Mountain High 

Ain't no party like an uphill biking party, am I right? Perhaps, dear reader, perhaps. You'll just have to find out on Sun., Oct. 3, when Missoulians on Bicycles (MOBI) hosts the 34th annual Western Montana Hill Climb Championships, a bike race up Pattee Canyon Drive where you pedal it up for four miles, rising up 840 feet in elevation, starting at the corner of Takima and Pattee Canyon drives sometime after 9 AM. It's a race suited for both casual bikers and serious racers, of all ages and abilities, and includes race categories for experts as well as those using recumbent bikes and even tricycles. Once suited up in slick biking shorts, cyclists head off in one-minute intervals, racing against the clock. Best of all, this race is super cheap. It costs $3, or $1 if you're a MOBI member. Sign ups run from 5–6 PM on Sat., Oct. 2, at Big Sky Bikes, 1100 South Ave. W., or from 7:30–9 AM at the same place on Sunday. Also, just so you know, slower riders are encouraged to register on Saturday. Find more details at

Of course, that's just on Sunday, which means we've got more ground to cover before your spokes start spinning. On Thu., Sept. 30, be one with the wet stuff by signing up for the UM Outdoor Program's Whitewater Rescue 3 Technician Course, which meets Oct. 2–3, from 9 AM–5 PM, and is geared toward private boaters and river guides. It covers a range of watery topics including reading water and quick rescue techniques, and meets at the Blackfoot River and Alberton Gorge. Visit and call 243-5172 to RSVP.

Once Sat., Oct. 2, rolls around, do your part to help elk avoid something barbarous when you join others to remove barbed wire from wildlife habitat, starting with a carpool/caravan meet-up at the east side of Eastgate parking lot, on E. Broadway Street, at 8 AM. Free, with lunch and a T-shirt for participants. RSVP by calling Mike at 274-4425, and be sure to wear work clothes, leather gloves and safety glasses.

All those with XX chromosomes, check this out: Be a diva in your soles during the Run Wild Missoula-sponsored Missoula All Women's 5k, a race that starts at 9:30 AM on Sat., Oct. 2, at the campus of Community Medical Center, 2827 Fort Missoula Road. $30 on Oct. 2/$25 up until Oct. 1. Registration is available on race day from 8–9 AM at the starting line, or prior to race day at Runner's Edge and Oh, and wearing a diva costume is encouraged, but I wouldn't wear heels. Also, an array of other activities are planned to go down that day too, like a fashion show and family walk, so check the website for details.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER

Later on Sat., Oct. 2, press some cider, swap some harvested goods (venison sausage anyone?), play a game, and enjoy a potluck feast during the annual Moon-Randolph Homestead Fall Gathering, which begins at 2 PM at the homestead, 1515 Spurlock Road. $5 per person/$10 for families. Those interested in attending should try to bring apples in good condition to press, a potluck item with a family story/tradition behind it, as well as harvest goods to swap. Call 728-9269.

Or give a water wise organization your utmost appreciation on Sat., Oct. 2, during the Best River Fest, a birthday party for the Clark Fork Coalition that features music from The Mission Mountain Wood Band, Wartime Blues and The Lil' Smokies, as well as grub, beer and wine, starting at 2:30 PM at The Farm at McCauley Butte, 3254 Humble Road. $30/$100 for a VIP ticket. Visit for tickets and call 542-0539.

Children ages 5 and up tap into their inner Sherlock Holmes during the Montana Natural History Center's (MNHC) Saturday Kids' Activity: Fall Fun! where rugrats learn how to be nature investigators, and participate in solving nature-based mysteries, starting at 2 PM at the MNHC, 120 Hickory St. $3/$1 MNHC members. Call 327-0405.

On Tue., Oct. 5, spend the night witnessing poets Gary Snyder and Jim Harrison on the big screen as they discuss their writing, and passion for the environment, when Fact & Fiction and the Montana Wilderness Association presents a screening of The Practice of the Wild, which begins with wine/appetizers at 6 PM, followed by remarks by author Rick Bass and the film at 7 PM, all at the Roxy Theater, 718 S. Higgins Ave. Free. This also doubles as a release party for Snyder and Harrison's book The Etiquette of Freedom. Visit

Any and all cyclocross bicyclists can hit the dirt and haul their bike around some sweet obstacles during the Missoula Cyclocross Series, a weekly cyclocross race every Wednesday throughout the month that begins at Fort Missoula at 5:45 PM on Wed., Oct. 6. If you plan to race, show up at 5:30 PM so you can fill out all the necessary paperwork and pay the $6 fee to race. Also, you'll need a USA Cycling license, and one-day licenses can be bought on race day. E-mail Timothy at and visit

Slip out of the week by witnessing breathtaking footage of some mountain masters in action during the fifth annual Reel Rock Film Tour: Anniversary Tour, a mountaineering film fest that begins at 7 PM Thu., Oct. 7, at UM's Urey Lecture Hall. It includes movies like Origins: The Hulk—about two people attempting a free ascent to the Incredible Hulk Wall in the Sierra Mountain Range in California—as well as The Hardest Moves, which follows two dudes as they try to scale up some seriously difficult boulders. $10/$8 advance at UM's Outdoor Program and The Trail Head. Call 243-5172 and visit

Now, how about letting me try some of that sausage, eh?

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