Mountain High 

Missoula’s Bike/Ped Office is looking for a few good cyclists to fill two highly coveted job vacancies as Bicycling Ambassadors. The City hires these cyclists “to teach cyclists and motorists to better share city streets” by interacting with residents of all ages throughout the city and by being “highly visible on bicycles for the majority of the work duration.” Count on 35-hour work weeks from June 13 to September 16, riding your bike to work every day and wearing the uniform of an ambassador—which in this case definitely includes a helmet.

Excellent communicators are encouraged to apply for this $8.25/hr. job—just drop off your application by May 25. Contact Phil Smith at 258-4626 for more info.

Here it is, cyclists: the biggest two-wheeled tour in Western Montana. The 35th annual Tour of the Swan River Valley is a 260-, 200-, or 112-mile trip May 21–22 from Missoula up the Swan Valley with the two longer races taking two days to complete. If your glutes aren’t already in touring shape, perhaps you’ll want to volunteer, but always-ready types can log on to www.tosrvwest.org to get in the game.

The Native Forest Network (NFN) is hosting a monitoring trip to the Bitterroot National Forest’s Middle East Fork Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project May 21 for an all-day look at old-growth trees, bark beetles, birds and soil conditions within forests slated for harvest.

The Bitterroot N.F. wrote more than 500 pages of Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in a push to promote their “preferred alternative,” and NFN is concerned that logging more big trees in this already well-trimmed valley is a bad idea.

Visit some of these centuries-old trees before they’re used to supply the fiber for another massive E.I.S. by carpooling from Bernice’s Bakery at 8:30 a.m. or the Sula Community Clubhouse at 10:30 a.m. on May 21. Pre-registration is encouraged, so call 542-7343.

Grizzly bears are waking up, and few valleys have as many bruins as Many Glacier Valley in Glacier N.P. Join the Glacier Institute for a three-day bear-watching trip May 20–22 and bring binoculars, money for meals and $325 for the course (includes lodging). Contact the institute at 755-1211 or at www.glacierinstitute.org.

Or hit Flathead Lake May 25 in a sea kayak with the Glacier Institute and Silver Moon Kayak Company to learn basic skills on a four-mile trip exploring geological activity, the history of Wildhorse Island and the legends of the lake. Save $35 by bringing your own boat; otherwise it’s $145. Learn more at 755-1211 or at www.glacierinstitute.org.

The Trailhead is hosting its annual Canoe and Kayak Demo at Frenchtown Pond from 10 to 3 May 21, and they’ll have all their demo boats and free paddling instruction for all. Call 543-6966 for the lowdown.

Runners can hit the Pengelley Double Dip—a 4.6- or 12.5-mile charge up “The M” trail and beyond—on May 22. The race starts and finishes at the UM Oval, and the cost ranges from $15 to $30, although fees are waived if participants join the Missoula Youth Homes pledge drive. Log on to www.youthhomes.com for the scoop!

The Rocky Mountaineers are heading up Babcock Mountain May 22 in search of excellent wildflower meadows and a fine view. It’s a nine-mile roundtrip with 3,000 feet of elevation gain; call Fred Schwanemann at 542-7372 to go with.

Or join New Rocky Mountaineer Gerald Olbu on a “casual” trip up 10,157’ Trapper Peak, the highest in the Bitterroots. While the road to the trailhead is clear, hikers will likely appreciate skis or showshoes as they grind 3,800 feet up to the spectacular, still-snowy summit. Call Olbu at 549-4769 for more information.

Renowned hunter/writer Jim Posewitz will speak at the Hellgate Hunters and Anglers meeting at Missoula Fire Station #3 at 6:30 p.m. May 25. As the founder of Orion-The Hunter’s Institute, Posewitz has authored numerous books including Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting, and will speak about America’s unique conservation heritage and sign copies of his books. The meeting is open to all, so contact David Stalling at 721-4441 for more info.

Head to Caras Park between 10 and 2 May 21 for Trout Unlimited’s Third Annual Women’s Flyfishing Clinic. For $30, Montana’s “top fly fishing instructors” will offer beginning and intermediate classes on casting and insider info on hot holes, river lore and more. Call Kate Olney at 642-3135 to learn more.

UM’s Outdoor Program is heading into the River of No Return Wilderness Aug. 2–7 for a 6-day, 80-mile float on the Main Salmon River. This is “one of America’s premier whitewater rafting trips,” and $795 (plus tax) includes everything—gear, food, guides—you’ll need to return safely. The trip is run through Lewis & Clark Trail Adventures and space is limited, so learn more by calling 243-5172 or logging on to www.trailadventures.com/salmon.html.

Missoula Parks and Rec is teaching the wilderness and survival course “Fire and Shelter Building” on May 28 from 9 to 2 for folks ages 16 and up. You’ll learn how to build fires and construct shelters using only the natural environment and your noggin. Register by May 24 for this $30 course at www.missoulaparks.org or 721-PARK.

Send lists of fun things to do outside to photo@missoulanews.com.

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