InterBel WINTER 2022
2021 YEAR IN REVIEW
FOR THE OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS PG 1 FOR THE ART AFICIONADOS PG 3 FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY PG 4 FOR THE ROMANTICS PG 5
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FOR THE OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS Nestled amidst the alpine lakes and lush forests of northwest Montana, the Tobacco Valley is one of the nation’s most magnificent landscapes. But us locals know that the region has more to offer than just its unparalleled natural beauty. In the long winter months, there are countless events, attractions, and activities to enjoy within a few hours from our front door. Here are just a few of our favorites!
TAKE IN ALL OF THE BEAUTIFUL SIGHTS
the Tobacco Valley has to offer with a drive along the Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway. This 67-mile route is open yearround and follows the Kootenai River and Lake Koocanusa via State Highway No. 37, connecting Libby and Eureka.
SNOWSHOE, HIKE, OR FAT TIRE BIKE THE WHITEFISH TRAIL.
CRUISE THE BACKCOUNTRY
of northwest Montana with a Dog Sled Adventure near Whitefish. With nearly 130 Alaskan huskies, owner Jeff Ulsamer and crew can handle families or groups of any size.
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PACK UP YOUR GEAR
HERE IN THE TOBACCO VALLEY,
and hit the road for a winter ski trip! Great options within a day’s drive of the Tobacco Valley include Dog Creek Lodge (Olney), Turner Mountain Ski Area (Libby), Whitefish Mountain Resort (Whitefish), and Blacktail Mountain Ski Area (Lakeside).
we are lucky to have Glacier National Park just a short drive away! The park is packed with outdoor adventures like dog sledding, ice climbing, and snowshoeing, as well as numerous lodging and dining options.
RENT A SNOWMOBILE
from Northwest Montana Adventures and soak up the spectacular views near Olney. Half- and full-day options are available and suitable for anyone, from amateurs to experts.
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FOR THE ART AFICIONADOS Attend a performance or participate in a workshop at Sunburst Arts & Education, located right in Eureka.
Rock out to some live music at one of the Tobacco Valley’s many bars and venues. Enroll in a class at Creative Arts Eureka. With offerings like piano, ballet, art, and yoga, everyone can pick up a new skill (or practice an old one)!
LEARN MORE AT:
SUNBURSTARTS.ORG CREATIVEARTSEUREKA.ORG GLACIERMT.COM
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FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Plan a day trip to a regional museum, like the Stonehenge Air Museum, home of over two dozen vintage aircraft including the world’s only airworthy Mk 47 Seafire. Learn about the flora and fauna of northwest Montana at the Summit Nature Center, located on the lower level of the Summit House in Whitefish. Start a new family tradition and support a good cause by attending an annual fundraiser, like the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club Fun Run and Benefit on the first Saturday of February, or the Friends of the Shelter Winter Warmer Fundraiser on the fourth Saturday of February.
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FOR THE ROMANTICS Indulge in a delicious winter beverage at one of our many local breweries, cideries, or distilleries, including Koocanusa Brewery (Eureka), Stahl Peak Distillery (Eureka), Sacred Waters Brewery (Kalispell), Cabinet Mountain Brewing Co. (Libby), Big Mountain Ciderworks (Kalispell), or Glacier Distilling Company (Coram).
Enjoy a change of scenery with a date night in the woods! Build a winter fire and cozy up for a night in a mobile cabin at ROAM Beyond (with locations in Glacier and Whitefish) or a Yurt Rental at Northwest Montana Adventures in Olney.
Rest up in a cozy cabin and wake up to mountain views with a glamping trip at Tobacco River Ranch in Eureka!
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Rest, recharge, and treat yourself to a restorative massage at an area spa, like Relics Retreat (Eureka), Symes Hot Springs Hotel & Mineral Baths (Hot Springs), or The Firebrand Hotel (Whitefish).
Tired of eating out? Up your own culinary game with a cooking class at Trovare in Whitefish. Learn tasty food preparation techniques and enjoy a generous tasting of each dish.
WHETHER YOU’RE IN THE MOOD FOR AN OUTDOOR ADVENTURE, ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT, OR SOME FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN, THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE IN AND AROUND THE TOBACCO VALLEY THIS WINTER.
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HAPPY NEW YEAR! From all of us here at InterBel, we hope that you had a happy, healthy holiday season and that your 2022 is off to a fantastic start. Winter is known as a time to look ahead– to set goals and make resolutions for the upcoming year. I believe that it is equally important to look back and reflect on the progress made and lessons learned in the past year. For InterBel, 2021 was a year of unprecedented growth and investment, both in our technology and in our community. I am excited to share a few highlights with you.
Fiber Construction Some of the most exciting progress made this year has been in the expansion of our fiber network. In 2009, we began the process of equipping our entire incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) territory with Fiber to the Home. That construction is finally complete, putting InterBel on the verge of becoming a Gig-certified provider. Over the course of this project, we have been able to provide fiber access to more than 3,000 homes across northwestern Montana. That’s just one of the many fiber milestones we reached in 2021. We also broke our own records for new services, with more than 170 added to our network over the past year. We completed construction on our West Kootenai route, spanning 46.9 miles, and our southern route, adding another 34.5 miles. Additional in-town construction surpassed 25 miles. We also extended service to our neighbors to the North, providing transport fiber to the United States-Canada border crossing, and received long-form approval on census blocks through the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). Each of these accomplishments bring us one step closer to our goal of equipping the entire town of Eureka and surrounding rural areas with 100% fiber by the end of 2022!
Technology Improvements In addition to expanding our fiber network, our team worked hard to improve our technology and provide our members with the best possible experience. We completed battery change outs at 14 of our CSA sites, ensuring that we can continue delivering quality service without interruption. We implemented STIR/SHAKEN, a set of technical standards and protocols established by the FCC to eliminate annoying robocalls. We hope that this new system will provide our members with more confidence that the caller ID information they receive is accurate and allow us to provide helpful information about which calls to answer. We also rolled out our Unified Communications system to nine area businesses, giving them the ability to receive any phone call that is made to their office no matter where they are, all with one easy-to-use mobile app.
Community Investments As a cooperative, our job isn’t just about providing high-quality service at an affordable price. It’s about investing in the people and places that invest in us. I am proud to say that in 2021, our cooperative put thousands of dollars back into our community. We made donations in excess of $15,000 to local events and organizations, including the Rodeo, Riverwalk, Lions Spirit Pack, and Lincoln County Fair.
8 | INTERBEL WINTER 2022 Investing in our youth is a crucial way that InterBel continues to better the places that we call home. In 2021, we contributed more than $25,000 in funds for education, serving groups like the Eureka Robotics Club, 4H, Annual Scholarship Fund, Shakespeare in the Park. We also continued our work to provide broadband for students learning from home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to give back to our community, and we recognize that not all of our neighbors are so lucky. That is why we earmark $5,000 in our cooperative’s budget every single year to support community members in need. Looking back on all of these milestones, I am overwhelmed with pride for the work we’ve put in and gratitude for all of the people–including you–who have made it possible. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in 2022!
Jason Moothart General Manager, InterBel
2021 YEAR IN REVIEW
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NEW YEAR, NEW APP, NEW YOU It’s that time of year again! The presents have been opened, the Christmas lights have been packed away, and New Year’s resolutions have been made...and probably forgotten. The failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most people lose their resolve by mid-February. But what if we told you that the key to keeping your resolutions was right at your fingertips? Whether you want to exercise more, break a bad habit, or balance your budget, today, we are going to share five apps that will help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions (and FYI, we are not paid by or affiliated with these apps in any way). If you are more of a visual learner, watch our latest Tech Tip video to follow along with tech expert Riley. Let’s get started.
RESOLUTION: Get In Shape APP: FitOn One of the most common resolutions is to “get in shape.” If that’s on your list, then FitOn is the app for you. FitOn offers free workouts that you can do at home, at the gym, or outside. And with courses as short as five minutes, FitOn makes it easy to fit exercise into your busy schedule.
RESOLUTION: Save Money APP: Mint If you’ve decided that 2021 is the year that you’re finally going to start a real budget (no, saving the change in your couch cushions to buy
pizza does not count), Mint may be your new best friend. Just plug in some basic banking info, make a few decisions about how much you want to spend on what, and Mint will keep you in line.
RESOLUTION: Be More Productive APP: Todoist With so many Zoom meetings to attend, projects to finish, and errands to run, it’s almost impossible to keep track of everything. Enter: Todoist. Todoist allows you to easily organize and prioritize your tasks and projects so you’ll always know exactly what to work on next.
RESOLUTION: Break A Bad Habit APP: Strides If you’re ready to kick your caffeine habit or stop hitting snooze every morning, Strides will help you keep your eyes on the prize. Strides helps you break down your goals into doable chunks, and lets you easily track your progress. It’s like your own personal pocket cheerleader, sending encouraging notifications when you achieve your goals.
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RESOLUTION: Be More Mindful APP: Headspace Finally, even if you are aware of the benefits of meditation—like lowering stress, improving sleep, increasing focus—the idea of sitting alone with your thoughts can be pretty daunting. Headspace makes it easier by providing a full library of themed meditation courses, expert guidance from a former monk, and Sleep Sounds to ease you into a good night’s rest. We can’t promise that you’ll never slip up on your resolutions. But with a little help from these apps, you’ll be able to pick yourself up and try again. That’s it for this edition of Tech Tips! Check back soon for another tip to make your technology work for you.
INTERBEL TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE INC. 300 DEWEY AVENUE. EUREKA, MT 59917 OFFICE: (406) 889-3311 TECH: (406) 889-1500
LEARN MORE AT
VISITMT.COM EUREKA OFFICE
300 Dewey Ave, Eureka, MT 59917
OFFICE: (406) 889-3311 TECH SUPPORT: (406) 889-1500
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