The last time I was in a boat, I almost got my wife drowned. Nobody told us that the Smith River would reach peak volume the morning we set out in our canoe. Also, nobody told us not to bring enough blankets to cover a king-size bed, twice. Needless to say, I am not in a big rush to get back on the water, but I do enjoy watching people who are actually good at what they do. The 13th Annual Best in the West Freestyle Kayak Competition hosted by Zootown Surfers and sponsored by the good eggs at Big Sky Brewery hosts 15 to 20 of the best 'yakers around down at Brennan's Wave near Caras Park. Organizer Jason Shreder says the event is great for spectating and is a "laid-back kayak event that showcases the sport." Besides all the people-watching, partying and Downtown ToNight activities, the event also promotes river-enhancement projects and river awareness, with national advocacy groups such as American Whitewater and local groups such as Missoula's Max Wave on hand to talk to curious folks about the status of our rivers. But this is a competition, so what does the winner get for all that hard work, dipsy doodlin' and spin-monkeyin'? Why a big shiny belt buckle, just like the rodeo cowboys. Paddle up and ride.
The 13th Annual Best of the West Freestyle Kayak Competition takes place at Brennan's Wave near Caras Park in downtown Missoula on Thu., June 7, from 5–8 PM. Free.
THURSDAY JUNE 7
Quit your belly-achin' and take part in your community during the Transportation Planning Workshop at the Floriculture Bldg. on the Western Montana Fairgrounds. Discussions include sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and vehicular traffic. 5:45–8 PM. Call 258-4989.
FRIDAY JUNE 8
Literally give of yourself and donate blood at the American Red Cross. 2401 N. Reserve. 10–2 PM. 800 REDCROSS.
Make time for some face time to talk about the environment and whatever else is on your mind at Green Drinks in Bigfork. Swan River Inn, 360 Grand. 6–8 PM. Free.
SUNDAY JUNE 10
Jeannette Rankin was the only member of Congress to vote against both World Wars, so come celebrate her 132nd birthday at the Peace Park on Waterworks Hill with a potluck and trail/peace sign maintenance. 4-6 PM. Call 543-3955 for more info.
MONDAY JUNE 11
Occupy Missoula General Assembly meets at the Caras Park fish sculpture at 6 PM. Visit occupymissoula.org.
Changes are coming to the Highway 200 and First Street intersection, find out how and why at the Bonner Milltown Community Council monthly meeting at the Bonner School Library. 7 PM.
TUESDAY JUNE 12
Learn how to give and receive empathy with Patrick Marsolek during Compassionate Communication Non-Violent Communication Weekly Practice Group at the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center. 519 S. Higgins. Noon–1 PM. Free.
Knitting For Peace meets at Joseph's Coat. All knitters of all skill levels are welcome. 115 S. 3rd St. W. 1-3 PM. For information, call 543-3955.
YWCA Missoula, 1130 W. Broadway, hosts YWCA Support Groups for women every Tue. from 6:30–8 PM. An American Indian-led talking circle is also available, along with age-appropriate children's groups. Free. Call 543-6691.
THURSDAY JUNE 14
The Riverfront Neighborhood Council Meeting and Soup Social takes place from 4:30–6 PM at the Montana Natural History Center. Let's talk traffic and playground equipment. 120 Hickory.