Mountain High 

Imagine a world where humans and bears coexist. Bear biologists and their fans are keeping that dream alive at the 4th annual Bear Fair this Saturday at the Hungry Bear Steakhouse in Swan Valley. Experts like Tim Manley, (what a name!) a grizzly bear management specialist, Amy Macleod, a wildlife biological research associate, plus many other bear experts will be on hand to answer all your bear related questions. They'll also give you a bear pepper spray demonstration. Like burglars, bears have been known to steal backpacks and purses on the trails, so this is very relevant. Free bratwurst will be served at noon, so long as you request your brat in advance at 754-3137, or email them at info@swanecosystemcenter.org. There will be games, activities for the kids, a bake sale and raffle with proceeds going to support Swan Valley Bear Resources. Do bears really eat steak? I guess hungry bears will eat anything, hence the pepper spray.

Hang out with bear biologists, eat free bratwurst and promote animal-bear coexistence at the family friendly Bear Fair this Sat., Aug. 6,11 AM–3 PM at the Hungry Bear Steak House, 6287 Hwy. 83 in Swan Valley.

click to enlarge CHAD HARDER

THURSDAY AUGUST 4

Join the Sierra Club on the Pintler Loop Trail 4-day Backpack, beginning on Thu. through Sun., Aug. 7 for a brisk, 24 milke backpack expedition in the little-used Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. Check out high mountain circques and hanging valleys with dozens of lakes. You'll hit elevations up to 8,600 feet, so pack light. Contact hike leader John Wolverton at yodelingdog@hotmail.com. Free and open to the public.

Spelunking means technical caving, and technical caving means what now? Experienced teenage cavers can have at it with the City Life Community Center, 7:30 AM to 6 PM. Be advised, only participants who've attended one of their rock climbing camps and prove technical competence are eligible. Ages 13–18 only. $35/$25 for non-members. Visit citylifemt.com or call 532-1558.

Don't even bother trying to control yourself, because Wild Theater Thursdays are back at the Roxy Theater, which features a different awardwinning wildlife film every Thu. at 10:30 AM, now through Aug. 18. Tickets are $3. See wildlifefilms.org/showing.html.

FRIDAY AUGUST 5

Aim your sights on the perfect rifle for hunting season during the annual Missoula Gun and Antique Show, at UM's Adams Center which is dubbed as the best gun and antique show in the state and features 800 tables with a number of firearms and other items to scope out. Lock and load for details by calling 549-4817.

Learn how the west was won by ladies at the presentation, How Women Influenced the Wild West, 8 PM at Beavertail Hill State Park, off Exit 130 on Interstate 90. Call 273-4253.

SATURDAY AUGUST 6

Who's in the mood for an afternoon of historical make-believe? Discover Travelers Rest is about bringing the history of Travelers' Rest to life through demonstrations to see how early Native Americans lived off the land in the Bitterroot Valley, all afternoon at Travlers Rest State Park, 6717 Hwy 12 W. in Lolo. $5 per vehicle. Visit travelersrest.org.

Hurl yourself to personal victory during the Helena Ultra Runner's League's HURL Elkhorn Endurance Runs, which occur in the Elkhorn Mountains near Montana City, and include 50-mile and 50 km distances on trails and dirt roads that feature demanding terrain and spiffy views. Sprint for details at vigilanterunning.org.

Get hooked during the Great Montana Mac Attack on Flathead Lake, a two-day competition where contestants try to catch the largest lake trout and whitefish. Get some bait and call 261-6445 for details.

Run, walk, and roll for the Bitterroot Breastfeeding Coalition during the Bitterroot Baby Run & Stroller Stampede, a 5K walk/run and 1-mile fun walk for kids, beginning 9 AM at South Valley Child and Family Center, 515 Madison St. in Hamilton. Visit bitterrootbreastfeedingcoalition.org.

Join Nez Perce veterans and tribal elders at the 134th Commemoration in honor all who have fought and died on Big Hole National Battlefield through pipe and empty saddle ceremonies, 9 AM–5 PM, 16425 Hwy 43 W. in Wisdom. Call 689-3155. Free.

THURSDAY AUGUST 11

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. Visit MontanaNaturalist.org.

Don't even bother trying to control yourself, because Wild Theater Thursdays are back at the Roxy Theater, which features a different award winning wildlife film every Thu. at 10:30 AM, now through Aug. 18. Tickets ar $3. See wildlifefilms.org/showing.html.

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