Mountain High 

Waters are rising out there, and the Lochsa is hungry. It’s been nine months since last she tasted the Neoprene of boaters trying to punch Lochsa Falls or cheat the monster laterals in Terminator. If you’re out there boating on Saturday, or if you’re just looking for a shindig deep in the wilds of Idaho’s cedars, check out the 13th annual Lochsa River Rendezvous on May 8 at the Lochsa Lodge. Members of the river tribe will be on hand with tales of the Selway River’s vertigo-inducing scout of Ladle, or their latest swim in the Lochsa’s most dangerous hole, Killer Fang. Cabins are available at the Lodge, but they go fast. Most folks find a place to pitch a tent on the Lodge’s extensive compound. Beer is available at the bar, but veterans will tell you it pays to have your own stash. Music will be provided by the Broken Valley Road Show, featuring “homegrown pick’in and goose-bump’in vocals.” The Lodge is located 15 miles over Lolo Pass on Highway 12. For more information, contact the Lodge at (208) 942-3405. Rafting specials will also be available during the day from local Lochsa outfitters.

The other day on Highway 12, Mountain High ran into a gentleman riding the borders of the United States. With 9,000 miles behind his back tire, he’s on the homestretch to Maine with 4,000 miles to go. Granted he’s not racing against anybody, unlike the Flathead Cycling Club this weekend. The second annual Star Meadows Road Race is on for Saturday, May 8. The race covers between 30 and 70 miles, depending on the category, and is part of the Montana Bike Racing Association race series and the Women on Wheels race series. Race-day registration starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Round Meadows parking area, one mile up Star Meadows Road. Entry fee is $20, plus $5 for unlicensed riders. Race starts at 11 a.m. For more information, call Steve Muller at 752-9250.

The New Rocky Mountaineers are heading for Glacier’s 8,541-foot Mount Brown this Saturday. The climb begins at Lake McDonald Lodge and shoots up 5,300 feet in six miles. This is no adventure for the faint of thigh. Snowshoes will be necessary, as well as an ice axe, crampons and harness should you decide to brave the technical summit pitches. Those wishing for a walk up can stop at the lookout, where newlyweds typically honeymooned in the park’s early days. The view is simply orgasmic. For more information, call Rick Hanners at 892-8959.

We know that the powderhounds out there have been missing the ski news. Though you’re still knee-deep in the snow, bagging peaks like Lolo and St. Mary’s, the rest of the world has gone on with their lives, biking and boating. Well, here’s a bone: Moonlight Basin recently announced that they’re expanding, after only their first season. The resort is adding a new quad chair lift, allowing lift service to terrain previously available only to low-bagger hikers and big-money snow cat riders. At least 20 new trails will be added, expanding the footprint from 1,500 acres to 2,000 acres while adding only an extra 200 feet of vertical. The option of hoofing it up an additional 1,800 feet will now be available, though. Moonlight says it will do its best to minimize environmental impacts of the expansion.

It’s hard to know what to make of forest restoration these days. There are legitimate ways to do low-impact thinning in certain regions of the forest, but all too often you get the feeling that “restoration” is newspeak for “get the cut out.” A panel and field trip are scheduled this weekend to wade through the slash and talk about the opportunities for restoring forests and stimulating local economies. Join the panel on the second floor of the Union Club at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 7. Then head up the Rattlesnake’s Sawmill Gulch on Saturday to view a proposed fuel reduction project. That trip meets at the Raven Café at 9 a.m.

Attention sports fans: Our very own Missoula Osprey have extended their contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, which means the Osprey will be the Diamondback farm team until 2006. The two teams have been together since the Diamondbacks’ conception in 1996, a full two years before the team took to any Major League field. Since that signing, five Missoula team members have made it to the Majors. The Osprey will start belting balls into the river on June 25 in hopes of bettering their impressive 344–255 record.

If you build it, they will come, right? As the country dips into the second year of the bicentennial commemoration of the Lewis and Clark expedition, entrepreneurs in Montana continue to hold their breath. Will the tourists really take to the road, retracing the steps of those who came before, reading signs like “Grizzly Bears used to live here,” or “This is the site where Lewis made a scarf out of a marten”? Or will they simply go to Vegas? There’s a new website devoted to the journey of the Corps of Discovery. It’s at www.lewis-clark.org.

Tripping? Give us the details so we can spread the word: jmahan@missoulanews.com.

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