Mountain High 

In advance of a verbal plunge into the week’s record turnout of outdoor activity listings, I send props to mighty anglers Stephen Naethe, Mike Benson and Paul Lebert, the treble-hooked trio who at press time stand within two fish of one another at the head of this year’s Mack Days honor roll. May your rods cast true, your nets hold under the strain, your deft reeling muscles never falter.

And another shout goes out to Stephen Naethe’s record-holding smallest lake trout, measuring in at a petite195mm: You never got very big, but your newfound celebrity heartens small fries throughout the Big Sky.

With about 2,850 pounds of seed in their hopper, the parties responsible for the native plant health of Mount Sentinel send out this urgent plea: Do your part to renew our viewshed’s charred slope by volunteering to spread seed on Sat., Nov. 8, beginning at 8:30 AM. Sign up by calling 493-6634 or by emailing royboy1@

You can, of course, choose not to help and instead traipse off in search of new peaks to burn. With your footsteps, I mean. The Rocky Mountaineers leave for their attempt on nearby Cha-paa-qn Peak with an 8 AM meet-up in the Barnes and Noble parking lot on Sat., Nov. 8. Learn more when you contact trip leader Chris at

The kids have nothing but great options this weekend, and the first one begins at 9 AM on Sat., Nov. 8, as the Bitterroot’s Clearwater Farm fires up another art and science class. Offerings through the month include fish dissection and printing, as well as some tripping out with the elusive works of M.C. Escher. Call Sandy at 370-0808 to register and find out where to drop the sprouts.

Burn off that pre-holiday spare tire—if only to make room for more stuffing—as the annual Turkey Trot takes off at 11 AM from the Kim Williams trailhead on Sat., Nov. 8. You’re way past the early registration deadline, and your chance of getting a T-shirt is slim, but go ahead and call 243-2804 anyway.

If gobblers don’t float your boat, odds are good that barkers do. At 11 AM on Sat., Nov. 8, a consortium of pooch proponents holds Missoula Dog Style, a menagerie of mutt love at the Jacob’s Island Bark Park. Costume and fetching contests, food, leash law awareness and opportunities to adopt a dog of your very own await, and it’s all free. Call 531-8294.

Some say young buffalo look like little red dogs, which provides a great segue into this offering from the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St.: On Sat., Nov. 8, Forest Service geologist Jim Shelden scoops you up at noon for the peripatetic 5.5-hour brain-buster Floodwaters, Bison and Glacial Lake Missoula. Explore sites across the valley before consummating the day with some buffalo ogling outside Moiese. $25/$20 members. RSVP 327-0405.

While you’re out chasing floodwaters around, your kids can learn a thing or two about self-preservation with that same Montana Natural History Center when the Kid’s Activity Totally Turtles, sticks its neck out at 2 PM on Sat., Nov. 8. Actual living turtles will be in attendance, so let’s keep the soup recipes on the down low, kiddos. Call 327-0405.  

The powder may exist only in our imagination for the time being, but ski film maven Warren Miller aims to give you some dream fodder on Sat., Nov. 8, as screenings of the wide-ranging winter sport documentary Children of Winter take place at the Wilma Theatre at 4 and 7 PM. The early show runs $8/$6 in advance, while the later show requires $2 extra. Visit, for which it’s all a fundraiser.

For the latest in long-distance bike endurance research, one need only look to our venerable and nearby institute of higher learning, which in August 2007 sent researchers along with 10 cyclists who undertook a 21-day pedalfest with stops for muscle biopsies, huffing into machines and whatnot. The result, a film called Giro D’iscovery, screens at the Roxy Theater, 718 S. Higgins Ave., at 8 PM on Sat., Nov. 8. Some sort of fee remains a distinct possibility, so call Brent at 243-4117 for the specs.

Getting past that weekend fixation of mine, I’m compelled to reveal that the Audubon Society meeting at 7:30 PM in Room L14 of UM’s Gallagher Business Building on Mon., Nov. 10, features UM grad Robert Domenech’s report about the extremely high concentration of golden eagles and other raptors along the Rocky Mountain Front. Seriously. Call 327-1525.

Speaking of raptors, those dust-lovin’ Dirt Girls meet up at 5:45 PM on Tue., Nov. 11, at the Waterworks hill parking lot for a lively jaunt through our lovely North Hills. Join them, won’t you?

The Rocky Mountaineers are a bit light on trips these days, a situation you can help amend when you attend their monthly meeting at Pipestone Mountaineering, 129 W. Front St., at 6 PM on Wed., Nov. 12. And once you’ve filled their schedule with all manner of hikes, skijorings and the like, you can relax during Steve Lamar’s presentation regarding the origins of place names in our region at 7. 

And this week’s final group event squeaks under the limbo bar at the final possible moment as the Be Active Bitterroot folks invite you on a Lake Como Full Moon Hike, which leaves from the Lake Como parking area at 6 PM on Thu., Nov. 13. Call Janeen at 381-2951.

Now get out there and make your Comrade proud.
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