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Missoula Independent

explorer 2015

explorer 2015

Missoula Independent

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issoula may be a pretty friendly place, but when it comes to outdoor adventure we’re a straightforward, no-nonsense kind of bunch. Pleasantries and small talk? Whatever, bro. We can chitchat on the summit. A little QT and some catching up? Save it for when we’re on the river. That’s why we’re going to keep this introduction short. Western Montana’s spring and summer months are precious, and there’s no use wasting a single second with a long preamble. You want to get out there, you want to get out there quick and you want “there” to be awesome. That’s where explorer comes in.

Our annual summer recreation guide cuts straight to the good stuff. Whether you’re looking for a weekend-long trip to a local fire lookout or a lunchtime getaway to break up your workday, we’ve got you covered. Want to push yourself? Check out our recommended bike-n-boat routes. Want to keep it relaxed? We’ll show you how to folf like a pro. In fact, if you include our summer events calendar, this year’s issue features more than 130 ways for you to fill what many of us consider the best part of our year. But there’s no use in yapping anymore about what’s in here—read it for yourself and then go do something. We’ll see you out there. Q

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

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June 6 Refrigerator Canyon Trail, Helena Learn how the Gates of the Mountains are formed by Madison Limestone. Moderate. Contact Jonathan Matthews, jmatthews@carroll.edu.

July 25-26, Gallatin Crest Backpack Learn about the threats to this critical wildlife migration corridor. Moderate. Contact Kiersten Iwai, kiersten.iwai@sierraclub.org

June 20, Mt. Sentinel, Missoula Learn to identify wildflowers. Moderate. Contact Bob Hopkins, aardvark1649@gmail.com

July 25, Thoma Lookout Flathead National Forest’s Tuchuck Wilderness Inventory Area Learn about disparate land management efforts to preserve habitat in this wildlife corridor. Moderate. Contact Mark Hufstetler, pitamakan@mac.com

June 20, West Pine Creek Trail, Gallatin National Forest Learn about the natural history of the Gallatin Mountains, fire ecology, and efforts to protect them. Moderate. Contact Jeff Copeland, jouzelcopeland@gmail.com June 27, Shafthouse Ridge in Bridgers Learn about the long history of multiple use in the Bridger Range, and its impacts on the natural landscape. Easy. Contact Mark Hufstetler, pitamakan@mac.com June 26-27, Boulder Creek Hike in Bitterroot Mountains Learn about the history of logging and current impact of beetle kill. Moderate. Contact Lorie Rustvold, frontdesk@missoulanews.com July 22, Learn to Survive in the Outdoors Class, Missoula This class will cover the basics of survival: shelter/warmth, water, and signaling. Missoula Public Library 6-8 PM. Contact Mike, jarnevic@earthlink.net July 25-26, Learn to Survive in the Outdoors Outing, Welcome Creek Wilderness Easy backpack. Contact Mike, jarnevic@earthlink.net

August 1, Dinah Lake Hike, Near Seeley Lake (women only) Learn about high-altitude wildflowers and the impact of fire on ecology. Easy. Contact Janet, janetfiero77@gmail.com August 20-23, Two Medicine Car Camping & Day Hikes, Glacier Park (women only): Learn about ongoing efforts to prevent oil & gas exploration in Glacier Park. Easy. Contact Karen Kearney at 396-3945. September 19, Trapper Peak Day Hike Learn how Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness provides critical yet shrinking habitat for alpine species such as pikas and marmots. Strenuous. Contact Bob Clark, bobclark1111@gmail.com October 17, Ward Mountain in Bitterroots Learn about geology of the range. Strenuous. Contact Bruce Hunner, royalsierrabc@gmail.com

To learn more about the Montana Chapter’s outings go to montana.sierraclub.org/outings

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photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Table of Contents Room with a View...........................................................................6 Ditch the Shuttle...........................................................................12 A Montana Driving Lesson .....................................................22 Throwing Sane ...............................................................................30 Edible Valley....................................................................................34 Hidden Treasure ..........................................................................40 Tough Hill to Climb .....................................................................44 Power Hour......................................................................................54 Plan: Summer calendar of events.............................................72 Spotlights: Day trippin’......................................................................................75 Missoula XC ...................................................................................77 Red Ants Pants ..............................................................................86 Total Fest..........................................................................................96

Advertising Focus Pages Bitterroot Valley.......................................19 Downtown Missoula.............................26 Explore Montana................................... 37 Pamper Yourself .....................................49 Automotive...............................................51 Real Estate................................................52 Hip Strip ....................................................57 Sportin’ Life ..............................................61 Healthy Living..........................................63 Sustainable Living ..................................66 Dish.............................................................68 Play, Laugh, Learn..................................71 Mission Valley ........................................ 75 Rentals .......................................................79 Whitefish ...................................................85 Art, Antiques & Collectibles ................92 Lodging......................................................97

PUBLISHER Lynne Foland EDITOR Skylar Browning 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 Kate Whittle, Alex Sakariassen

COPY EDITOR Kate Whittle ART DIRECTOR Kou Moua GRAPHIC DESIGNER Charles Wybierala CIRCULATION MANAGER Ryan Springer ADVERTISING Steven Kirst, Tracy Lopez, Will Peterson EVENTS COORDINATOR Leif Christian CLASSIFIED REPRESENTATIVE Tami Allen FRONT DESK Lorie Rustvold

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


Cube Iron Mountain

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Missoula Independent

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explorer 2015

photo by Ted McDermott Missoula Independent 7


photo by Joe Weston

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ll we knew about our destination was ner of northwest Montana. It wouldn’t get to get out and keep driving along dirt roads. what the website told us. According dark until late and we’d been looking forWhen we arrived at the trailhead and to recreation.gov, the federally run ward to the trip for months, so we took the started hiking in the lingering heat, we clearing house for trip planning on U.S. pub- time to savor the drive along the Flathead quickly realized why bringing so much lic lands, the lookout was located deep in the River, through the Cabinet Mountains, into weight in alcohol, ice and other unnecesYaak, in Kootenai National Forest, at the top the Yaak and north nearly to Canada. saries might not be a good idea. The of Garver Mountain, at an elevation of 5,874 As we made our way up the Forest Servquarter- mile from car to fire lookout, it feet, and about a quarter-mile from the end ice road to the lookout, we stopped to take a turned out, was more like a full mile—or so of the dirt road that dead-ended at the look- peek at the West Fork of the Yaak River. it seemed, since the entire distance went out’s trailhead. What we saw was the swimming hole of our steeply uphill and we were schlepping so It sounded ideal: A place to be isolated dreams. It was fed by a waterfall, surrounded much up it. Then, when we made it to the and alone at the top of the world, to escape by rock cliffs and full of deep, clear, still top of the mountain, there were three work and walking the dog flights of stairs to deal with, and the Internet and everyto get from the lookout’s base thing else. It was winter to the one-room structure at when we were first looking at the top. images and descriptions of It was exhausting, but that the lookout online, and the didn’t matter when everything next time it was available to was up there, and we’d cracked rent was six months away, in a beer and and could appreciAugust. So we put down our ate where we were: 40 feet $60 or so and booked Garver above the top of a mountain, Mountain Lookout for two surrounded by walls made of nights in the distant future. windows, with a view that exAs the dates finally betended far into the almost uncame imminent, we considtouched wilderness that exists ered the quarter-mile hike, at the intersection of Montana, the two nights of total soliIdaho and British Columbia. tude and the possibility of We cooked elk spaghetti complete comfort and relaxon a camp stove, drank beer McCart Lookout ation. We thought, Why not on every side of the wrapphoto by Joe Weston bring whatever we want? around catwalk, watched the Why not pack a cooler full of sun go down and stayed up beer, take the dutch oven to make dinner and water. It was August and 95 degrees, so of deep into the night reading stories about bring along some tequila and orange juice? course we climbed down and dove in. The squatters and mountain lions in the log Why give up the comforts of home during word “magical” doesn’t quite do the experibook. In the morning, we picked huckleberour two nights alone, on top of a remote ence justice, but it’s the best I can come up ries and hiked before returning to our mountain? with. dreamy swimming hole, cooling off on anWe packed accordingly, cut out of work It got late and we didn’t know exactly other hot day in blissful isolation. (The only early on a Friday and headed for the far corwhere we were going, so eventually we had people we saw all day were occupants of a 8

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McCart Lookout

photo by Joe Weston

Five options for 360-degree views There are a number of lookouts around western Montana, and all of them tend to get booked way in advance. You’ll need to plan early, but here are five options within a reasonable drive of Missoula: Thompson Peak Lookout Tower Located only about 55 miles west of Missoula, not far off I-90 and within view of Superior, this lookout is less rustic than many others in the area. There’s not only electricity but also a heater, stove, microwave and refrigerator, making Thompson Peak an easy place to escape. West Fork Butte Lookout Perched atop a rocky knob, this 14-by-14-foot cabin can pack in four people, offering them all spectacular views of the Bitterroots and Lolo Peak. West Fork Butte Lookout is located off Highway 12 and is open in winter, for those who want to ski or snowmobile in for an especially quiet and cold getaway. Mission Lookout Built in 1959, Mission Lookout sits atop a 40-foot tower, at an elevation of about 3,700 feet, affording sweeping views of the Swan Range, Swan Lake and the Mission Mountains. Still, it’s a short drive down to the town of Swan Lake, making it easy to dip into civilization for supplies. McCart Lookout This lookout sits 7,115 feet above the Bitterroot Valley, on the edge of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness and within a short hike of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. With a corral and hitching rack at the tower’s base, it’s especially great for those looking to ride in on horseback. Medicine Point Lookout To get to Medicine Point Lookout, you have to hike in four miles, to an elevation of 8,409 feet. But the trek is well worth it. The tower is set between the east and west forks of the Bitterroot River, which means the views are great. 10

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West Fork Butte

U.S. Border Patrol SUV.) That night, back in the lookout, we watched a lightning storm roll in from the west, bringing thunder and rain along with it. Eventually, we were inside the storm. Rain pelted the windows. Lighting slashed all around us. Thunder cracked. In the morning, we looked to see if the storm had started any fires, but the

photo courtesy Jocelyn Catterson

valleys below us were all full of fog, each one like its own little sea, with mountain peaks erupting out of them like islands. And what would we have done if we had seen smoke? We were in a fire lookout, but we weren’t lookouts. All we could do was appreciate the view, so that’s what we did. Q


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issoula loves its rivers. We fish, kayak, canoe, raft, snorkel, surf, tube, clean up and otherwise cherish them year round with an intensity that matches July’s 100-plus-degree heat. What’s more rewarding after a long work week than sliding your craft of choice into the Clark Fork, Bitterroot or Blackfoot and spending the day on the water? Western Montana’s rivers are just about perfect. Except they only go in one direction. Outside of paddling upstream against the current, there’s no way to end up where you started. That usually means shuttling, and while many a cool river bro will claim they don’t mind the inconvenience, it can be a giant pain in the ass. Sure, you can pay a “professional” shuttle driver to get your car, but that costs money. Plus, you have to play the whole “I’ll leave the keys under the passenger front tire/in the gas cap/under a rock near the bumper” game. There’s got to be a better way, right? 14

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There is. It’s time to take a new approach to your float and combine it with a fun, energizing bike ride. It’s better than a long, wasteful slog in your car, it doesn’t cost any money and it adds to your day of recreation.

(These trips include bike directions from the take-out back to the put-in. I recommend biking first, which means locking the boats at the put-in, driving the car to the take-out and leaving it, then biking back. You can stash the bike in your boat during the float, or simply pick it up after your float on your way back to town.) From mellow paved paths to exciting single track, here are a few ways to spend a post-work evening or a full weekend pedaling and paddling Missoula’s three rivers.

Clark Fork The Clark Fork is Missoula’s river. With the old Milwaukee Trail paralleling much of the river as it winds through town, you’d think Clark Fork bike-n-boat options would be plentiful. They are, but just not exactly where you’d imagine.

Fortunately, Missoula is loaded with sweet bike-n-boat trips. You’ll need cable locks and keys, and you’ll need a good map and a little time to plot out your strategy.

Turah to Sha-Ron

River miles: 9 Bike miles: 8.5 Bike: There’re actually a couple of nice bike routes between Turah and East


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Missoula. Beginning at Sha-Ron, cruise a few miles up Hwy 200 toward Bonner. Zip over the Blackfoot on the new pedestrian bridge in Bonner. Take a right on Hwy 210 just east of Milltown. You can follow the paved bike trail along 210 all the way to Turah and then head under the highway to Rustic Road. Another mile east along Rustic Road gets you to the put-in. You could also cross under the highway at the Pritzville Fire Station and hook into Rustic Road about three miles west of Turah. Boat: This great float flows through the recently restored Milltown Dam State Park. The river braids shortly after the put-in; you’ll want to generally stay to the left. There is a rapid just above the Blackfoot Confluence that can flip a canoe. Scout and portage as needed. Insider tip: You can keep going all the way to Missoula, depending on your schedule, but the next take-out that has trailer access is Silver Gate Park, another five or so miles down stream.

St. Regis to Ferry Landing

River miles: 15 Bike miles: 11 Boat: Enjoy mellow, easy paddling and

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good swimming on this wide stretch of the Clark Fork. Bike: Trail 223 rolls for 11 miles from St. Regis to the Ferry Landing boat launch, traversing a beautiful Douglas fir and larch forest opposite the railroad and highway. After you’ve dropped your boat at the St. Regis fishing access site on the west side of the river, drive your car back to Ferry Landing. The trailhead is under the bridge on the left, where sweet rolling single track awaits. After about 11 miles of trail, you’ll take Southside Cutoff Road to Mill Creek Road and then on to St. Regis, where you’ll cross the river on Old Hwy 10 and then ride north on Hwy 135 a half mile or so to the put-in. Insider tip: Stay at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort for a deluxe overnight, or just swing in for a post-float soak and beer.

Maclay Flat to Kona Bridge; Kona Bridge to Deep Creek

Bike miles: Variable River miles: Variable Boat: Two short, mellow floats parallel an already popular biking route in the southwest corner of Missoula. Both sections offer easy floating through a pretty rural setting. With open views and laid-back paddling,

this is a fun full moon float. The Maclay Flat option actually starts on the Bitterroot and ends on the Clark Fork. Bike: One paddling option goes from Maclay Flat to Kona Bridge. For this one, start biking at Kona Bridge on the Clark Fork, ride west on Kona Ranch Road a few hundred yards to Big Flat Road. Take a left onto Big Flat Road and ride for approximately seven miles to the Maclay Flat walkin access site. The second option takes you from Kona Bridge to Deep Creek. For this one, start biking at Deep Creek and climb the dirt road up to the bench above the river. Cruise the bench until you drop back down to the valley bottom. Take the pavement back to Kona Ranch Road and the bridge. Insider tip: These trips are really best for walk-in floaters only; Maclay is a walk-inonly launch site and Deep Creek doesn’t have a ramp.

Bitterroot River Most paddles on the Bitterroot River work really well for bike shuttling, given that there’s a beautiful paved bike trail from Lolo to Hamilton. The only bummer is, if you’re traveling from Missoula, you’ll want to either


bike second or you’ll have to drive back up river to retrieve your bikes after the float. But the scenery and ease of access make up for it.

camp at the small FAS campground at Chief Looking Glass. Also, note it’s walk-in access only.

Stevensville Bridge to Florence Bridge

Corvallis (Woodside Bridge) to Victor (Bell Crossing)

River miles: 9 Road miles: 10 Bike: Start out with a mellow, short climb from Florence Bridge to Hwy 93 along paved trail. Cross Hwy 93 at stop light, ride trail 10 miles, cross Hwy 93, ride paved trail south to Stevensville Bridge. Boat: Nice intermediate float through Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, past rusting hunks of old cars used for rip-rap. Some tight turns and lots of braids. Insider tips: Grab a post-float beer at either of Stevensville’s two breweries. Also, bring your binocs for several great blue heron rookeries on this stretch of river.

Florence (Chief Looking Glass) to Lolo

River miles: 10 Bike miles: 10 Bike: To access the take-out from Hwy 93 in Lolo, take Glacier Drive east to Lakeside Drive and then to the Sewer Plant. Follow your route back to Hwy 93 and ride the Bitterroot Trail to Chief Looking Glass access road. Boat: Beautiful, fairly undeveloped section of river with easy paddling and great scenery. The take-out can be a bit hard to see from the river. Best to scout it out when you drop off your car. Insider tips: Extend the adventure and 18

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River miles: 11 Bike miles: 10 Boat: This is a nice float, but not for beginners. The Bitterroot is a braided river, and this section particularly so. I’ve had to portage around several logjams and ugly strainers on this section. Bike: Back in the day, you used to have to navigate a dusty backroad to the west of Hwy 93 to get from Bell Crossing north of Victor to Woodside Bridge north of Hamilton. Now, a paved bike trail makes this an easy trip. Simply head west from the put-in at Bell Crossing, hit the trail, go south and ride until Woodside Cut Off Road. Insider tip: The section north of Woodside Bridge is subject to seasonal closure due to a deadly diversion dam three miles downstream of the put-in. When the section of the river is open, a portage around the lowhead dam is highly recommended. See the informational sign at the Woodside put-in for the latest information.

Blackfoot River Much of the Blackfoot runs parallel to Hwy 200, making it imminently bikeable. Linking the ample access sites between Bonner and the Johnsrud turnoff means a nice

after-work adventure. Like the Bitterroot, you’ll have to bike second, bring your bike in the boat, or drive back up river to get your bike when you’re done.

Corrick’s River Bend to Whitaker Bridge Bike miles: 7 (or more, depending on where you start) River miles: 7 (or more, depending on where you start) Boat: The run from Corrick’s to Whitaker is one of the mellowest on the Blackfoot. At higher water a few wave trains can swamp a canoe. At lower water, boulders lurk just underwater, so stay focused. Starting at Roundup raises the technical ante considerably. Bike: After stashing your boat at Roundup, Ninemile or Corrick’s River Bend, simply park at Whitaker Bridge and head upstream along the old railroad grade. Two creeks cross the “trail,” requiring short dismounts or semi-advanced riding skills. The railroad grade ends at Corrick’s, so if you’re continuing on to Ninemile or Roundup, ride the main road. Insider tip: The stretch of dirt road that veers off Hwy 200 and winds along the Blackfoot between Johnsrud and Roundup is a rutted, dusty trip that always seems to take longer than it should. The seven or so miles from Whitaker Bridge to Corrick’s River Bend Campground are particularly bouncy. Avoid them by taking the old railroad grade that winds along right next to the river. Q


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ith the Bitterroot Mountains to the west, the Sapphires to the east and a chestnut horse below me, I tried to keep my eyes on where I wanted to go. Never mind all the scenery, I was focused only on the little rubber cones on the ground and steering this large animal around them as smoothly as possible. I’m a beginner horse rider. Before today, most of my experience involved gazing out at a majestic view while someone else guided the horse and me from below. As a bornand-raised Montanan, it was time for a change with a one-on-one class of grooming, saddling and riding. The Dunrovin Ranch sits just 25 minutes outside of Missoula, near Lolo area. It offers all types of classes, from beginners to more advanced horseback riding, as well as camps for kids in the summer and educational opportunities through its live osprey webcam. (Beginner classes like mine usually cost $75.) The cabin offices, wagon wheels and rustic design make the ranch feel like an escape from the busier Missoula streets just to the north. Behind the barn sit the individual pens for the horses. “You’ll be riding Whiskey,” said Jamie Breidenbach, the ranch manager. She’s been riding horses her whole life—without someone towing the lead 24

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rope. Although it’s my first time riding solo and I’m nervous, I can tell just by his name that this 13-yearold horse and I are going to get along. As we approached, Whiskey walked over to us and I did my best horsey-hand shake and put my hand out to his soft nose, letting him smell me. Breidenbach latched the green lead rope onto the brown-eyed Tennessee Walker’s halter, and handed it to me.

“It’s important to not let him get ahead of you,” she added. In my past experience, I’ve probably been too timid with horses because for some reason I felt like

the horse knew more than I did. Breidenbach made me look at the situation differently. “Just think of him as a big dog,” she explained. I grabbed under the latch, guided Whiskey toward the post and tied him up. I’d say it went smoothly, as Whiskey leaned forward and repeatedly rubbed his snout on me. At the time, I viewed this as affection. In retrospect, he probably needed a scratching post. “It’s like having a pebble in your shoe, if horses have a rock between them and the saddle,” Breidenbach said. With a black round plastic brush, called a curry brush, I groomed his coat and let his chestnut hair float away. Next came the metal-looped comb, something that would have had me hiding under the bed when my mother made me brush my hair as a kid. But as I scraped away any left over fuzz and dirt, Whiskey hardly moved. With the horse still tied to the post, Breidenbach showed me around the tack room, where the saddles, bridles and other equipment resides. Horses’ names were taped above each set, and in the middle I found Whiskey’s complete with brown, red and white ropes with metal pieces. Breidenbach informed me this was the bridle and the reins.


We walked out and Breidenbach demonstrated how to put on the bridle, which requires pushing on the knob just behind the horse’s ears to lower his head, flattening his ears through the strap, and opening his mouth to slip in the metal bit. She made it look easy, performing the motion swiftly and accurately. I couldn’t duplicate it. Whiskey wouldn’t open his mouth and I just imagined the big horse thinking, This incompetent human can’t put this uncomfortable metal mouth thing in my mouth, again and again. • • • As Whiskey and I were slowly walking in the corral, I pulled on the left rein and pushed with my right foot to go left. Then the other way. Whiskey was pretty understanding of my limited knowledge of horse communication, allowing for my corrections and hesitations. By the time Breidenbach pulled out yellow cones and started lining them up, Whiskey and I weaved through them surprisingly well. When she rolled out a soccer ball for Whiskey to kick around, I tried to see if we could dribble through the cones. Things didn’t go quite as smoothly. After learning how to turn and stop, it was time to run. Whiskey graciously obeyed my clicking and kicking to go faster. As we hit the straightaway, he trotted to the other end. It was at this moment I wondered how my friends could tell so many riding stories and never once mention the importance of a tight bra. Turns out, the discomfort provided an excellent opportunity to learn the purpose of posting, where you move up and down with the horse in an effort to smooth out the ride. After some brief instruction from Breidenbach, Whiskey and I went down the straightaway again. This time we cantered, briefly, but we did it. After dismounting, I felt short and slow. I walked Whiskey back to his stable and said my thanks to both him and Breidenbach. As I walked back to the car, I remembered a distant childhood memory. I was bucked off a horse and broke my arm as a child. It was just a fracture, but I had a cast for a while. Driving back into Missoula, I realized why I didn’t remember it until after my ride. Breidenbach and Whiskey made me feel comfortable and confident while teaching me the basics of horseback riding. I no longer had the usual fears of a beginner.. Q

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photo by Cathrine L. Walters

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photo by Chad Harder

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e should have known Blue Mountain would be a zoo. Mike and I stood in the rear of a horde of disc golfers backed up on hole three, not so much basking in the Saturday sun as cursing it. The going was slow for a few folks in the party ahead of us and we’d neglected to bring any beer, adding to the plodding pace of the afternoon. When someone finally suggested we throw with them and play through, we offered our thanks and made short work of leapfrogging to the next pad. Anyone who’s thrown a disc in this town knows that spring and early summer can be a particularly difficult time to squeeze in a well-paced 18 holes without interruption. Until the Pattee Canyon course opens July 1, the lion’s share of the disc golfing public descends on the same set of baskets. They may not be full-on deterrents, but the subsequent traffic and litter can have the effect of harshing one’s mellow. If you’re smart, you develop your own set of strategies to bypass these subtle annoyances. Of course, if you’re absentminded like me, those strategies can fall apart with the faintest hint of a hangover. So here are a few suggestions—an insider’s guide if you will—to help ensure 32

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that next folf outing goes off without a hitch, and perhaps enhances the experience for those that follow. 1. Clean up after yourself, your dog and any careless morons ahead of you

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Every trip to the grocery store concludes with the same question. “Paper or plastic?” The latter really comes in handy after you drain that first can of beer on the fifth hole. Carrying a plastic bag on Blue Mountain enables you to not only keep your own garbage under control but make sure any detritus left in the wake of previous disc golfers winds up where it belongs. The course was littered with beer cans and cigarette butts on a recent Saturday, a dismaying sight that proves not every user respects the resource the way they should. And you can argue all you want that your dog’s excrement is “all natural,” but Blue Mountain already has enough fairway hazards. If Fido packed it in, you better pack it out. 2. Be patient, and be open to the play-through If the party ahead of you is taking a few extra strokes to hit the basket, don’t be a jerk. Use those minutes to ponder which disc you’ll use or dissect the latest Star Wars trailer with a buddy. Politely ask if you can play through at the next pad. Conversely, if it’s clear the party behind you is playing at a faster pace, extend them the offer to leapfrog. No one wants a tense confrontation on the course, and no


photo by Chad Harder

one wants to feel like another group is breathing down their necks. 3. Don’t inflict your noise on others With smartphones and portable speakers, it’s easy these days to cave to the temptation to make every day a party. You might find a little hip-hop or rock helps you get in the disc-throwing groove, but others may find it distracting and irritating. We all have to share the course. We don’t all have to share your taste in music. Save the beats for the house party later, or invest in some damn earbuds. 4. Find the time that works for you Sunny weekends in Missoula tend to render most houses devoid of life. The downside to everyone streaming to this town’s wild fringes on Saturday and Sunday is that everyone is streaming to this town’s wild fringes. Want to folf without the traffic? Try avoiding peak hours. Early morning outings

are great, and the view from Blue Mountain isn’t bad at dusk. Better yet, take an early or late lunch on a workday and squeeze in nine holes. Time your next trip during a big social event, like the Saturday farmers’ markets or brewfest. If you play your cards right, it can feel like you’ve got the whole course to yourself. 5. Branch out to a new course Blue Mountain gets hit pretty hard, and once Pattee Canyon opens, there’s no denying the course’s popularity. But there are some lesser-used spots to get your disc golf on. For $8, you can ride Snowbowl’s Grizzly Lift to an 18-hole course below the summit, then polish it off with wood-fired pizza and a beer at the bar. Echo Valley near Frenchtown is another nearby option, as is the 18hole course at Lolo Hot Springs. You may have to venture a little further out of town to beat the crowds, but isn’t that why you live in Missoula to begin with?

6. Take advantage of Parks and Rec Propelled in part by the sport’s ever-growing popularity, Missoula Parks and Recreation and the local Garden City Flyers have taken to offering free, weekly disc golf events throughout the spring and summer. Dubbed “Folf in the Parks,” these outings involve temporary nine-hole courses set up at a revolving list of city parks, from McCormick to Fort Missoula. They’re an ideal way for beginning folfers to get the hang of the sport, but even a veteran can appreciate the opportunity to get that disc golf fix in a new way. 7. Remember, it’s all about getting outside As irksome as loud music, occasional waits and the odd canine land-mine might be, keep in mind that disc golf is just one of the many ways folks in Missoula stay sane. Take a deep breath, tame the competitive beast within and enjoy yourself. If you’re not having fun on the course, you’re not folfing right. Q explorer 2015

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Edible valley

How to have fun in the outdoors and eat it, too by Erika Fredrickson In the summer and fall, Missoula and its surrounding areas boast vibrant scenery and endless ways to enjoy it via mountain biking, floating or hiking. You might not realize that it’s also a great place for eating. The farmers’ markets and local restaurants are fantastic for getting your foodie fix, but if you’re craving an outdoor adventure, you might try foraging for your own ingredients. It’s not the most efficient way to fill your belly, but it is one way to drink in (or eat) the landscape in a way that will make you appreciate it even more.

Wild asparagus

Oyster mushrooms

The Kim Williams Trail is a hub for running, hiking and all-purpose strolling, but it also offers some tasty surprises if you have a sharp eye. Headed east, past the Bark Park and into Hellgate Canyon, you can find grassy flats along the river that serve as a perfect home for wild asparagus. 34

Missoula Independent

find them underneath telephone lines where birds often sit and poop out the seeds. If you’re lucky enough to score some stalks, prepare them just as you would their supermarket counterpart: oven roasted or sautéed with olive oil and seasonings. One thing to keep in mind: By the time summer really rolls around, wild asparagus is usually old and overripe. At the very least, these overgrown stalks—which are much easier to see— will give you a hint as to where to look next spring.

explorer 2015

The Bitterroot River is blocked off in many areas by private property, but you can find public access, including at photo courtesy Tom Bradt places like Chief Looking Glass and Bell Crossing. Once you’re at the water, It’s not easy to see the slim greens sprouting follow the river bottom looking for dead cotup from the ground. They like the sun, so tonwoods where you’re bound to find check for the least shady spots. You can also


enough oyster mushrooms to serve up as a dinner side dish. It’s possible to find other types of edible mushrooms there, just make sure you check your mushroom guide so you don’t seriously poison yourself. Oyster mushrooms show up in the fall, which can also be a perfect time to float the river. Bring a raft or canoe to one of the many access points and enjoy the meandering trip, which will allow you to stop off on shore to scout for the delicious fungi. Sauté in olive oil with garlic, green onions, salt and pepper.

Berries for making liqueur Speaking of berries, you can find a boatload of them on the mountains surrounding Missoula, including Mount Jumbo and Mount Sentinel. But one great place to collect a variety is Spring Gulch in the upper

Rattlesnake. Go to the Rattlesnake Trailhead and look for the sign, then start your hike. In the late summer and early fall, service berries, currents and chokecherries really start popping out. (Huckleberries come a little later, but you’ll have far more competition to get those.) The best part is, you don’t need a lot of berries if you’re going to make wine or liqueur, which is highly recommended—especially if you want to get ahead on those homemade holiday gifts. So, you can enjoy the trek without having to do too much hard labor.

Elderberries

Alley salad

If you’re living in Missoula you don’t have to go far to forage. In Greenough Park you can disappear into leafy foliage along the sun-dappled Rattlesnake Creek without setting foot outside city limits. The 42-acre forested sanctuary also offers some pretty good grub. In particular, a walk along the main path reveals plenty of elderberries, which are good for syrup, pie or wine. Keep an eye out for apple trees, too, since there are a few still in the park from when Thomas Greenough lived there before the turn of the 19th century. Apple and elderberries are an excellent combination for jam.

Let’s just say you want to get to know the streets of Missoula rather than heading out into the woods. Foraging in alleys is a great way to see the town’s culture and get your vegetables. The young leaves of plantain, chickweed, dandelion and purslane grow wild behind many houses and are perfect for raw salad. Pigweed can be cooked like spinach and the burdock root is an excellent addition to Asian cuisine. Want some tea with your stir fry? Pineapple weed has a similar flavor to chamomile when brewed. Best to knock on the door and ask before you start pulling up roots and plants in someone’s alleyway, but chances are, many residents will be surprised those weeds they see every day are good for something. Q

photo courtesy Liz West

photo by Cathrine L. Walters


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issoula residents are familiar with Philipsburg. They know the candy shop straight out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the intimate brewery right on the main drag, and the alpine ski area (or mountain bike park in the summer) that towers over the small town. But during a spring jaunt to P-burg to attend a coworker’s wedding, my goal was to explore a new part of the quaint place situated just an hour or so from Missoula. My partner and I pulled out a map and did a quick search online before discovering a route that would take us into the surrounding landscape, west toward the Sapphires and then north through the John Long Mountains. While many travelers opt to watch the scenery whiz by through their windshield, we thought this route would be more fun to travel by bike. The Philipsburg Valley Scenic Loop is 40 miles of mostly paved road that travels

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through green pastures, rolling hills, rocky bluffs and a popular blue ribbon trout stream. We started about six miles south of

Philipsburg, leaving the car at a large pullout just south of the intersection at Hwy 1 and Hwy 38. In hindsight, we should’ve left the car at the brewery to create a little incentive for pedaling faster during a few of the ride’s

longer and slower climbs. After we topped off our water bottles, packed salami and tortillas for lunch and slathered on a thick coat of sunscreen, we rolled out of the pullout and turned west on Hwy 38. The road is surrounded by wideopen grasslands and leads to a beautiful stretch that happens to share a few miles with the Skalkaho Highway Scenic Byway— a little redundant considering we’re already on the Philipsburg Valley Scenic Loop, or perhaps it’s just that nice. After 12 miles of mostly flat riding we reached the junction with Rock Creek Road. We decided to keep riding toward Skalkaho Pass, just to see how far we could get, but within minutes a large metal gate blocked our path. Turning back, we noticed a sign inviting us to visit Gem Mountain, which claims to be “Montana’s largest, oldest, funnest and best Sapphire Mine.” How could we resist?


Gem Mountain also turns out to be a great halfway point of the loop, an opportunity to stretch the legs, use the restroom, grab a snack at the gift shop or join the crowd and pick through buckets of gravel for gemstones. Twenty bucks seemed steep for a bucket of rocks, but my partner and I were entertained watching families and couples sift through their troughs hoping for treasure. We rode back to the junction with Rock Creek Road and turned north onto Rock Creek Road/Hwy 102. The views of the John Long Mountains and open pastures and farms surrounding us made the eight miles of bumpy gravel road go by quickly. When we reached our junction with Montana 348 and turned right back onto pavement, we were headed toward town. It

was during this last long climb through the mountain pass when I wished we’d left our car in front of the brewery. We made it, and stopped at the pass for lunch and water. The final stretch was all downhill, straight into Philipsburg—and

then we pedaled an additional six miles to our car. Make no mistake, as soon as we packed up the car we doubled back to town. Missoulians know that brewery for a reason and we weren’t about to let our visit pass without a pint. Q

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photo courtesy Richard Williams


photo courtesy Richard Williams

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y father does nothing small and has a stubborn streak that doesn’t often allow him to admit to errors. His best friend is a stocky Lebanese man who, after escaping a war-torn country, settled in America and made himself a doctor. Abdul Kadri believes he can do anything, and much to the chagrin of those who love him, he has yet to be proven wrong. These were my backpacking partners and the reason I found myself, pack strapped to my back, climbing to the base of Montana’s highest peak without any previous mountaineering experience. Of course, I have backpacked before. I have explored the Beartooth-Absaroka Range in all its glory as wildflowers explode color onto every inch of the surrounding peaks. I know the beauty of the area, and I respect the harsh environment. 46

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Still, peak bagging isn’t my bag. I enjoy nature, I enjoy carrying all I need on my back and, more than anything, I enjoy stop-

high-elevation blossoms. But this trek is different. Climbing Granite Peak is a whole other challenge. “When you rappel, how do you get the equipment back once you’re at the bottom?” my father asked the day before we were to leave for our expedition. He was asking my boyfriend’s brother Jessie, who had some climbing experience and had reached Granite’s summit a few days after a major surgery years ago. My father wasn’t testing Jessie, he was sincerely asking. Right then an alarm sounded in my mind. If the presumed leader of our expedition was asking such rudimentary climbing questions so soon before our attempted summit, it was probable we were not prepared for such an photo by Kellen Beck undertaking. But this was not the ping to take a thousand pictures of a buttertype of group that was easily deterred. fly feeding on one of those coveted As we initiated our climb from the West


Rosebud Trailhead, we passed dam worker lodgings; I can’t help but envy those who are able to make even a seasonal home in the gateway to what I have come to consider one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The climb is a succession of steep switchbacks built laboriously by trail workers years ago into a boulder field. After a couple hours of climbing under a hot and unrelenting sun, we reached Mystic Lake and stopped to filter water into our collection of now drained water bottles. We ran into a middle-aged man wearing a flapped, safari-style cap and a drenched, grimy T-shirt who carried nothing but a small, empty water bottle, the kind you get at a gas station for 89 cents. He eyed our water filter and inched closer to the group, attempting idle chit-chat about the beauty of the lake. Abdul offered him some water, as well as a lecture about the importance of hydration. Once we leave the lake at the base of the valley, we charge on to our destination: a ridge about 5,000 feet higher. There were 14 switchbacks between us and the top of that ridge—a number I will never forget, as I checked off each one in my head. At eight we stopped to catch our breath. The switchbacks were grueling, long and steep, and much tougher than any of my previous strolls through wildflowers. It seems silly now that I had considered myself an outdoors woman, an avid backpacker. Eight switchbacks on the way to Froze-to-Death Plateau had royally kicked my ass.

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photo courtesy Richard Williams

I found some consolation in the fact that my father and Adbul were also feeling it. Adbul was drenched in sweat and rubbing his back, bothered by a slipped disk. My father was breaking in a brand new pair of hiking boots and sat down every time we stopped to rest and check his feet. Meanwhile, I had been too preoccupied with counting switchbacks to notice the dark purple clouds closing in around us. It

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wasn’t until I heard a crash of thunder that I realized a storm was approaching. As I stared at the azure chain of lakes snaking through the valley below, it began to rain. At switchback nine, we were forced to turn back. We’d have to spend the night back at Mystic Lake. The trip back to the lake was even more difficult than the climb. Every step I took represented a loss, a step I would have to take

again the next day. Of course, there was no other choice. The plateau we were trying to reach is named Froze-to-Death for a reason. It’s an unforgiving terrain. At over 10,000 feet, there are no trees or shrubs to use for cover. It is a barren landscape of boulders and lichen, with no trail to speak of. It’s not the sort of place to ride out a storm. We spent the evening cooking a meal and going straight to bed. We felt defeated


and frustrated. Had we read any of the vast amounts of articles, trail books or websites devoted to the preparation of climbing Granite, we would have known its reputation for such unpredictable weather. Perhaps we would have allotted an extra day. But we hadn’t, and didn’t, and were thus caught completely off guard by the summer storm. The next day I found the switchbacks easier to climb. We stopped less and our spirits remained high even after it became apparent that we would not accomplish our goal of summiting Montana’s highest mountain in the three days we had allotted. Instead, we settled for appreciating a view that became increasingly more spectacular. I even lost count of the switchbacks. Shortly before we reached the plateau, we encountered a father and son who had summited Granite Peak the day before. They described weathering the storm and told us the ground had trembled as they huddled in their tent, praying that the next bolt of lightning would not hit them. Despite a hint of jealousy at their suc-

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photo courtesy Richard Williams

cessful trek, I didn’t envy the details of their night. It had been a hard decision for all of us to turn back, but the father and son’s story reminded me that nature’s superiority does not care about our plans. That afternoon I ate an unforgettable lunch of beef jerky and trail mix, accompanied by the two most important men in my life on the Froze-to-Death Plateau. We

stared silently out across the landscape, with seemingly endless mountain peaks to one side and the plains of eastern Montana to the other. I never even saw the base of the elusive Granite Peak, but the lessons I learned while trying to conquer it won’t be easily forgotten. We’ll return someday soon and make it to the top, and the next time we’ll be ready for the storm. Q


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photo by Cathrine L. Walters

N

ot everyone has a summer vacation. A lot of local residents find themselves cooped up in office cubicles while seemingly all of their friends and family frolic on the rivers or in the mountains. It can get downright depressing for those toiling away while others are having fun. But there’s still hope if you find yourself tied to a desk on a bluebird day. Missoula’s proximity to incredible outdoor terrain makes a lunchtime adventure not just possible, but also easy—you know, relative to how fast you’re run-

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ning down the trail or pedaling up that hill. With a little bit of planning and de-

termination—and maybe some deodorant before your return to the office—you too can enjoy what western Montana has to offer. Below, we’ve identified a few of our favorite midday excursions to help you better mix your work and play.

Squeeze in a few casts

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

I grew up fly fishing Montana’s trout streams, but when I finally moved to Missoula for college, the very first spot I cast a line was not where you’d think. With no car and


photo by Cathrine L. Walters

no close clutch of fishing buddies, I resigned to carrying my rod across campus to the wide gravel bar below the Finn and Porter deck. To my surprise, I wasn’t alone. One of the best things Missoula has going for it is that no matter where you work, live or go to school, you’re never far from a decent stretch of river. If you keep your rod and tackle in similarly close reach, those cubicle dreams of cutthroat and rainbow can become a workday reality. The riffle running alongside the DoubleTree is the most famed in-town fishing locale, but from the eastern reaches of the Kim Williams Trail clear down to the Clark Fork’s confluence with the Bitterroot at Kelly Island, there are countless opportunities to scramble down the bank, make a few casts and still get back in time for that afternoon conference call. I won’t divulge my favorite spots to hit inside the city limits; what self-respecting angler would? But I will say there’s no better noontime escape from the salt mines than hitting the river. And if the boss complains that you reek of trout, you can always blame it on a sushi lunch. (Alex Sakariassen) 58

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Run for the hills Everyone knows about hiking Waterworks Hill—it’s one of the best places to go for a stunning view of the Missoula Valley without putting in too much effort. But if you really want to get away from humankind, you can forego the main trail

(just off Greenough Drive) and drop down the north side of the trailhead into Cherry Gulch. Cherry Gulch is a magical place for a quick jog. The path provides a mild incline that takes you into the hills rather than directly to the top. Within minutes, Missoula

photo by Chad Harder


disappears from view and suddenly it’s like you ran into a painting or a dream: clear skies and golden slopes of wheat-like grasses waving in the wind. You might even see some horses, which you can imagine are wild horses if you want to really be in the deepest denial. It doesn’t take more than 15 minutes before you meet the end of the trail, where you can either turn around and go back the way you came, or take the switchbacks up to the top of the main ridge where you’ll be greeted by the world again. By the end, you’ve had just enough time to escape from it all, work up a sweat and clear the clutter from your brain. Then you can head back to work—maybe even have time for a shower—with just enough

great destinations—before your boss even realizes you’ve left your chair. One of Missoula’s best escape routes begins at the bottom of Greenough Park. Start up the main paved path, but turn off to the left at the top of the park, when you come to the Alvina Drive cul-desac. Bike up Alvina to Greenough Drive, which turns into Duncan. Stay on Duncan until you come to the PEAS Farm, where you head right, then left to the farm’s loop trail. While most of the ride’s a slow, steady climb, there’s good news: along here is a good spot to stop, rest and have lunch with the creek on photo by Cathrine L. Walters one side and the farm on the other. Escape on two wheels After a pit stop, continue up the trail There’s no better means for a midday until it takes you back to Duncan and escape than a bike. On two wheels, you can follow it to the end, where you get back cover a ton of ground—and get to lots of on trail. Soon after, you’ll cross over of an endorphin rush to get you t hrough the rest of the day. (Erika Fredrickson)

photo by Cathrine L. Walters


photo by Chad Harder

Rattlesnake Creek. When you’ve reached the far side, turn left onto the Lower Sawmill Gulch Trail and wind your way through the woods until you come out on Sawmill Gulch Road, just yards away from the main Rattlesnake parking lot. The temptation, of course, will be to call your boss, claim you’ve suddenly come down with food poisoning, hang up and keep riding the extensive network of trails now at your fingertips. But if you’re a responsible employee, you can also head back the way you came, savoring the scenery all over again—the woods, the farm, the creek— but this time while heading almost entirely downhill, without even hardly having to pedal. (Ted McDermott)

Nature calls Not every midday retreat needs to test your endurance and push the limits. Maclay Flat nature trail offers an easy, flat walk through the woods and along the river on a well-maintained trail that feels far away from the usual hustle and bustle—even if it’s only a few minutes by car from downtown. continued on page 65 62

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photo by Chad Harder

Maclay Flat includes a mile-plus loop and a larger loop closer to two miles. The trailhead is accessible from a parking lot off Big Flat Road, just south of Maclay Bridge. I suggest bringing your lunch and finding a spot next to the Bitterroot River near the beginning of the trail. It’s a great chance to do some bird watching, often with osprey swooping down to the water for a lunch of their own. If you bring your dog for an easy stroll through the surrounding cottonwoods, ponderosas and aspen trees, make sure you’ve got it on a leash— even if you don’t get a ticket, you will get your fair share of dirty looks. Maclay Flat may not get the adrenaline pumping, but an afternoon next to the river and along the nature trail is a perfect escape from the weekly grind, and you can return to work refreshed but not sweaty. (Kellen Beck)

spot features routes varying from cracks to steep roofs. “I really like Kootenai because of the rock, and there’s a lot of hard stuff there. It’s not very obvious climbing. You have to really think about your moves,” says Daniel Hatley, the kids’ program coordinator at Freestone Climbing Center. The Alberton Rest Stop, just off I-90 northwest of Missoula, also offers another

great spot for kids because it’s got about four or five routes that are very easy, and you can set up a top rope and have kids try that,” he says. If neither drive is feasible during your lunch break, don’t fret. Freestone Climbing Center, located on Toole Avenue, is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and costs $13 for non-members. You can hone your skills on any of their tailored, color-coded routes before

Climb for a little perspective Staying productive and awake after the morning coffee crash can result in pouring another cup of coffee, and then another. For a much healthier alternative, grab some climbing gear and head for the mountains. Just outside of Stevensville, about 45 minutes south of Missoula, sits Kootenai Canyon. This popular climbing

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

close climbing spit. Hatley says its 10-12 routes are better targeted for beginners, but also includes more challenging options.“It’s a

breaking free to Alberton, Kootenai or someplace else on the weekend. (Courtney Anderson) Q explorer 2015

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Burns Street Bistro 1500 Burns St. • 543-0719 burnsstbistro.com 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, scratch-cooking and fresh-brewed Black Coffee Roasting Co. coffee and espresso to Missoula’s Historic Westside neighborhood. Handmade breads & pastries, soups, salads & sandwiches change with the seasons, but our commitment to delicious food does not. Mon-Fri 7am - 2pm. Sat/Sun Brunch 9am 2pm. Dinners on Fri & Sat nights 5 - 9 PM. $-$$ Buttercup Market 1221 Helen Ave. 541-1221 thebuttercupmarket.com One block east of the University of Montana between Mcleod and University Avenue. Serving breakfast and lunch every day. Eat in or take out. Espresso and pastries, groceries. Fresh, local, and friendly. Butterfly Herbs 232 N. Higgins• 728-8780 butterflyherbs.com Celebrating 43 years of great coffees and teas. Truly the “essence of Missoula.” Offering fresh coffees, teas

(Evening in Missoula), bulk spices and botanicals, fine toiletries & 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 Espresso Bar. Open 7 Days. $ Clove Cart Pizza Peddlers clovecart.com Clove Cart is a uniquely shaped mobile brick-oven pizza cart. Our pizzas are inspired by local, seasonally fresh ingredients. Being mobile, our locations change. Check facebook or our website for location of the day. For special events, contact us for catering. Mention this ad and receive a FREE salad with a slice. Hob Nob on Higgins 531 S. Higgins 541-4622 hobnobonhiggins.com Come visit our friendly staff & experience Missoula’s best little breakfast & lunch spot. All our food is made from scratch, we feature homemade corn beef hash, sourdough pancakes, sandwiches, salads, espresso & desserts. $-$$


dish

the specialty cheeses, charcuterie, local brews, wines, espresso and so much more! Mon-Sat: 7am-9pm. Sun: 8am-7pm. $-$$

DOUBLE your SNAP dollars. Happy Shopping, Missoula! Thank you for supporting our local farmers.

Iza 529 S. Higgins 830-3237 izarestaurant.com Contemporary Asian cuisine featuring local, vegan, gluten-free and organic options as well as wild-caught seafood and buffalo. Join us for lunch and dinner. Happy Hour 3-6 weekdays with specials on food and drink. Extensive sake, wine and tea menu. Closed Sundays. Open Mon-Fri: Lunch 11:30-3pm, Happy Hour 3-6pm, Dinner 5pm-close. Sat: Dinner 5pm-close. $-$$

Mission General Store 61307 Watson Road, St. Ignatius 745-7200 mission-general-store.com A Friendly Country Store in the St. Ignatius Amish Community. Bulk Foods • Jams & Salsas • Hutterite Chicken • Area’s Largest Deli Meat & Cheese Selection • Groceries. Now Serving Wilcoxson's Ice Cream, Deli Sandwiches & Shakes. M-F 9am-5:30pm Sat 9am-5pm.

Missoula Senior Center 705 S. Higgins Ave. (on the Hip Strip) 543-7154 themissoulaseniorcenter.org Did you know that the Missoula Senior Center serves delicious hearty lunches every week day for only $4.00*? 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 a chance to find a treasured item or garment in our thrift shop. For a full menu and other activities, visit our website. (*$6.00 lunch if not on meal plan.)

Market on Front 201 E. Front St. marketonfront.com The Market on Front is more than a market with a restaurant. It is an energetic marketplace which offers an epicurean experience to excite the senses. It is also an energetic, vibrant marketplace creating an opportunity to taste and take home the products of artisans who create excellent products at awesome prices. This community-centered specialty food destination features gourmet yet traditional prepared foods, sandwiches, salads,

Missoula Farmer's Market N. Higgins by the XXX's missoulafarmersmarket.com Find us on Facebook Seasonal, homegrown and homemade! Fresh local vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants, eggs, honey, baked goods and coffee provided by over 100 vendors. "Music at the Market" performers on Saturdays 9am-noon. Market Hours: Saturdays 8am-12:30pm May 2Oct. 31, 2015 • Tuesdays 5:30-7pm. July 7Sept. 22, 2015. EBT, credit or debt cards and MDA gift cards accepted. Ask how you can

Pearl Cafe 231 East Front St. 541-0231 pearlcafe.us Country French specialties, Montana elk, Berkshire pork and delicious seafood dishes. Delectable salads and appetizers, as well as breads and desserts baked in-house. Extensive wine list; 18 wines by the glass and local beers on draft. Reservations recommended for the intimate dining areas. Visit our website to check out our nightly specials, make reservations, or buy gift certificates. Open Mon-Sat at 5pm. $$-$$$

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

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Red’s Bar Home of “Dead Pecker Row” DPR Inc. 127 Ryman 728-9881 redsbar.net Red's has a huge sports memorabilia collection including the largest football helmet collection in the state as well as two full service bars, 14 plasma TVs, keno-poker games, and an official Montana Lottery terminal to accommodate our patrons. Come on down, support your favorite team and have a good time with your friends, family, & acquaintances at Red's Bar, Missoula's Sport's Bar since 1952. $-$$ Qdoba Mexican Grill 1001 E Broadway Eastgate Plaza 549-0020 • qdoba.com Enjoy authentic Mexican food Qdoba, custom burritos, tacos & more, including health-oriented options. Conveniently located in Eastgate Plaza close to UM. Delivery available, charges may apply. $ Taco Del Sol 422 N. Higgins 327-8929 Stop in when you’re in the neighborhood. We’ll do our

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best to treat you right! Crowned Missoula’s best budget lunch. Mon. – Sat. 11 am – 10 pm. Sun. 12 pm – 9 pm. $-$$

Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm Saturday, 8:00am2:00pm Sunday. Weekday local business lunch delivery available 9:00am-1:00pm. $-$$

BITTERROOT BITTERROOT

Spice of Life 163 S 2nd St., Hamilton 363-4433 thespiceinhamilton.com 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 handmade burgers from Lolo Locker or one of our fabulous fresh salads. Dinner selections include hand-cut steaks, sustainable seafood selections and pasta dishes made from 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 11am to 2 pm; Dinner: Tues - Sat 5 pm to 9 pm. $-$$$

Bitter Root Brewing 101 Marcus St. Hamilton 363-7468 bitterrootbrewing.com Bitter Root Brewing is open 7 days a week serving delicious microbrews and tasty hand-crafted food. Live music EVERY Thursday and Saturday from 6-8:30pm. Check out our website or find us on Facebook for upcoming events, menus, and other information. Cheers! $-$$ River Rising Bakery 337 Main St Hamilton 363-4552 riverrisingbakery.com 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 6:30am-5:30pm Monday-

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


thursday Chase those Wheaties with a dose of creativity at Art Start, a morning DIY series with projects laid out for you and your child ages 2 and up to work on. Meets at the ZACC the first Thursday of every month from 11 AM-1 PM. $6/$5 for members. Visit zootownarts.org/artstart. Downtown ToNight celebrates a whopping 15 years of food, family fun and summertime easy livin’ at Caras Park, every Thursday from 5:308:30 PM through mid-September. Free to hang out. Local smart alecs are doing it for the lulz at John Howard’s Homegrown Stand-Up Comedy at the Union Club. Sign up by 9:30 PM to perform; things usually start around 10. Free. 72

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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 missoulacultural.org/gallery-guide and our special listings. Caleb Fey, executive director at the Holter Museum, chats about current trends in contemporary art in Montana today as part of the Triennial exhibit at Missoula Art Museum. Reception from 5-8 PM, with gallery talk at 7. Danny boy, take me away at the Celtic Woman performance at the Adams Center, with traditional Irish

tunes, pop standards and original songs. 8 PM. Tickets $62-$72; check out griztix.com.

saturday I dip, you dip, we dip at the Pengelly Double and Single Dip, a tangy challenge with a tall half marathon, 2,700 feet of elevation gain, for the double, and 10K for the single. Both races start and end at River Bowl, near the Van Buren pedestrian bridge. $28$45. Check out runwildmissoula.org. Mingle among the sweet abundance at the Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM.


Hotel - Restaurant - Taproom Private Cottages - Weddings - Special Events Adobe House You wanna piece of me? Halestorm plays the Wilma Fri., June 12, at 7 PM. $38.

Lend a hand at the National Trails Day volunteering junket at Milltown State Park, 11 AM-3 PM, or just join the short hike and educational talk. Visit stateparks.mt.gov/milltown. Holy mother of carrot flowers, the one and only Neutral Milk Hotel, featuring the full band lineup, plays the Wilma. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8. $36/$33 in advance. Tickets available at Rockin Rudy’s, 1111presents.com and the Wilma box office.

406-888-5000 12575 Hwy 2 E West Glacier

Tap Room: 3pm Belton Grill: 5pm 7 days per week

beltonchalet.com

sunday Bikes ‘n brewskis make for the perfect combo at the second annual Gears for Beers, a mountain bike poker ride, where you’ll leave from the Bale of Hay saloon in Virginia City at 9 AM, collect cards for your hand on an 18-mile trail ride, and turn in your hand and hit the saloon until 1 PM. $30. Proceeds benefit the Virginia City Rural Fire Department. Contact Aaron for info at aarondavis888@hotmail.com. The Tibetan Cultural Festival at the Ewam Garden of 1,000 Buddhas in Arlee includes a ceremonial processional, tibetan chanting, dance performances and more from 1-4 PM. $15 per vehicle. Visit ewam.org. Celebrate your Sunday Funday with Newtflix, the new curated film screening and drunken banter session hosted by Newton Wise, the first Sunday of the month at the VFW. 6 PM. No cover, plus dranks are half-off all day. Rock outfit Birdstriking comes all the way outta Beijing, as in the city in China, to party at the ZACC, 235 N. First St. W. Local guests include FUULs and Holy Lands. Things get going around 8 PM. $5. All ages. explorer 2015

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Bundle up. Neutral Milk Hotel plays the Wilma Sat., June 6. Doors at 7 PM. Advance tickets sold out.

wednesday Escape the office and get some fresh air at Out to Lunch, the weekly festival with music and food trucks at Caras Park, Wednesday from 11 AM-2 PM through August. Free to mingle.

The best of the Treasure State is on tap at the Montana Professional Artists Association’s 11th annual show and sale, with an array of fine art for your perusal at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton, June 12-14. Learn more at montanaprofessional artistsassoc.com.

Downtown ToNight celebrates a whopping 15 years of food, family fun and summertime easy livin’ at Caras Park, every Thursday from 5:30-8:30 PM through mid-September. Free to hang out.

Check out all the asses at Montana Mule Days, the state’s largest mule and donkey show, with competitions and exhibits at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds in Hamilton, June 12-14. Runs concurrent with the Big Sky Fiber Arts Festival, also on the fairgrounds. $5 gets you into everything for the day/free for kids under 6. Trot over to montanamuledays.com.

The Ruby Jewel Jamboree twangs heartstrings with Greg Cahill and Special Consensus performing at Ruby’s Inn, 4825 N. Reserve St. Doors at 6:30 PM, show at 7. Visit rubyjeweljamboree.com for info and tickets.

Enter a gubernatorial race of a different sort at the annual Governor’s Cup Marathon and Half Marathon, a Boston Marathon qualifier that starts at 6 AM in historic downtown Helena. Peruse govcuptmt.com.

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Puff, puff and pass when the Kottonmouth Kings take over Stage 112, along with guests Hed PE. Doors at 6 PM, show at 7. $25/$23 in advance, check out 1111presents.com or Rockin Rudy’s. Rock outfit Halestorm cartwheels into the Wilma on the Carnival of Madness tour, featuring guests Rival Sons and Royal Thunder. Doors at 6:30 PM, show at 7:30. $38. Tickets at Rockin Rudy’s, knittingfactory.com and 866-468-7624.

saturday Come on in, the water is fine at the Hot Springs Homesteader Days, which feature a weekend of rodeo, live music on Main Street, parades, arts n crafts and other sundry entertainment. Visit hotspringschamber.org. Continued on page 77


SPOTLIGHT

d a y trip p in ’ I’m not sure how I convinced my bestie to venture to Montana Mule Days one hot summer weekend—promises of brewery visits were most likely involved—but it made for a great trip down to the Bitterroot to spend a day watching displays of old-school skills and looking at cute critters. The Montana Mule Days festival includes competitions in reining, log pulls, chariot races and more, which you can

watch while perched in the grandstand and eating fried things. You can also stroll around the grounds to find vendors, demonstrations and a big ole petting zoo with friendly creatures, including llamas and big-eyed alpacas. (Be advised to take your allergy meds before heading out on this trip, of course.) Mule Days coincides with the Big Sky Fiber Arts Festival, which takes place in the convention center on the county fairgrounds, and is included in WHAT: Montana Mule Days and Big Sky your admission. There, you can Fibers Arts Festival marvel at how all the fluffy stuff WHEN: Fri., June 12–Sun., June 14 from those alpacas and llamas gets turned into works of knitted WHERE: Ravalli County Fairgrounds in and crocheted art. Hamilton Oh, and should you need to HOW MUCH: $10 for three-day pass/$5 cut the trail dust after these enterper day Free for kids 6 and under tainments, a couple Hamilton MORE INFO: montanamuledays.com

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

breweries—Bitter Root Brewing and Higherground—are an easy walk down the street from the fairgrounds and provide a nice end-cap to a relaxing summer excursion. Q —Skylar Browning

Chamber Blast, Big Sky Sporting Clays........................................June 20 Mission Mountain NRA Rodeo .....................................................June 27 Arlee 4th of July Celebration.........................................................July 2-4 Fourth of July Celebration in PolsonParade, Concert, Fireworks Show....................................................July 4 Poker Paddle .....................................................................................July 12 Standing Arrow Powwow, Big Arm ............................................July 5-17 Polson Main Street Flathead Cherry Festival & Live History Days ......................................July 18 & 19 Flathead Lake 3-on-3 Hoop Shoot...........................................July 24-26 7th Annual Smokin’ on the Water..............................................August 1 Summerfest & Car Show ..........................................................August 7-9 5th Annual Flathead Lake Blues Festival............................August 14-16 Polson Triathlon...........................................................................August 15 INFR Flathead River Rodeo..................................................August 20-22 Rotary Chili Cook-Off .................................................................August 22 Polson Fly-In .........................................................................September 12


SPOTLIGHT

wheel deal My idea of intrepid, adventurous cycling is to bike to work while carrying an iced coffee in one hand. But if you’re more stoked about the idea of donning tight bike shorts and cranking

ing. Throughout the weekend, there are divisions for men and women across a spectrum of skill and ability— and even, rumor has it, a new division for racers weighing over 200 pounds, dubbed the “Clydesdale” group. WHAT: Missoula XC In a handy section of WHEN: Wed., June 17–Sun., June 21 the Missoula XC website, it WHERE: Marshall Mountain explains what this whole HOW MUCH: $15-$60 to race; free deal will be like if you’re a to spectate total noob, explaining that the best way to get a feel MORE INFO: missoulaxc.org for the race is to practice beforehand by riding up up steep climbs in scenic territory, the your favorite mountain bike climb for annual Missoula XC mountain bike 3-5 miles, as hard as you can to the competition is sure to grease your stop, and then turning around and gears. cruising to the bottom without stopMissoula XC presents “Racing like ping. Wee! Me, I’ll be clutching a bevit’s 1994,” with a 5k trail on Marshall erage on the sidelines in awe. Q Mountain designed like World Cupstyle cross-country mountain bike rac—Kate Whittle

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Mingle among the sweet abundance at the Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. The Ten Spoon 10K features a chiptimed run through the lovely Rattlesnake Valley, ending post-race snacks, wine, massages (heck yes) and tunes at the winery, 4175 Rattlesnake Drive. Registration and packet pickup at 3 PM, kids’ fun run at 4, and 10K and 4:45. Check out runnersedgemt.com.

sunday All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup on the red carpet for the third annual Missoula Symphony Association Soiree and 60th anniversary celebration. Includes a swanky five-course dinner accompanied by MSO musicians at the Florence Hotel, 111 N. Higgins Ave. 5:30 PM. Call 721-3194 or visit missoulasymphony.org for tickets and info.

Buttoned up. The Stone Foxes play the Top Hat Tue., June 30, at 8 PM. $10. 18-plus.


Take a seat. Gregg Allman plays the Big Sky Brewing Amphitheater Sat., June 27, along with guest Matt Andersen. Doors at 6 PM, show at 7:30. $45/$38.

monday Yarr, the Pirate Circus Kid Camp is just what you’d expect, with five days of swashbuckling and high-flying adventures for ages 7-10 years old, June 15-19 at Moksha Aerial Studio. Fencing is in the mornings and acrobatics are in the afternoon, so pick ‘n choose either or both. Visit MokshaAerialStudio.com for registration and info.

tuesday The Performance Arts Sleepover Camp for kiddos ages 8-12 runs June 16-20. Director Jeanne Christopherson 78

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leads campers in creating an original show while dabbling in music, dance and theater in a screen-free environment in beautiful Dayton. Campers are asked to shut off all devices, besides being able to call home in the evenings. $250, includes lodging and meals. Call 530-345-6324 or email jkristoffer22@hotmail.com for info and registration. Craig Johnson reads from his latest Walt Longmire mystery, Dry Bones, at Fact and Fiction, 220 N. Higgins Ave. 7 PM.

wednesday Willie Nelson and Family, along with Alison Krauss and Union Station, play a whopper of a co-

headliner at Osprey Stadium, with special guest Jerry Douglas. Time TBA. $55, plus fees. Tickets on sale Feb. 27 at MSO Hub, 543-3300 and ticketmaster.com.

thursday Lend a hand at the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation’s volunteer maintenance trip, which will clear One Horse Lake trail near Carlton Lake and Lolo Peak, June 18-21. Check out selwaybitterroot.org/volunteer-now to learn about this and other trail volunteering trips available throughout the summer.


• Residential Homes

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• Short-Term and Long-Term Management

• Condominiums

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• Efficient • Professional • Economical

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Who, me? Tyler, the Creator performs at the Top Hat Sun., June 28, with Taco. 7 PM. $30.

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 fest.com.

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

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

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friday The 26th annual Lewis and Clark Festival celebrates the intrepid explorers with reenactments, float trips, exhibits, kids’ activities and more at Gibson Park in Great Falls, Fri., June 19-Sun., June 21. Call 452-5661. Grab some grub at the Western Heritage Days and Chuckagon Cook-off in Stevensville, Fri., June 19Sat., June 20, with parading, rummage sales, exhibits and vittles by day, and beer and reveling in the street by night. Visit mainstreetstevensville.com. The Missoula XC grinds its gears up Marshall Mountain for the annual mettle-testing rendezvous of mountain biking madness, with UCI World Series Missoula XC race at Marshall Mountain and the Hair of the Dog Enduro, and divisions for beginners and pros alike. Visit missoulaxc.org.

saturday Annie, get your gun and meet me at the fourth annual Babes n Bullets women’s shooting event, with an all-day clinic in handguns, rifles and archery at Deer Creek Range, followed by an afterparty at the Holiday

Inn. $125 includes T-shirt, equipment, transportation and party; for an extra $25 bucks, you can bring a guest/boyfriend/huzzben to the afterparty. Register at Bob Wards. Mingle among the sweet abundance at the Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. The Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation hosts a sixnight volunteer trip maintaining trail and building structures at Yellowjacket Lake Campground and a meadow on Upper Yellowjacket Trail, June 20-27. To learn how to volunteer for this and other summer excursions, visit selwaybitterroot.org/volunteer-now. Strive for new heights at the annual Pedal the Pintlers, which includes century, 50-mile and 25-mile through hella scenic landscapes out past Anaconda and Georgetown Lake. $55-$65; entry fee includes a Tshirt, snacks and lunch. As part of the Big Sky Pride weekend of festivities, the annual Gay Pride Parade marches down Higgins Avenue at 1 PM, with rally to follow on Main Street, live music, drag show and other shenanigans. Check out bigskypride.com for more info.

Locks of love. Celtic Woman plays the Adams Center Fri., June 5, at 8 PM. $62–$75.

The second annual Bitterroot Run cruises through scenic paths on Old Darby Road for a 5K and 10K, with awards for top finishers. $20-$40. Proceeds benefit SAFE, the emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence. Visit 406running.com.

sunday Find what treasures are in store at the Last Best Solstice: Art on the River celebration, with a popup gallery and art showcase in downtown Missoula from 10 AM-4 PM. Free to browse.

monday Precocious artists ages 6-11 are invited to get some fresh air during the weeklong Art in Nature daycamp with Janaina Vieira-Marques, which meets at Missoula Art Museum from 9 AM-noon through June 26. Kids will create nature-inspired drawings, sculptures, collages and whathaveyou after field trips. $80/$72 for members, with scholarships available. Check out missoulaartmuseum.org. Theatrical kiddos should check out the Play Making Devised Theatre day camp at the ZACC, where ages 6-


FRIDAY: Dave Oliver, Miss Huckleberry & Mr. Huck Finn Talent Contest Zumba Demo

SATURDAY: Pancake Breakfast, 5K run for fun, Huckleberry parade, dog agility demo, homesteaders pentathlon, Swing Street Big Band, Albeni Falls Pipe & Drum, festival auction, pie-eating contest, dance to the music of Back Adit.

SUNDAY: Pancake Breakfast, Worship service, dog agility competition, more pentathlon, Jam & Jelly Contest, Horseshoes, “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves” by Libby Pitiful Players, Dessert Contest

12 create their own stage production, culminating in a live performance at the end of the week. Meets at the ZACC through June 26, 1-4 PM. $90/$80 for members. Visit zootownarts.org/summer.

wednesday Cool off in the evening breeze and take in the tunes at the Missoula City Band summer concert series, with American classics and patriotic tunes at the Bonner Park bandshell every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free. Pass me the peanuts ‘n Crackerjacks at the Missoula Osprey’s first home game, playing against Helena at Ogren Park. 7:05 PM. Visit missoulaosprey.com.

thursday Roll on into the Libby Logger Days, which features four days of exhibits and sweaty, muscular people performing feats at the J. Neil Memorial Park in Libby, Thu., June 25-Sun., June 28. $7-$12 for entrance button; kids under 12 are free. Email info@loggerdays.com. As part of the Missoula Colony playwriting conference, actors from around the country convene for staged readings, June 25-27, 29 and July 1, at 8 PM. Locations and details TBA. Check out montanarep.org. Missoula’s own Philip Burgess reads from his latest poetry collection, Henry’s Cows, at Fact and Fiction starting at 7 PM.

friday Take a ride in that little red love machine at the Garden City River Rod Run, with show ‘n shine in Caras Park and parade on Higgins at 9 PM. Free.

saturday Spoiler alert: things don’t end well for the bad guys at the Living History Weekend: The Hanging of Red Yeager, where reenactors bring to life the history of the Montana Vigilantes and the wild wild West in Virginia City. Performance at 2:30 PM. Visit virginiacitymt.com. Make a splash at the second annual Great Divide Mucker, a 3-mile obstacle course race with moderate climbs and goofy challenges. Costumes encouraged, too. Visit montanamucker.com to register and pick your start time. The 14th annual RATPOD bike junket challenges your glutes for a good cause with a one-day, 130-mile ride in the wilderness of southwestern Montana, ending in Dillon. Cyclists also agree to raise a minimum donation 82

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Good old Willie and Family, along with Alison Krauss and Union Station, play a whopper of a co-headliner at Osprey Stadium on June 17. $55, plus fees. Tickets on sale at MSO Hub, 543-3300 and ticketmaster.com.

for Camp Mak-A-Dream. Check out ratpod.org. The Gran Fondo Kootenai provides the posh European-style longride feel in the rugged scenery of the Libby area, June 27-28. Visit gfkootenai.com. Walk, run, rattle or roll however you like at the Celebrate the Swan race, which includes a 1-mile fun run, 5K, 10K and half-marathon, plus 13and 34-mile bike races on Forest Service roads starting at Highway 83 and Falls Creek Road. Register at online at swanecosystemcenter.org. Visit Missoula’s farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. Become a ceramics pro with the Coil-Building the Figure in a Two-day

Reduction Sauce, a tangy two-day workshop where you’ll learn how to create sculptures of the human form. Clay Studio of Missoula, June 27-28. Cruise over to theclaystudioofmissoula.org for the deets.

Ask rap prodigy Tyler, The Creator about his mastery of punctuation when he plays the Top Hat, along with special guest Taco. Doors at 7 PM. $30. Check out tophatlounge.com.

Wake up Mama, ‘cuz Gregg Allman is playing the Big Sky Brewing Amphitheater this fine evening, along with guest Matt Andersen. Doors at 6 PM, show at 7:30. $45/$38 in advance at Rockin Rudy’s, the Big Sky taproom and knittingfactory.com.

Whether the weekend’s winding down or just getting started, kick back and enjoy the lolz at the No Pads, No Blazers Comedy Hour, hosted by Kyle “Ham Sandwich” Kulseth every fourth Sunday of the month at the VFW, at 8 PM sharpish and lasting just one hour. Includes half-off drink specials.

sunday

tuesday

Soak up some sun and peruse the creative wares available at the summer edition of MADE Fair, with local arts ‘n crafts in Caras Park from 10 AM-5 PM.

Perk up your ears for The Stone Foxes, a rock ‘n roll band playing the Top Hat at 8 PM. $10. 18-plus. Visit tophatlounge.com.

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Sure go crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man. Mother Mother plays Stage 112 Wed., July 1. 8 PM. $12/$10 in advance.

$24/$20 in advance. 18-plus. Peruse tophatlounge.com.

wednesday Cool off in the evening breeze and take in the tunes at the Missoula City Band summer concert series, with American classics and patriotic tunes at the Bonner Park bandshell every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free. You betcha Arlee knows what’s what at its 117th annual Fourth of July shindig, Wed., July 1-Sun., July 5, with camping, powwow, frybread stands and more. Visit arleepowow.com. Kick off the dog days of summer with Blitzen Trapper, playing the Top Hat this lovely eve along with Hand of the Hills. Doors at 7 PM. 84

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Practice the best “your mom” jokes before Canadian indie outfit Mother Mother rocks out at Stage 112, along with guests. Doors at 8 PM. $12/$10 in advance. Check out 1111presents.com.

Local smart alecs are doing it for the lulz at John Howard’s Homegrown Stand-Up Comedy at the Union Club. Sign up by 9:30 PM to perform; things usually start around 10. Free.

friday thursday Chase those Wheaties with a dose of creativity at Art Start, a morning DIY series with projects laid out for you and your child ages 2 and up to work on. Meets at the ZACC the first Thursday of every month from 11 AM-1 PM. $6/$5 for members. Visit zootownarts.org/artstart.

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 missoulacultural.org/gallery-guide and our special listings.


Save a horse ... The 73rd annual PRCA Rodeo kicks off at 2 PM in Drumond on July 3.


SPOTLIGHT

e a sy livin ’ You might wonder what could possibly draw tons of people out to an obscure little ranching community in southeastern Montana for a few hot days in July, but the Red Ants Pants Festival does all that and more.

ham, Lucero, Holly Williams, Shook Twins and Missoula’s own Lil’ Smokies. The family-friendly festival features three days of camping and tunes, plus agricultural and traditional skills demonstrations like blacksmithing and logging. With a little advance preparation, perhaps you could WHAT: Red Ants Pants Festival even take the crown in this WHEN: Fri., July 24–Sun., July 26 year’s beard competition. The Red Ants Pants Festival WHERE: White Sulphur Springs is the brainchild of Sarah CalHOW MUCH: $125–$140 for weekhoun and her Red Ants Pants end pass $50-$55 for one-day pass women’s workwear manufacMORE INFO: redantspantsmusic turing company, which was festival.com founded in 2006. Proceeds from the festival benefit the company’s nonprofit foundaPast headliners have included legtion, which supports women’s leaderends like Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard ship, working ranches and rural and Taj Mahal; and this year, expect to communities. Q see acts like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Keb Mo, Lee Ann Womack, Ryan Bing—Kate Whittle

The Moods Brew and Spirit Fest gets underway in Ennis, with dozens of breweries and distilleries offering cold bevvies, and rustic camping nearby should you need a place to lay your head afterward. $25$30. Check out moodsbrewand spiritfest.com. Shine up that belt buckle before the 73rd annual PRCA Rodeo in Drummond trots down Front Street with a parade at noon, and the main event kicking off at 2 PM with saddle broncs, bareback, barrel racing, steer wrestling, roping and bull riding.

saturday Oh say, can you see all that big sparkly stuff up in the air? Why, ‘tis Missoula’s Southgate Mall annual fireworks show, which starts after dusk. Free. Check out the sweet abundance at the Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, 86

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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart School, corner of Worden and Phillips, starting at dusk every Saturday through Sept. 5. This year’s selections include Breakfast Club, Dirty Dancing and To Kill a Mockingbird. Donations appreciated; popcorn available. Check out missoulaoutdoorcinema.org.

wednesday The Montana Storychasers Camp teaches kids how to create oral histories and record ‘em. Meets at Seeley Lake’s Camp Paxson, through July 10. $475, including food and lodging. Visit storychasers.org/montana or call 5440475 to learn more.

thursday sunday Celebrate your Sunday Funday with Newtflix, the new curated film screening and drunken banter session hosted by Newton Wise, the first Sunday of the month at the VFW. 6 PM. No cover, plus dranks are half-off all day. Cool off in the evening breeze and take in the tunes at the Missoula City Band summer concert series, with American classics and patriotic tunes at the Bonner Park bandshell every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free.

Celebrate the Garden City and hang out with your favorite local alt-weekly when the Indy hosts our Best of Missoula Party, which honors this year’s winners of the annual survey with food, bevvies and tunes at Caras Park, starting at 5 PM. Free.

friday The heat is on for the Montana Folk Festival, July 10-12, which fea-


Uplifting. Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart School at dusk every Saturday through Sept. 5, including Dirty Dancing on July 11.

tures international acts and good eats in downtown Butte. Free. Check out montanafolkfestival.com. Disappear into the woods with your buddies at the Silver Cloud Campout, the inaugural bluegrass, jam and electronic festival on two stages in Haugan, July 10-12, with camping and smoky shenanigans, all just a short stroll from the 50,000 Silver Dollar. Visit stage112.com. Bocephus himself makes an appearance for the Last Best Country Fest, with musicians playing both kinds (country and western) at South Park in Billings, July 10-11, and the likes of Big and Rich, Kevin Fowler, Sunny Sweeney, and Hank Williams Jr. closing out on Saturday nite. Visit lastbestcountryfest.com.

saturday The two-day Introductory Kayaking Clinics with the Zootown Surfers teaches the sunnyside-up basics at Frenchtown Pond or Sandy Beaches on Saturday, and then ventures onto the Clark Fork or Blackfoot to practice on Sunday. $200, includes all equipment and a shuttle. Call 546-0370 to learn more. Mingle among the sweet abundance at the Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart School, corner of Worden and Phillips, starting at dusk every Saturday through Sept. 5. This year’s selections include Breakfast Club, Dirty Dancing and To Kill a Mockingbird. Donations appreciated; popcorn available. Check out missoulaoutdoorcinema.org. explorer 2015

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friday

sunday Test your mettle at the annual Missoula Marathon and HalfMarathon, which starts at 6 AM today and ends in downtown Missoula, where bragging and beer-drinking ensues. The weekend also includes a 5K and kids’ activities. Visit missoulamarathon.org.

The Moods of the Madison Festival shines in Ennis today, with headliners including Collective Soul, Leftover Salmon, Los Lonely Boys, Beats Antique and more, July 17-18. Visit moodsofthemadison.com.

saturday wednesday Cool off in the evening breeze and take in the tunes at the Missoula City Band summer concert series, with American classics and patriotic tunes at the Bonner Park bandshell every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free.

The fruits of summer are up for grabs at the Flathead Cherry Festival, on the main street of Polson, July 1819, with pie-eating, pit-spitting contests and locally made arts ‘n crafts. Visit flatheadcherryfestival.com. Talk about fresh, walk among the sweet abundance at the Missoula

farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. Come on, feel the noise at the North Side West Side Block Party, hosted by the ZACC on North First Street, with turkey legs and music and crafting and sun-kissed beauties, 3-9 PM. Free to attend. Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart School, corner of Worden and Phillips, starting at dusk every Saturday through Sept. 5. Donations appreciated; popcorn available. Check out missoulaoutdoorcinema.org. Fred Eaglesmith brings his rock and/or roll to the Forde Nursery in Great Falls, with show starting at 8 PM. Visit fredeaglesmith.com for more info.

And I thought getting up at 6 AM was accomplishing a lot. The Missoula Marathon and Half-Marathon draws all sorts of over-achievers to Missoula on July 12. More info at missoulamarathon.org. 88

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photo by Cathrine L. Walters

The Clark Fork Market runs 8 AM -1 PM Saturdays through the end of October. Visit clarkforkmarket.com

sunday Make like Bowie and Jagger and dance in the street at this year’s edition of Sunday Streets, wherein a portion of downtown is closed off from motorized traffic from noon-4 PM so as to encourage frolicking, games, yoga, food vendors and more. Visit missoulainmotion.com to learn more.

wednesday Take in the tunes at the Missoula City Band summer concert series, with American classics and patriotic tunes at the Bonner Park bandshell at 8 PM. Free.

thursday I’m just itchin’ to get to this year’s Red Ants Pants Music Festival, July

24-26, with camping and tunes in White Sulphur Springs. Headliners this year include the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Keb Mo, Lucero, Lee Ann Womack and more. Visit redantspantsmusicfestival.com.

Worden and Phillips, starting at dusk every Saturday through Sept. 5. Check out missoulaoutdoorcinema.org.

wednesday saturday They don’t call the Butte 100 mountain bike race the world’s toughest for nothin’, with rugged terrain and long treks of 100-, 50- and, new this year, a 25-mile race to get your feet wet (or butt sweaty, as it were.) Check out butte100.com. The two-day Introductory Kayaking Clinics with the Zootown Surfers teaches the sunny-side up basics. $200, includes all equipment. Call 546-0370 for info. Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart School, corner of

Take in the tunes at the Missoula City Band summer concert series, Wednesday at 8 PM. Free.

friday All you knob-spinners and buttonpushers rejoice, the second annual DAT Music Conference brings art and electronic music producers and DJs to venues downtown, July 31-Aug. 2. Find out whether Blackbeard is all about dat bass at the Pirate Party, a three-day blowout and pool party at Lolo Hot Springs with guests including Dieselboy, Getter, and KJ Sawka. July 31-Aug. 2 at Lolo Hot Springs Resort. $90 for pass. Visit piratepartymt.com. explorer 2015

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That guy on the right was going to grow a beard but Mom said no. Trampled by Turtles and Devil Makes Three team up for a major to-do at the Big Sky Amphitheater Sept. 13 starting at 7. $35. Tickets on sale at Big Sky Brewing, Rockin Rudy’s and knittingfactory.com.

saturday Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, offer produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart School, corner of Worden and Phillips, starting at dusk every Saturday through Sept. 5. Donations appreciated; popcorn available. Check out missoulaoutdoorcinema.org.

sunday Celebrate your Sunday Funday with Newtflix, the new curated film screening and drunken banter session hosted by Newton Wise, the first Sun90

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day of the month at the VFW. 6 PM. No cover, plus dranks are half-off all day.

tuesday Musical mover ‘n shaker Trevor Hall don’t need no shoes to boogie at the Top Hat, starting at 8 PM. $20/$18 in advance. 18-plus. Check out tophatlounge.com.

wednesday Cool off in the evening breeze and take in the tunes at the Missoula City Band summer concert series, with American classics and patriotic tunes at the Bonner Park bandshell every Wednesday at 8 PM. Free. Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of the

crowd for Slightly Stoopid, partying at the Big Sky Brewing Amphitheater along with Dirty Heads and Stick Figure. Doors at 5 PM, show at 6. $40/$36 in advance at the Big Sky taproom, Rockin Rudy’s and knittingfactory.com.

thursday Chase those Wheaties with a dose of creativity at Art Start, a morning DIY series with projects laid out for you and your child ages 2 and up to work on. Meets at the ZACC the first Thursday of every month from 11 AM-1 PM. $6/$5 for members. Visit zootownarts.org/ artstart. Local smart alecs are doing it for the lulz at John Howard’s Homegrown Stand-Up Comedy at the Union Club. Sign up by 9:30 PM to perform; things usually start around 10. Free.


Croc rock. The Western Montana Fair runs Tue., Aug. 11–Sun., Aug. 16 at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.

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 missoulacultural.org/gallery-guide and our special listings. The 40th annual Virginia City Art Show brings fine art from around the northwest to the boardwalk and Com-

munity Center Building, Fri., Aug. 7Sun., Aug. 9. Free to peruse. Artists Neil Chaput and Keith Graham highlight rural Americana in their Montana’s One-Room Schools photo exhibit, part of Missoula Art Museum’s First Friday reception, 5-8 PM.

saturday Go coo-coo for Le Tour de Koocanusa, an 83-mile ride touring Lake Koocanusa’s plum gorgeous shoreline. Proceeds benefit David Thompson Search and Rescue.

photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Check out letourdekookanusa.com. Mingle among the sweet abundance at the Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart School, corner of Worden and Phillips, starting at dusk every Saturday through Sept. 5. This year’s selections include To Kill a Mockingbird. Donations appreciated; popcorn available. Check out missoulaoutdoorcinema.org. explorer 2015

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Road warriors. Wilco plays the Big Sky Brewery Amphitheater Fri., Aug. 14. Doors at 6 PM. $38.

tuesday Shine that belt buckle, slap on some sunscreen and get ready for the Western Montana Fair, Aug. 11– 16 at the Missoula County Fairgrounds, with carnival, critters, games, information booths, bull riding, PRCA rodeo and everything you’ve ever dreamed of dipping in a deep fryer. 94

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Amble on over to missoulafairgrounds.com.

thursday Trampled by Turtles and Devil Makes Three team up for a major to-do at the Big Sky Amphitheater’s summer concert series. Doors at 6 PM, show at 7. $35. Tickets on sale

April 17 at Big Sky Brewing Co, Rockin Rudy’s and knittingfactory.com.

friday The one and only Wilco plays the Big Sky Brewery Amphitheater this sultry summer day, show at 7:30. $38, plus fees. Tickets at Rockin Rudy’s and knittingfactory.com.


The classy kids of Lake Street Dive play their soulful pop at the Top Hat, with special guests. Doors at 7 PM. $25/$22 in advance at the Top Hat. 18-plus.

saturday May the best multitasker win at the YFC Seeley Lake Challenge Triathlon/Duathlon, with a 600-yard swim, 10-mile bike ride and 3.3-mile run; do the whole thang yourself, or enlist up to two other friends to make a team. Visit 406running.com. Mingle among the sweet abundance at the Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart School, corner of Worden and Phillips, starting at dusk every Saturday

Lucky Lil’s 2701 N. Reserve 728-6220

Enjoy eating cotton candy and walking the Midway at the Ravalli County Fair Sept. 2-Sept. 5 in Hamilton.

Magic Diamond Magic Diamond 2230 Brooks 1210 W. Broadway 542-8761 728-2999


SPOTLIGHT

ge t we ird This August marks your last chance to dance at Total Fest, because the organizers have announced that it’s dunzo after this edition. Let us not weep for Total Fest XIV, though, at least not yet. Rather, conWHAT: Total Fest XIV WHEN: Thu., Aug 20–Sat., Aug. WHERE: downtown Missoula HOW MUCH: TBA MORE INFO: totalfest.org

sider how amazing a run it has had over the last 14 years. Starting as a small show on a stage at the old Jay’s Upstairs, the festival morphed into a three-day extravaganza including the Big Dipper Record Swap, tubing excursions, matinee shows and frolicking well into the wee hours. The festival has boasted an array of metal, punk, alt-country and almost undefinable genres, with acts like Jonny X, Lana Rebel, Federation X and the Fucking Champs. I’ve discovered many of my

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favorite bands through the event, like Japanther, Red Fang, Torche, Iron Lung, Underground Railroad to Candyland and Helms Alee. And wouldn’t you know, a lot of bands that played Total Fest as newcomers on the music scene have gone on to become critical favorites and big names in their own right. 22 At press time, some of the acts confirmed for the final Total Fest include Australia’s Dead, as well as Building, Animal Lover, Prizehog, Vaz, Mr. Dad, Portland’s Divers, and locals like Magpies, Volumen and Sasshole. But regardless of whether the lineup includes big-name bands play or local favorites, Total Fest has always been about the atmosphere. It’s not focused on star power as much as Missoula’s community of weirdos and miscreants gathering together to party, barbecue and slurp cold tallboys in the dog days of summer. Total Fest’s DIY, volunteerism-based ethos still stands out in a world where many other festivals are dominated by the presence of

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photo by Tommy Martino

corporate sponsors and flavor-of-theweek headliners. Even if the Total Fest name doesn’t return, that community

spirit will doubtless live on.

Q

—Kate Whittle


through Sept. 5. This year’s selections include Breakfast Club, Dirty Dancing and To Kill a Mockingbird. Donations appreciated; popcorn available. Check out missoulaoutdoorcinema.org.

sunday Oh, jolly good, the Montana Hell Ride, “The Hardest Ride in Montana,” might just be a bit of a lark, with 126 miles and 7,900 feet of climbing, and a post-race party at Red Barn Bicycles. Visit thecyclinghouse.com.

thursday With a heavy heart, I tell you that Total Fest XIV is the final edition

of the all-ages nonprofit festival as we know it, so this is our last dance to dance to weirdo metal, rock and punk at assorted venues downtown, Aug. 20-22. This year’s featured acts include Dead, coming all the way from Australia, plus Volumen and Sasshole reunions. Check out totalfest.org.

School, corner of Worden and Phillips, starting at dusk every Saturday through Sept. 5. This year’s selections include Breakfast Club, Dirty Dancing and To Kill a Mockingbird. Donations appreciated; popcorn available. Check out missoulaoutdoorcinema.org.

saturday

sunday

Stock up for the long winter at the Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM.

Whether the weekend’s winding down or just getting started, kick back and enjoy the lolz at the No Pads, No Blazers Comedy Hour, hosted by Kyle “Ham Sandwich” Kulseth every fourth Sunday of the month at the VFW, at 8 PM sharpish and lasting just one hour. Includes half-off drink specials.

Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart

Stay one night or stay a month

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photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Summer haze. The River City Roots Fest takes over downtown Misssoula Fri., Aug. 28–Sat., Aug. 29. Visit rivercityrootsfestival.com.

friday Rock me like a wagon wheel at the annual River City Roots Fest, featuring a fun run, festival, art show and, of course, live tunes a blazin’ from the stages downtown, Fri., Aug. 28-Sat., Aug. 29. This year features special guests from Roots Fests past, like Lil’ Smokies, Dead Winter Carpenters, Goose Creek Symphony and Reverend Slanky. Visit rivercityrootsfestival.com.

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saturday People watch amoug the sweet abundance at the Missoula farmers markets and People’s Market, with produce, arts, crafts, baked goods, hot breakfasts and strong coffee at the XXXXs, Pine Street and riverside parking lot east of Caras Park. Things get running about 8 AM and last til 1 PM. Missoula Outdoor Cinema screens films at the Headstart School, corner of Worden and Phillips, starting at dusk every Saturday

through Sept. 5. This year’s selections include Breakfast Club, Dirty Dancing and To Kill a Mockingbird. Donations appreciated; popcorn available. Check out missoulaoutdoorcinema.org.

monday Sit by my side and let the world slip when Shakespeare in the Parks visits the UM Oval to perform The Taming of the Shrew. 6 PM. Free. Q


Explorer 2015  

Your guide to summer fun in western Montana