Mountain High 

Willie Wier is a man who knows how to get a lot of mileage out of two wheels. And by "a lot" I mean he's logged over 60,000 miles on his bike, crisscrossing the world in places like Venezuela and Thailand. When not traveling the globe, he calls Seattle his home, and he gets around The Emerald City solely by bike.

I'd imagine Wier's got some pretty intriguing stories up his sleeve, so start this week off by going to see what he's all about on Thu., Feb. 4, at 7 PM in UM's Urey Lecture Hall when he gives the talk "A Frugal Cyclist's Guide to the Universe." Free. Call 243-5172.

On Fri., Feb. 5, I'd plan on hightailing it down to the Wilma Theatre, 131 S. Higgins Ave., so you can catch the start of the Fly Fishing Film Tour, which begins at 7 PM. The event, the world's largest fly-fishing film tour of its kind, features footage from 25 waterways in nine different countries. Check out our "Spotlight" on the event in this week's calendar for more info, or click to $16/ $14 advance at the Grizzly Hackle, Missoulian Angler and King Fisher shops.

If the only fishy thing you like to do is ingest fish oil, or slap it on your skin for spiritual purposes, skip the film tour and swim over to UM's University Theatre at 7 PM, Fri., Feb. 5, for the program Our Extraordinary Place, a multimedia showcase presented by Five Valleys Land Trust. Due to space, I'll have to direct you to our "Agenda" section for more of the skinny. Call 549-0755 and visit

If your derriere starts to feel sore from sitting, avoid the potential for any nasty bedsores on your behind by getting active on Sat., Feb. 6, with members of the always dexterous Rocky Mountaineers during an overnight stay at their cabin in the Bitterroots, as well as a ski/snowshoe trip up to Little Saint Joe Summit. The plan is to meet at 7:30 AM on Saturday at the old Big Lots parking lot. You'll then head up to the cabin, drop off your overnight gear and slosh around in your skis/snowshoes if time allows. Call Shawn Bennett at 493-4892 or e-mail him at to RSVP. You can also e-mail Chris Dunn at, as he might be going up on Fri., Feb. 5.

Or you could get what I'd call a benevolent "shredsore" on Sat., Feb. 6, during The Backwoods Project's Ride Montana Festival, a freestyle ski and snowboarding terrain park competition, which starts at 11 AM at Marshall Mountain, 5250 Marshall Canyon Road. $10 insurance fee to ride/free to attend. The event includes heady music by Miller Creek at 4 PM, followed by more tunes from local DJs, hip-hop MCs and metal bands. The shredding—on skis and snowboards—starts again on Sun., Feb. 7, at 11 AM during an open ski and snowboard contest, with music by Voodoo Horseshoes and others throughout the day. Visit

  • Photo by Catherine L. Waters

Younger kids also get to shred, but in a totally mellow way, on Sun., Feb. 7, during the sixth annual Sons of Norway 2010 Barnelopet, a non-competitive cross-country ski event tailored for youngsters that starts with registration at 11:45 AM at the Lubrecht Experimental Forest, 38689 Hwy. 200 E. near Greenough. Free. The skiing kicks off at 1 PM and culminates with prizes and medals for every participant. Call Karen at 721-4947 or Leslie at 273-2815.

Then bug out with the Flathead Audubon Society on Mon., Feb. 8, when entomologist Joe Giersch presents the lecture "Glacier's Underwater Wildlife: Aquatic Insects in Glacier National Park," which starts at 7 PM in the Community Room of The Summit, 205 Sunnyview Lane in Kalispell. Free. Visit

Or kick it closer to Missoula by letting your avian appreciation spill out during the Five Valley's Audubon Society sponsored lecture "Montana's Birds, Wildlife and People in a Warming World," which starts at 7:30 PM in Room L14 of UM's Gallagher Business Building. Free. Amy Cilimburg, director of bird conservation for the Montana Audubon, leads the talk, which centers on how that great thing called "climate change" is affecting our birds and wildlife. Visit

On Tue., Feb. 9, let experts rub you down with tips on how to wax your board and sharpen your edges—I'm talking about snowboards and skis here, people—by signing up for the UM Outdoor Program's Ski and Snowboard Maintenance Class, which starts at 6 PM Wed., Feb. 10, at the Outdoor Program HQ, located in UM's Fitness and Rec Center. $5. RSVP by calling 243-5172

Later on Tue., Feb. 9, hop on your tricked out two-wheeler and scoot to Adventure Cycling, 150 E. Pine St., so you can attend the 7 PM February meeting of Missoulians on Bicycles. Free. Expect an agenda overflowing with deets on their upcoming spring rides. Visit

Get lusty for adventure on Wed., Feb. 10, with members of the Rocky Mountaineers during their monthly meeting, which starts at 7 PM at Pipestone Mountaineering, 129 W. Front St. Free. Mike Hoyt, a man who just can't resist snapping photos when he hikes, plans to give a multimedia presentation on his 2009 climbs in the Bitterroots.

If photos of the outdoors aren't your bag, you can hoot it up with fellow owl enthusiasts on Wed., Feb. 10, at 7 PM at the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St., during a lecture on flammulated owls. UM grad student Mat Seidensticker brings the knowledge to your dome with a talk on this particular owl's history, as well as its status in our valley. $4 suggested donation. Call 327-0405 and visit

Go on now, get frugal on your own set of wheels and make Willie proud.

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