The Bhutan Ride for Climate Change will take three good Montanans on an insane bike ride through the Himalayan mountains in an effort to understand how climate change effects not just America (Did you know America is not the whole world?) but every aspect of the globe, including the majestic reaches of South Asia where I imagine a lot of foliage, birds squawking, and low-hanging mist. UM faculty member Nicky Phear, student Mara Menahan from UM's Climate Change Studies program, and documentary filmmaker Katy-Robin Garton will join 15 teenagers from Bhutan on the 300 kilometer ride, crossing three passes over 10,000 feet. Along the way they'll speak to farmers, foresters, monks, micro-hydro engineers and conservationists, all of them with weather on the mind. My favorite aspect of the trip is the traveler's 21st century approach to documenting what they find. The girls will collect photos, video, and images, and then share them in real time on facebook, blogs, and twitter. I document my life in all those places too, but now having learned of this project, my morning bike rides from the Upper Rattlesnake to work and the tweets they inspire about wayward drivers seem less laudable.
The Bhutan Ride for Climate Change sets out on July 2 and ends July 15 in Thimphu, where they will meet with political leaders to make recommendations based on their experience. To follow the action, check out bhutanrideforclimate.org. You can donate to their Kickstarter page at http://kck.st/kj6kMy.
THURSDAY JUNE 30
Not unlike the popular children's game Chutes & Ladders, Biking the Hiawatha Trail with City Life Community Center promises 15 miles of snakey terrain, beginning at scenic Lookout Pass, for ages 13–18 only, 7:30 AM to 5 PM. $35/$40 non-members. Register at citylifemt.com or call 532-1558.
Send your little one tiptoeing through tulips for the miniNaturalists at the Gardens program, which lets kids explore the natural world through hands-on activities and play, 10–11 AM at Fort Missoula Native Plant Gardens (under the big silver water tower). $3/$1 MNHC members. montananaturalist.org.
What better way to celebrate America than at a Senior Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Exhibition Opening at the Ravalli County Museum in Hamilton? Trick question, there is no better way. Exhibition opens at 4 PM, followed by the NSPRA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and barbecue beef dinner for $20, more cowboy stuff, and a Rodeo Street Dance. 205 Bedford St. Get tickets at brvhsmuseum.org. Call 363-3338.
The Fort Missoula Native Plant Garden is an outdoor classroom all about teaching kids and adults alike about native plants and wildlife, pollinators, water conservation, invasive weed ecology and oh so much more. Join them for the Mid Summer Garden Party & Open House, 5:30–7:30 PM. MontanaNaturalist.org. Free.
Join the good people of Beehive Collective for Mountaintop Removal: The True Cost of Coal, 7–9 PM at Zoo City Apparel for a high energy, graphic based picture-lecture that speaks to the complex picture of globalization, militarization, resource extraction, and what we can do to help. zoocityapparel.bigcartel.com. 139 E. Main St. A $5 donation would be rad.
SATURDAY JULY 2
Pedal like the wind during the Phillipsburg Speedweek, a two-day, 40k timed trial bike race that features a course with downhill and hill climbing action. Scoot to montanacycling.net for info.
MONDAY JULY 4
What is not happening at the Big Sky 4th of July Celebration? There will be a 5k run/walk, 5-and-10 mile mountain bike races, tennis, a barbecue, music, fireworks, kids stuff, and a million other things. Registration starts at 9 AM and events run all day. Visit bigskyresort.com.
Sweat hard for freedom's sake during the 4th of July Team Challenge in Eureka, a timed competition where individuals or teams of three bike 3 miles along an abandoned roadway, paddle 3 miles on Lake Koocanusa, and run 2 miles on a trail. Poke around for details at welcome2eureka.com.
Get an authentic American experience in The Southgate Mall parking lot for an evening of Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks. Festivities kick off at 9 PM with events like the singing of the National Anthem and Amazing Grace, followed by the fireworks at 10:30 PM. Bring your blankets and lawnchairs.
TUESDAY JULY 5
At Fly-Fishing Camp, kids ages 10–14 are introduced to knots, aquatic insects and the art of fly casting and fly tying, 9 AM–12 PM at Silver's Lagoon in McCormick Park. $90/$75 with resident discount. Visit missoulaparks.org or phone 721-PARK.
THURSDAY JULY 7
Your mission, if you choose to accept it: Rock Climbing and Rappelling with City Life community Center at The Heap at Lolo Pass. It's technical. You'll be harnessed and belayed, ages 13-18, $15 for members only, 7:30 AM–6 PM, Register at 1515 Fairview Ave. or citylifemt.com. Call 532-1558.
Put on your explorer cap during the Yellowstone Boat Float, an event that retraces the path of the Lewis & Clark Expedition from Livingston to Laurel, with two overnight stops in between. Load up your flotilla by calling 222-4414.