100 Fun Things to do with Jessica in Montana

    1. Build a bicycle at Freecycle
    2. Volunteer at The Pavarolo Center
    3. Peddle around Missoula on the Thirst Gear touring bars
    4. Hike up Blue Mountain to the observatory
    5. Attend at wine and art painting party at Painting with a Twist
    6. Volunteer to help bottle Vodka at Montgomery Distillery
    7. Listening to local bands at Out To Lunch in Caras Park
    8. Do some indoor rock climbing at Freestone Climbing Center
    9. Dine and Dash at Iron Horse
    10. Throw pennies into the fountain at Southgate Mall
    11. Folf at Blue Mountain
    12. Soak in the natural springs at Jerry Johnson hot springs
    13. Turning in loose change at Missoula Federal Credit Union
    14. Play bar trivia at Pressbox
    15. Dig for Saphires in Philipsburg, MT
    16. Celebrate 4th of July at Fort Missoula
    17. Attend a city council meeting
    18. Win free concert tickets to Big Sky Brewery Summer Concert Series
    19. Eat out at Happy Hour at the Top Hat
    20. Hike the L trail on Mount Jumbo
    21. Build sand castles along the Clark Fork River
    22. Attend a Missoula Maulers Hockey Game
    23. Listen to Ghost Tales in Missoula Cemetary
    24. Run the Missoula Marathon
    25. Pan for gold in the Bitterroot River
    26. Follow the day of the dead parade downtown
    27. Float from East Missoula back to Kiwanis Park
    28. Take a cooking class at Good Food Store
    29. Rent stand up paddle boards
    30. Pig out at BaconFest at Missoula County Fairgrounds
    31. Ride the water slides at Splash Mountain
    32. Listen to Missoula Symphony in the Park
    33. Clark Fork Famers Market on Saturday Mornings
    34. Take out books at Missoula Public Library
    35. Star gazing on the top of south hills
    36. Snowboarding at Snowbowl
    37. Fly a kite in Bonner Park
    38. Play fetch at Jabobs Island dog park
    39. Make a snowman on the oval at University of Montana
    40. Visit Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium during feeding time
    41. Play poker at The Oxford
    42. Hike Mount Sentinel M Trail
    43. Snow shoeing in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area
    44. Explore the German Heritage with GermanFest in Caras Park
    45. Support the LGBT Community at LoveFest in Caras Park
    46. Go camping in Glacier National Park
    47. Try fly fishing in the Clark Fork River
    48. Have a picnic lunch at Caras Park
    49. Donate old clothes to Goodwill
    50. Tour the museum at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
    51. Try and bowl at perfect 300 at West Side Lanes
    52. Eat free food samples at Costco on Reserve
    53. Take a beginners yoga class at the Yoga Fitness Center
    54. Borrow some kids for a trip to the Childrens Muesum
    55. Folf at Pattee Canyon
    56. Turning in scrap metal at Pacific Steel
    57. Plant vegetables in a community garden
    58. Take a backcountry skiing safety class at REI
    59. Walk around the Missoula County Fair
    60. Play horse shoes at Franklin Park
    61. Collecting and pressing Fall Leaves
    62. Go to Stand Up Comedy at The Union Club
    63. Panhandle for spare change in front of Liquid Planet
    64. Sing Karaoke at West Side Lanes
    65. Play Chess against the Octopus at Liquid Planet
    66. Walk around enjoying local art on First Friday
    67. Watch Ice Carving during First Night downtown
    68. Drink green beer and celebrate St. Pattys Day
    69. Swim in Boulder Lake in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area
    70. Float the Blackfoot river from Lolo back to Missoula
    71. Tackle the competition at Maggot Fest
    72. Go thrift shopping at Goodwill
    73. Go cross country skiing at Lolo Peak
    74. Get free samples at Big Dipper
    75. Drink free wine during First Friday Art Walk
    76. Enter the haunted house at the fair grounds
    77. Bike along the Hiawatha Trail
    78. Attend a Missoula Osprey Baseball game
    79. Take a selfie with the mannequin at Desmond’s
    80. Drop into the bowl at Mobash skate park
    81. Paint some pottery at Zootown Arts Center
    82. Play skeeball at The Hub
    83. Play BINGO at the senior center
    84. Ride the Carousel in Caras Park
    85. Do a coffee tasting at Black Coffee Roasting, Co.
    86. Take a Selfie at Mile Marker 0 at the Idaho border
    87. Take a dance class at Downtown Dance Collective
    88. Crash at Wedding at Missoula Winery
    89. Go ice fishing on Flathead Lake
    90. Go geocaching around Missoula
    91. Play Bottle Cap Bingo at Thomas Meagher Bar
    92. Photograph wildlife on Blue Mountain
    93. Go kart racing at The Hub
    94. Drive through the Bison Range
    95. Volunteer to walk dogs at the Hamilton Humane Society
    96. Watching 4th of July fireworks from the top of Mount Sentinel
    97. Hike to Garnet Ghost Town
    98. Try ice skating at Glacier Ice Rink
    99. Try surfing at Brendan’s Wave in the Clark Fork River

Photo Credit: Evan Lovely

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We Secretly Own a Bike Shop

bike-hubI was walking down the street one day minding my own business, when I decided to go sit on a bench at the bus transit station downtown.  Ok no, that is a lie.  I was meeting a witty and handsome person in a neutral downtown location. So far, we were an interesting match:  we could not come up with a plan for the date we were planning whilst not necessarily calling it a date. It was one of those. After texting many options back and forth, we settled on the weird  solution of high noon at the bus transfer center, downtown. Like cowboys. Who probably are on a date. But with busses.

I got there first.  As I sat there,  I surveyed our choice of locale. It was a Sunday.  The busses weren’t running.  Yet, I wasn’t alone. My fellow non-bussing station dwellers included a woman reading a book, and a pair of men  smoking cigarettes and discussing, oh, lets say global politics, in loud grizzly voices.  (I actually couldn’t understand them due to distance and mumbling.)

Now, I enjoy using the bus system. If you like to be kind of bored as someone else shlepps you around so you can stare out the window and pretend you are in a limo, try out the bus sometime. But I digress.

As my date scrambled to arrive as close to on time as possible, I was pondering the literary meaning of our location. Were we trying to say to each other,

“Hey.  I may be interested,  but I am sooo not trying to impress you.”

Or maybe,

“This could go in any direction.  You know, like the busses?  Besides, this isn’t actually a date – duhhh.  Unless I decide I like you.  Then we will be, like , foh shoh, getting on the bus that says DATE. ”

Anyway as I was sitting there thinking about how weird single life is, I looked over to my right.  And that’s when I got to the point of this article!

I saw the bike fixing station!  It’s a bike stand that you can put your bike on, and there are tools dangling off, and anyone can just bring their bike down there and fix it right there in the middle of downtown! For free!  How convenient and community oriented!  I love that kind of stuff so much, and I ride my bike a lot, and don’t have tools. The Mountain Line is already very bike-friendly with bike mounts on the fronts of all their busses, and patient bus drivers who will help you place your bike on the mount if needed.  They also work closely with Missoula in Motion, an organization that promotes biking, and offers contests, reward systems, and a pocket sized bike map of Missoula.

When my date/not-date finally arrived on his bike (he got points there), I asked him if he had ever noticed it. He said he had, and he saw much fanfare about it, but , in a disparaging tone, said he did not care (and thus lost the points).   So I dropped the subject and we went and had our lunch.

Later, I looked up the bike thing online, here. You should read about it. It’s called the Bike Den, and it’s a genius idea. The word Den may sound kind of seedy, like maybe bad things happen there. But I am pretty sure it is more like a Den for happy, bicycling bears.  This covered area allows you to fix bikes despite the weather, and even lock your bike up if you need to go get a burrito or a latte halfway through. Convenient! Community!  Bear theme!

It would be dreamy if ever they put another one in Bonner or Kiwanis Park.  Then, friends or family members could lounge around playing frisbee while you grumble at bolts and wrenches.  Or, wait! I mean vice versa!  In a park setting, one could make a picnic day of fixing kid bikes and playing in the splash deck. I also think it would be nice to be in a less car-filled area to ride around and test your repairs.

But downtown is a perfect location as far as centrality, for aiding one’s possible bike mishaps whilst pedaling to work,  and for its relationship to the busses. Mountain Line deserves big respect for that , plus it plans to add more bike racks to other stops around town, soon.  Hence, I maintain optimism about our bus line, and the future of bike riding in our idyllic little town.  (Get it?  Maintain? You’re welcome. )

As for my date..we recently had another one which involved BBQ along the river, with a pet turtle….sooo..to be continued?

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How to Escape Missoula, on the Cheap

2 Best ways to get out of Missoula on the cheap, are Greyhound and Allegiant Airlines. Both can get you out of Missoula for under $100.

Having traveled across the country multiple times on Greyhound, it is not luxary, but it is cost effective. With 21 days advance notice, Greyhound tickets can be super cheap. The closer to your departure date you pick up ticket, the more you will pay. 14 days is good, 21 days is preferable. Its recommended to bring a book, ear plugs and pillow, especially as you get closer to the coast. Traveling through the heartlands is nice and relaxing.

The 2nd method is Allegiant Airlines, a boutique travel company, serving secondary markets, like Missoula Airport. They only travel to major destinations from minor destinations. So currently you can fly to Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The tickets start at $50 each way or less, and are truly a no frills airline. They have minimal snacks and beverages available during the flight, but they are all for sale, no complementary snacks or soda.

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Folf, or Disc Golf for those not from Missoula

This is just a place holder stub, need to do a full write up on Folfing in Missoula. There are a few courses and some great events all around Missoula and Montana.

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