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Mountain High

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This weekend, dear reader, is all about you, some fresh air and a bike jaunt your legs won't forget. I'm talking about the Missoulians on Bicycles 41st annual Tour of the Swan River Valley (TOSRV), a two-day biking excursion that offers you the chance to cycle 110 or 85-miles each day through stunning scenery in the Swan and Potomac Valleys, depending on your preference.

The first option, known as the TOSRV West Classic, takes you near the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers, through Potomac and grassy ranchland, and then up through the Clearwater and Swan Valleys, where you'll pass snowy peaks, chains of glacial lakes and then call it a night at Swan Lake. The second option, called the TOSRV West Potomac, departs from Potomac and follows the same route thereafter. And, just so you know, organizers of the ride want you to be in shape to complete this outing. So lube up and ride on!

The 41st annual Tour of the Swan River Valley begins Sat., May 21, with a 7 AM departure for the 110-mile ride from UM's campus. Departure for the 85-mile ride begins at a TBA later time in Potomac. Check-in for the rides occurs Fri., May 20, from 6–9 PM and Sat., May 21, from 6–8 AM. $115, with Missoulians on Bicycles membership required and registration limited to the first 300 people. Visit missoulabike.org to register and for more info.

THURSDAY MAY 19

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about some peaks on the Montana-Idaho border when Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness hosts a presentation on the Scotchman Peaks, at 7 PM at the Missoula Public Library, 301 E. Main St. A screening of the film En Plein Air follows the meeting. Free. Visit scotchmanpeaks.org.

FRIDAY MAY 20

Do you part to honor Endangered Species Day with a tour of the Rattlesnake Creek Fish Ladder, which also features info on ongoing restoration and monitoring efforts, starting with a meet-up at 4:15 PM at the Rattlesnake Trailhead. Free. Visit rattlesnakewatershedgroup.org.

SATURDAY MAY 21

Get out of your deep freeze when the Five Valleys Audubon Society presents a two-day trip to look for spring birds at Freezeout Lake, on the Rocky Mountain Front near Choteau, starting with departure from a TBA location in Missoula at 7 AM. Free, but participants need to make their own hotel reservations and should bring their own food. Call Larry to RSVP at 549-5632.

The bird is the word during a Bird Walk at Butler Creek in the Ninemile, which begins at 8 AM at the Grand Menard Picnic Area, about 1 mile north of the Historic Ninemile Ranger Station, off of Edith Peak Road. Free. Visit ninemilewildlife.org/calendar.html.

Give your soles a challenge during the 25th annual Evaro Mountain Challenge, a race featuring 5K and 10K runs and walks, starting with registration at 8:30 AM, followed by the 10K walk at 9:30 and races at 10, all at mile 7 on Hwy. 93 N. in Evaro. Cost for registration varies from $22–$8. Get a registration form at runmt.com/2011 EvaroRaceEntry.pdf and Call Bob at 726-3695.

Snag yourself a nice new plant at the Montana Native Plant Society's annual plant sale, which runs from 8:30 AM–12 PM at the Missoula Farmer's Market, located at Circle Square on North Higgins Avenue. Free.

Missoula celebrates New Zealand Days at the Fort Missoula Rugby Park, 3051 South Ave. W., with a touch rugby clinic from 11 AM–1 PM for children aged 7–14, followed by a middle school rugby tournament from 2–4 PM, and finishing off with an awards and potluck dinner at 4. Cost TBA for the clinic/free for other events. Call 541-0860 or visit missoulacultural.org.

Walk on the wild side, of flowers that is, when Lone Pine State Park presents a series of spring wildflower walks every Sat. at 11 AM until June 18 starting with a meet-up at the Lone Pine Visitor Center, 300 Lone Pine Road outside of Kalispell. Free. Call 755-2706 Ext. 2.

Anklebiters ages 5 and up learn about the good smelling stuff when the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St., presents its Saturday Kids' Activity: Flower Power, a program on flowers that meets at 2 PM. $3/$1 members. Call 327-0405.

TUESDAY MAY 24

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 2 Citizen Advisory Committee meets at 6:30 PM at Missoula's FWP office, 3201 Spurgin Road. Free. Call 542-5500.

WEDNESDAY MAY 25

Get in the know about grassland restoration efforts when the Clark Fork Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society hosts a program on the topic starting with a carpool meet-up at 6 PM in the northwest end of the parking lot at the Providence Center, 902 N. Orange St. Free. Call Kelly at 258-5439.

THURSDAY MAY 26

Those interested in learning more about the management of the North Hills/Evaro elk herd are hereby invited to a meeting of the North Hills/Evaro Elk Working Group, which features comments by biologist Vickie Edwards and meets from 7–9 PM at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, 5705 Grant Creek Road. Free.

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