Mountain High 

It's that time of year again folks, and the Bob needs your help. Not all 1.5 million acres of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, mind you, but key sections of it are definitely looking for some lovin' from your eager fingers. Here's the deal: The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation (BMWF) is kicking off its series of summer trail projects and is looking for a few good volunteers to hook the foundation up with some slick restoration skills. While it's too late to sign up for the BMWF's first few outings, you still have time to RSVP for this one: It's a "weed attack" project of sorts that runs June 21–25 up on the Rocky Mountain Front. You'll camp at the base of Black Reef and spend the bulk of your time pulling or spraying an infestation of spotted knapweed like a good restoration ninja. If that sounds intriguing, register by Mon., June 14, for this jaunt, and note you have to pay a $50 refundable deposit for this multi-day project. Click to bmwf.org/volunteer.php for details, and call Keagan at 387-3808 to register.

After you've gazed intently at the BMWF's website, slip into something waterproof at 9 AM Fri., June 11, so you can join the Montana River Guides as it hosts another installment of their Swiftwater Rescue Technician Course at its office in Alberton, 10 Sawmill Gulch Road. $295. Contact Mike at 777-4837 or e-mail rivers@montana.com to register. Visit montanariverguides.com.

Once you dry off, spend the evening staring at the sky Fri., June 11, as you take in stars, nebulae and other ethereal delights during another public observing night at the Blue Mountain Observatory, which begins at 10:30 PM. Free. Visit www.physics.umt.edu/bluemountain for directions and call 243-5179 for weather/cancellation updates.

This next one's got "awesome" written all over it: The Montana Chapter of the Sierra Club keeps your outdoors prescription during the Bear Creek Overlook Day Hike on Sat., June 12, at a TBA time and meeting place. Once you depart, you'll witness the beauty of the Bitterroot Mountains via a canyon overlook during this five-mile jaunt. The trip is limited to the first 15 people, so RSVP quickly and get the final word on a meet-up time by contacting Mary at mowens320@gmail.com or calling 493-1139.

Or give a mountain a piece of your mind and body as you join the Rocky Mountaineers during the Castle Crag trip and summit climb in the Bitterroots, an overnight excursion with Sean Bennett that runs Sat., June 12–Sun., June 13. Free. Bring overnight equipment and perhaps an ice axe for this outing, and call Shawn at 493-4892 to make plans on a departure time. Visit rockymountaineers.com.

Let your soles hit the ground in a fury during the Run Wild Missoula-sponsored Pengelly Double and Single Dip trail race, a 13.5-mile or 5.5-mile race that takes you up Mount Sentinel and begins with day-of registration at 7:30 AM Sat., June 12, at the East Field of UM's Riverbowl. $20 for the double-dip/$10 for the single-dip. Early registration is recommended, so visit runwildmissoula.org to sign-up.

Fly extra high without using your medical sage supply on Sat., June 12, when the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC) presents its Saturday Discovery Day—Butterflies of the Rattlesnake, a butterfly ID/history session with insect whiz Byron Weber that also includes tips on how to catch those winged buggers from 10 AM–1 PM at the MNHC, 120 Hickory St. Free, but advanced registration is required. Call 327-0405 to RSVP.

On Sun., June 13, push your pedals for a purpose when you join Missoulians on Bicycles for the Mission Meanderings, a 75 or 95-mile ride that begins with a carpool from Missoula at 8 AM. You'll then meet in Ravalli at 9 AM for the 95-mile ride, or at Moiese at 10 AM for the somewhat less strenuous but equally hardy 75-mile ride. Free. RSVP with Patty by dialing 745-4549. Visit missoulabike.org.

Get intimate with some weeds on Tue., June 15, when the Montana Chapter of the Native Plant Society presents its Dyers Woad Pull 3, the last weed pull of the season that helps raise money for the organization and begins at 6:30 PM at the Mount Sentinel Trailhead. Free. Visit mtnativeplanets.org/25.

Better yet, relax with a moving picture Tue., June 15, when you witness bicyclists pushing their spandex pants to the limit during a screening of Ride the Divide, which begins at 7:30 PM at the Wilma Theatre. $10. I don't want to spoil it for you, but here's a quick synopsis: The documentary follows cyclists who navigate an array of intense terrains along the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta to the New Mexico/Mexico border. They bike over 2700 miles, and, by the looks of the trailer, it's pretty darn hardcore. Visit ridethedividemovie.com.

On Wed., June 16, get thee to UM's Outdoor Program, in the Fitness and Rec Center, so you can sign up for an inflatable kayak trip that occurs on June 18, as well as an 8-mile hike on an alpine summit near Missoula during the Cha-paa-qn Day Hike on June 19. $37 for the kayak trip/$30 for the day hike. Visit umt.edu/outdoor and call 243-5172.

Later on Wed., June 16, let fire ecologist/botanist Peter Stickney and forest ecologist Paul Alaback fire you up with ecological facts during the Mount Sentinel Fire Ecology/Wildflower Hike 3, which begins at 6:30 PM on the south side of UM's Campus, on the corner of Beckwith and Madeline Avenues and east of the Forest Service Lab. Free. Call Paul at 531-7953.

Finish off on a fishy note Thu., June 17, at 4 PM when you meet with the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed Group for a tour of the fish ladder at the Rattlesnake Creek dam. Meet at the Rattlesnake Trailhead parking lot at 4, and prepare for a meeting to follow the ladder ogling. Free. Visit rattlesnakecreekwatershedgroup.org.

Shine on you crazy stewards, and keep on pulllin' like there's no tomorrow.

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