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It seemed summer would never come. Winter was brutal—the coldest temperatures in 40 years, record-setting and crippling snowfall, and an unheard of, and fatal, avalanche that thundered down Mount Jumbo. Severe cabin fever finally broke, replaced by sporadic spring fever, but now we find ourselves on the cusp of a well-deserved, glorious summer. We can already taste the sweet Flathead cherries and cold beer on the river. With any luck, all that mountain snowpack will ensure a long season with high stream flows, happy fish and minimal wildfire— key elements of so many summer adventures. If you’re like us, your to-do list is long. It’s why we live here, right? Montana calls us to its backcountry peaks and rushing rivers, its backroads and meadows.

And it’s why we put explorer in your hands, to help you fill and inform your summer calendar. In flipping through these pages we hope locals and visitors alike discover activities that’ll inspire you to escape into the landscape for a while. Perhaps that means backpacking, fly fishing with your own handmade flies, camping with your kids for the first time—or maybe even trying something unusual like the new and ridiculously fun watersport called flyboarding. In any case, consider explorer your guide, complete with a calendar of events in Missoula and well beyond. It’s time to gear up and get out. The world is your Rocky Mountain oyster.

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

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photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Table of Contents New views: Trail suggestions to expand your horizons ......6 Walk the walk: Helping to keep the trails open ..............12 Trail to adventure: Biking the Route of the Hiawatha ....22 Fit to be tied: Learning the ropes of fly tying......................30 Tenderfoot on the trail: Hints for new backpackers ......40 Weekday warrior: Quick trips for off-cubical time ...........46 Play sans Playstation: Getting kiddos outside .................54 Rocket man: Montana’s newest outdoor pursuit ..............62 Plan: Summer calendar of events.............................................72 Spotlights: Boys of summer ...........................................................................75 SUP Cup .........................................................................................84 Rodeo roundup.............................................................................86 Hmong Story Cloths ....................................................................89

Advertising Focus Pages Bitterroot Valley.......................................17 Downtown Missoula.............................25 Explore Montana................................... 37 Pamper Yourself .....................................49 Real Estate................................................51 Hip Strip ....................................................57 Healthy Living..........................................60 Sustainable Living ..................................65 Dish.............................................................68 Mission Valley ........................................ 73 Sportin’ Life ..............................................76 Rentals .......................................................81 Automotive...............................................83 Whitefish ...................................................88 Art, Antiques & Collectibles ................92 Kids’ coloring page................................95 Lodging......................................................97

PUBLISHER Lynne Foland EDITOR Skylar Browning EXPLORER EDITOR Matthew Frank PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Joe Weston ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Heidi Starrett BUSINESS MANAGER Adrian Vatoussis SPECIAL PROJECTS Christie Anderson ARTS EDITOR Erika Fredrickson PHOTO EDITOR Cathrine L. Walters CALENDAR EDITOR Kate Whittle STAFF REPORTERS Jessica Mayrer, Ted McDermott, Alex Sakariassen

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Missoula Independent P.O. Box 8275 Missoula, MT 59807 Phone number: 406-543-6609 E-mail address: independent PRESIDENT Matt Gibson

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Cube Iron Mountain


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photo courtesy of Aaron Theisen

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Heart Lake

photo by Eben Wragge-Keller


ount Sentinel’s dusty switchbacks can only be climbed so many times. The same goes for Mount Jumbo, Waterworks, Blue Mountain and the rest of the popular hiking spots around the valley. And while they’re all part of what makes Missoula one of the most picturesque towns around, sometimes you need fresh scenery. But even if you venture out of the valley and up the Bitterroot, you’ll still find crowded trailheads (and four cars is considered crowded around these parts). So here we suggest a few lesserknown and secluded trails to explore. They’re outside of town, so you probably can’t hit them before work, but since you won’t be looking down at the Missoula Valley hopefully you’ll forget about work for a little while.

Heart Lake

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate Description: Aside from one brief section of switchbacks, this hike offers big rewards for little effort. If you decide to simply stay at the lake for an afternoon picnic (no shame in that), you’ll barely break a sweat and have plenty of time to lounge. But if you head to the ridgeline west of Heart

Sheep Mountain Directions: From Missoula, head east on Highway 200 along the Blackfoot River, and then turn left on Gold Creek Road (about 15 miles from Missoula). Stay left at the fork onto Twin Creek Road, and follow the road to the Sheep Mountain Trailhead. Length: About 6 miles round trip Difficulty level: Moderate Description: Of the hikes listed here, this is the closest to Missoula, and the only outand-back, unless you’re feeling particularly ambitious and are considering the nearly 20-mile hike back to Missoula. Sheep Mountain is one of the Rattlesnake’s best-kept secrets, as it’s a relatively quick jaunt to the top of the peak, which offers views of the city. The advantage to this hike is that you are essentially driving up the back of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness, with less work in exchange for a little more driving time.

Directions: From Missoula, head west on I-90 to the Superior exit. Turn left under the highway, and left again onto Diamond Road, which turns into Forest Road Sheep Mountain photo courtesy of John Lehrman 250 (also known as Trout Creek Road). From Superior Lake, you really only face one more set of it’s about 20 miles to the Heart Lake TrailCube Iron/Mount Silcox switchbacks before you get above the tree head, which is well marked and on your left. line and saunter over to Pearl Lake. This hike Directions: From Missoula, take I-90 is fantastic through the summer, remaining Length: About 4 miles to the lake and west to Highway 93 North. In Ravalli, head cool thanks to the many creek crossings, back, about 8 miles when you add the lollywest on Highway 200 toward Thompson which your dog will love. pop loop extension west to the Stateline Falls. Turn right onto Thompson River Road, Trail and back to Heart Lake via Pearl Lake. and then left onto West Fork Thompson 8

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Sheep Mountain

photo courtesy of John Lehrman

River Road. Turn left again onto Four Lakes Creek Road and follow it to the Four Lakes Creek Trailhead. Length: 5 to 8 miles Difficulty level: Moderate Description: This hike’s more than two hours from Missoula, but, being on the edge of the Cabinet Mountains, it packs quite a punch, with quick access to mountain lakes and gorgeous views. If you are looking for a shorter loop, hiking up to Cabin Lake and then looping south to Porcupine Lake and back to the trailhead will only take a few hours and is hugely satisfying. On a clear day, you can see the Mission Mountains and deep into the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness Area, providing the perfect backdrop for the springtime bloom of bear grass and wildflowers. If you can spare the time, a quick half-mile clamber to the top of Cube Iron Mountain is well worth it, offering views of 10

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the Clark Fork River almost all the way to the Noxon Reservoir.

Length: About 6 miles to the lake, and as far as you’d like to go along the ridgeline. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

Description: The Sapphires are overlooked. When stacked up next to the wildly impressive Bitteroots, they look like a bunch of grassy hills. But those hills hide the secret beauty of the mountains. Go ahead and get the few mildly strenuous switchbacks out of the way in the beginning. The trail then follows an easy photo by Cathrine L. Walters and casual stroll through the skeletons Stony Lake of old burned trees, with a brilliant green covering the ground as the forest springs Directions: From Missoula, take High- back to life. Winding along the ridge, you’re way 93 south to Hamilton. A few miles treated to several lookouts to peaks near the south of Hamilton, turn left onto the Philipsburg and Deer lodge areas. You’ll Skalkaho Highway (Highway 38). Follow spot the trail down to Stony Lake, a spur the road for roughly 26 miles and Trailhead no more difficult than the “M” trail and 313 is well marked on your left. well worth the effort. Q

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photo courtesy of Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation

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photo courtesy of Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation


ne day during the summer of 2011, I was walking down dusty old trail #4 in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of northeastern Idaho, enjoying my day off, when I bumped into a fellow traveler. The stranger had recently arrived from Oregon on a fishing trip. He seemed relieved to have escaped frantic Portland for the soothing sounds of the Selway River. He asked me what I was doing in the woods. “I’m here with a crew,” I said, pointing to the yellow Montana Conservation Corps insignia on my green t-shirt, “doing trail work.” “Ahhhhh,” he said, longingly, as if he wanted to quit whatever day job he had in the city and join up with the trail dogs. “The Lord’s work.” I smiled at the quaint phrase. Maybe the traveler had built trails in his younger years, or maybe he just appreciated easy access to his favorite trout stream. Maybe he was a primitive tool junkie, or a connoisseur of clean water bars and solid switchbacks. 14

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Whatever his reason, he’d just complimented trail work in a big way. I later reported the encounter to my fellow crew members who, like me, were sur-

seem to think trails get cleaned up and cleared off all on their own. Or, if they’re familiar with trail building, they think it is pure unskilled drudgery. But the stranger knew better. “The Lord’s work,” I thought to myself. “This guy gets it.” Then, in anticipation of the hot trail and the long hike ahead, I said goodbye. There are more than 28,000 miles of trail in the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region, which includes Montana and parts of Idaho and North Dakota. That’s enough trail to span the Earth’s circumference and then some. It takes a lot of work (and a good deal of money) to maintain this vast network of backcountry infrastructure. Crews, tools, camping supplies and time are the key components. It also requires skill. Claire Muller, a friend and trail builder for the Selway-Bitterphoto courtesy of Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation root Frank Church Foundation in Missoula, likens a trail worker’s daily tasks to primitive engineerprised and delighted by the fisherman’s ing puzzles. praise. It’s not often that some urban “Out on the trail, one often encounters stranger recognizes the importance of the basic engineering problems that feel really trail-work trade. In fact, it’s rare. Many folks satisfying to master,” she says. “Water re-

Canyon Lake Day Hike, Bitterroot Mountains, June 7 Learn about fir ecology and how the 2000 fires spared this gem of a valley. Contact Bob Hopkins,

Reservation Divide Trail, West Missoula, July 19 Learn about Glacial Lake Missoula, the largest of several lakes impounded by the Cordilleran Ice Sheet. Contact Lori Rustvold,

Refrigerator Canyon Trail, Helena, June 28 Learn how the prominent gray cliffs along the Missouri River were formed. Contact Jonathan Matthews,

St. Mary Peak, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, July 23 Learn about the signs of altitude sickness and how to avoid it. Contact Mary Owens,

Clark Fork River Float Trip, Bonner/Milltown, June 29 Learn how resource extraction has and will affect this river corridor. Contact John Wolverton, Our Lake, Bob Marshall Wilderness, July 4-6 Learn about the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposal to delist grizzly bears. Contact Janet Fiero, Class: Learn to Survive in the Outdoors, Missoula, July 9 Learn the basics of survival: shelter/warmth, water, signaling and putting together a survival kit. Contact Mike, Survival Practice, Welcome Creek Wilderness, July 12-13 After backpacking 1-2 miles we will build an expedient shelter, construct a fire, and learn other techniques of survival. Contact Mike, Carlton Lake, Bitterroot Mountains, July16 Get an update on the continued threat of ski resort development around Lolo Peak and Carlton Ridge. Contact Mary Owens,

Great Burn Backpack, August 1-3 Learn about local management plans to further protect this unique wildland. Contact John Wolverton, Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Women Only, August 8-11 Learn about the Club's efforts to restore wild bison. Contact Karen Kearney, Welcome Creek, Clinton, Women Only, August 13 Learn how quickly nature heals the wounds that civilization has inflicted. Contact Janet Fiero, Trapper Peak Day, Darby, August 16 Learn about critical yet shrinking habitat for alpine species such as pikas and marmots. Contact Bob Clark, Stony Creek Day Hike, September 6 Learn about the Skalkaho Game Reserve for deer, elk and mountain goats. Contact Lorie Rustvold,

To learn more about the Montana Chapter’s outings go to

photo courtesy of Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

lentlessly runs down the trail? Try installing a drainage structure at a 45-degree angle, and the water will take itself off the trail. This section of trail is blown out? The simple physics of how to build a proper retaining wall is really cool to recognize and implement.” A trail worker’s duties are as diverse as the landscape itself. An impassable marsh means puncheons and turnpikes, bridge-like structures that require fresh-cut timber, buckets of gravel and lots of digging in mud and clay. A steep slope might mean a new switchback or a wood staircase. If the edge of the trail is prone to erosion, a rock wall is required and that means hours of hauling boulders and perfectly placing them in order to ensure the utmost stability. One of the best days I ever had on the trail was spent with Muller on Three Links Creek in the Selway-Bitterroot. A wide creek crossing had become nearly impassable for horses and mules due to large rocks that had blocked the ford. We spent a hot after-


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noon in our bathing suits and sandals heaving rocks out of the way until we had created a nice wide boulevard through the water. Then, the work complete, we took a dip in the creek and dried off in the sun until it was time to cook dinner. Among the more typical trail-work tasks, crews tend to favor “cutting and running.” This involves filling backpacks (or loading mules) with eight or nine or ten days’ worth of supplies and hitting the trail for an extended trip in order to clear logs out of the travel corridor. If you are working in a federal wilderness area (where chainsaws are prohibited) then you will be cutting with a crosscut saw, perhaps the most well loved primitive tool of the trail work repertoire. A random moment from the cut-andrun work week looks like this: You bump into a three-foot-wide ponderosa pine with a bad side bind that came down right in the middle of the trail. You’ll need to use those engineering skills to keep your crosscut from

getting stuck in its giant wood carcass. You’ll need to stay sharp as you pull the saw backand-forth, back-and-forth with your cutting partner, keeping an eye out for widow-makers or hidden wasp nests or a spring pole pinned under the tree. Finally, after perhaps a half-hour of sawing, you break through the tree, it makes a satisfying CRACK!, and with the help of your coworkers you edge it off the trail using legs, shoulders and levers and watch it roll down a slope into the river below with a mighty splash. You slug water, pack up and move on to the next task. It’s a strange blend of simple monotony, occasional danger, and a heavy dose of oldfashioned fun. “Trail work teaches you the power of simplicity and the effectiveness of time-worn, low-technology solutions,” says Muller. “To clear trails in the Wilderness, one needs a 100-year-old, two-person crosscut saw, an axe, and some wedges. There’s more to it, but what it boils down to is this beautiful simplicity.”

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photo courtesy of Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

Despite the dignity of trail work, despite its important role in providing access to the public lands, the trade is in decline due to systematic underfunding by government agencies. It’s a sad state of affairs, and new and inveterate trail workers alike find it incredibly frustrating. “We have been underfunded my whole career,” says Steve Boll, a 23-year veteran of trail work who manages crews on the Bitterroot National Forest. “We don’t have enough money to do the job. It’s not even close.” Garry Edson, the trails coordinator for the Northern Region, puts the decline in financial terms. He says the Northern Region’s trail budget has decreased by 18 percent since 2011, when federal stimulus funds stopped flowing. In 2011 the budget to maintain Northern Region trails was roughly $10.5 million, $8.6 million today. Edson says the region only maintains about a third of its trail infrastructure. At the national level, the Forest Service is currently looking at more than $500 million in backlogged trail maintenance costs. 18

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Edson pins the declining budget on a political atmosphere that casts a skeptical glance on public services like trail work. He also notes that an increasing portion of the Forest Service budget goes to fighting wild fires. He says volunteer support for the regional trail program is crucial. “They are critical. They are core,” he says. “Without them, we would be keeping less than one-third of the trails up to standard.” In the Missoula area, organizations like the Montana Conservation Corps, the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, the Montana Wilderness Association, the Back Country Horsemen of America and others are helping the Forest Service plug the leak, so to speak. These organizations provide thousands of hours of volunteer labor each year by fielding trail crews of their own. They also provide an opportunity for a new generation of conservationists to learn about the public lands. “Our public lands are a treasure and everyone should be able to experience and

enjoy them,” says Courtney Wall, another pal who leads volunteer trips in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. “I think the public should be aware of the challenges to fund crew members and the endless budget cuts that the trail programs face each year. Nonprofit organizations … are incredibly important [for trail maintenance] and if you have time, you should volunteer on some of their scheduled trips.” In other words, get out there this summer and learn what it’s like to pull a crosscut, swing an axe and pack a mule in the name of public service. Many of the organizations listed above host volunteer trail work trips that range from a day to a week or more. A trip on the trail is a wonderful way to learn about the work and experience the land. Maybe you’ll love the dirt and the sweat and the adventure. Maybe you’ll love it so much that you pick up your phone and call your representatives in Congress to let him know what trail work means to you. Trail dogs everywhere will be grateful if you do. Q


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Biking the Route of the Hiawatha is one of the best family-friendly summer outings around. Located about an hour and a half west of Missoula, off I-90 at the Montana-Idaho border, the 15-mile, slightly downhill bike trail runs through gorgeous mountain terrain. The trail, operated by the Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area, was once a rail line, built by the Milwaukee Railroad more than a century ago. The trail includes 11 tunnels (bring a light!), 46 interpretive signs and five bathrooms. Best of all, at the end of the ride, a shuttle’s available to haul you back to your car. Check out for information on passes, bike rentals, directions and more.

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photo by Cathrine L. Walters


honestly thought it was a gag gift at kind between two veteran fly fishermen from first. A few years back, at Christmas, my decades past. The impracticality of the fly mother got me one of those cheesy fly-tying kits, the ones with a book, a baggie of hackle and a foam strip for displaying the finished products. When would I possibly have the time to tie flies, I asked sardonically. Between beer drinking, work and fishing itself, summers were already a period of prolonged chaos. I stashed the box in the bottom of a drawer, out of sight and out of mind. And then last summer, I found myself mulling over another ridiculous gift: A yellow fishing fly bedecked with so photo by Cathrine L. Walters many gaudy streamers it bore a more striking resemblance to something from a Broadway musical than aside, I felt a sudden spark of inspiration. any insect hatching up Rock Creek. It was a Someday, I told myself, I’d tie that fly. Out copy of a fly tied for my grandfather by one came the cheesy fly-tying kit, chintzy hackle of his closest friends, likely a joke of some pliers and all.


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I’ve been fishing off and on in Montana for about as long as I can remember, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that fly fishing in mountain streams isn’t exactly a cheap pursuit. I’ve caught good-sized cutthroat on a parachute or the odd brookie on an elk-hair caddis. I even landed a 16-inch rainbow on a royal coachman in South Dakota. Each time, I’d venture to guess I’ve blown through $5 worth of flies in the process. Either another fish takes them or an unseen snag stymies my plans. My fly envelope is full of misshapen nymphs and hoppers, their fake limbs and chenille ravaged by a haphazard cast or an over-zealous but toocunning trout. As part of my familial-fly quest, I vowed to start filling my vest with my own patterns—a cost-cutting and creative twofer. Local shops like The Missoulian Angler and Grizzly Hackle regularly offer classes and clinics aimed at helping anglers navigate

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the tricky world of bobbins, hook shanks and place—the skinny string would unravel in a whip finishers. These courses range in length, twisted, knotted mass. The situation only from four-week seasonal classes to more ingrew worse as I tried to master winding depth eight-week ones, and in cost, from $45 to $75. Russell Parks, owner and outfitter at The Missoulian Angler, says the real benefit comes in learning “all the little tricks from people that have been doing it forever.” My father suggested I take a class and learn those little tricks, but I dismissed his advice. Bad move. My work table quickly became a graveyard for failed attempts, coated in chunks of feather, strands of snapped photo by Cathrine L. Walters thread, tufts of excess chenille and gobs of carelessly dribbled head glue. The first three times I hackle, fine feathers wrapped tightly in a tried to cover a shank with securing thread— clockwise pattern from hook to eye to give an initial layer of black thread intended to the fly natural movement. After nearly a help keep subsequent layers of material in week of failure, with my supplies nearly de34

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pleted, I finally managed to produce one very sad-looking green wooly bugger. The hours of frustration seemed more than worth it as I tied the fly to my line a few days later. My friend Mike and I stood a few yards apart at a bend on lower Rock Creek. The root ball of a downed tree split the current in half mid-stream, the kind of snag that makes an angler drool. I sent the wooly bugger tumbling through the air, dropping it just above the snag and letting it drift lazily with the current. Nothing struck, so I repeated the cast, first once, then twice, then three times. That’s when I noticed the two inches of chenille flailing along behind the barb. The hackle had disappeared. My first complete fly had disintegrated in less than three minutes,

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probably due to an inadequate whip finish and skimping on head glue. I sank into a crouch, cradling my head in my arms. “What is it, dude?” Mike asked, the tip of his rod dipping with what must have been his second nibble in as much time. “I just lost an hour of my life,” I groused back. Maybe Dad was right. Maybe a lesson wasn’t such a bad idea. Again, I let pride get the better of me, and instead of inquiring about the next class offered at the fly shop, I dropped $25 on new supplies. I got stronger hackle pliers, sharper scissors, a variety of hook sizes and styles. I scoured the internet for new patterns, tried my best to follow YouTube tutorials and watched four more flies fall apart before one finally remained intact. Even it returned to my fly box resembling a shipwreck survivor. Fishing season was nearly over by the time I tied anything that remotely resembled even the cheapest bulk flies in my fly box. A Carey Special straight from the book included in the kit Mom gifted, it won a distinguished place in the band of my hat until a branch along the Blackfoot claimed it. My next wooly bugger came out more convincing than the one I’d destroyed up Rock Creek, and so far, it’s held together. Occasionally I’ll add a little personal flair, like a different colored hackle or a larger tail. They won’t be winning any beauty pageants, but I haven’t felt this challenged by fly fishing in years. I’m still a long ways from attempting to replicate that old fly of Grandpa’s, but I’ll get there. Perhaps after a class or two. Q photo by Cathrine L. Walters


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A few things first-time backpackers should know by Jessica Mayrer

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

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photo by Cathrine L. Walters


worried as I hiked up the steep trail toward Weir Hot Springs that I would slide off the narrow path and tumble into the rushing creek below. Though it was a warm spring afternoon, ice and snowpack lingered, and I felt out of balance shouldering my 30-pound backpack. I wondered if I should have listened more closely to the advice offered by a friend who helped me pack. She said pots and pans should be stored in the bottom of my pack and close to my body. That way, she said, I’d preserve my center of gravity. My center of gravity was clearly askew. As I teetered up the trail, I surmised that the ill-fitting bag I borrowed could also be responsible for my unsteadiness. In any case, shortly into my first overnight backpacking trip, I quickly realized I had a lot to learn. I had always wanted to go backpacking. The idea of disappearing into the wilderness for days at a time with only what I could


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carry seemed liberating. The problem was, beyond car camping, I had zero experience in outdoor living.

Friends told me to wear broken-in hiking boots to avoid sore feet. They also said I should take incrementally longer walks with a loaded pack to help build stamina. I’m a regular hiker, though, and before this adventure I considered myself to be in good shape. I skipped the training regimen. Looking back, that was a bad idea. I asked a seasoned backpacker friend to head to the woods with me. Before leaving town, we researched hikes of reasonable length and difficulty. Five miles seemed about right. After doing some preliminary internet research, we decided to camp at Stanley Hot Springs, in Lowell, Idaho, about 120 miles west of Missoula on Highway 12. photo by Cathrine L. Walters While message board commenters called Stanley Aiming to gain expertise, I asked friends idyllic, they cautioned about a “River of and colleagues for advice on where I should Death” that must be crossed in order to get go and what I should bring. In outdoor-cento the springs. tric Missoula, I was overwhelmed with inWhen we arrived at the Stanley turnoff, formation and offers to loan gear. I found the “River of Death,” which is offi-

cially called Boulder Creek, swollen with spring snowmelt. I balked at the idea of getting swept away, and my nervousness prompted us to rethink our plans. We headed to Weir Hot Springs, 20 miles east of Stanley on Highway 12. The hike to Weir is only about a halfmile long. Standing at the trailhead I felt confident about what seemed like a pretty puny backpacking trip ahead of us. My friend carried a WhisperLight camp stove and a five-pound tent. I packed a sleeping bag and pad, extra fuel for cooking, trail mix and the evening’s dinner. My confidence was short-lived. Stumbling up the path that day, and back down the next morning, left me with aching quads and bruises. Later, when I returned home, feeling insecure about my athleticism, I called Missoula Parks and Recreation Outdoor Recreation Specialist Meg Rogosienski, who has nearly 20 years of backpacking experience, to find out what, exactly, is an appropriate distance for a first-time backpacker. Rogosienski eased my sense of inadequacy. “Five miles can be a lot,� she said. “If

photo by Jessica Mayrer

you think about it, walking on a city paved trail five miles is actually quite a bit. Now imagine doing it, going up and down a mountain and carrying everything you need on your back.�

Rogosienski says that when she takes fledgling backpackers out, she typically shoots for three miles. I had only lugged a backpack about one mile and I was sore.

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Despite my challenges, I had made it to the hot springs and across Weir Creek to a campsite. As the temperature dropped down toward freezing, we quickly set up camp and lit a fire. Fortunately, as advised, I didn’t bring any cotton fabrics, which are bad for cool-weather camping since they take a long time to dry and leave campers susceptible to hypothermia. Wool, in contrast, wicks moisture away from the skin, better ensuring you’ll stay warm and dry. “We have a saying up here and where I’m from in New England: ‘Cotton kills,’” Rogosienski says. But cool temperatures, Rogosienski adds, isn’t the most daunting aspect of camping. For novices preparing meals can be intimidating, too. Once you learn how to use a cook stove, however, cooking can also be one of the most rewarding parts of an extended outdoor experience. At Weir, our WhisperLight stove worked like a champ in transforming the dehydrated beans I bought at


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the Good Food Store into a protein-packed topping for our corn tortillas with avocado, onion and cheese. Dehydrated foods such as refried beans are lightweight, making them a practical food to pack. Rogosienski suggests getting creative. A tube of tomato sauce, cheese, meat and veggies on a tortilla make a tasty pizza, for example. “You can get pretty fancy in backpacking,” Rogosienski says. “I know some experienced backpackers who cook better in the backcountry than they do in the front country.” Adhering to a primary backpacking tenet—“leave no trace”—I rinsed our dinner dishes with creek water and packed out all leftovers and trash. Dishwater should be scattered at least 200 feet from any riparian area. Similarly, solid human waste should be buried at least six inches in the ground and 200 feet from a waterway, campsite or trail. Packing a shovel helps. Taking into account the cost of purchas-

ing all of the gear needed—boots, tent, backpack, sleeping bag, pad, shovel, stove, water purifier, etc.—it’s easy to see that backpacking can be a pricey hobby. It’d be easy to spend a grand on those supplies. Rogosienski notes that local gear swaps, sites such as Craigslist and thrift stores offer good deals on items such as cookware, tents and warm clothes. One shouldn’t skimp on essential items such as hiking boots, socks and the backpack, however. “The things that I do spend money on are the things that are super important,” she says. Despite my challenges, I think borrowing gear for a short, inaugural backpacking trip is a good way to test whether you want to invest more time and money. In the weeks since I went to Weir, I found myself hankering for another outing. I’m shopping for a new backpack that fits and planning a trip into the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area. This time, I’m committed to hiking at least five miles before setting up camp. Q

ost Missoulians live here for the abundant recreation opportunities and work a 9-to-5 job to afford it. But why wait for the weekend to get outside? With a little planning you can escape during the workweek and maximize your 5-to-9. Here are a few close-to-home adventures for the weekday warrior certain to return you to work recharged—and maybe with wet Chacos and a sunburn—the next day. 

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River float There are endless options for float trips around Missoula. My favorite quick trip is a mellow four-mile float on the Clark Fork River from Kelly Island to Kona Bridge. Our floating party met at Kelly Island after work on a Thursday, dropped the boat in the water and loaded up the gear we had packed the night before. The shuttle is short, but to enjoy more time on the river we found a buddy who wanted an excuse to ride his bike and was willing to shuttle the car for us. We hit the water with plenty of daylight to soak in the sun, cast some lines and tossed back a few beers. The casual two-and-a-half-hour float, which included a couple stops to fish deep holes, took us to an island about one mile upstream from our takeout. We set up our tents on a gravel bar, built a small fire and placed our cowboy dinners in the coals, passing the time with snacks, stories and listening to owls. The next morning we were roused from our slumbers by a cacophony of bird song, and we packed the boat and shoved

winds through a forested canyon following its namesake creek. After three miles on the relatively flat trail, camping is allowed (a good landmark is the second outhouse). From here the canyon opens to meadows and offers many places to set up a tent or throw down a bag and sleep under the stars. We loaded our mountain bikes, packs and helmets in the back of the rig at 5 p.m. Not making time to prepare dinner, we called in a carryout order, grabbed our burritos and were on our way. Using backpacks to haul gear meant packing light so we only brought the essentials: sleeping bag and pad, ultra-light tent, water bottle and pump, long underwear, toilet paper, lighters, snacks, three beers each and the necessary photo by Cathrine L. Walters tools to fix a flat. We left the packed parking lot at 5:30 p.m., pedaling through runners, hikers and Bike camp bikers. Even with a few stops for photos we Bike camping in the Rattlesnake Nareached the three-mile marker in less than tional Recreation Area and Wilderness is an hour. Following a side trail that cut off one of Missoula’s best quick and close-tointo the trees lead us to a well-used camphome adventures. Starting at the main site near the creek. Before setting up our Rattlesnake trailhead, the old logging road

off. After a quick 30-minute paddle we were at the takeout by 7:00 a.m. Our early start left ample time for a shower, breakfast and a cup of joe before landing back at work by 9.

photo by Cathrine L. Walters




shelter we unpacked our still-warm burritos and enjoyed supper while listening to the sound of the rushing water and wind in the trees. After a small fire and good night’s rest we awoke with the sun and were packed and on the trail by 6:45 a.m., and at the car a few minutes after 7.

private ownership to national forest. We reached the Dalles Campground ($6, April through September) at 14.5 miles and found a wooded site above the river. We set up camp, fished, grilled brats and sat around the fire. We were back in Missoula before 9 o’clock the next morning.

Car camp

Soak and stay

At just over 20 miles east of Missoula, Rock Creek is a great place to sit around a campfire and try to catch some fish. The “no services” Rock Creek Road offers access to one of the best fishing rivers in the state and an abundance of first-come, first-served designated and primitive campsites along the way. The night before our trip we thawed out some brats to cook over the fire, bought additional snacks and organized our camping and fishing gear. By 5:30 p.m. on a Tuesday we were loading the truck and soon on the road in search of an isolated campsite near the river. At around the eight-mile mark the road goes from paved to gravel, and the surrounding land from

Nothing rejuvenates the soul quite like a long soak in a natural hot spring. Located only 77 miles from Missoula, the Symes Hot Springs Hotel, in the town of Hot Springs, is another easy weekday getaway. Built in the 1930s, the Mission-style hotel has 31 rooms (starting at $55), 10 cabins (starting at $74), RV hookups (starting at $35) and tent sites ($30). Three pools—one hot, one warm and one cool— spread bathers out so you don’t feel crowded. Many businesses in town close early so consider eating at the hotel restaurant. The next morning, grab coffee in the lobby before hitting the road at 7 to get back in the office by 9.

If seeking a more rustic hot spring experience, check out the Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, which are seldom busy during weekdays and, while over Lolo Pass in Idaho, only an hour and a half from Missoula. A 1.5-mile hike through a beautiful cedar forest leads to three pools where swimsuits are optional (and not very common). The springs are a day-use only area, but just a mile down the road you can set up a tent at one of the 19 sites at Jerry Johnson Campground for $8. Camping this close to the trailhead allows ambitious early risers an additional sunrise soak before heading back to town. Don’t want to camp? Cozy up at the Lochsa Lodge, which is 20 miles east of Jerry Johnson on the way back to Missoula. Rent a rustic cabin (summer rates start at $65), regular cabin (starting at $115) or one of the newer lodges (starting at $90). The Lochsa Lodge has a restaurant and offers free coffee in the morning—to help you cope with your hour-long commute back to reality. Q

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here’s a lot of worry these days—for good reason—about how kids aren’t getting out into nature enough. At worst, we’re creating generations prone to obesity and depression, and who lack the kind of connection to the environment that fosters good stewardship. At best, we’ve got a bunch of Vitamin D-deficient kids lurking in basements playing video games. In any case, it’s a crime not to expose our children to Montana’s mountains and rivers, critters big and small, forests, flowers and sky. From what I’ve read, kids are already hardwired to be interested in the natural world, they just might need a little push. Here’s your push. Start small—no need to do anything elaborate. And the real secret is, you can do these things with your kids, but in the end, they’re just as much fun for you.

just a a couple miles in, and probably best for middle school and high school kids. One of the campsites at the far end of the lake has a fresh snow-fed spring and, even in June, access to a few big snowfields. Bring garbage bags to go sledding down the easy slope and afterward break out some Kool-Aid packets and make snow cones. Your kids will be talking about that adventure for years.

••• Mike and Lulu Steinberg have a game they photo by Chad Harder play with their two daughters where they go out into the woods and build fairy houses. There are rules. You can only use natural materials, Lulu says, so no rubber bands to fashion twigs together. As Mike says, it’s always good to point out that “the fairies won’t live there unless it’s made of all natural materials.” Mike, who directs programming at the Roxy Theater, and Lulu, co-director of Turning the Wheel, say the kids will spend hours crafting magical structures around a downed tree and making swimming pools and tiny sanctuaries out of rocks, moss and wood. There are plenty of places to do this nearby, including Greenough Park in the lower Rat56

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••• Okay, so maybe you can’t drive 100 miles to build a fairy house. Maybe you have just a couple of hours to spare. Smack in the middle of town you can find Silver’s Lagoon at McCormick Park, which is stocked with rainbow trout. Your little ones can try their hand at fishing or, if they’re too young for that, they can spend the time quacking at the ducks that swoop around the little island. Good for picnicking and good for just getting out of the house for a breath of sanity. tlesnake. But one place you might consider for a longer adventure is the cedar forest around Thompson Falls where you can find giant hollowed out trees and fairytale-like pools with frogs. ••• Backpacking doesn’t have to be hard. Morrell Falls, just north of Seeley, is a flat 5.4-mile round-trip hike that you can do in a day or as an overnight. It’s one of the best places to take kids if you’re trying to teach them about flora, since you’ll find an abundance of wildflowers there. Another great hike is Heart Lake, near Superior, which is

••• Kids want to be astronauts and astronomers for a reason (and secretly you do, too!). That’s because space is cool. Finding great vantage points to catch a meteor shower or just to spot shooting stars isn’t hard if you can get just above the city lights. Mark Reiser, of UM’s Physics and Astronomy Department, says the easiest way to introduce the sky to kids is to focus on a constellation like the Big Dipper. “Show them how to find the North Star from the Big Dipper,” he says. “One constellation can help you find another and it’s like a domino

photo by Joe Weston

effect for how to navigate around the stars.” From there you can start to identify planets and they can see how the night sky shifts depending on the hour. Check out an astronomy calendar to find big events for eclipses, iridium flares and the Northern Lights. Look up the position of the International Space Station, find it in the sky and remind your kids of the impressive fact that it has several people on it orbiting at 20,000 miles per hour.

treasure where the color stayed preserved. Finding things in nature to incorporate into

••• If you’ve got kids who can’t get enough of coloring and making crafts, take them on an artistic adventure outdoors. One photo by Cathrine L. Walters of my favorite things as a child was going up to my great aunt’s cabin art projects is the goal, but the process of on Georgetown Lake during the summer finding the objects gets kids thinking in crewhere we’d sit in a field and make colorful ative ways. chalk drawings on smooth rocks. We later ••• buried those rocks underneath the porch like No outdoor guide is complete without 58

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water. One pretty safe place for kids to splash around is at Kries Pond near the Nine-Mile Ranger Station. It’s one of the best places to go car camping and bring your raft or canoe. And you can stop at the ranger station on the way to check out the mules there. Because everyone knows that next to ice cream, animals are one of the best ways to diffuse a whining toddler. ••• The truth is, the excitement of going somewhere new is part of the fun for kids. Pick a road trip and end up in a national park or at one of the gazillion fishing access turnoffs, or go explore a ghost town. Make a map that spans the radius of how far you’re willing to drive to get out of town and let that open up the possibilities. Let your kid close her eyes and pick a place at random. It’s bound to be an adventure. Q

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Missoula Independent


Flyboarding will take you to new heights by Matthew Frank

photo courtesy of Flyboard of Montana


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“I bet I reached as high as

25 feet, maybe more, and during one or two of those apex moments I threw up my arms, exultant, delighting in the surreality of flying over an otherwise boat-less lake.”

photo courtesy of Flyboard of Montana


had never done anything that drew a crowd. But on a recent sunny afternoon, a group of people gradually formed at the Whitefish City Beach to gawk and snap cellphone photos as a red-suited, helmeted figure with jet-powered feet—me—rocketed out of the lake and hovered over the water like an aquatic Iron Man. There’s certainly a superheroness to the newfangled watersport of flyboarding; when I posted a video of my “flight” to Facebook it elicited mentions of Iron Man, Aquaman, Spiderman and Captain America (and also Jesus). Though the initial reaction from anyone who sees flyboarding for the first time is some variant of, “What? Awesome!” Which is what I said one day last summer, on Whitefish Lake, as I watched from afar through binoculars trying to figure out how the heck flyboarding worked. I saw the superhero launch into the air, water surging from his boots, flying up and down, twirling around. A personal wa64

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tercraft idled nearby, from which ran a hose connected to the board the superhero stood on. So the Sea-Doo supplies the jet propulsion through the hose, I surmised.

2012, the first Flyboard World Cup was held in Qatar (videos from those competitions offer some of the best flyboarding porn on the web). Meanwhile, Zapata’s sold thousands of his patented flyboards around the world, to people like Justin Heyne, owner of Whitefishbased Flyboard of Montana. Heyne is a longtime river guide and ski and snowboard instructor who launched the company about a year ago. He met me at the Whitefish City Beach on a day when snow still capped Big Mountain and the freshly thawed lake would be inviting only to polar plungers. He backed his 155-horsepower SeaDoo GTX down the boat launch and released it into the water, and photo by Matthew Frank then pulled the flyboard from the back of his truck. The board itself is French jet-ski racer Franky Zapata began a four-legged platform that puts wakeboard developing flyboard technology in 2011. By boots above Y-shaped piping, with a central the end of the year, his company, Zapata water intake and downward outflow openRacing, introduced the sport to the world by ings on both ends. The setup runs about way of a YouTube video that’s since been $6,000 (Sea-Doo not included). viewed more than seven million times. In I stepped into a burly dry suit, cinched

photo courtesy of Wade Howell

my PFD, strapped on a helmet and slipped my feet into the boots on the flyboard, which Heyne had set in a couple feet of water. He had already tethered the flyboard to his Sea Doo’s jet propulsion system with a 60-footlong fire hose. Connecting the hose surrenders the personal watercraft’s directional control to the flyboarder, so Heyne instructed me to lie on my stomach and tow us out to open water. He lightly hit the throttle and water began coursing from the bottom of the board, propelling me forward. While still mostly submerged, I found myself taking the shape of a ski jumper, legs straight and back, arms at my sides, and I practiced zigzagging, trying to exert some control over my new super feet. Now a couple hundred yards from the beach, it was time to fly. Heyne’s instructions were simple: When I hit the juice, just keep your legs straight— knees locked—and let yourself rise out of the water. I was skeptical, but only for a matter of seconds—because after that I was, impossibly, standing some 10 feet over the water on these wondrous water stilts. A little wobbly at first, I quickly gained my balance and confidence, and I repeatedly, and effortlessly, jetted out of the water and Heyne eased me back down again. As water sports go, especially one marketed as “extreme”—and you’ll agree that it can be when you watch pros flip and dive under water—flyboarding’s learning curve is remarkably short. Within minutes I graduated from bouncing in and out of the water to re-

maining up and controlling my direction and height, which is achieved by angling the board. To turn, dip the foot in the direction you want to go; to descend, slightly tip your toes downward. Flattening the board out again shoots you back up into the sky.

I bet I reached as high as 25 feet, maybe more, and during one or two of those apex moments I threw up my arms, exultant, delighting in the surreality of flying over an otherwise boat-less lake, ringed by mountains. But then humility hit me like, well, the jarring smack of a fall into cold water. While practicing tighter turns I lost my balance and fell backward, and my back clapped against the surface of the water hard enough to half knock the wind out of me. Or maybe it was the full-body submergence, however quick, that took my breath away. In any case, I collected myself and got back on my feet. Heyne, who all the while cheered me on and offered pointers, then obliged my request to capture my flight with photos and video from the seat of his Sea-Doo. After about 45 minutes (Flyboard of Montana charges $150 for 30 minutes, $250 for an hour), I gave Heyne the killit sign and sank back into the water. It’s not tiring in the way waterskiing is, arms and quads burning, but the constant balancing taxes your legs and core. By then we had traveled another hundred yards from shore, and when I looked back to the beach I saw a dozen or so people who had gathered to watch me. They’d probably never seen the spectacle that is flyboarding, and probably thought I knew what I was doing. Heading toward them, Heyne gave the Sea-Doo enough gas to lift my torso out of the water, like a halfbreached dolphin, which was fun on its own and somehow made my return feel triumphant—fitting, I suppose, on my one day as a superhero. Q

photo courtesy of Flyboard of Montana


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$…Under $5 $–$$…$5–$15 $$–$$$…$15 and over

Bagels On Broadway 223 West Broadway 728-8900 Featuring over 25 sandwich selections, 20 bagel varieties, and 20 cream cheese spreads. Also a wide selection of homemade soups, salads and desserts. Gourmet coffee and espresso drinks, fruit smoothies, and frappés. Ample seating; free wi-fi. Free downtown delivery (weekdays) with $10 min. order. Call ahead to have your order ready for you! Open 7 days a week. Voted one of the top 20 bagel shops in the country by internet survey. $-$$ Bernice’s Bakery 190 South 3rd West 728-1358 Locally owned and operated for 35 years, Bernice’s Bakery is a Missoula landmark. Located along the Clark Fork River, Bernice’s offers you an incredible view and downtown access. No trip to Missoula should be made without a stop at Bernice’s. Enjoy cupcakes, breakfast pastries, quiche, lunches, awesome iced coffee, and the world’s best cup of joe. Then take a walk by the river. Open 7 days a week from 6 AM – 8 PM. Come see why Bernice’s has been voted Missoula’s Best Bakery for 19 years running. xoxo bernice Biga Pizza 241 W. Main Street 728-2579 • Biga Pizza offers a modern downtown dining environment combined with traditional brick-oven pizza, calzones, salads, sandwiches, specials and desserts. All dough is made using a “biga” (pronounced bee-ga) which is a time-honored Italian method of bread making. Biga Pizza uses local products, the freshest produce as well as artisan meats and cheeses. Featuring seasonal menus. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat. Beer and wine available. $-$$ The Bridge Pizza Corner of S. 4th & S. Higgins Ave. 542-0002 A popular local eatery on Missoula's Hip Strip. Featuring handcrafted artisan brick-


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oven pizza, pasta, sandwiches, soups, and salads made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Missoula's place for pizza by the slice. A unique selection of regional microbrews and gourmet sodas. Dine-in, drive-thru, & delivery. Open every day 11 AM to late.

Burns Street Bistro 1500 Burns St. 543-0719 We cook the freshest local ingredients as a matter of pride. Our relationship with local farmers, ranchers and other businesses allows us to bring quality, scratchcooking and fresh-brewed Black Coffee Roasting Co. coffee and espresso to Missoula’s historic westside neighborhood. Handmade breads and pastries, soups, salads and sandwiches change with the seasons, but our commitment to delicious, affordable food and over-the-top fun and friendly service does not. Mon-Fri 7 AM – 2 PM. Sat and Sun Brunch 9 AM – 2 PM. Reservations for Prix Fixe dinners on Fri and Sat nights. $-$$

Butterfly Herbs 232 N. Higgins 728-8780 Celebrating 42 years of great coffees and teas. Truly the “essence of Missoula.” Offering fresh coffees, teas (Evening in Missoula), bulk spices and botanicals, fine toiletries and gifts. Our cafe features homemade soups, fresh salads, and coffee ice cream specialties. In the heart of historic downtown, we are Missoula’s first and favorite epresso bar. Open 7 Days. $-$$

El Cazador 101 S. Higgins Ave. 728-3657 Missoula Independent readers’ choice for Best Mexican Restaurant. Come taste Alfredo's original recipes for authentic Mexican food that we cook with love. From seafood to carne asada, enjoy dinner or stop by for our daily lunch specials. We are a locally owned Mexican family restaurant, and we want to make your visit with us one to remember. Open daily for lunch and dinner. $-$$

Doc’s Gourmet Sandwiches 214 N. Higgins Ave. 542-7414 Doc’s is an extremely popular gathering spot for diners who appreciate the great ambiance, personal service and generous sandwiches made with the freshest ingredients. Whether you’re heading out for a power lunch, meeting friends or family or just grabbing a quick takeout, Doc’s is always an excellent choice. Delivery in the greater Missoula area. We also offer custom catering...everything from gourmet appetizers to all of our menu items! $-$$

Five Guys Burgers & Fries 820 E. Broadway 830-3262 • Burger-lovers visit for the best burgers and fries in town. If you have a hankering for an amazing burger and world-class french fries, Five Guys is your place. $-$$

Hi-Country Snack Foods of Montana Lincoln, MT 800-433-3916 Explore Lincoln's Legendary Hi-Country Trading Post, the home of Hi-Country Beef Jerky. Also featuring: food from across the state, regional art and carvings, homemade fudge and confections, quality jewelry and apparel, gift packs galore and home spice kits! Call for our free mail order brochure.

Hob Nob on Higgins 531 S. Higgins 541-4622 Come visit our friendly staff and experience Missoula’s best little breakfast and lunch spot. All our food is made from scratch, we feature homemade corned beef hash, sourdough pancakes, sandwiches, salads, espresso and desserts. $-$$



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Missoula Independent




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Iza 529 S. Higgins 830-3237 Contemporary Asian cuisine featuring local, vegan, gluten-free and organic options as well as wild-caught seafood, Idaho trout and buffalo. Join us for lunch and dinner. Happy Hour 3 PM – 6 PM weekdays with specials on food and drink. Extensive sake, wine and tea menu. Closed Sundays. Open Mon-Fri: Lunch 11:30 AM – 3 PM, Dinner 5 PM – close. Sat: Dinner 5 PM – close. Sushi Tuesday nights. $-$$ Missoula Senior Center 705 S. Higgins Ave. (on the Hip Strip) 543-7154 Did you know that the Missoula Senior Center serves delicious hearty lunches every week day for only $6.00? Anyone is welcome to join us for a delicious meal from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Mon. – Fri. for delicious food, great conversation and take some time to find a treasured item or garment in our thrift shop. For a full menu and other activities, visit our website. The Mustard Seed Asian Cafe Southgate Mall 542-7333 Contemporary Asian fusion cuisine. Original recipes and fresh ingredients combine the best of Japanese, Chinese, Polynesian, and Southeast Asian influences. Full menu available at the bar. Award winning desserts made fresh daily, local and regional micro brews, fine wines and signature cocktails. Vegetarian and gluten-free menu available. Takeout and delivery. $$-$$$

Red’s Bar Home of “Dead Pecker Row” DPR Inc. 127 Ryman 728-9881 • Red's has a huge sports memorabilia collection including the largest football helmet collection in the state as well as two full service bars, 11 plasma TVs, keno-poker games, an Official Montana Lottery Terminal, and 2014 "Golden Tee" to accommodate our patrons. Come on down, support your favorite team and have a good time with your friends, family, and acquaintances at Red’s 70

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Bar, Missoula’s Sports Bar since 1952. $-$$ Roxiberry Gourmet Frozen Yogurt Southgate Mall Across from Noodle Express 317.1814 • Bringing Missoula gourmet, frozen yogurt, using the finest ingredients (no frozen mixes), to satisfy your intense cravings with our intense flavors. Our homemade blends offer healthy, nutritional profiles. We also offer smoothies, fresh-made waffle cones, and select baked goods (gluten-free choices available). Join Club Roxi for special offers. See us in-store or visit our website for information. $-$$

Taco Del Sol 422 N. Higgins 327-8929 Stop in when you’re in the neighborhood. We’ll do our best to treat you right! Crowned Missoula’s best lunch for under $6. Mon. – Sat. 11 AM – 10 PM. Sun. 12 PM – 9 PM. $-$$ BITTERROOT BITTERROOT The Catered Table 205 Main St. Stevensville (406) 777-7090 The Catered Table offers casual fine dining at its best. Seafood, steaks and pasta are our specialty. Just 25 minutes from Hamilton or Missoula on Stevensville’s Main Street. Join us for an outstanding meal and enjoy a microbrew beer or a glass of wine from our growing international selection. Ask for our catering department to quote on your special event. 5 PM – 9 PM Tues – Sat, Sun. and Mon. reserved for catered events. $$-$$$

Hamilton Farmer’s Market 961-0004 Handcrafted and Homegrown – 22 Years in the Bitter Root! On Bedford, Second and Third streets, in historic downtown Hamilton. Open: 9 AM –12:30 PM Saturday from May 3 to October 18. Come enjoy the fruits of our labor from our

farms, studios and kitchens! For information, call the Market Manager at 961-0004.

River Rising Bakery 337 Main St. Hamilton • 363-4552 Hamilton’s favorite bakery, deli, and espresso bar. Serving all-butter pastries, delicious and nutritious muffins, cream scones, and delectable desserts. Or choose from our selection of homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches found nowhere else. Open 6:30 AM – 5:30 PM Mon. – Fri., 8 AM – 4 PM Sat., 8 AM – 2 PM Sun. Weekday local business lunch delivery available 9 AM – 1 PM. $-$$

Second Street Sushi 322 S. 2nd St. Hamilton 363-0600 Second Street Sushi is dedicated to providing the finest sushi experience in the Bitterroot Valley. Daily specials, delicious entrees, and a full beer, sake and wine menu complement a healthy and fulfilling dining experience. 11 AM – 10 PM Mon-Sat. Walk in or call ahead. $-$$$

Spice of Life 163 S 2nd St. Hamilton (406) 363-4433 Spice of Life welcomes you to the Bitterroot’s best dining experience. Serving up fresh and fun food in a conscientious manner. For lunch try one of our hand-made burgers from Lolo Locker or one of our fabulous fresh salads. Dinner selections include hand-cut steaks, sustainable seafood selections and pasta dishes made with Montana wheat from Pasta Montana. Quench your thirst with beer brewed right here in Hamilton or try one of our reasonably priced yet fantastic wine selections. Children’s menu available. No reservations. Feel free to come as you are to Spice of Life! Lunch: Mon. – Fri. 11 AM – 2 PM. Dinner: Tues. – Sat. 5 PM – 9 PM.

$…Under $5 $–$$…$5–$15 $$–$$$…$15 and over

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

thursday Thursday is the new Friday, so let’s get the weekend started with Downtown ToNight, wherein an array of local music, food and beverage is available for your afternoon enjoyment at Caras Park. Thursdays, 5:30-8:30 PM, through Aug. 28. The Fray, who sings your aunt Margery’s favorite song “How to Save a Life,” play the Big Sky Brewery Amphitheater, along with Barcelona and Oh Honey. 5417 Trumpeter Way. Doors at 5:30 PM, show at 7. $35. Tickets at Big Sky’s taproom, Rockin Rudy’s and

friday Art aficionados and downtown revelers alike can enjoy First Friday in Missoula, wherein shops, cafes, bars and galleries host free art viewings for all to enjoy. Sometimes there’s totally excellent free wine and snax, too. Runs about 5-8 PM every first Friday of the month. Check out missoula and our special listings. The Lolo Square and Round Dance Center rocks the Go With the Flow Mountain 72

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Mixer on June 6 and 7, with dancing from 810:30 PM. Barry Sjolin has the call. 9955 Lolo Creek Road. Learn more at 251-2173 or check out

saturday The Red Lodge Music Festival presents a whopping nine days of tunes from students by day and professionals by night. Civic Center, June 7-15. Visit Early rising produce-seekers, occasional walk-of-shamers and waffle sandwich lovers rejoice, rejoice, the Clark Fork Market, People's Market and Missoula Farmers Market are back in action throughout downtown. Saturdays through October from 8 AM-1 PM. The Pengelly Double and Single Dip returns for another dose of punishing mountain running. The half marathon starts at 9 AM at the University of Montana’s Riverbowl East Field, and the 10K starts at 9:30. Visit for course info and registration.

sunday Show the Flathead your best footwork at the Herron Half Marathon and 10K, on bike/walk trails around Kalispell.

Proceeds benefit the Blacktail Trails; last year raised over $5,000. Scoot over to

friday Hot Springs Homesteader Days gets off to an auspicious start with arts and crafts shows, street games, kids’ parade, 3K and 6K runs, live music and rodeo on Saturday night. Hot Springs, off Highway 28 between Plains and Elmo. Check out Lord knows there’s way more art than one Friday can hold, so check out the ZACC’s Second Friday Gallery Opening, with local art, refreshments and free screenprinting. The name of Bob Ross frequently gets invoked. 5:30-8:30 PM. Visit Enjoy zee cinema at Missoula Public Library’s World Wide Cinema night, the second Friday of every month. The series showcases indie and foreign films. Doors open at 6:45, show at 7 PM. Check for info. Free. All manner of talented Treasure State folk are on display for the Montana Professional Artists Association’s annual art show at the Bitterroot River Inn, 139 Bitterroot Plaza

Mission Mountain NRA Rodeo ..............................June 27 & 28 Polson Chamber Blast.............................................June 28 Polson’s Community 4th of July Parade, Concert & Fireworks Show ......................July 4 Arlee Pow-wow Celebration....................................July 4 & 5 Ksanka Standing Arrow Pow-wow........................July 18 & 19 Main Street Cherry Festival & Miracle of America Live History Days ..................July 19 & 20 Flathead Lake 3-on-3 Hoop Shoot........................July 25, 26, & 27 Smokin' on the Water BBQ Cook-off & Beer Tour & MVA’s Water Daze..........................August 2 Summerfest on Flathead Lake...............................August 8, 9, & 10 Art in the Park ..........................................................August 9 Flathead Lake Blues Festival ..................................August 15 & 16 INFR Flathead River Rodeo ....................................August 22, 23, & 24 Polson Rotary Chili Cook-off..................................August 23

Kicks and giggles. Fitz and the Tantrums play the Wilma Sun., June 29. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8. $25/$21 in advance at Rockin Rudy's and

Drive in Hamilton. Open Fri., June 13 from 69 PM, Sat., June 14 10 AM-5 PM and Sun., June 15 from 10 AM-4 PM. My stubborn aunt Sally just might meet her match at Montana Mule Days, the state’s largest mule and donkey show with several competitions, food and family entertainment at the American Legion Rodeo Grounds in Drummond, June 13-15. Visit

saturday Learn from your dad’s patience as he untangles your line once again at the Father’s Day Family Fishing Festival, where northern pike, yellow perch, kokanee and rainbow trout are all up for grabs at the Thompson Chain of Lakes. $20 to enter, limited to 125 people. Check out some classic history brought to life (briefly) with the George Ives Trial and Hanging recreation in Virginia City, June 1415. Visit The sights will take your breath away if the climb doesn’t at the annual Pedal the Pintlers, featuring 25-, 50- and 100-mile routes departing from Anaconda’s Washoe Park. $55 to register day of the race, includes T-shirt and food. Visit 74

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wednesday Country legend Don Williams plays his good-natured tunes at the Dennison Theatre. 7:30 PM. $39.50-$55, available at GrizTix outlets and

Mission and Stevensville Museum. Check out I don’t want a pickle, just wanna ride my motorcycle over to the Flat Track Motorcycle Racing where daredevils face off at speeds up to 90 miles an hour. Billings Motorsports Park, north of town on Roundup Road in Shepherd. Grandstands open at 6 PM, start at 7. Visit

thursday The Missoula Osprey face off against the Great Falls Voyagers for the first at-home game of the season in at Ogren Park. 7:05 PM. Visit

friday Enjoy historic reenactments without having to resort to eating moccasins at the 25th annual Lewis and Clark Festival, June 2022 at Gibson Park in Great Falls. Includes demonstrations, exhibits, float trips and more. Visit Stevensville gets to toot its horn a bit with Western Heritage Days, which include the Chuck Wagon cook-off on Friday, parade on Saturday, historic tours and arts and crafts vendors throughout downtown, St. Mary’s

saturday Take a weekend to honor the world’s oldest profession when the Bale of Hay Saloon celebrates Brothel Days June 21-22 in Virginia City. Check out It’ll be a midsummer night’s dream at the Last Best Solstice: Art on the River, an allday celebration wherein artists spend the day creating art in Caras Park, followed by a live auction of the finished works and a party with food, drinks and dancing. Check out Come on in, the water’s fine at the twoday Introduction to Whitewater Kayaking clinic with the Zoo Town Surfers on the Blackfoot River and Clark Fork. $200, includes equipment. Check out


b o ys o f su mmer Every June, executives from 30 Major League Baseball teams sit in their respective conference rooms and, usually over speaker phone, determine the fates of hundreds of young men. The MLB First-Year Player Draft is a special moment, only somewhat dimmed by the reality of a modest or nonexistent signing bonus, meager per diem and a one-way ticket to someplace in Montana they’ve probably never heard of. The Missoula Osprey roster regularly looks like a ragtag collection of long-shots, no-names and the occasional sure thing. Who: Missoula Osprey Where: Ogren Park When: Home opener June 19 More info:

But for a few short months every summer, they’re our team of aspiring professionals and, more often than not, they deliver a great on-field product. Few things convey summer more than baseball. With the Osprey, fans can sit mere feet from the action with a cheap craft beer and grilled hot dog, all for less than the cost of a movie. Families can roll around on the hill down the left field line or chase Ollie the Osprey for a high-five. There’s even those who can skip the stadium seating altogether and drag their cooler to the grassy knoll just beyond center field and watch the game for free with the Clark Fork at their back. What happens on the field rarely seems to matter to most in attendance, and

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

that’s just fine. That’s part of what makes the baseball experience such a reflection of the season. But this summer, in between screaming “PEA-NUTS!” and watching the real osprey perched in their nest near the stadium, your lazy midweek evening may just be a chance to catch the next Paul Goldschmidt (All-Star first baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks) or Carlos Gonzalez (All-Star outfielder for the Colorado Rockies) represent your hometown before making their way to the sport’s largest stage. Q —Skylar Browning

Say you saw ‘em there. Libby Logger Days run June 26-29 in, of course, Libby. Visit

The Potomac Pioneer fundraiser includes an 11-mile and 6-mile trail run, all to support the new Potomac school athletic field. $30 for day-of registration, race starts at 9 AM. Check out Unleash the creativity within at Art on Tap, a social instructor-led painting class where you’ll go from canvas to complete artwork. Ten Spoon Vineyard, 4175 Rattlesnake Drive. 12:30-3 PM. $36. Check out artontap

monday King Buzzo (aka Buzz Osborne from the Melvins) plays molk (aka not just folk, not just metal) for his solo acoustic tour at the Palace. Doors at 8 PM, show at 8. $17/$15 in advance at Rockin Rudy’s and jade

wednesday Feel the grass between your toes, breeze in your hair and tunes in your ears at the Missoula City Band concerts, in Bonner Park every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free. June 25 features the UM Music Camp faculty soloists. 78

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thursday I bet you wood be stoked to see the sights at Libby Logger Days, a community celebration with beer garden, logging competitions, water fight and Bull and Bullette of the Woods. June 26-29. Visit There’s fun in store for the whole family with the Vaudeville Variety Show at the Opera House in Philipsburg, opening tonight and showing on weekends through Aug. 30. Visit for dates and times.

friday Show off that hot rod Lincoln with the annual Garden City River Rod Run, which features a parade of nearly 200 classic rigs on Higgins Avenue from 9-10 PM, with car show and shine in Caras Park all day Saturday. Free to spectate. Hilarity ensues when a young woman has to move back in with her obnoxious parents in Current Conditions, opening at the Opera House Theatre in Philipsburg. 7 PM. Showing on weekends through Aug. 30. Check for dates and times.

saturday You’ll see a lot of filthy behavior at the Great Divide Mucker, a three-mile obstacle course race that promises stream crossings, commando-style rope climbs, hurdles, cargo net climbs, slippery slopes, and, of course, lots of mud. Things get started at 8:30 at Great Divide Ski Area. Registration and race details at Celebrate the Swan by getting to know some of the 98 miles of trails along the Swan Mountains including a half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 1-mile, plus 13- and 34-mile trips for bicycles. Register at

sunday Families, hipsters, hipsters with families and whoever else that leaves out are invited to the summer Missoula MADE Fair, a craft-a-palooza in Caras Park from 10 AM-5 PM. Peruse LA’s perky popmeisters Fitz and the Tantrums cut loose at the Wilma. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8. $25/$21 in advance at Rockin Rudy’s and

Couchin’ it. Heartless Bastards, along with ESKMO, Dead Hipster, Miller Creek and many others play the Bearmouth Music Festival in Haugan, June 19-21. Visit bearmouthmusic


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Grizzly Property Management, Inc. “Let us tend your den”

Since 1995, where tenants and landlords call home. 715 Kensington Ave., Suite 25B • 542-2060 •

549-6106 • 422 Madison • Missoula • 81

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Missoula Independent


Tie one on. The Michael Franti and Spearhead Soulshine tour Tue., July 1, features a yoga session from 3-5 PM and concert at 5:30. Big Sky Brewery Amphitheater. $51 for both/$20 for just yoga/$41 for concert. Tickets at the Big Sky taproom, Rockin Rudy's and

tuesday Work out those toxins before feeling the groove with the Michael Franti and Spearhead Soulshine tour, which features a yoga session from 3-5 PM and concert starting at 5:30. Big Sky Brewery Amphitheater. $51 for both/$20 for just yoga/$41 for concert. Tickets at the Big Sky taproom, Rockin Rudy’s and

wednesday Feel the grass between your toes, breeze in your hair and tunes in your ears at the Missoula City Band concerts, in Bonner Park every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free. July 2 features a Patriotic Prelude.

thursday Check out all the pretty horses—but 82

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avoid romantic entanglements with beautiful Mexican women—at the Western Montana Quarter Horse and Paint Horse Show, July 3-6 at the Sapphire Event Center off the Eastside Highway in Corvallis. Competitors from five states and Canada will vie for who has the finest horseflesh. Check out The Opera House Theater presents the opening for Wife Begins At Forty, a lighthearted take on midlife crisis, with performances running on weekends through August. 140 S. Sansome St. in Philipsburg. Visit for ticket info and times.

friday Art aficionados and downtown revelers alike can enjoy First Friday in Missoula, wherein shops, cafes, bars and galleries host free art viewings for all to enjoy. Sometimes there’s totally excellent free wine and snax, too. Runs about 5-8 PM every first Friday of the month. Check out gallery-guide and our special listings.

Arlee marks the Fourth with its 116th celebration. Ceremonies and competitions run July 2-6, with Snake Dance on Friday afternoon at the grounds east of Highway 93 at the south end of town, off Powwow Road. Check out Salute the amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties and such at the Fourth of July parade on Main Street in Kalispell, followed by a free ice cream social. Visit Leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals this year, Bubba, and head over to Southgate Mall for the annual fireworks show, with a concert from the Missoula City Band at 9:30 PM kicking off the proceedings. Free.

monday Have a sweet treat when the Grammywinning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops plays the Top Hat. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8. $20/$17 in advance at 21-plus.



HAMILTON 363-3884


POLSON 888-1099

RONAN 676-7800


ge ttin g p a d dled Stand-up paddleboarding, the latest watersport craze, looked deceptively benign and easy the first time I saw a woman and her daughter paddleboarding on a quiet day on Salmon Lake. But much like tree pose in yoga, which always makes me fall over, stand-up paddleboarding is more intense than it might seem. (I shudder to think of attempting stand-up paddleboarding yoga, which is also trendy.) The full-body workout requires upperbody strength to paddle and core

benefit of getting a beautiful view from the water—without having to resort to a pricey boat. Paddleboarding is well suited to lazy western Montana waterways in the summer, and it’s catching on as a competitive sport. The second annual Windermere SUP Cup on July 20 is a 4.2-mile race on the Clark Fork from the Sha-Ron fishing access to Riverside Park. The casual paddleboarder can compete in the recreational division, but if you really wanna test your mettle, the Elite Division of the race offers WHAT: Windermere SUP Cup a hefty $5,000 purse WHEN: Sun., July 20 from 6-10 PM to the winner. (Nicely enough, WHERE: Clark Fork River SUP Cup proceeds benefit the upkeep on Brennan’s HOW MUCH: Free to watch Wave, that water feature that’s MORE INFO: become a defining part of what makes downtown Misstrength to maintain balance, with the soula special.)

wednesday Feel the grass between your toes, breeze in your hair and tunes in your ears at the Missoula City Band concert, in Bonner Park every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free. July 9 features the Sweet Adelines and associate conductor Bill Hollin. Rhymesayers rapper Grieves gets heads bobbing at the Top Hat, along with Sonreal and Fearce Vill. Doors at 8 PM, show at 9. $16/$14 in advance. Tickets at the Top Hat and Ages 18-plus.

thursday Retrace part of Lewis and Clark’s route with the annual Yellowstone Boat Float, which starts at Livingston, stops overnight in Big Timber and Reed Point and winds up in Columbus. Call 696-1996 for info.

friday Lord knows there’s way more art than one Friday can hold, so check out the ZACC’s Second Friday Gallery Opening, with local art, refreshments and free screenprinting. The name of Bob Ross frequently gets invoked. 5:30-8:30 PM. Visit Sure as folk, the Montana Folk Festival


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photo by Tommy Martino

There’s plenty to enjoy about the SUP Cup if you’d rather be a bystander, including pre-and post-parties and, let’s admit it, the chance to watch a racer take a spill. Not that we’d root for such a thing to happen, of course.

presents an international array of 250 musicians, dancers and crafters on seven stages. Dance non-stop or take a load off and snack on tasty food. Main Street of Butte from July 11-13. Check out Have an intellectual evening when Slightly Stoopid plays the Big Sky Brewing Amphitheater, along with Stephen Marley and special guests. Doors at 5 PM, show at 6:30. $40/$35 in advance at Rockin Rudy’s, the Big Sky taproom and Enjoy zee cinema at Missoula Public Library’s World Wide Cinema night, the second Friday of every month. The series showcases indie and foreign films. Doors at 6:45, show at 7 PM. Check for info. Free.

saturday Go the extra mile (or 99 of ‘em) at the One Helena Hundred, a bike ride along the Recreation Road off the Missouri River, from Cascade to Ulm for the metric century and a little further on for the mile century. Visit The Billings Saddle Club hosts two days of Cowboy Mounted Shooting, in which talented shooters dress up in old-timey outfits and see who rides fastest and shoots best. Call 426-0700 to learn more. With a name like Nye Goes Nuts, how can you resist the charms of this family friendly event with barbecue, raffle, kid’s ac-

The bright side to stand-up paddleboarding is that, unlike yoga, if you fall over, you’ve got a cool, wet, refreshing place to land. Q —Kate Whittle

tivities and, presumably, other totally offthe-hook shenanigans. Nye, west of Columbus. 4 PM. Check out nyecommunity (PS, Nye is on the way to some excellent fishing and hiking in Custer National Forest.)

sunday A marathon runs through Missoula during the one and only Missoula Marathon and Half-Marathon. This award-winning race stretches from Frenchtown to a dramatic downtown finish on the Higgins Street Bridge, and also includes a kid’s run, 5K Corporate Challenge and various post-race social beer-drinking activities. Visit missoula

monday The always ramblin’ Travelin’ McCourys bring their modern take on the classics to the Top Hat to play bluegrassy tunes. Showtime TBA. $30. For more information visit top

wednesday Salute the Treasure State with the Montana Centennial Band Celebration, part of the Missoula City Band concert, in Bonner Park at 8 PM. Free.

Western Montana summer rodeo roundup SATURDAY JUNE 14

Hitch up your pants for the 54th annual Belt PRCA Rodeo, June 14-15, with all the good stuff like bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding and bull riding, natch. In Belt, 20 miles east of Great Falls on Highway 87. (And bring me back a growler of Harvest Moon while you’re at it.) Visit


Celebrate ‘Merica by wrestling a small beefy portion of it at the Lincoln Rodeo and Parade, July 4-6, or maybe just kick back and watch. Fireworks display July 4 at dusk across from Hooper Park. Check out


It just wouldn’t be summer without the Drummond PRCA Rodeo, which kicks off with slack at 9 AM, parade down Front Street at noon, and all manner of battles between man and beast starting at 2 PM. Saddle bronc, bareback, barrel racing, steer wrasslin’ and more. $10/$5 kids ages 6-10. Hitch up your britches and check out

THURSDAY JULY 10 The annual North American Indian Days are plumb full of fun stuff, like Miss Blackfeet award, parade, PRCA Rodeo and more, July 10-13. Visit


Darby Elite Bull Conection in Darby features top riders from across the West taking on bucking bulls from Priest Creek/Hofer/ Hale Bucking Bulls. Gates at 5 PM bulls buck at 7 PM. Visit south


The CM Russell Stampede, BBQ, Quick Draw and Rodeo features minimal gunplay and lots of artists showing off their talents, plus PRCA rodeo action on Sun., July 20. Beer, pop and sundry fried things available, too. Judith Basin County Fairgrounds in Stanford, on Highway 87 between Great Falls and Lewistown. If your summer wanderings Drummond Rodeo take you up the Hi-Line, the annual Richey Rodeo promises a day of warm hospitality, cold beer FRIDAY JULY 25 and bareback bronc riding. Richey Rodeo Grounds, Great Falls hosts the Montana State Fair July off Highway 254 north of Glendive. 25-Aug. 2, with five nights of pro rodeo, the Mighty Thomas Carnival, quilt and floral exhibits, WEDNESDAY JULY 23 Kids and grownups can all test their mettle livestock shows, stage acts and, of course, 40 venwith the Broadwater County Fair and Rodeo, which dors offering all the novelty fried products your starts with a kid’s competition on Thursday and heart probably shouldn’t desire. Montana Exruns July 23-July 27 with NRA rodeo, 4-H exhibits, poPark. Check out livestock sale, barbecue, live entertainment and public dance for all ages on Saturday night. 189 Highway TUESDAY JULY 29 The Rocky Boy’s Rodeo, July 29-Aug. 2, fea12 East in Townsend. Call 266-9251 for info. tures an all-Indian rodeo, with divisions for old-

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timers, women, kids and a timed event slack. Call 395-4662.


Butte, America hosts the Butte-Silver Bow County Fair July 31-Aug. 2, with 4-H, critters, concessions, fried food items and a rodeo at the Butte Civic Center, 1340 Harrison Ave. Cowboy spirit and “homespun charm” is abundant for the Mineral County Fair and Rodeo, July 31-Aug. 2., with ag exhibits, photo and quilt shows, livestock competitions and evening rodeos on Friday and Saturday. Superior, about an hour west of Missoula.


Grab your sparkliest denim short-shorts, a lotta sunscreen and a straw hat, ‘cause it’s time for the Western Montana Fair, with carnival, food, bull-riding, Missoula Stampede PRCA Rodeo, concerts and more, Aug. 5-10 at the Missoula Fairgrounds Events Center. Visit




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The Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo brings lively entertainment day and night with carnival, PRCA rodeo, concerts and food. Aug. 13-17 at Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell. Visit


The annual Ravalli County Fair is a four day event that is known for its family atmosphere and its cultural and historical ties to rural Montana life. Featuring a wide variety of entertainment, 4-H and open class exhibits, community food vendors, children’s activities, business and artist booths, carnival and nightly rodeo - there truly is something for everyone.

thursday The one and only Joan Baez plays the Dennison Theatre, 7 PM. $42/$40 in advance at GrizTix outlets and

friday Keep rollin’ on the river with the two-day Moods of the Madison festival in Ennis, which includes food, crafts, family activities and tunes from blues legend Buddy Guy, along with Toubab Krewe, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Golden Grenade, Hollow Wood, Screen Door Porch, Boozehounds and more, July 18-19. Check out Get all the western tunes and flaming marshies you could want with the Country Music Campout, July 18-20 at the Halfway House across Bull Lake near Troy. Food available, with tunes starting at 7 PM Friday and noon on Saturday and Sunday. Call 406-295-4358 for info.

Brandi Carlile headlines the Red Ants Pant Music Fest July 24-27 in White Sulpher Springs. Visit explorer 2014

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Shady characters. Slightly Stoopid plays the Big Sky Amphitheater Fri., July 11, along with Stephon Marley. Doors at 5 PM. $40/$35 in advance at Rockin Rudy’s and the Big Sky taproom. The Hockaday Museum of Art presents Kalispell’s long-running Arts in the Park, a juried art show with all kinds of neat jewelry, photos, paintings, ceramics and clothing, plus hands-on activities for kids and food vendors. Depot Park. Visit After this weekend, you’ll be fondly recalling the good old days after St. Ignatius’ three-day family fun festival at Good Old Days Park, with Saturday buffalo run, pancake breakfast, parade, Sunday gospel singing and—kiddos take note—free airplane rides on Sunday morning for ages 8-17 with profes-



sional pilots. That is goshdarn cool. Visit The Dog and Grog Montana Microbrew Festival presents not hairy beasts or watered-down rum, thank goodness, but local craft brews and polish dogs. Om nom nom. Bale of Hay Saloon in Virginia City. July 1819. Visit By the time Jim Bridger came over the hill, Great-Grandpa already had a fire going and the coffee on, as my dad oft likes to repeat, but I’ll try not to hold it against

him at Jim Bridger Days family festival and demolition derby in Bridger, on Highway 310. Call 662-3222. Flog your Shovelhead on down to the 20th annual Beartooth Biker Rally, July 18-20 in Red Lodge, which includes black leather, purring Harleys, friendly bikers and the Iron Horse Rodeo. Visit I don’t want a pickle, just wanna ride my motorcycle over to the Flat Track Motorcycle Racing where daredevils face off at speeds up to 90 miles an hour. Billings Motorsports

Park, 10 minutes’ drive north of town on Roundup Road in Shepherd. Grandstands open at 6 PM, the action starts at 7. Visit Darby Logger Days July 18-19 features events from hot saws to log rolling and nightly music. For more information visit

saturday Tastes so good, makes a grown man cry, I’m gonna get my cherry pie at the Flathead Cherry Festival in Polson, which features a pie-eating, pit-spitting and stem-tying contest. Check out The first rule of the Spring Meadow Lake Cardboard Cup Regatta is to have fun, and the second rule is to make your boat out of corrugated cardboard and be as big, or small and outrageous with it as you like. Spring Meadow State Park in Helena. Check out

It’s all good in the hood for the Northside/Westside Block Party, on First Avenue outside the ZACC, which includes food, tunes, games, bouncy house and activities. 39 PM. Check out to be part of the action.

sunday Wassup? The second annual Windermere SUP Cup, that’s what. This stand-up paddleboard race cruises down 4.2 miles of the Clark Fork from Sha-Ron to Riverside Park. Swim over to to learn more. (See Spotlight.) Cruise through gorgeous country during the Tour of the Bitterroot, a non-competitive mountain bike tour, family bike ride and kid’s bike challenge in the Skalkaho Drainage and other trails in the Bitterroot. All events start at Red Barn Bicycles, 399 McCarthy Loop in Hamilton, at 7 AM. The Skalkaho ride is limited to 150, so register at tourofthebit- or 375-0956. Proceeds benefit the Bitter Root Land Trust.

monday Come in like a wrecking ball to the Deconstruction Olympics, with food, drink, games and demonstrations by Heritage Timber, which takes buildings apart to reuse the materials. Potomac, off Highway 200. 2-6 PM. Free. Visit or call 830-3966 to learn more.

wednesday Australian fingerstylin’ guitar master Tommy Emmanuel plays a seated show at the Wilma, along with Antsy McClain. Doors at 6:30 PM, show at 7:30. $40/$34.50 in advance at Feel the grass between your toes, breeze in your hair and tunes in your ears at the Mis-


co mmu n ity thr eads current with the war in Vietnam. When the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam, the CIA ditched the fight in Laos, leaving the Hmong facing persecution. But Daniels, who had assisted the top Hmong commanders, stayed behind and helped coordinate efforts to get the Hmong into refugee camps in Thailand and on to the United States. He sent many of his Hmong friends to the best, safest place he could think of: Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley. (If you’d like to WHAT: Crossing the River: Hmong learn more, Story Cloths Gayle L. MorriWHEN: June 24-Oct. 26 son’s oral history WHERE: Missoula Art Museum Hog’s Exit is an HOW MUCH: Free excellent book to check out.) MORE INFO: The ancient Hmong culture has long procovert war in Laos, and the efforts duced intricate ceremonial of one Montanan, Jerry Daniels. clothing and textiles, but the “Hmong Fleeing Laos” The Missoula-born smokejumper elaborate story cloths are relaworked for the CIA in the 1960s, tively new, developed by the helping with supply drops to Hmong refugees as a way to those pieces June 24-Oct. 26. The Hmong soldiers. They were volun- tell their own stories, communicate cloths are beautiful in their own teering in the CIA’s covert war tradition and earn a living. The Mis- right, and, like some of the best art, against communists in Laos, con- soula Art Museum displays some of represent a much greater story Art never exists in a vacuum; it’s always a reflection of the cultural and political trends of its time. Take the Hmong embroidered story cloths exhibit at the Missoula Art Museum. The Hmong, if you weren’t aware, are an ethnic group whose original mountainous homeland was primarily in Laos. Missoula is home to a substantial minority of Hmong folks, some of whom you might see offering produce at the farmers market. The Hmong presence in Missoula is actually tied to the CIA, a

about international history and intertwining cultures. Q

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—Kate Whittle

Missoula Independent


photo by Cathrine L. Walters

The Clark Fork Market runs 8 AM -1 PM Saturdays through the end of October. Visit soula City Band concerts, in Bonner Park every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free. July 23 features Gary Herbig, “Missoula’s Favorite Son.”

thursday Hot giggity, the headliners for this year’s Red Ants Pants Festival, July 24-27, include Ian Tyson, Jason Isbell, Josh Ritter, Brandi Carlile and Charley Pride. White Sulphur Springs. Check out The Event at Rebecca Farm presents four days of the most top-notch equestrian competition, July 24-27, with dressage, cross country and stadium jumping, plus a trade fair with arts and crafts. Free to watch. Visit

friday Might we suggest a slam-dunk into the lake after the Flathead Lake 3 on 3, in which teams from the Northwest compete in 13 di90

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visions of 3-on-3-on-3 basketball on the streets of downtown Polson July 25-27. Net proceeds go to local charities. Check out Great Falls hosts the Montana State Fair July 25-Aug. 2, with five nights of pro rodeo, the Mighty Thomas Carnival, quilt and floral exhibits, livestock shows, stage acts and, of course, 40 vendors offering all the novelty fried products your heart probably shouldn’t desire. Montana ExpoPark. Check out Everything from a pancake breakfast to a 5K run to a classic car show is on tap for the action-packed Flint Creek Valley Days, where Philipsburg rings out midsummer, July 25-27. Check out Go loco and get nuts with Crazy Days in Broadus, July 25-26, with human fire truck pull, ugly car contest, ping pong, barbecue and “bargins,” whatever those are. Off Highway 212 south of Miles City. Call 436-2778. Two days of family-oriented fun is the focus for Daly Days in Hamilton. Celebrate Hamilton's historic heritage with events in-

cluding a Friday night street dance and a Saturday vintage car show.

saturday The cat is out of the bag, and “Montana’s biggest event secret” is secret no more. We’re talking about the Lake Como Triathlon outside Hamilton, which includes a 1,500-yard swim, 12.6-mile mountain bike ride and 7.7mile trail run. Register at You’ll know just the thing to shout during Terryyippee!, a family fun event in Terry (pop. 610) off I-94 north of Miles City. Includes Volksmarch walk, the state Corn Hole Tournament, motorcross, karaoke and street dance. Check out Spend less time driving around lost and more time joining in the action at the Ingomar Open Rodeo, an unaffiliated contest where any cowboy or cowgirl can compete. Chicken race for kids up to 12, roping and goat tying, plus a street dance after the whole shebang. Ingomar (pop. 8) on Highway 12 east of Roundup. Call 358-2255.

Pencil me in. Shannon and the Clams headline Total Fest XIII, at venues throughout downtown Missoula, Thu., Aug. 14-Sat., Aug. 16. $50 for three-day pass in advance. Visit

Imaginations can soar at the Floating Flotillas Fish Fantasy, an undoubtedly ununusual river parade and community picnic in Twin Bridges, off Highway 41 south of Butte. Visit

the duathlon, with two 3.1-mile runs and 12.7-mile bike ride. Summit Fitness in Kalispell. Visit

Let the debates over quality and quantity of hops begin at the annual Bitterroot Microbrew Fest, with beverages, food, soft drinks and music on Bedford Street in Hamilton. Check out bitterroot


There’s no shame in playing second fiddle at the Montana State Old-Time Fiddlers Contest, in which anyone, young or old, can compete in the two-day shindig. Choteau Pavilion City Park, in Choteau, west of Great Falls. Slide on over to montana

sunday The Summit Solstice Triathlon/Duathlon is billed as a newbie’s chance to tri-out, with a half-mile swim, 20K bike ride and 5K run— but you wouldn’t be a slouch for just doing

Ronan gets in the summer action with the Lake County Fair, July 28-Aug. 3, featuring critters, livestock sale, food vendors and Pioneer Days Rodeo on Friday and Saturday. Lake County Fairgrounds, west of Highway 93, on Third Avenue Northwest. Email or call 676-8660 for more info.

tuesday Sometimes, bells chime and you gotta get away and leave her behind at the Kid’s Fest in Caras Park, with stage acts, carnival games, music, food, educational type stuff and more. 10:30 AM-3 PM. Free. (I would also like to take this moment to remind The Who that it should be spelled “all right.”)

I’ve got two tickets to Paradise, specifically, the Baroque Music Festival at Quinn’s Hot Springs in Paradise, on Highway 135. World-class musicians strut their stuff with a different program each night, July 29-31. $18/$50 for all three. Lodging-inclusive festival packages available, too. Visit quinns

wednesday If you’ve always wanted to hone your skills as a photog, check out Cindy Goddel’s three-day Yellowstone Photography Adventure Class, where you’ll start at Gardiner and travel into the park. Bring camera, tripod, appropriate outfits for hiking. $1,895, includes class, lodging, transportation and interpretive services. Visit greater Sneak me a box wine like one of your French girls at the Missoula City Band concerts, in Bonner Park every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free. July 30 features tunes from the “songbook of the Titanic.” explorer 2014

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Mr. Moonlight. Paul McCartney plays Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Tue., Aug. 5. Visit Put down that slice of ‘Merican pie and head over to see Don McLean play the Dennison Theatre. 8 PM. $43-$73. Tickets at GrizTix outlets.

friday Art aficionados and downtown revelers alike can enjoy First Friday in Missoula, wherein shops, cafes, bars and galleries host free art viewings for all to enjoy. Sometimes there’s totally excellent free wine and snax, too. Runs about 5-8 PM. Check out The Sweet Pea Festival brings costume ball, parade, outdoor activities and arts ‘n crafts to Bozeman’s Lindley Park, Aug. 1-3. Visit The 102nd Creamery Picnic brings oh-somuch-more than just lactose to downtown Stevensville. Parade, barbecue contest, food vendors, beer, the Milk Run and, of course, ice cream, all are on tap for Aug 1-2. Visit

saturday Jump for my love at the 47 annual Skydive Lost Prairie Jump Meet, Aug. 2-10, where hundreds of jumpers gather to soar with the eagles. Beginners can sign up to dive with an instructor. Check out If it gets too hot, the cool waters of Flathead Lake are just a jump away from the Bigfork Festival of the Arts, Aug. 2-3 with food, music and local artisans. Visit th


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sunday Rock me at the Festival Amadeus, Aug. 3-10 with classical chamber and orchestra concerts at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center and Depot Park. Visit

monday I don’t want a pickle, just wanna ride my motorcycle over to the Flat Track Motorcycle Racing where daredevils face off at speeds up to 90 miles an hour. Billings Motorsports Park, 10 minutes’ drive north of town on Roundup Road in Shepherd. Grandstands open at 6 PM, start at 7. Visit ridethe

tuesday Paul effing McCartney plays the Washington-Grizzly Stadium as part of the Out There tour. Good luck scoring marked-up tickets on Craigslist. Grab your sparkliest denim shortshorts, a lotta sunscreen and a straw hat, ‘cause it’s time for the Western Montana

Fair, with carnival, food, bull-riding, Missoula Stampede PRCA Rodeo, concerts and more, Aug. 5-10 at the Missoula Fairgrounds Events Center. Visit

wednesday Shake that snake outta your boot and head to the Missoula City Band concert, in Bonner Park at 8 PM. Free. Aug. 6 features Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight with Stampede Pete.

thursday The Magic City Blues Festival presents four days of tunes in Chill-ings (as the locals do not call it) with headliners Jonny Lang, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite and Huey Lewis and the News on Montana Avenue and South Park in Billings. (The locals do call it ‘Illings, however.) Check out Acoustic folk trio Nickel Creek is hitting the road and stopping along the way at the Wilma. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8. $55 for floor seats/$45 for balcony. Tickets at Rockin Rudy’s and

friday Lord knows there’s way more art than one Friday can hold, so check out the

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Missoula Independent


ZZ Top brings their long neglected manscaping, along with Jeff Beck, to Ogren Park Fri. Aug. 8 5 PM. $49.50. Kids under 14 free with adult ticket. ZACC’s Second Friday Gallery Opening, with local art, refreshments and free screenprinting. The name of Bob Ross frequently gets invoked. 5:30-8:30 PM. Visit

Trout Creek, up Highway 200 past Thompson Falls, with pie-eating contest, pancake breakfasts, pageant, 5K run, dancing and dog agility demonstration. Visit

The big-ass, nine-day MontanaFair kicks off today with fuzzy animals, mean animals, carnival rides, hobby exhibits, cheap 4-H ice cream cones, sushi vendors (not kidding) and much more. Also, Train and Chris Young play headlining concerts. Aug. 8-16 at MetraPark in Billings. Visit

The fifth annual Big Sky BBQ Festival brings all manner of roasted meats and cold beers to Caras Park. 4 PM. Proceeds benefit the Montana Food Bank Network.

All your butt-rockin faves like Queensrÿche, Winger, Lita Ford and Vixen are partying at Rockin the Rivers, Aug. 8-10 in Three Forks. Visit Crocodile Dundee will have a field day at the annual Montana Knifemaker Show, featuring handmade knives from makers all over the country. Hosted by Montana Harley Davidson Buell, Aug. 8-10, at 5106 E. Harrier St. Visit Celebrate all things Gaelic with the An Ri Ra Montana Irish Festival, featuring Irish authors, musicians, activities and film screenings, Aug. 8-10 in Butte. Visit Sample a berry that cannot be tamed with the 35th annual Huckleberry Festival in 96

Missoula Independent

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Rock out with your dad out when ZZ Top and Jeff Back play a double-headliner at Ogren Park. Doors at 5 PM, show at 6. $49.50 for general admission field and seats. Tickets at MSO Hub, Rockin Rudy’s, 866468-7624 or Kids under 14 get in free if accompanied by paying adult. Enjoy zee cinema at Missoula Public Library’s World Wide Cinema night, the second Friday of every month. The series showcases indie and foreign films. Doors open at 6:45, show at 7 PM. Check for info. Free.

such feats as a 750-yard swim, 20K bike ride and 5K run. (And take note that it’s two weeks earlier this year.) Mosey over to

wednesday All good things must come to an end, and so it is that the Missoula City Band presents its finale concert with Jay Straw. Bonner Park bandshell. 8 PM. Free. The Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo brings lively entertainment day and night with carnival, PRCA rodeo, concerts, food, Indian relay races, demolition derby and, take note, is just about the last big fair in the state to include horse racing. Aug. 13-17 at Flathead County Fairgrounds on North Meridian Road in Kalispell. Visit


saturday The 10th annual Bitterroot Classic Triathlon promises you’re “never 2 old to tri”

The 13 edition of the almighty Total Fest brings rock, punk, metal and whatever th

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The Western Montana Fair runs Aug. 5-10 at the Missoula Fairgrounds Event Center. Visit

other weirdo genres climb out of hip basements for three days of sweat, dancing, beer and rad times. Venues include the ZACC, Badlander, Palace and Big Dipper, Aug. 1416. All ages, as always. Check out Shine up that belt buckle for the 29th annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Western Music Rendezvous, with literary proceedings, barbecue, stage show starring Sons of the San Joaquin and Sunday morning cowboy church. Aug. 14-17 in Lewistown. Visit



The Rebelution will not be televised, so best head to the Big Sky Amphitheater for the Count Me In Summer Tour, along with Iration, The Green and Stick Figure. Show at 6:30. $30/$27.50. Tickets at Big Sky’s taproom, Rockin Rudy’s or

Hot town, summer in the city, find a girl and dance all night at the River City Roots Festival in downtown Missoula, Aug. 23-24. Sam Bush Band headlines Saturday night. Free. Check out

monday Me and my ex, we were just like Romeo and Juliet, until it all turned to tragedy. Shakespeare in the Parks presents this timeless tale of horny teenagers on the UM Oval at 6 PM. Free. Visit

Austin’s Black Joe Lewis plays ballsy, soul-inspired tunes at the Top Hat. Doors at 8 PM, show at 9. $16/$14 in advance at 21-plus.



Make a splash with the Bitter Root Water Forum’s Riverfest in the Root, at Hamilton’s Kiwanis Park, with tunes, animals, food, beer and raffle prizes. Check out the Water Forum’s Facebook page for more info. The fifth annual Philipsburg Summer Concert and Charity Auction—includes music by Missoula’s Tomcats and 406 Band and a large silent and live auction. The fun continues Sunday with The Cold Hard Cash Show and a brewfest featuring beer from around the region. 98

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Montana Shakespeare in the Parks presents As You Like It, in a production set in 1917 Montana. UM Oval. 6 PM. Free.


Nickle Creek brings their 25th anniversary tour to the Wilma on Thursday, Aug. 7.

The annual Ravalli County Fair , now running for more than 100 years, includes 4-H exhibits, food, rodeos, carnival, pie auctions and parades. Ravalli County Fairgrounds in Hamilton, Aug 27-30. Visit Q






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