Mountain High 

Admit it! You let the dogs out, and you'll do it again and again and again. Judging from Missoula's penchant for pets, particularly the canine variety, you all are probably aware of how wonderful the Humane Society of Western Montana is. So if you'd like to help them out and show the world that you have the qualifications to be Captain Missoula, register for the Canine Classic at Paws Up. Race distances include a two-mile fun walk, a five-mile run and a half-marathon. The sweet part is that you get to bring your pooch along as you wind your way through the private forest reserve. After you and the old hound dog are done racing or walking, grab some barbecue lunch and take in the awards and live music. All proceeds from this event go to the HSWM and last year they culled $20,000. You've got to take Sparky for a walk no matter what, might as well make it for a worthwhile cause. Not to mention I will personally qualify you to become Captain Missoula by participating in an outdoor-related nonprofit fundraiser with your dog.

The Canine Classic at Paws Up is Sun., Sept. 23, at 10 AM. Registration is $50/$20 for kids 5-12. Anyone who collects $125 in pledges races for free. Visit myhswm.org for more info.

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THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 20

The miniNaturalists Pre-K Program is aces for outdoorsy learning and such for yonder childrens. The Montana Natural History Center. 10–11 AM. $3/$1 for members. Visit montananaturalist.org.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 21

Be all kinds of powerful at the Fall Mack Days on Flathead Lake, where anglers help quell the overpopulation of lake trout by catching as many of them monsters as they can each Fri.-Sun. through Nov. 11. Did I mention the $125,000 in cash and prizes? Learn more at mackdays.com.

Skip that Big Mac this lunch hour, Chunky A, and take part in Run@Work Day. This event encourages folks to make time to get 30 minutes of exercise during the workday. Noon. For a list of start points throughout Missoula and Hamilton visit runwildmissoula.org.

Active outdoor lovers are invited to the Mountain Sports Club's weekly meeting to talk about past glories and upcoming activities at Bigfork's 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, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole Ave. 7–8:30 PM. $40.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 22

The mandatory wolf trapping certification class for all those considering the trapping of wolves this season takes place at the Lubrecht Experimental Forest from 9 AM to 4 PM. Lunch available. To register visit fwp.mt.gov.

Do the hustle! The Homecoming Hustle 5K, that is. This race is just what you need before you set yourself in Washington-Grizzly stadium for an afternoon of yell-talking and Twinkie tossing, not to mention it benefits the track and field program. There is also a relay and a walking option. Check in at Runner's Edge, 325 N. Higgins Ave., at 8:30 AM, race at 9:55 AM. $25. Visit grizalum.com.

Call the Funk-a-saurus, it's time for the Montana Natural History Center's Saturday kids' activity: Funky Fossils, with Kallie Moore, collections manager at UM's Center for Paleontology. 120 Hickory St. 2-3 PM. $3/$1 members.

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 23

The 4th Annual Canine Classic is a dog and human show of speed and endurance as pet owners (we assume) hike or run two-, five- or 13-mile courses through the manicured hills surrounding Paws Up Resort. The whole shebang raises money for the Humane Society of Western Montana. To register visit firstgiving.com/HSWM.

A mandatory wolf trapping certification class for all those considering the trapping of wolves this season takes place at the Lolo Community Center, 12345 Hwy. 93. To register visit fwp.mt.gov.

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.

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 24

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

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 26

Bike maven Grant Peterson shares his "bicycle-o-pedic" knowledge when he reads from his book, Just Ride, at Adventure Cycling, 150 E. Pine St. 7 PM. Free.

Learn how top predators affect plant distribution at the Montana Natural History Center's Evening Lecture, The Food Web of the Blackfoot Valley, with Dr. John Maron. 7 PM. $4 suggested donation/members free.

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