Mountain High

| August 10, 2006

Users of Mount Jumbo, take note: The sheep have been moved to the North Zone. The human keepers of the sheep at Missoula Parks and Rec want you to know this so you can better interact with the canine keepers of the sheep, large guard dogs that may not recognize your pup as just a harmless little pooch should it approach the sheep unleashed. So keep your dogs reined in on top of old Jumbo and thank the wooly little suckers living there for scarfing up the noxious weeds. Isn’t it nice to see some mutually beneficial grazing?

I know I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy. And I’m only going to get more so with this next notice. It seems that 20 of Missoula’s finest fishing guides—not necessarily the finest 20, so don’t get your flies ruffled if you got left out—plan to donate half of their proceeds from trips on Saturday, Aug. 19 (priced at $200 per person or $400 per day, the going rate for these guys’ and gals’ expertise) to the Poverello Center. Between the funds raised by filling 20 boats and selling 200 raffle tickets, organizers of the “Fish for a day, feed the hungry for a year” fundraiser plan to generate $6,000, enough to fund the 100,000 meals dispensed annually by the Poverello when the money is combined with the in-kind donations that Missoula businesses already generously provide. If you’ve got the money and time to schedule a seat in the boat, call 546-2041. If that seems like more than you can afford, come back next week for details about the barbecue picnic with music that should supply an even more accessible option for making a donation.

If guided fishing isn’t your thing, or even if it is but not until next weekend, you can get on the waters of the North Fork of the Flathead River with the Sierra Club when the tree-huggers love up the liquid during a weekend float from Friday, Aug. 11, through Sunday, Aug. 13. The North Fork, if your eye hasn’t yet wandered to the relevant stretch of map, runs along the western border of Glacier National Park. At this time of year, the Sierrans say, wilderness and its wildlife—including grizzlies and wolves—ought to abound. Drop an e-mail to mtkayakdoc@aol.com to register your interest.

Should you feel like getting out and walking, I have four choices. Head west to the Great Burn when members of the Great Burn Study Group hike the Mallard/Larkins Roadless Area in Idaho from Friday, Aug. 11, to Monday, Aug. 14. Call 240-9901 if that’s not too much study for you and you’re unafraid of encountering unauthorized motorized traffic like some other hikers in that area recently did—an incident you can read about in more detail in “Bad news bikers” on page seven of this week’s issue.

Heading in the opposite direction, for whatever reason pleases you, is possible when the Wilderness Institute takes a trip along the 16 miles of the Pintler Creek/Elk Park loop in the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness from Friday, Aug. 11, to Sunday, Aug. 13. Their mission, and yours should you choose to take advantage of their offer of free transportation and dinner, is to map infestations of noxious weeds and measure other impacts of human activity in the wildlands.

Join a longer, steeper and slightly less mission-driven hike by heading out with the Rocky Mountaineers, who plan to backpack the Bitterroot from Friday, Aug. 11, to Sunday, Aug. 13, on a 30-mile loop along Sheephead and Watchtower creeks, with some cross-country travel on the Divide to provide relief from the ups and downs. Should be scenic beyond belief. Call 546-0946 to climb on.

Finally, the New Rocky Mountaineers plan to hike and scramble up Boulder Peak in the southern Bitterroots on Saturday, Aug. 12. The six-mile one-way hike covers about 5,600 feet of elevation gain, accounting for the two peaks that must be traversed in order to reach Boulder Peak’s summit. Along the way, you’ll come across the Boulder Point Lookout, currently being restored and rumored to soon become a destination users will have to pay for the privilege of using, which seems a little funny considering that volunteers are supplying the labor that will make it possible to rent it out. But, hey, my job ain’t to pontificate; it’s merely to proliferate information. I hope you feel a little better informed for reading.

calendar@missoulanews.com

Add a comment