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Mountain High

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Sometimes, motherhood can sneak up on you.Such was the case on Comrade Calendar’s block this week, as a young neighborhood cat—a creature who’d been noticed to be getting a little thicker around the middle—suddenly gave birth to a litter of four.

Hopefully, this wasn’t the case with your mom, and the people around her had a bit more of a heads-up to offer love and support. If, however, you’re feeling like you’ve got some amends to make, fences to mend or mountains to return to molehill status, might I suggest that you focus this week upon including Mom in your outdoor adventures? Swell.

For starters, you could celebrate the roundness of moms and birth with a round or two of folf, just keep in mind that the Pattee Canyon Folf course is closed until further notice. By all means, drag your maternal unit up to the Blue Mountain course, or just get the game for your Wii.

For mothers more inclined toward food than sport, consider conveying her into the woods for a little early-season mushroom picking. Of course, most of the fruiting bodies we love so much have yet to poke forth, but there’s word on the wind of initial blooms on warmer, south-facing slopes. Keep in mind that it’s free to pick up to five gallons this season, but for any more than that, you’ll need a permit. Also, all non-commercial pickers are required to slice their ‘shrooms lengthwise, as momma don’t want no mushroom poachin’ ‘round here.

Of course, for many of us, Mom is really far away and won’t be joining us on this week’s jaunts. In that case, I suggest we all carry framed portraits of She-Who-Birthed-Us on whatever adventure we pursue this week, as a way of keeping her close.

Another group will rally around photos of a distant loved one this week, and that’s the Montana Sportsmen for Obama, who hold several hybrid events across the state. On Thu., May 8, a Missoula chapter invites voters to ride from the UM Oval to the polls for registration and early voting. On Fri., May 9, Kalispell supporters host a registration and triathlon event at 1 PM at the County Courthouse, complete with a sea-kayaking leg taking off from Foys Lake County Park. Finally, on Sun., May 11, Kalispell’s Four Mile Sports Park is the place to be at noon for free fly-fishing casting lessons from outfitter Craig Clevidence, along with a voting info session. Learn more at barackobama.com.

Of course, the Comrade would certainly give equal ink to the Climbers for Clinton or Mud-boggers for McCain, it’s just that they haven’t sent me anything to run with. Ah, well…

Mom’s Day weekend begins with an invitation to bring your bike—and your mom to the West Yellow-stone Spring Cycle Tour on Sat., May 10. The 64-mile course takes you through two states, over two passes and around three lakes before depositing you back in town for a slew of festivities, and the whole event supports
the Yellowstone Park Foundation. Visit cycle
yellowstone.com.

Keep it closer to home when you and Mom take off with the Missoulians on Bicycles (MOB) for the 65-mile Amble to Alberton Ride on Sat., May 10, the meet-up for which occurs at 9 AM at Adventure Cycling, 150 E. Pine St. Call 880-9040.

Maybe your mom’s a bird ogler like mine, in which case you’ve got a doubleshot coming down the pike: On Sat., May 10, check out International Migratory Bird Day at the National Bison Range, where birding tours, presentations and information on providing habitat fill out a day that begins at 8:30 AM. Call 644-2211.

The Audubon Society keeps your ornithology minded matriarch busy with a birding trip to the Smurfit-Stone ponds on Sun., May 11. For all the waterfowl and migrant peeping you can stand, meet at the UM Adams Center parking lot at 8 AM, or at the plant’s main gate at 8:30. Call 549-5632.

The dinged derailleurs of the MOB invite you and yours to break a sweat on the 16th Annual Lolo Lulu Ride on Sun., May 11. The 90-mile ride begins at 8 AM at the old 4-B’s restaurant on Reserve Street, and you’re requested to bring lunch for a party up on Lolo Pass. Call 721-3095.

Returning to the feline theme, I see you and your mother in Room L14 of UM’s Gallagher Business Building at 7:30 PM on Mon., May 12, where Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Rich DeSimone recounts his decade of work researching Montana’s mountain lion population. Hear about the radio collars, the DNA samples, the interviewed hunters, and the glory.

Of course, nothing says rebirth like a little wildfire, which is where Smokey the Bear comes in. Actually, Smokey the Bear comes in on a hot air balloon during Wildfire Awareness Day at Fort Missoula on Tue., May 13. The hoopla begins at 8 AM, with displays, fire engines and various other propaganda reminding us not to start fires, okay?

And here’s something to light a fire under you: If you’re reading this on the day it came out, you’re almost too late to order flowers. And don’t let me catch you picking them off Jumbo, pal…

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