Mountain High 

Heading into flood stage on the Clark Fork and elsewhere, it's easy to just assume that you know how to swim or properly inspect your boat. But as a trained journalist I warn you: assumptions lead to lawsuits, and possibly death. Mostly the latter in this case, but the U.S. Coast Guard is doing you a favor this time, buddy. In response to 17 water-safety fatalities in the past five years, the reestablished USCG Auxiliary Missoula Detachment (a mouthful, I know) is hitting boating's opening day with a vengeance. And by "vengeance" I mean "education." Knowing your boat is safe and legal before you hit the water will bring Poseidon's praise, and people won't get hurt by your recklessness. Moreover, you won't be hurting yourself, as the Coasties will also be promoting life jackets all day. So promoting, in fact, that you might see people around town wearing them as part of their awareness initiative. It's hip to be surrounded by an inflatable square, after all.

Head to Gull Boats and RV at 2601 W. Broadway Saturday, May 19, from 10 AM to 4 PM with your boat or an open mind to learn about state and U.S. Coast Guard regulations for watercraft. They'll be giving free inspections and decals to those that pass. They're also encouraging everyone in Missoula to wear their life jacket around town all day Saturday. Call Chris at 549-3090 for more information.

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THURSDAY MAY 17

Drop the controller and check out this month's theme at the Montana Natural History Center's miniNaturalists Pre-K Program. This month's theme is Osprey. Pliny the Elder would approve. 120 Hickory St. 10–11 AM. $3/$1 for members. montananaturalist.org.

FRIDAY MAY 18

Active outdoor lovers are invited to the Mountain Sports Club's (formerly the Flathead Valley Over the Hill Gang) weekly meeting to talk about past glories and upcoming activities. Swan River Inn. 6–8 PM. Free.

Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. 7–8:30 PM. $40.

SATURDAY MAY 19

Ladies (only), get a load of Lake Como during the Lake Como Loop Day Hike with the Sierra Club. 7.5-mile loop. Lunch at the falls. Perfect. Sign-up by contacting Janet at janetfiero77@gmail.com.

Spend the night with some real dodos and check out the birds at Freezeout Lake the next morning during the Five Valleys Audubon Overnight Trip to Choteau. Meet at the E. Broadway Park and Ride at 7 AM. Please make your own accommodations. $10. Call Joe for more info. at 542-5014.

Stretch out your lungs before the big run at Evaro Mountain Challenge 5K and 10K Runs and Walks. Meet at mile 7 on Highway 93 North. Registration starts at 8:30 AM. Fees vary. Call 726-3695 for more info.

You love birds but you don't know how? Join the Five Valleys Audobon Society for a beginning birding field trip in the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. Meet at the headquarters at 10 AM for the two hour trip. Call 549-5632 for more.

SUNDAY MAY 20

Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. Noon–1:30 PM. $40.

Bikes and beer, boo-ya. Adventure Cycling hosts a Pint Night to support the Bicycle Route System in Montana. $1 from each pint goes to the local nonprofit after 5 PM. Flathead Brewing Company of Missoula, 424 N. Higgins.

MONDAY MAY 21

Registration now open for Apprentice-Level Beekeeping Certification through the University of Montana. The nine classes take place Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from May 21 through June 11 at Fort Missoula Research Complex and Apiary. Visit umt.edu/bee for more.

At Slacker Mondays, from 6 PM until close, slackline fans can come to Freestone Climbing Center at 935 Toole Ave. to test their balance. $13/$10 for students. Visit freestoneclimbing.com.

WEDNESDAY MAY 23

Get a look at your backyard with the Sierra Club at their Stuart Peak Trail to Wallman Trail Loop Hike (8 miles) up in the Rattlesnake. Email Mary at mowens320@gmail.com to sign-up.

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