There is a skiff of snow in the hills around Missoula, the Bitterroot and the Flathead, and the temperature has dropped below freezing in town, leaving us scrambling for that windshield scraper before driving to work. Not in the glove box, not in the trunk. Your driver's license or a tape case will have to do. With a Panzer tank-like slot scratched away and numb fingertips gripping the wheel, it's time to head to work. But, hey, we know the sun will reign during the days and runners will don tights and an array of hats; cyclists will look as ridiculous as ever in layers of spandex and lobster mitts. The trails in the hills will beckon to folks who take shelter during the winter and want to dally for a few more days in the fall colors before ingesting seasons 1–14 of "Dallas" on Netflix and putting on nine pounds. That said, for some that bit of snow and the bite of cold mean one thing: hunting season. Oct. 22 is the opener of General Rifle Season (youth hunts begin Oct. 20). That means a whole lot more activity in the woods for the next five weeks. So before any conflicts arise, let's all wear a little blaze orange, even if we aren't hunting, and let's be respectful of one another's space. There's plenty of room in them thar woods for all of us.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 20
10 Mountains 10 Years is a climbing documentary about Enzo Simone screening at the Wilma with proceeds going to help raise funds for Parkinson's disease resources. Pre-party at the Holiday Inn starts at 5 PM, documentary starts at 7 PM, followed by a Q&A with Simone and live music. $15/$12 students. Tickets available at GrizTix locations or at summitforparkinsons.org
Camp Skip Out is exactly what is says it is. Kalispell kids can fool around at the pool or go bowling and, most importantly, play corn bingo from 7:30–5:30 Thurs. and Fri. $25 per day/$20 with resident card. Call 758-7975.
You'll be climbing up a wall at Freestone Climbing Center's Ladies Night each Thursday. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 Student.
Oh, you don't know how to make a tiara out of the natural materials in the garden? No big D, head on over to the Woodland Fairy and Elf Costume Workshop underneath the big silver water tower at Fort Missoula. Bring the kids or don't. I know you. I know how you are. You want your own tiara. $5 for supplies. Please register at montananaturalist.org.
Like it or not winter is coming (like it), so you newbie bicycle commuters may want to go to REI's Basics of Cold Weather Commuting class and get the lowdown on staying comfy and smug as you pedal to and from work each day. 6:30–8 PM. Free.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 22
The Montana Natural History Center invites pros and amateurs alike to the Upper Gold Creek Fall Photography Workshop. Bring your own digital or old school camera. $35 members/$45 all others. Call 327-0405 to register.
In fact, Gary, our town's wonderful trails don't magically molt and remain darn spiffy year-round. Indeed, Gary, if you use them, you ought to do the socially responsible thing and help maintain them. Here is your chance: Friends of the M Trail and Run Wild Missoula will hold a volunteer M Trail maintenance day on Mount Sentinel. Volunteers are welcome to drop in for any amount of time. Crews will build a stair structure at switchback No. 6 on the trail and pull weeds in other areas. Lunch at noon. Volunteers who plan to attend during the lunch hour are asked to RSVP by calling (410) 353-1944.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 23
We can do it! This and every Sun. through October, come to Ladies' Night at Freecycles from 2–6 PM to learn to build and fix bikes plus hang out with other chicks, 732 S. First St. W.
MONDAY OCTOBER 24
Yes! Yes! Word! REI is holding a Basic Ski and Snowboard Maintenance workshop which will help you shred the gnar in the kindest fashion. Leave your boards at home for this one. 6:30 PM. Free.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 25
Backcountry newbies and vets alike can learn about avalanches and avalanche awareness when the West Central Montana Avalanche Center gives a spiel on sliding snow at REI. 6:30 PM. Free.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26
I bet you don't know what cyclocross is, right? Well come watch some skinny dudes and ladies pedal bikes with skinny tires over and around some obstacles, some mud and some other competitors out at Ft. Missoula. Better yet, participate. Start time, 5:45 PM. $6 per race. USA Cycling license required. montanacycling.org.