Mountain High 

As your Comrade Calendar settles back into this plush office environment, it’s with more than a little nostalgia that I think back on my two weeks away. Of course you all know Utah’s an amazing place to flee to from Montana’s spring slush, but were you aware of the merits of northwest Nebraska? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

To keep the place from being over-run by Subarus and their attendant dog packs, I’ll not reveal too much info, but leave it at this: Wyo-Braska, as it’s warmly known by locals, is basically the place to be.

In slightly less outdoor-related news, to all the folks who regularly receive the Indy in the mail—but never paid for it—I reveal that we’ll no longer be mailing out free subscriptions of the paper after April 30. If you bought a long-distance subscription, don’t worry, as your supply will continue unabated. The rest of you can view each week’s full E-edition on our website, which is almost worth the coal you’ll burn viewing it.

Enough said, we’ve got lots of ground to cover. But before you learn about all the bike- and bird-related offerings this week, let me inform you that Camp Discovery Idaho, a nonprofit that gets young cancer survivors out into some Salmon River whitewater, has opened registration for their summer programs. The free trips take place in July and September, and you can get more info by calling (208) 303-0040, or by browsing campdiscoveryidaho.org.

We begin on Thu., April 9, when you’re compelled to scrape the de-icer muck off your trusty steed as REI-Missoula sponsors a bike maintenance clinic, featuring Free Cycles’ sprocket monkeys, from 3–7 PM. Be there or be squeaky all summer.

In addition, you’ve but three days to take advantage of Moonlight Basin’s offer of $10 lift tickets for all Montana ski area season pass holders. The deal ends when they close for the season, which happens on Sun., April 12, so get rolling.

If you’ve got lady parts, this weekend offers you one very special opportunity. The Montana Natural History Center sponsors a Women’s Naturalist Retreat with scientific illustrator Claire Emery, starting at 8:30 AM on Sat., April 11, at an undisclosed Blackfoot River Valley cabin. You’ll want to RSVP with a quickness, as this one’s certain to be popular. Call 327-0405, and be ready to lay down a little cash: $45/$40 members.

Instead of calmly observing nature, another option is to watch it whiz on by when you join the Missoulians on Bicycles (MOB) for the 55-mile Frank Winkler Memorial Ride to Ninemile on Sat., April 11, for which you’ll meet at 10 AM from the Reserve Street Perkins. Call John at 543-3230. 

That evening, your compass points northward, as the Flathead Audubon Society presents a barred owl peeping field trip at 7 PM on Sat., April 11, so meet up at the Silver Bullet Bar near Columbia Falls. Call Pete at 250-9624.

Get reverent with Mother Nature when you volunteer with the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed Group, which hosts a tree plant and weed pull from 9 AM–5 PM at the Bugbee Nature Area on Sun., April 12. If you can’t make this one, two others are coming down the pike, so keep your eyes peeled. Call Andrew at 531-2527.

It’s a return to the two-wheeled world when the MOB leads an Easter Tour of Town, which meets up at 10 AM on Sun., April 12, in the Eastgate parking lot. The 40-ish-mile ride will leave you feeling like being dead for roughly three days. Call Paul at 728-8722.

As the snow recedes back up the mountains and melts down into the rivers, we bid farewell to another ski season. The folks at Montana Snowbowl toss the bone of some free barbecue to down-hillers on their final day, Sun., April 12. So don’t say they never did nothin’ for ya.

Then, on Mon., April 13, it’s back to the birds, as the Five Valleys Audubon Society hosts Glacier National Park’s Jami Belt, who reveals the status of the park’s loon population at 7:30 PM in Room L14 of UM’s Gallagher Business Building. Free. Call 327-1525.

Get your 40 winks that night, as you’ll want to be up early for the Outdoor Gear Sale at noon on Tue., April 14, in the UM University Center. You drop off gear to sell from 7–11 AM, then engage in a shopper’s paradise from noon until 5 PM. Call 243-5172.

It’s never too soon to begin thinking about next fall’s hunting season, thus Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks kicks off a Hunter Education Class at 7 PM on Tue., April 14, at Hamilton’s Assembly of God Church. There will be other classes offered in other locations, so that’s your backup plan should this one fall through. Call 542-5500.

Lastly, we’ve got more birds to talk about, as the Flathead Audubon Society continues their Beauty of Birds course at 6 PM on Wed., April 15, at Flathead High School. Only two more sessions remain after this one, so don’t miss the chance to finally understand what all the flap’s about. Call 751-3500.

And from all of us here at the Mountain High family to you and yours, allow me to be the first to wish you a very happy tax return season.
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