|Ridge Hippies earn their turns|
|Ridge Hippies earn their turns|
by Julie Kipfer
|The 2013 Gold Rush t-shirt design.|
MSU Rec Center
Total: If you’ve done the most expensive things, this whole day still only cost $23. Bravo!
A sense of calm overtakes me as I pedal down the trail. Birds call to one another in the trees, a cool wind blows through my hair, and the scent of wildflowers fills the air. The stream trickling alongside the trail underscores the rhythm of my spinning wheels. It’s a beautiful summer day in Bozeman and I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend it.
|A trail sign marking the way|
This is what you get when take a ride on the Main Street to the Mountains trail system, 60-some miles of trails scattered across Bozeman proper. This massive network sprawls from the base of the Bridgers on the north side of town all the way to the foothills of the Gallatin Range to the south. And it’s all maintained by the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT), a local nonprofit dedicated to protecting and maintaining public-use land around Bozeman. These trails provide convenient transportation, recreation, and a connection to nature, which helps bind together the outdoor-oriented culture of southwest Montana. Besides establishing trails for public enjoyment, GVLT’s mission mirrors Bozemanites‘ passion for getting involved and supporting their community, as much of their success relies on the hard work of volunteers to continue its trails program.
|The Langohr climbing boulder|
Because they pass through neighborhoods and commercial districts, the Main Street to the Mountains trails comprise a scattered and intermittent system. In some places, sidewalks and short jaunts connect the gaps; look for the signs marking re-entry (see picture above). The trails are also broken up into named sections, which you’ve probably heard people talk about: Peets Hill, the Gallagator, Sourdough. The trails are used by all kinds of people in the community: runners, hikers, bikers, climbers, kids, young people, old folks, and of course the ubiquitous Bozeman dogs. No motorized vehicles allowed, so you’re guaranteed a relatively quiet and relaxing experience. Mostly flat, this trail system is suitable for everyone, and if it’s biking you’re after, any old bike will do—no fancy equipment needed.
Being new to Bozeman, I’d been told to pay extra attention to traffic and other hazards; but these trails allow me to travel all over town without having to worry too much about cars.
|I needed a rest, and so did my partner|
Although it’s pretty routine for Bozemanites, a day on the Main Street to the Mountains trail system is an “adventure” for me – I’m from Malaysia and had never done anything like this before. I was nervous and excited and all I carried with me was the new GVLT trail map. My starting point was the near the Museum of Rockies; it that took a while to figure out where the entry was, because the sign is different from the standard one. Luckily, a biker came out from the trail and I knew I was on the right track. I took the trail south, made a turn, biked north to the Bozeman Public Library, turned south again, and finished up at the MSU campus. (See the map below for the full route.)
Another interesting aspect of this trail system is how it traverses local neighborhoods, which made me feel like I was constantly crossing the divide between civilization and nature.
|One of the many pretty scenes|
The most striking aspect of my ride was the quietude—I felt so peaceful and relaxed. Most of the sounds come from nature: flowing creeks, chirping birds, buzzing insects, and leaves rustling in the breeze. Still, the occasional encounters with other trail users made me feel safe. When I needed a rest, I lounged on one of the many benches alongside the trails and enjoyed the sights and sounds of nature.
Biking the Main Street to the Mountains trail system is a great opportunity to explore Bozeman and remove yourself from the busy world. If you’re up for a relaxing, educational, and inspiring in-town adventure, grab your bike and hit the trail. You’ll be glad you did.
|My journey along the Main Street to the Mountains trails|
I highly recommend the above map for any trail user, and it’s available for only $2 at GVLT’s website and at local retailers. Check out the video below to get a full rundown on this map. For more information on trails around Bozeman, read these articles on the Outside Bozeman website.
For more photos, visit the Downtown Bozeman Facebook page.
|Campus on a warm summer day|
Four reasons to stay in school this summer
by Sarah Canfield
Most college students cringe when they hear the words “summer” and “school” in the same sentence. Summer break is, after all, a break—time to chill out and forget about the demanding load of schoolwork from the past year. But before you decide to sleep in and screw off for three months, allow me to explain how earning a few extra credits this summer may be a good idea after all—and how it’s not nearly as unpleasant a prospect as it seems right now.
|Nature: the original classroom|
1) MSU’s summer session offers unique and interesting courses, many of which integrate extensive field time into the curriculum. Geology, botany, and fish & wildlife management are just a few classes that offer academic credit and immersion in southwest Montana’s natural environment—which is one of the reasons you chose Montana State, right?
|Recovery is possible|
2) Spend a little too much time on the slopes this winter? Use summer classes to bolster your grade-point before fall semester rolls around. With a little dedication, in a scant six weeks you can restore that parent-approved GPA you enjoyed before your wayward attempt to minor in skiing.
Hosaeus Fitness Center
A study break does not always mean a break from learning. Be sure to check out the new Taylor Planetarium at the Museum of the Rockies. With state-of-the-art technology, the recently renovated Planetarium brings their celestial productions to a higher level. You can also visit rotating exhibits such as the current Rainforest Adventure (through May 5), or enjoy old favorites, like the Siebel Dinosaur Complex.
by Brian Varner
Most of us would only consider eating insects in two scenarios:lost in the woods and starving to death, or rip-roaring drunk and on a dare. But as our culture becomes increasingly aware of the damage caused by commercial food production, we’re constantly challenged to seek out sustenance that’s produced more responsibly and closer to home.
And if good taste, nutritional value, and ecological sustainability are among the primary considerations of your food selections, the source may be all around you.
At MSU’s 25th annual Bug Buffet last week, informative presentations accompanied by samples of locally produced honey demonstrated the crucial role and benefits of bees, while MSU Catering Services presented appetizers, entrees, and desserts offering varying degrees of indulgence to the adventurous eaters in attendance.
The Galleria Cocktail (pictured at left), featuring “land shrimp”—which have more protein, calcium, iron, zinc, thiamine, and riboflavin per serving than beef rib roast—was a particularly eye-catching option, and the well-received quesadillas, stir fry, fritters, and desserts made less conspicuous use of insect ingredients.
“I wouldn’t know what I was eating,” said one surprised diner. “It tastes really good.” This unexpected approval was the general consensus by all those in attendance.
For more information about edible insects, visit http://www.foodinsectsnewsletter.org.
Seniors: with a job fair tomorrow and several more coming up, it’s time to think about what to do after graduation. Sure, you can take the summer off and bum around, but then what? No more scrounging off Mom & Dad; time to make your own way in the world. Now, chances are you don’t want to leave Bozeman – and why would you? This place rocks. Here’s an article from the MSU Pocket Guide archives on the job market of southwest Montana, and where to start looking when your bank account runs dry.
There’s also no reason to assume you won’t make a decent living or climb the ladder here. The area’s multitude of small companies often provide a chance to get involved at the ground floor and assume more responsibilities faster. And even though the MSU study found that alumni who had bachelor’s or master’s degrees from MSU and were living out of state indeed made about $6,000 or $7,000 more than their in-state counterparts, the higher cost of living in many other states quickly cancels out the spread. And notably, doctorate recipients didn’t fare better out of state, even though that’s where most of them went. They reported making $8,000 a year less than their Montana counterparts.