Mountain High 

At last, someone I can talk to—I mean really talk to—about the weather.

Fear not, I won’t be launching into yet another dissection of our role in cooking the planet. I’m talking about rain and cold marching in from the sea while the Comrade and his intrepid squad of freewheelers stand on the brink of making a non-motorized attempt upon Yellowstone.

That’s right, on Wed., June 6—alas, too late for you, dear reader, to join us—we leave for a rambling journey of roughly 300 miles in order to attend the Buffalo Field Campaign 10-Year Reunion Party in the lovely borough of West Yellowstone at 4 PM on Sat., June 9.

And yet these creeping green blips cover my clickable map, each representing the possibility that I’ll have to surf the crest of a massive flash flood on my trusty Schwinn all the way back to the Columbia River.

Now, you may be of the opinion that if I want to enjoy the delights of late-spring/early-summer bike touring, I should move to Australia or something. The problem, for all you love-it-or-leave-it types, is that there aren’t any buffalo in Australia.

Those of you who will remain in the area for the coming week have plenty of other options to choose from, starting with a double shot of avian fever, which is different in every way from bird flu. On Sat., June 9, the Five Valleys Audubon Society wants all fowl oglers to meet them at 8 AM at the UM field house parking lot to begin the epic journey to the Browns and Tupper Lake areas, where lovers of all things feathered can enjoy song and water birds, raptors, and maybe even the massive sandhill crane. Call Larry at 549-5632 or Jim at 549-8052. 

Providing a different angle for amateur ornithologists, the Canoe Rack hosts the canoe/kayak compatible Ed-Venture “Redrocks Reservoir: Birds” at 8 AM on Sat., June 9. B.Y.O. boat, or rent one from them. Either way, call 251-0040.

The Rocky Mountaineers unleash a deluge of hiking possibilities this weekend. On Sat., June 9, depart on a two-day trek to Edith Lake in the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness, or settle for a single day with the Mountaineers during the group’s outing to the Swan Range’s Warrior Mountain. Call Julie at 543-6508 for the former, e-mail jhckal@yahoo.com for the latter.

Of course, whenever the Rocky Mountaineers make a move, so must the New Rocky Mountaineers. Case in point: on Sat., June 9, the group will head for Kakashe Mountain (8,575 feet) in the Missions for a 10-mile jaunt that requires snowshoes and an ice ax. Call Gerald at 549-4769.

At the same time, the Sierra Club asks that you walk and learn during their Carlton Ridge Research Natural Area hike on Sat., June 9. The strenuous journey involves bushwhacking and, one can assume, Maclay-bashing as well. Call John at 543-6696.

Optically speaking, the weeks around summer solstice are not the best for astronomy. Nevertheless, the Western Montana Astronomical Society will host an evening of stargazing, beginning at dark, at Council Groves State Park on Sat., June 9. Call 542-5533.

On Sun., June 10, Splash Montana shifts into “Hot Season Hours,” which means earlier opening, later closing, and the opportunity to swim laps and take lessons. Call 721-PARK.

Boats seem to be where it’s at this week, and with the rain threatening to continue, it might be advisable to begin collecting breeding pairs—of animals, not boats. Speaking of breeding pairs, the Canoe Rack offers a class on tandem canoeing at 6 PM on Tue., June 12, so if you’d like to embark with your sweetie and return to shore dry, call 251-0040.

Not to break up the boating listings, but those famed weed-hating Prairie Keepers are hosting a weed pull at John Toole Park at 6:30 PM on Tue., June 12. Call John at 542-2640, meet just north of the Waterwise Garden near the Kim Williams trail, and don’t forget your tool. 

Speaking of tools, perhaps you’re a kid who’s more into flying solo, if you take my meaning—in that case, check out 10,000 Waves’ Four-Day Youth Kayak Clinic, which begins Wed., June 13, and should hook you up with all the latest strokes and whatnot. Call 549-6670 to learn about their other programs as well.

To see the end result of the weed-eradication efforts of others, join Morgan Valliant at 7 PM on Thu., June 14, for a Weeds to Wildflowers Walk on the saddle trail on Mount Jumbo. The Lincoln Hills trailhead’s the place to meet, and should questions arise, answers await at 327-0405.

Lastly, and to tie up that hot potato of a theme, REI offers the free public clinic “How to Read the Weather: Severe Weather and Safety” at 7 PM at 2230 N. Reserve St. Call 829-0432.

And until I return, soggy and depleted, I wish you all the best the roads, woods and rivers have to offer.
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