It is a good rule of thumb to come to the gynecologist if the patient has a steady boyfriend or if she is considering “taking things to the next level.” It is also good to start on birth control prior to becoming sexually active as some methods take one month before they are fully effective. Many teenagers are afraid to report that they are having sex because they do not want to have an exam. This is concerning as it is important for her to not be afraid to come to our office for evaluation. A pelvic exam is rarely needed. A careful history and a lot of counseling will be the focus of this visit. A urine sample may be taken for STI testing.


If the patients periods are heavy or painful enough that they are interfering with their

school work, sports or job, further evaluation is needed. If they are experiencing very irregular periods or periods that don’t appear for three months or more, or if their periods have not yet started by age 15 despite other signs of puberty (such as breast development) they should be seen in our office.

Yeast infection/vaginal irritation

If the patient has concerns about vaginal discharge, odor, itching, or burning, they may have an infection that needs attention. This is especially common in the summer months

as prolonged exposure to wet bathing suits or clothes damp from sweat can make ideal conditions for growth of a yeast infection.

Other concerns

Any other concern that a patient may have about their gynecological health can be addressed with a visit to a gynecological practitioner. The patient may no longer get a sucker or sticker when they leave the doctor’s office, but what they will get as a reward is peace of mind that their health can be carefully maintained without fear of GYN visits.



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Changed lives By Amanda Creamer

It’s difficult to imagine, but our beautiful state ranks second in the nation in the number of children in foster care per capita. With about 3,500 children in the Montana foster care system, more foster parents are always needed. For nearly 10 years, day in and day out, Child Bridge finds and equips foster and adoptive families to care for children who’ve suffered abuse and neglect. We do it because we believe nothing is more important than every child having a family. I’m a foster/adoptive parent myself. And, I work at Child Bridge. One of the things I love most is meeting other families who are on the foster journey. These are families who are called to do the very difficult work of caring for a child who has suffered trauma. These are people who are willing to step in even if they know it will be hard. People like Ben and Tiffany Cannon. When Ben and Tiffany got married, they each already had children from their previous marriage. They wanted to have children together as a couple, but after a while, it didn’t seem like that was going to happen for them. So, with willing and compassionate hearts, they decided that they could be a wonderful family to a child in foster care. It seems sometimes that big decisions to go another direction opens the door for pregnancy! That’s exactly how it worked for Ben and Tiffany. Not once, but twice! But even with children of their own, their hearts were still broken for children who needed families. So, with a 3-year-old and 15-month-old, they embarked again on the foster journey of training and licensing.


No doubt, God has a sense of humor, as their first foster placement were siblings...yep, you guessed it…a 3-year-old and a 15-month-old. 38 406


The Cannon Family With this placement, the Cannons had concerns that they couldn’t care for two sets of “twins” for long. This is why so many foster families are needed. In an ideal world, social workers should have many families to choose from so proper age and gender matching can happen. The Cannons were able to bridge the gap and provide wonderful care for these children until an adoptive family could be found. Even though the Cannons found that first placement very difficult due to the ages of the children, their hearts were still all in for foster care. Ben always had a heart for fostering older kids and Tiffany was drawn to the babies. They met in the middle and said yes to a phone call asking them if they would care for a child again. This time it was a 9-year-old girl, Makaila.

Makaila opened their eyes to the depth of the hurt and tragedy that so many children experience. Tiffany recalls, “When Makaila came to live with us, she couldn’t name the months of the year in order, but she could tell us, step by step, how to shoot up heroin. And I’ll never forget the day we were driving, and she perked up and said, “I smell weed.” She was nine.“

Before Makaila was placed with the Cannons, she had officially been in foster care for just a year, but her biological family was no stranger to the state of Montana Child and Family Services office. Social workers had been involved in her life since she was born. Her parents were both addicts and heavily used meth and heroin. One night her parents got pulled over and one was high on meth and Makaila was in the front seat. Sometimes the school would call to report suspicions of abuse and neglect, but her dad would get it together enough to keep her in the home. In 2015, everything changed. Makaila’s dad died of cancer leaving just mom to take care of the little girl. They were always “almost homeless” and there are many times she remembers having to steal food from the grocery store to eat dinner. With mom unable to care for her, the state had no other option than to place her in foster care. And for Makaila, there would be no reunification with her mom. Tiffany and Ben remember what those early days were like. “The first year was pretty easy. She was compliant and sweet…laid back and got along with everyone.”



Ben and Tiffany Cannon


They were always “almost homeless” and there are many times she remembers having to steal food from the grocery store to eat dinner. Oliver Makaila was adopted by the Cannon Family in March of 2019. But sometimes “forever” is too much for kids from trauma to handle and things got really hard. Ben shares, “our two biological boys are autistic and the relationship with Makaila is very hard. She struggles to understand that we will always be her family and that no matter what she does, we will not abandon her or leave her. That is just a natural way for kids who have endured so much to feel. But we are committed to helping her believe this is true…that this family is forever.” Ben and Tiffany’s foster/adoptive journey doesn’t end with Makaila. They have also adopted a little boy named Oliver from foster care. Tiffany reflected on meeting baby Oliver. “I picked him up from the hospital at two days old. The hospital asked that I bring clothes because the parents had nothing. He was laying in his bassinet in just a diaper. He was born to a mom who was mentally the age of a 6-year-old.

Dad was an extremely abusive man who is now in prison for two felony strangulation charges.” Tiffany continues with the story, “after he was born, the nurses had to sneak him out of the room to feed him because the mother vehemently assured them, he was “fine and not hungry.” But in fact, Oliver was starving. It’s hard to imagine what would’ve happened to him if he hadn’t been in the hospital.” Sadly, Ben and Tiffany have learned that the birth mom is now homeless in California.

These are only a few of the stories of the 11 children the Cannons have cared for since they began this journey. They are wholly committed to caring for others because, “there are so many more Olivers and Makailas.“ Tiffany and Ben both share their gratitude for Child Bridge. “We cannot imagine being on this journey without them. The community of

families they have helped build has become our family…our sole support system. As families who are caring for some of the hardest children, and committing to them for life, we need others that tell us we are not alone and that is what Child Bridge does…and that helps us keep going,” said Tiffany. Ben adds, “If you can’t foster, please consider supporting Child Bridge financially. We do. And we do it because we are living this. We know how vital Child Bridge resources and relationships are in this very difficult work.”

"We can't let the fear of loving a child that might leave deter us; we must let the fear of a child never knowing our love drive us.” – Jason Johnson If you’re interested in information about foster parenting, supporting those who do, or would like to support the vital work of Child Bridge across the state, please contact us at info@childbridgemontana.org or a visit us at www.childbridgemontana.org.



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Quarantine by Dr. John F. Miller DDS

Wow!! What else can be said without using profanity right? I write for this publication every 2 months and in that short span the world has quite literally shut down. Just like that, we’re all a bunch of unemployed homeschoolers with enough toilet paper to last us a lifetime of irritable bowel syndrome. I am really glad that I am not a kid right now. Well, not in the general sense. What I mean is, I’m glad that I am not my younger self. I was a very impressionable youth. I would hear things in the news and media and blow it out of proportion in my head. I remember being terrified of Cancer, I was sure that Operation Desert Storm was the beginning of end times, of course everyone was going to die of AIDS so why worry about getting good grades, and let’s not forget that Killer Bees from Mexico were going to terrorize our country starting


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with...wait for it...Arizona!! Where I lived!! This COVID-19 bugger would have done-in 10-year old John Miller.

You got it; Dental Hygienists came it at #1 with Dentists immediately following at #2. Loggers happened to be the least at risk FYI.

Fortunately, I survived childhood and have appeared to have developed some pretty good coping mechanisms. Nowadays, anyone who knows me would describe me as laid-back to a fault. I do not get worked up easily, especially about things that don’t directly concern me and that I cannot control. Welp, it concerns me now in that I am a collective member of the human race and I can control the limiting of social interactions as directed by folks far smarter than myself.

Obviously, this article was shared within the industry pretty quick and quite honestly wasn’t a surprise considering the nature of our work. It was also at this point that the beginnings of some recommendations and guidelines started coming down from the CDC, American Dental Association, etc. In a nutshell, for the safety of our employees and to do our part to flatten the viral curve, we were to eliminate all dental procedures that were non-essential. In other words, treat patients only experiencing pain and/or swelling.

Let’s discuss Covid-19’s effect on Smile Montana and dental offices across Flathead Valley, Montana, and the World. On March 15th The New York Times published an article titled: The Workers Who Face the Greatest Coronavirus Risk. I’ll give you half a second to guess who came in at numero uno, and this is not a trick question.

As I sit here writing this, we have been following these guidelines for one week, and it is uncertain how much longer Smile Montana will be operating in this manner. As I sit here the schools have been closed for two weeks and will be for at least two more, with most of us assuming normalcy won’t return to our school

I am a collective member of the human race and I can control the limiting of social interactions as directed by folks far smarter than myself. health} systems until August. As I sit here, we are almost 48 hours into Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s “stay-at-home” directive to potentially end on April 10th...fingers crossed.

Smile Montana Crew at Halloween

In the face of this very challenging and uncertain time I am very grateful for my home and community of Northwest Montana. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else or with anyone else while getting past this event. I’m thankful that I can help folks with their dental emergencies which would otherwise end up in the emergency room and burden the efforts taking place there. I appreciate my amazing team at Smile Montana and cannot wait to get them all back when this is over. I have four kids and I own and operate Smile Montana, someone once asked me how I find time for a social life. I had never even considered this because the way I see it, I go to work with all of my best friends every day.

This article won’t hit newsstands for a few weeks, and I hope at that time the light at the end of this tunnel is getting brighter and warming our faces. It is at times like these that we need each other’s SMILES more than even. Let them shine Montana!!


P.S. I may or may not have used profanity in this article and my Mother may or may not have told me to remove it.


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406 w o m a n

profile 12. MARIN BLANDON Sugar Happy LLC

food & flavor 16. WELL BALANCED WINE

featured 20. SWEET GRASS



fashion 34. VILLAGE SHOP


28. MEGAN APPLE Traversing the West Coast States




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406 w o m a n

Cover Girl

Business Girl


a collabor a t i o n b e t w e e n

photo by :

AMANDA WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY www . amandawilsonphotos . com



Cindy Gerrity


business manager Daley McDaniel

Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year

managing editor

704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2020 Skirts Publishing


Kristen Hamilton


creative & social media director

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

W W W . 4 0 6 W O M A N . C O M

Amanda Wilson



Sara Joy Pinnell


406 Woman is distributed in Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Missoula, Whitefish and every point in between.


Check out www.406woman.com for our full distribution list.

Daley McDaniel Photography Amanda Wilson Photography Jill Jones Photography


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Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/406 Woman


Have a great story idea or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions. Interested in increasing your business and partnering with 406 Woman? Check out www.406woman.com.

Editor’s Note

For the better part of the past year, I’ve been on hiatus as managing editor of 406 Woman magazine. The break has left me recharged and excited to work with the talented staff and contributors again. I also tip my hat to the community at large that I’m grateful to be a part of. While faced with arguably one of the biggest challenges in our lifetime with the COVID-19 virus, I have witnessed many examples of compassion and resilience.

Our job here at 406 Woman is to entertain, inform, and educate within our pages. We take that role seriously and we work hard to succeed with each and every issue. So, if you happen to find yourself quarantined or just have a quiet moment to relax and read our new issue… BE ENTERTAINED – One of our favorite feature writers, Heidi Long, recently visited Sweet Grass Hills in Eastern Montana up near the Canada border. She spent the day witnessing a small close-knit community come together to help each other out during branding season. She even jumped in and joined the crew hard at work. Read her story on page 20. BE INFORMED – Check out the pages between the stories and see what our advertisers are up to. These businesses are the very reason you are able to enjoy this current issue. These local businesses have always been there for you and your family. Now they need you more than ever - please be there for them! Call for up-to-date hours and ways to support and shop local.

While on hiatus, we were able to take an amazing trip to Europe and meet up with my daughter, Sarah, in Florence, Italy. My heart goes out to all the residents of Italy and throughout the world that have been affected by the coronavirus disease.

BE EDUCATED - Dr Flass’s story on sugar is a great wakeup call and a reminder that we are what we eat. I must admit it really made me think and make some simple changes that are so important for my family’s health. Check out his story on page 26 in the Business & Health section and see if you should make some changes too.

Cheers, Kristen Hamilton, Managing Editor



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Billings - Bozeman - Missoula - Kalispell fredsappliances.com


Marin Blandon with Sugar Happy LLC By Kristen Hamilton Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

Just as the company name implies, Sugar Happy creates delicious sweet treats…cupcakes to be exact. Marin Blandon is the owner of this new small business and is happy to be known as the “cupcake lady.” Marin and her husband of 15 years along with her three boys (ages 14, seven, and five) moved to the Flathead Valley three and a half years ago and love the endless yearround outdoor activities here. She said, “my family makes me laugh every day.” As a family they love to bike, hike, camp, and travel. Her favorite thing to do is watch her children run, play, and laugh together. She also loves the smell of the valley. “It smells so pleasant here, like Christmas trees,” she said. Marin explained that she grew up in Alberta, Canada around dairy and chicken farms with not so pleasant odors.

On starting her business, she says, “I have a hard-working, super supportive husband and I couldn’t do this without him.”

Tell me about Sugar Happy LLC?

I create custom gourmet cupcakes and cupcake bouquets. I cater to any type of event including weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. Plus, I work with businesses in the area on specialty offerings of which thank you gifts are very popular.


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My cupcake bouquets are edible floral arrangements that can be delivered to anyone in the valley. Imagine sending your loved one a unique, beautiful, delicious edible bouquet. It is sure to put a smile on their face and make their day.

Why did you choose this path in business?

I like baking but I do not necessarily love baking. What I do love about this business is the artistic side. I love the decorating and creating. I wanted to start a business that gave me a creative outlet and something that was needed in the valley. Cupcakes fit the bill. When I would take my children to birthday parties, I would watch kids take one bite out of a store-bought cupcake and be done. That's when the idea came to me - yummy cupcakes that not only the kids will want to eat but the parents too! Happy bellies and no waste.

What makes your business unique?

Each person that puts in an order gets their own personal, unique work of art. They choose the flavors, colors, and flowers then I create their custom cupcakes. Plus, I make cupcakes into an edible bouquet! Who does that?

What is your favorite part of doing business in NW Montana?

It’s such a small community that when I go to the store and buy out all the cupcake boxes or hundreds of cupcake liners, I get asked by the cashiers at check out if I am the “cupcake lady.” It sounds like an old lady phrase to me, but I like it and I’ll say to them with a big smile on my face, yes, I'm the “cupcake lady.”

What impression do you want to leave on your customers?

I want them to walk away seeing that they have a quality product and then when they taste the cupcake, I want them to know they have a quality product.

I went through many recipes to find the best tasting cupcakes with the perfect texture. I couldn’t quite find the perfect recipe, so the chocolate cupcakes are a recipe created by yours truly, the “cupcake lady.” The vanilla recipe is from my sister. She sweetly gave me the rights to it.

Do you have any philanthropic passions?

Yes, of course. Every month I donate my cup-

cakes or gift cards to a nonprofit organization or fundraiser. I also offer cupcake giveaways on Facebook about twice a month. People can sign up their business and if their name is drawn, I create and deliver free cupcakes for everyone that works there to enjoy.

Where do you see your business in five years?

I have big dreams. I would love to be so busy that I can expand and open more shops in bigger cities in Montana, the northwest and beyond.

Sugar Happy LLC 406-270-5268 255 Somerset Dr. Kalispell www.sugarhappycupcakes.com



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A “Well Balanced” Wine By Sunshine Deveny & Nathan Woldtvedt , Bigfork Liquor Barn

This month’s ‘Wine Word’ is “well-balanced.” So, what does this mean? A well-balanced wine exhibits cohesiveness and equilibrium between the four main components of the wine’s structure. What are these four components? They are as follows: ALCOHOL - ACID - SUGAR - PHENOLIC COMPOUNDS Here is why each are important: ALCOHOL is the intoxicating element in

wine, a volatile compound which evaporates easily which carries the wine aromas to the nose. Alcohol also contributes to the "mouth feel" (sensation) as wine sits on your palate.  This is also referred to as a wine’s "weight" or "body."  Typically wines higher in alcohol tend to be heavier and wines lower in alcohol tend to be lighter.  After pouring wine into a glass and giving it a swirl, the higher the alcohol the slower and thicker "tears" or "legs" appear.

ACIDITY is an essential component that

makes each wine unique - malic, tartaric, or lactic, to name a few. Ever wonder what makes your chardonnay so “buttery?” What makes your perfect pinot gris keep you coming back for more? One of the beauties of acidity is how it complements certain foods!! Malic and tartaric acids are found in grapes and tend to be the most prevalent. Malic acid contributes to the aromas of wine. However, its greatest contribution is in the malolactic fermentation producing that “buttery” flavor we know so


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well. Within this process malic acid converts into softer, smoother lactic acid. (Lactic acid is a by-product of the malolactic fermentation and not a natural acid from grapes). Tartaric acid plays a very distinguished role in maintaining the chemical stability of wine including the taste and color - Very Important!! Two things that come to mind when pairing wines are “enhancing the flavor” or “cleansing the palate.” Buttery and cheese laden dishes are a great complement to any high acidity white wine. Just remember there isn’t wine without some level of acidity!!

SUGAR Glucose and fructose are

the main components here. Both are highly fermentable and essential to winemaking. The contributing factors to the detectable sugar are up to either the winemaker or natural causes. Residual sugar contributes to your “weight” or “feel” of the fin-

ished product. Also, affecting the “legs” or “tears.” Levels of sugar are often categorized in wine terms as dry, off-dry (aka medium dry), medium sweet, or sweet.


with acid to influence the color of your red wine. The more acidic the wine, the redder. The less acidic wine will have more of a blue hue.

FLAVONOLS: Sunlight is the key here.

Flavonols are yellow pigments that increase with exposure to the sun. Cloud cover makes for a lightly colored wine, while sunny conditions make for a more golden glow.

VANILLIN: What’s that smell? The same

compound found in vanilla beans can be present in the natural aromas of certain wines aged in oak barrels.



Spring is in the air but Solanera, the hearty red wine from Spain, is perfect for grilling out in the still crisp evenings.

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce. Served with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Balsamic/Lemon Glazed Asparagus. The Solanera is the perfect red wine to pair with a grilled red meat. It has structured tannins that will keep your palate entertained, while not overpowering your entree. The subtle notes of fruit will pair nicely with the balsamic on the asparagus while the spice notes will blend perfectly with the fresh herbs and zestiness of the Chimichurri.

TANNINS: What is making my mouth so dry when I drink a

big, red wine? These compounds are found in skins, seeds, and stems of grapes. Tannins are also known to come from oak and oak barrels. Working as a natural preservative, these also help protect red wines from oxidation during the aging process. Well balanced tannins will add to a longer mouthfeel and flavor. Like its BFF acid, tannins cut through fat and act as a palate cleanser that help from being overwhelmed by the richness of a dish. However, a wine doesn’t need tannins to age well. Many white wines, low in tannins, age deliciously. A well-balanced wine will typically age well and is generally a good cellar stasher. And last, but certainly not least -RESVERATROL! This wonderful compound is best known for its health benefits. Multiple studies have proven that regular red wine consumption has been known to help prevent cardiovascular diseases, heart arrhythmia, heart attacks, hypertension, diabetes, and even some cancers.

Now that we have a little better idea of what makes a “wellbalanced” wine it’s time to have some fun. Time to grab yourself some wine and maybe you’ll notice some things you didn’t before. And remember, Bigfork Liquor Barn carries over 1,300 different wines labels to get you started.


A notice to local wine lovers: Give us a call at (406) 257-7326 and order ahead. We are happy to bring your order out to your car or deliver to your door. We can also put together a mixed case tailored to your palate!


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Sweet Grass By Heidi Long

The sun climbs over the Sweet Grass Hills each morning in an explosion of light; Sunburst, a small town directly to the west, is aptly named. Rising 3,000 feet above the Montana plains, these three main buttes stick out like giant dorsal fins at sea. The area receives twice the annual rainfall of the surrounding flatlands; the runoff flowing into creeks and coulees providing havens for elk, deer, coyotes, rabbits, pronghorn, even moose and allegedly grizzly. And cattle. In a state that boasts more cows than people (roughly 3:1), the Sweet Grass Hills area takes that


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statistic to the extreme. It’s tough to tally folks when they live so far apart you can barely see their homes on the horizon. Neighbors count on each other in matters of life, death and livelihood. Each spring bands of Sweet Grass ranchers schedule their branding operations to coordinate with friends and neighbors in a tradition of communal support and social networking that echoes a centuries old tradition. Maggie Nutter grew up here at the base of West Butte, the tallest (6,983 ft) of the three flagship buttes that define the area. She’s a fourth generation rancher whose

great great-grandfather, John Kiehlbauch, immigrated from Germany with his brothers and ran a hardware store in Tinsdale, SD before settling in the Sweet Grass Hills in 1904 with his wife, Marie. Gold mining was winding down after a surge of 400 miners poured into the area by 1886. The Sweet Grass Hills Treaty of 1887 ceded nearly 17.5 million acres of the Northern Montanan plains to the US government and divided the remaining 6 million into three separate reservations (The Blackfeet, Fort Peck, and Fort Belknap). Gold Butte, a mining town with a post office until 1945, is now an abandoned site with scarce evidence of it’s once booming existence. Near West Butte, famed Montana artist Charlie Russell operated the Lazy KY Ranch with a partner.



Each spring bands of Sweet Grass ranchers schedule their branding operations to coordinate with friends and neighbors in a tradition of communal support and social networking that echoes a centuries old tradition. His ranch paintings undoubtedly helped lure optimistic homesteaders in the early 1900’s who soon learned the harsh realities of the massive acreage required to sustain cattle on the high plains of Montana, no matter how sweet the grass. Severe drought in the 1920’s caused many to flee. John and Marie persevered… as did their children, and their children, and now Maggie. When Maggie left as a young woman to attend nursing school she was “nothing but homesick every day.” After her dad passed away, Maggie’s mom leased the ranch out for a while before running it with one of Maggie’s sisters. Maggie came home and bought the ranch from her mom in 1997. She’s tethered to the place with heart and soul. “When I get to looking at the same hills my grandparents looked at, working the same land…I never want to take that for granted. That keeps me home.” Maggie met Kelly Mothershead when a friend of her sister’s friend sent him out to help her with a few things around the ranch. “He grew on me,” she admits. They married in 2001.

Through a friend I’m invited to attend Maggie and Kelly’s spring branding. We spend the night at the Wehrs’ on the eastern base of Middle Butte. They, too, have roots that sink deep into Sweet Grass soil. Ron’s a bona fide native and Toni’s a 50 plus year transplant. My friend, Bennie, has been helping at the Wehr’s annual brandings for a couple decades. The four of us pile into the pickup, sunlight glowing on the dusty windshield as we head off toward West Butte. The 25-mile drive takes an hour over rutted roads and a few stubborn snowdrifts I’m shocked to see in May. We arrive to find a corral full of cattle and a bovine to human ratio of 20:1. Gradually the mama cows are funneled out through a chute and a gauntlet of vaccinations. Once outside the corral, the cows make a wide sweep, then circle back around calling out for their calves. Mothers and babes stand nose to nose through the fence, their steamy breath visible in the morning chill.

Above photo: Managed Mayhem-Maggie Nutter (center in lilac plaid shirt) hosts an annual branding that brings together friends, family, and newcomers. The photo on right: Luke throws a loop to rope a calf while an eager companion tries to assist from outside the corral.



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Despite all the work that needs to be done, it’s also a social event we look forward to all year. There are almost two hundred calves in the corral to rope, wrestle, vaccinate, and, in some cases, castrate. While some ranchers prefer to keep the greenhorns and gawkers away and just get down to business, Maggie welcomes cheerleaders and first timers like myself. “I think it holds the community together,” she says. “Despite all the work that needs to be done, it’s also a social event we look forward to all year.” Her helpers range in age from 8 to nearly eighty. Maggie lines out her volunteers, for most of whom this is second nature. Toni cinches her hat against the rising sun and grabs a bucket of vaccinations. Kelly preps the branding irons. The crew sorts itself into position. Helen Brown starts roping; branding begins. Two horseback ropers take turns pulling calves from the inner corral. A line of wrestlers flanks each side of the opening. As the calf is drawn through, the first person in line on the left takes hold of the rope and, with tension still on it, uses it to flip the calf from the rear at the same time a wrestler from the right line grabs the calf ’s front legs and guides it over and pins it to the ground. The rider recoils the rope as three vaccinators administer


successive shots leaving color-coded swipes after each injection. Two branders set their marks in the calf ’s hide and, if it’s male, it’s castrated. The whole process takes between 30-60 seconds. Within minutes of their initial roping, the calves reunite with their mothers. I watch, fascinated, taking pictures and taking note. The efficient system looks deceptively easy. At any given time three to four calves lay on the ground, each surrounded by four to five determined humans. Calves balk, cows bawl, wrestlers hoot and holler and Maggie’s laughter rises above the foray as she gives her 10-year old grandson pointers on calf “wrassling.” Teenage girls and young women work down in the dirt alongside their male counterparts. Inevitably someone gets dragged through fresh green dung. Everyone pitches in, competing and heckling each other good-naturedly. Finally, I can’t stand it and ask to join in. How hard can this be?!? Pretty hard come to find out. The calf, born 4-6 weeks earlier is surprisingly strong and I, 53, am shockingly inept. No one seems to care. Instead, they all take a personal interest in my Calf Wrassling 101 education. “Fold the hooves in under here while you straddle them

like this” Maggie suggests helpfully. “It’s more about finesse than strength.” After two utter fails I start to get the hang of it. Sort of. I fear that losing my grip on the silky coated calf will result in my co-wrestlers getting kicked, me getting vaccinated (the injection site is only a few inches from my thighs), or the calf getting hurt. This is a team effort. I hang on. Gradually the herd outside the corral exceeds that within. We break for lunch. Maggie fetches new vaccination boxes, each one containing two to three thousand dollars worth of “health insurance.” I do the math on empty boxes in the back of her pickup and cringe. The crew sit on tailgates and coolers, lean against fence posts and sprawl on the grass in the sun eating summer sausage sandwiches and homemade cookies, sipping sodas, beer, or Cayman Jacks. Laughter, reminiscing, practical jokes, and tall

Top photo: A wrangler draws the calf between the lines of wrestlers who rotate from the front like an assembly line. Bottom photo: “Youth Group” Maggie’s grandsons (from left), Kaiden and Trevon, sit with other children during a lunch break but work side by side with the adults during branding.

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Multiple generations of ranchers, relatives, friends, and newcomers work together in the hot afternoon sun, coated with dust, dipped in dung, and surrounded by the stunning stark beauty of the Sweet Grass Hills flatlands. tales are all part of the fare. After lunch, branding resumes until about 2:30 p.m. when the final calf is tended. The entire operation packs up and moves down to lower ranchland where the process repeats with the rest of Maggie and Kelly’s herd. Multiple generations of ranchers, relatives, friends, and newcomers work together in the hot afternoon sun, coated with dust, dipped in dung, and surrounded by the stunning stark beauty of the Sweet Grass Hills flatlands. Cell phones only appear for pictures; there’s no coverage anyway. After the last elusive calf succumbs to Helen’s rope and the subsequent wrestlers, the whole outfit heads to the ranch for supper. Maggie’s sister-inlaw and her culinary crew serve up pulled pork, chips, gallons of homemade side salads, pies, cookies, and the staple of all family gatherings; Jell-O salad. It’s 6 o’clock when we climb back into the pickup to head home. Others depart as well; an even larger herd awaits at the Brown ranch branding tomorrow. As we pass their ranch, Buster and Helen are already herding them in.

Clockwise from top to bottom: The Sweet Grass Hills dominate the horizon amidst the northern Montana plains. Helen Brown ropes the last calf of the day to the cheers of surrounding wrestlers. Toni Wehr (left) sits with Maggies son, Kenny, for a branding break and laughter. Helen Brown rewinds her rope as her husband, Buster sets the brand. Maggie and Kelly will return the favor (and labor) tomorrow.



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Love Your Office Space... By Wright’s Furniture

Whether you work from home or just need a space to keep your household running smoothly, a well-designed workspace can lead to increased efficiency and comfort.

When faced with an unexpected need for a home office a writing desk can be the perfect solution. Combine functionality, style and size to create an inspiring new work environment in your home. Small desks are great because they can be easily placed in many rooms and do not require a designated office area. Place one behind a sofa and it can function as both a desk and sofa table. Set one next to a window, along an open wall or simply float one in the corner of a room. They are available in many styles and are perfect for a simple computer set up. Choose from elaborate designs with drawers and storage space or keep things simple with a contemporary frame.


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A well-functioning office chair is the next step to a successful home office space. Your office chair is the piece that supports your neck and spine as you work. It is crucial to choose a model that is comfortable and well-crafted. Whether you would prefer an impressive leather executive office chair or a smaller simple desk chair, there are options to support yourself in style.

Traditional, Rustic and Modern office collections are available at Wright’s Furniture in Whitefish. Choose from our in-stock desks, bookcases, office chairs etc. or special order a custom design. Wright’s offers Free Design services to help assist in creating a personalized workspace. -All the featured pieces as well as many other options are available at Wright's Furniture Store in Whitefish6325 HWY 93 SOUTH, WHITEFISH, MONTANA 59937 | 406.862.2455 | OPEN DAILY |FREE LOCAL DELIVERY | FREE DESIGN SERVICES | WWW.WRIGHTSFURNITURESTORE.COM



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Traversing the West Coast States

2,653 miles on the PCT By Kristen Hamilton

Megan Apple accomplished an amazing fete last summer…she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in its entirety. The trail gained notoriety in the 2014 film “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon. The PCT’s southern terminus is just south of Campo, California (about an hour south of San Diego on the US-Mexican border) and ends 2,653 miles later in Manning Park, British Columbia (on the US-Canada border). Apple started in April and traversed California, Oregon, and Washington State on her adventure. She turned 28 years old just before she reached the end of the PCT in September. I’ve known Megan her entire life and although very impressed, I’m not surprised that this determined young woman did exactly what she planned and set out to do. Her parents, Holly & Andy Apple, have always supported Megan and her adventurous ways. She graduated from Whitefish High School then attended Idaho State University and earned her degree in Outdoor Education. As a youngster, she spent many weekends with her family at their cabin north of Polebridge, MT just a few miles from the Canada border. She was always venturing off into the woods there exploring nature. She recalls, “When I was in 5th grade I had the thought to do a Maine to Washington border walk.” When asked what her motivation was for wanting to hike the PCT she said, “It is just a cool adventure. One of the biggest that you can do in the U.S.”


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Megan hiked for a month on the PCT two years before her 2019 completion. She had the time off work and thought it would be fun, so she wanted to try it out. She really

enjoyed her time on the trail and decided to do the whole PCT in the future. She started preparations months before she took her first step. She gathered gear from her previous trip and did an inventory of what might be needed for her voyage. Megan said, “I did some hikes, but you can’t really prepare for hiking 20 miles a day for days on end.” It wasn’t just the supplies she’d need on the journey as there is no way she could start out with the full load. She had to coordinate the delivery of supplies at trail angel houses and post offices along the way. It was just Megan and her pack, so she had to meticulously plan her entire trip. “Finding the right shoes was my biggest issue,” she said. She explained that trail runners are great, but they rip up easily. Hiking boots are good, but they are heavy. Ultimately, she used five pair of trail runners plus a sturdier boot that she ended up getting rid of on the trail.



When asked what her motivation was for wanting to hike the PCT she said, “It is just a cool adventure. One of the biggest that you can do in the U.S.” When she arrived at the start, she overnighted with a trail angel where she was fed and spent the night. Trail angels are a significant part of the PCT. They provide numerous forms of assistance to hikers including offering their yards and homes for camping or bunking, rides to and from the trailhead, food, shelter, receiving resupply boxes, stocking water caches in the desert, allowing you to fill up on water at their homes, and so much more.

“The Trail angel community is amazing,” said Megan. She continued, “They take you in, provide food and shelter, and so much more to help you achieve your goal. I couldn’t have done it without them.” The first 300 miles through the California desert is “really easy” according to Megan. That jaunt took 15 days. The mind-boggling part is that at this point she still has 2,353 miles to go. For the entire PCF, it took Megan 5 months and 3 days. I should also note that although she certainly wasn’t trying, she lost 22 pounds in that period of time.



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Climbing Mather Pass (12,100 feet) was the scariest part of the PCT for Megan. “It was very challenging with a heavy pack,” she said. Then she encountered a stream and added, “I was scooting across a log to cross the stream and if I slipped, I’d be swept up by the current,” she said.

there would be longer gaps of seeing civilization, but typically, there would be a town every 3 or 4 days.

She has so many incredible memories that she’ll be able to share for a lifetime. She recalled a time in the Sierras at Muir Pass (11,969 feet) with a friend, Lefty. It was a long tough trail in the snow, but the sun was shining, and they ran into some fellow hikers and found a hut to hang out in together. Like Lefty, Megan received a trail nickname as well…she became known as Sprout. I’m guessing in this circle she will always be known as Sprout. As you can imagine, Megan said that there was a lot more traffic on the south part of the trail. At that time, she’d pass a couple people each day. As she ventured north


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Climbing Mather Pass (12,100 feet) was the scariest part of the PCT for Megan. “It was very challenging with a heavy pack,” she said. Then she encountered a stream and added, “I was scooting across a log to cross the stream and if I slipped, I’d be swept up by the current,” she said. In addition to the trail angels, Megan said she couldn’t have done it without her family including her parents, grandparents, and her aunt. They supplied both moral and supply support throughout the journey.

When asked if she had any advice to pass along to someone considering hiking the PCT, she said, “You don’t have to do the whole thing to experience the PCT. Just a week is enough to experience the culture. Doing any section is totally worth it.”



Is there another hike like the PCT in her future? She said that she is interested in the more remote trails that require more planning like the Idaho Centennial Trail at 900 miles. “If I do 5 months again, I would go to another country that isn’t necessarily in a place that is so familiar,” she added. How did Megan follow up her PCT fete? This winter the adventures continued when she managed a Heli-ski lodge about 2 ½ hours from Anchorage, AK. She’ll be back in Whitefish for a bit then this summer she’s planning to work at an organic vegetable farm outside of Seattle.

I personally love hearing about her travels and realize she just may be someone that has figured out the key to happiness is living life to its fullest. Interested in learning more about the Pacif ic Crest Trail, visit pcta.org.


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201 Central ave. whitefish Montana 59937 - 406.862.3200



love} stories August 14, 2019


& Brandon Location Diamond B Ranch in Kalispell

Photos by Tabi Oberdorfer and Eyan Oberdorfer

WHO ARE YOU? Brandon Oberdorfer & Kaitlyn Flynn

How did you meet?

We met in a family owned restaurant called VIA Italian Table in Worcester, Massachusetts. We have called it home going on eight years now.

The Proposal?

We spent the day in Glacier National Park hiking, swimming and hanging out under waterfalls. Brando brings his guitar with him everywhere, so it was no surprise to me that at our favorite river spot on the Going to the Sun Road that he brought his guitar down to the river with us. He sat me on a rock and began to sing me the most beautiful song he's ever written, he ended it with his proposal. Through the tears I said YES! We were greeted that evening with another song this time written by Leila, my beautiful and talented stepdaughter. It was an incredible day for our family.   

What is love?

Kait: Love is forgiveness, and trust. It is honesty and support. It is magic and it comes in many shapes and sizes. Our love took hold so quickly and with such force, we didn't have time to second guess it. True love is having a home in a human being. Brando and Leila have a piece of me that I am incomplete without. When I am in his arms, I feel as safe as I could ever be while knowing I am on the greatest adventure of my life. Love is everything, it is worth the work, and requires patience, and understanding. When you find the kind of love we have, you put that above all else. 


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Brando: Love is being completely selfless and always putting the other person ahead of yourself. Love has no envy or regret. Love is a divine blessing from God. Love is being able to enjoy the simplest things in life, as long as you're with that person. Love only grows through trial and tribulation. Love is knowing your partner better than they know themselves.  Love is living and feeling on the same level and vibrating at the same frequency.

What do you love most about each other?

Kait: Brando makes me feel safe. He lives to make his girls happy. My favorite thing about him though is how young his heart is. He is never afraid to have fun; his spirit is free. Brando: What I love most about Kait is her ability to make me laugh. Somehow, she al-

ways knows how to stir that deep convulsing belly laugh. Her sense of humor, like my own is just slightly over the top.   

When did you know you were in love?

Kait: I loved who Brando was from our first conversation. Though I remember exactly the moment I knew I would always love Brando. He was going through his goodnight routine with little Leila. Stories of cotton candy clouds underneath a sea of glow in the dark stars. With warm open hearts they invited me into their world. I knew then I was in love, and I'd do anything for them.   Brando: I knew I loved Kait the very first time I witnessed the incredible connection she shared with my daughter. I knew we were all on the same exact frequency. She belonged with us. 

love} stories

love is being completely selfless and always putting the other person ahead of yourself. Love

has no envy or regret. Love is a divine blessing from God. Love is being able to enjoy the simplest things in life, as long as you're with that person.



oman.com  81

love} stories


knew I loved Kait the very first time I witnessed the incredible connection

she shared with my daughter. I knew we were all on the same exact frequency. She belonged with us. Wedding Details

We planned our wedding from across the country. Our entire family pitched in to help us pull off the best day of our lives. My Dad, Christopher Flynn, and Stepmom, Darcy Lohr, were my right hand all the way throwing me an unbelievable shower and offering all of the support in the world. Brando’s Mom, Kari Sledge, was my emotional rock and full time across the country wedding planner. Sonny Johnson, Brando's Stepdad, catered everything, our taco bar was out of this world. My Mother, Grandmother, and Aunt did all of our flowers and spreads. My bridesmaids were hands down the best friends a girl could ask for throughout it all. Brando's Dad, Rick Oberdorfer, video tapped the entire wedding, it was the best surprise! Our wedding was officiated by Eyan Oberdorfer, Brando's brother and best friend, his words will stay with me until the day I die. Lastly Tabi Oberdorfer, Brando's sister, spent the day capturing everything, and I mean everything. She is an unbelievable


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photographer. I couldn't have asked for a more blessed day.   Sam with Destination DJ was a dream come true DJ.    Emily Baer the owner of Diamond B made our dream wedding come true. She is a wonderful woman and went to all lengths to make sure we had such a special day. There is no better place in Montana to get married than Diamond B, Emily thank you from the bottom of my heart you saved our day.    We had a triple rainbow after the ceremony which we took as a sign - the three of us, Brando, Kait and Leila coming together was accepted by God himself. We had a killer lightning storm which everyone danced in running through the fields laughing and singing to “We love a rainy night” the DJ put on for us on his own accord. It was the most incredible night ending with a cake fight. You can’t plan the fun we had. 

Dawn Ness

Equus In Art

“The Littlest Warrior” by Krystii Melaine

Maria D’Angelo

“The Trainee” by Krystii Melaine

“Freight Train” by Krystii Melaine

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406 Woman Vol. 12 No. 6 Business  

406 Woman Vol. 12 No. 6 Business

406 Woman Vol. 12 No. 6 Business  

406 Woman Vol. 12 No. 6 Business

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