Pimpin’ the Pocket Guide 2013 Contest!

Looking to score some sweet prizes, or maybe you just need something to do over the weekend? Grab an MSU Pocket Guide and take a swing at our 2013 Pimpin’ the Pocket Guide contest. Just take a picture of yourself, in some place cool or doing something awesome, while showing off the Guide.

Enjoying the Guide on the Madison River this summer
Photos can be emailed to [email protected]. We’ll upload them to our Facebook page and award weekly prizes for the best photos – expect outdoor gear, gift certificates to area businesses, and other random swag. At the end of the semester, one lucky entrant will score the grand prize: a brand-new Fuze backpack from Mystery Ranch.

Just make sure you get your outdoor adventures in before we’re all snowed in – but then again, there are plenty of adventures to be had after the snow falls.

Check out these submissions to the contest. At the head of the herd is our first week’s winner, Meghan O’Neal, who got creative with a metal bull. 

Everyone likes guide-fed beef
Take the Pocket Guide on an adventure!

Or you don’t even have to leave the house, just as long as the photos are cool!

Won’t you join this lonely Pocket Guide?
Now, all the rest of you: grab a guide, get out there, and start snapping photos!

Avoiding the “Freshman 15″

by Steve Conant

Don’t let it happen to you 

You are now transitioning to an important part of your life, when your adult lifestyle begins to develop. In college, you’ll have to study more than in high school, which means increased time sitting. Even though many college students are less physically active, the common tendency is for students to eat too much: snacking, larger portions, and seconds. It’s very likely that your liquid diet will increase as well. So here’s the equation (you don’t even have to write it down): calories consumed and calories burned equals weight management. Here are a few suggestions to be active and watch what you eat.

MSU’s Marga Hosaeus
 Fitness Center
The best way to stay on an exercise program is to realize that it’s attainable. When you can fit in 15 minutes of walking for a study break, do it! You’ll re-energize and burn more calories than you would have sitting. MSU also built a great gym for you and guess what, your membership is included in your tuition. So use it and enjoy it! If you’re not currently an exerciser, try to find a friend to exercise with and set a schedule; it’ll help you to honor your exercise time.

Needless to say, Bozeman is great town in which to be active. We have beautiful surroundings and a great in-town trail system. The Linear Trail is only five blocks from campus and it links up with enough other trails to train for a marathon. So if you have an hour break, head out for a walk or run.
There’s no lack of hiking and biking trails around Bozeman

As for diet, only take one portion at the food service. Trying to include fruits and vegetables as part of that portion. Remember that drinks have calories; those double-white-chocolate machiatos and energy drinksare not the same as drinking water. And while snacking happens in college, try to choose healthy snacks. It’s pretty easy to get into the habit of eating some very bad foods on a daily basis. It’s equally easy to get into the habit of eating fruits, nuts, or trail mix instead.

Steve Conant has a master’s degree in exercise physiology from MSU. 

Yellowstone Park – World Class and Next Door

by Phil Knight

One of the best things about Bozeman is its location close to Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park and still one of the most amazing places on the planet. People come from all over the world to experience Yellowstone, but you can jump in your car and be at the north or west entrance in an hour and a half.
Yellowstone sprawls across a high plateau in the heart of the Rockies. Within the two-million-acre park is a vast and diverse landscape which will take some time to absorb. Plan to make repeated trips there and see it in its many moods and seasons. Spectacular rivers and falls, wide open valleys, geyser and hot springs, endless forests, plateaus, cliffs, canyons, and peaks combine in sublime and timeless scenery.
Geothermal Features
Geothermal activity in Yellowstone
Seething, bubbling, steaming, stewing… Yellowstone is unique on Earth for its diversity, and sheer number, of geothermal features. Also known as geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles, they are fueled by the immense Yellowstone Volcanic Caldera. Over 10,000 distinct thermal features turn Yellowstone into a wonderland like no other.
With over 300 waterfalls 15 feet or higher, Yellowstone is truly the land of falling water. The most well-known falls are of course the Upper (109 feet) and Lower (308 feet) Falls of the Yellowstone River, in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. You can stop at the popular viewpoints, or head out on the rim trails for quieter, more intimate views of this incredible canyon. Nearly every creek and river in the Park has falls and rapids on it. All this running water also means great swimming opportunities. For warm and hot water swimming, check out the Boiling River or the Firehole Canyon.
Grizzly bear scratching its back
All native mammal species still roam here, including gray wolves, reintroduced in 1995. Before mid-November you still have a chance of seeing grizzly and black bears. Bison number about 3,000 and are concentrated around Hayden and Lamar valleys. Elk gather in and around Mammoth Hot Springs during the fall breeding season, with males bugling, battling with other males, herding their harems, and chasing the occasional touron. You may also spot moose, bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, eagles, badgers, hawks, osprey, and any number of other wild animals. Best of all is when you get to watch different species interacting. Just be sure to give all the wildlife plenty of room, and don’t offer them any food.
With a dozen campgrounds, Yellowstone has lots of campsites, but they fill up fast in peak season. Some sites can be reserved through Xanterra, the concessionaire who runs the campgrounds. During the off-season—starting in late September—some campgrounds are still open and there are far fewer people. Catch some good fall or spring weather and you can have the place nearly to yourself.
Backcountry Hiking
Nearly a thousand miles of trails lace Yellowstone’s backcountry. From two-mile strolls to 100-mile expeditions, Yellowstone offers unparalleled wilderness hiking. Be sure to keep the bear spray handy, and make some noise on the trail—ALL of Yellowstone is bear country. If you’re going overnight, you’ll need a backcountry permit, available free at any ranger station.
Fly fishing in Yellowstone
If you like catch-and-release fly fishing, the Yellowstone, Firehole, Madison, Lewis, Gardner, Gibbon, and Lamar are the place to go in the Park, which is open to fishing but closed to hunting. Other more obscure creeks may provide more solitude and challenge. A Park-specific fishing permit and barbless hooks are required.
If you want to see the Park at its most wild and desolate, take the winter drive through the north entrance and out to Lamar Valley. This is the only road in the Park kept open to wheeled vehicles in winter. Wolves are easier to spot in the snow and more active in the winter. Bring the skis or snowshoes for a good taste of the frozen season. You can visit the Park interior by snowcoach (multi-passenger tracked rigs), snowmobile, or cross-country ski. Mammoth Hotel is open in winter, as is Old Faithful Snow Lodge (both run by Xanterra). Or stay outside the northeast entrance for an easy trip into the Lamar—try Pine Edge Cabins in Silvergate or one of the motels in Cooke City.
For an in-depth Yellowstone experience with a seasoned instructor, check out Yellowstone Safari Company  or sign on to one of the many classes offered by Yellowstone Forever.

Battle the Homesick Blues

by Meghan O’Neal

You’ve moved into the dorms, said goodbye to your parents, and survived your first week of classes. After the whirlwind rush of the beginning of your new chapter in life, you finally have some time to wind down. And this is when the homesickness hits you like a toddler on roller skates.

Leaving home is hard, and whether you ventured to MSU alone or you came with a group of buddies,
sooner or later you’re going to ache for some sweet home cooking and a hug from mommy. It’s something everyone goes through after leaving home. When you start to feel down, here are some tips to keep the homesickness at bay.
Keep Busy
You’re in college, man. Left with no parents, no curfew, and a new sense of freedom, the only thing holding you back is your disturbingly light wallet. Never fear; the school provides more on-campus activities than you can possibly attend specifically designed to get you out of your dorm and meeting new folks. I know many of you may think that you’re too cool to attend an ice cream social in the basement of South Hedges. You’re not. Remember, the majority of the people in your dorms are looking for friends just like you. And what better way to meet someone than over a school-provided ice-cream sundae?
There are also many inexpensive activities off campus where you and your new ice-cream-social friends can go and get to know the town. Come to the Bozeman Bowl on Monday nights for cheap bowling and, for those of you over 21, cheap drinks. The place gets hopping, so be sure to get your lane early.

Explore Bozeman. You now live in the greatest town in the country. Get to know it. Don’t have a car? The Streamline Bus goes all over town and is completely free. And, of course, there is always the vast outdoor playground – and you don’t have to travel far to get there; the Main Street to the Mountains trails system is right off campus. Our motto isn’t “Mountains and Minds” just for kicks. Try a new outdoor adventure. The Outdoor Recreation Center offers rentals, classes, and general information on Bozeman’s outdoor activities. Drop by and try something new.

You do yourself no favors pining for home while drowning yourself in a bucket of half-melted Moose Tracks alone in your dorm. Get out, stay active, and you’ll soon forget all about your homesick woes.

                                                                Keep in Touch
Skype with family and friends to keep in touch

Now that you’ve established yourself in your new home, it’s important to keep in touch with those you’ve left behind. I’m not saying you should keep your nose attached to your phone while you text every kid you had a class with your senior year, but it’s important to maintain a connection with your besties back home. Plan group Skype dates once a week to swap college stories. Call your parents on the weekends to let them know what’ s going on. These connections are important and give you the boost you need in order to get through the week.

Keep Your Door Open

I know you’ve probably heard this from just about everyone, but there’s a reason. Keeping your door open shows that you’re willing to get to know your floormates. Remember, the majority of the people in your building are going through the same things you are: trying to meet new people, establishing their friend groups, and becoming comfortable with their environment. Don’t drop an opportunity to make a new friend. Even if you don’t become best friends with everyone who stops by, you will become more acquainted with the people you live with and gain a friendly reputation rather than getting a knock on your door because your RA hasn’t seen you in a few days.
Homesickness is difficult, and it’s okay to feel a little overwhelmed. You have to work hard in order to establish yourself and make Bozeman your home. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself pining for the Bridgersevery time you visit Mom and Dad, but until then, it’s okay to feel sad and scared and generally miserable. If you find your homesickness to be unbearable, there are resources to help. Visit the Counseling Center above Student Health Services. They provide free counseling for any student going through anything from slight homesickness to serious depression, so be sure to drop by whatever the need.

Bozeman Slang

by Drew Pogge
Every town has a vernacular: a local lingo, idiom, or dialect.  For instance, in the Northeast, an ordinary ice cream cone is called a “creemie.”  Gross.  But Bozeman is no different and unless you want to sound like a creemie-slurping fool, study up before heading downtown.  Here are some terms you need to know.
Ridge Hippies earn their turns
Ridge Hippies—locally envied dirtbag ski bums who devote their entire lives to skiing Bridger Bowl’s famed steeps.  Also: sculpted, chiseled, and otherwise modified-looking hipsters who “fake bake” between yoga sessions and mugs of yerba mate at the Ridge Athletic Club.
Hunting Season—the specific time of the year in which it’s legal to kill some kinds of game animals.  In Montana, that time is, well, any time you want.
Bozeman Blight—a beloved part of northeast Bozeman that is undergoing large-scale renovation and improvement.  Also refers to the fact that the growing season for fruits and vegetables in Montana is approximately four days a year.
Cougar—a predatory cat native to the mountains of Montana.  Also, a predatory middle-aged women native to divorce courts, expensive rug galleries, and Plonk.

Downtown Bozeman
Downtown—in Bozeman, it’s the place to meet friends.  It’s also the title and infuriatingly redundant chorus of a 1965 “oldie” that radio DJs continue to play only because it’s fun to watch 
Belgradian—a resident of nearby Belgrade (also: Belgradite, Belgradonian, and “Mel”), and a blue-collar, beer-based beverage.
The Barmuda Trianglesounds like an area of the North Atlantic Ocean in which suspicious numbers of vessels and artcraft have vanished without a trace.  But it actually refers to the triangular configuration of the Molly Brown, Scoop Bar, and the Haufbrau, where suspicious     numbers of brain cells and inhibitions have vanished without a trace.

Blue, Gold, and MSU Spirit

by Julie Kipfer

MSU has a loyal fan base of students, alumni, and friends in Bozeman and around the state. “Go Cats!” signs decorate businesses, MSU banners are displayed downtown, droves of people attend games, and everyone wears blue and gold on Fridays to express their MSU spirit.

The 2013 Gold Rush t-shirt design.
MSU’s colors—blue and gold—reflect our signature blue skies and golden sun. They elicit a sense of pride for everyone on campus, and serve as a rally point for Bobcat athletics.
“Our fan base has a huge impact on the Bobcats,” says Drew Ingraham, marketing director for Bobcat Athletics. “Players love to see fans getting into the game. And when they see the stands full of our school colors, they get energized.”
Wearing blue and gold is a symbol of pride and a simple way to unite students, faculty, staff, and community members. We wear our colors each Friday before a game day to show our spirit and support to our athletes.

Bobcat Spirit Checklist:
  • Get your Gold Rush shirt
  • Participate in homecoming activities
  • Attend any and all MSU athletic events
  • Give CHAMP a high-five
  • Take a friend to the game
  • Hike to the “M”
  • Join the SBC (Student Bobcat Club)
  • Send the family some MSU gear
  • Decorate your residence hall or apartment
  • Be a respectful fan!

Frugal Fun in Bozeman

Big fun on a small budget.

Bozeman is an expensive place for college students—with so many yuppie tourist traps, it can feel impossible to do anything fun. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of the best, most legitimate Montana activities that can be done for a very small dent in your bank account. Here’s a guide for a super fun day in Bozeman—for just $25.
On our small budget, it’s safe to say you should procure your own breakfast. How about that box of stale Lucky Charms sitting on your dresser? Mmm… tasty.
Price: Free!

Weather permitting, there are several fun Bozeman things to keep you occupied for a minimal price. 
If it’s sunny, why not go bridge jumping? There’s a fantastic spot up Gallatin Canyon called Green Bridge that’s both deep and safe. Follow Hwy. 191 as it twists and turns through the canyon. Right before you hit Big Sky, you’ll see it on the right: it’s a green bridge with a nice parking lot on the other side of the river. (This is the trailhead for Deer Lake.) This spot is popular among the natives—be prepared to rub elbows and watch where you jump. 

Price: Free! (Gas will be about $7.)
If it’s cloudy or cold, why not hit up a museum? The Computer Museum south of the Fieldhouse is well-known nationally for its fantastic collection of all things computer. Admission is free but there is a suggested donation box. Another fantastic Bozeman museum is the Pioneer Museum right next to the courthouse downtown. This old building used to be the prison and there are plenty of stories of daring escapes and dangerous outlaws. 

Price: $0-5

Check out local eatery Bagel Works for some fresh and delicious bagels. They offer a spread of specialty cream cheeses and 14 different kinds of bagels. With bagels in hand, take a leisurely stroll over to Cooper Park and relax under the pine trees. Or if you’re feeling sporty, put your lunch in a pack and hike the M. When you get to the top, munch your lunch while surveying the beautiful Gallatin Valley.
Price: $2-5 depending on how fancy you’re feeling.

Head back to school to partake of some fun activities just a stone’s throw from your dorm, so you stumble home half-asleep when the day’s done.

MSU Rec Center

The Rec Center in the basement of the SUB has tons of fun activities discounted for students. Head downstairs for bowling, shuffleboard, or billiards. If you go during Happy Hour, Monday-Thursday 3-5pm, everything is discounted even more than before. 
Price: $4 bowling, $3.60 per hour for billiards and shuffleboard during happy hour.

Procrastinator Theater
After tiring out your arm bowling, walk upstairs to the Procrastinator. This student-run theater is a great place to enjoy movies at a fraction of the big-theater price. The new Procrastinator seats 200 people and has digital sound capabilities. It’s a great way to spend the evening of your super fun day.

Price: $2

Total: If you’ve done the most expensive things, this whole day still only cost $23. Bravo!

By now, you’re probably exhausted from all the fun you’ve had: go to the dining hall, pig out on the meal plan your parents paid for, and relax. College is about having the most fun you can in four years. Hopefully, today will go down in the books as one of the most fun—and possibly cheapest—days in your college career. 

Bozeman by Bike

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.)

Although I got turned around a few times due to missing trail signs, I managed to catch all the trails—with the help of my map and some friendly joggers. I was so grateful to one helpful girl, I wanted to give her flowers; but GVLT’s trail safety and etiquette guide discourages the plucking of these beautiful plants. Which is good, as the pretty wildflowers are one of the most enjoyable sights while walking or biking along the trails.

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.

Throughout my day’s journey, I not only got myself outside for fresh air and exercise, but I also learned a lot more about Bozeman—its people, its geography, and its natural environment. It taught me that Bozeman is a unique place with its strong connection between community and nature. I can’t wait to do it again.

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.

Celebrating Bozeman

by Meghan O’Neal

If there’s one thing Bozemanites love, it’s having a good time. Whether we’re adventuring outside, kicking back with friends, or taking in the simpler things in life, we know how to enjoy what life has to offer.Bobcat Fest perfectly reflects this Bozeman attitude.
Celebrating the last day of classes and the start of summer, MSU students and members of the Bozeman community came together this Friday for a fun-filled party in the street.
The weather could not have been better for an block-party type event. Bobcat Fest attendees dug their shorts and sandals from the back reaches of their closets to enjoy one of the first true spring days Bozeman has had this year. Bozemanites wandered around picking up swag from various booths, meeting up with friends, dancing in the streets, and standing in mile-long lines for free hot dogs and hamburgers.
Immediately I was drawn to the music coming from the stage set up at the end of the street where Cure for the Common provided the entertainment. Everyone—from older folks to the tiniest dancers—played in the streets, saying goodbye to the winter blues and welcoming the summer sun. The area in front of the stage was thick with crowds, but it didn’t matter—the party was everywhere.
The entire crowd felt the pain of the pizza-eating contestants as they bravely crammed giant pizzas down their throats. When time was called, the agony was clearly etched on their faces as they attempted to keep the pizza safely in their stomachs. None of the contestants succumbed to the massive amounts of pizza and spared the audience of a disgusting food reappearance, though the water guzzling and dry heaving made that option questionable.

Montana State University and Bozeman work together to create a larger community that benefits both students and locals alike. Bobcat Fest allows everyone in Bozeman to celebrate that union, as well as setting the atmosphere for summer in Bozeman. As a precursor to summer events such as  Music on Main, Bobcat Fest brings the community together after a long, cold winter.

For more photos, visit the Downtown Bozeman Facebook page.

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It’s a Wheel Steal!

by Meghan O’Neal

It’s springtime in Bozeman, which means Bozemanites everywhere are putting away the ski gear and dusting off the old bikes—or if you aren’t lucky enough to possess wheels of your own, wishing you had an old bike to dust off. If you’re looking to trade in your old bike for something fancier, or if you want a new, inexpensive ride,now is the time to make those dreams come true.
Bike Swap
The annual Gallatin Valley Bike Club Bike Swap is happening this Saturday, April 20, at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. Drop off your used gear on Friday between 4-7pm; there is a $1.00 consignment fee per item, and 15% of the sale goes to the Gallatin Valley Bike Club, a local non-profit which works to provide activities for cyclists around Bozeman. An appraiser will be available to help price your gear. Sale hours on Saturday are 8-9am for volunteers and Gallatin Valley Bike Club members only, 9-11:45am for the public, and 12-1pm for the discount sale period. Whether you want to purchase a bike at a ridiculously low price, or need to get rid of old gear, the bike swap is an event you don’t want to miss. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Want an inexpensive bike while supporting a local cause? The Bozeman Bike Kitchen devotes itself to providing simple transportation to all members of the Bozeman community. Bozeman hosts a thriving bike culture, and the Bike Kitchen believes that everyone in Bozeman deserves a bike. The organization fixes old bikes and gives them away to those who need them. Donations, old bikes and parts, and volunteers are always welcome. Bike Kitchen volunteers work for free bikes and parts, depending on how many hours they put in. Some bikes are also available for sale. The Bozeman Bike Kitchen is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8pm, and they can be reached at 852-2096.
If neither one of these deals work for you, there is always the trusty thrift store. Bozeman has a plethora of these bargain meccas scattered around town, and you’re sure to find a steal of a deal for your new-used wheels. Second Wind Sports provides gently used sporting goods at reasonable prices. Pawn Depot/Nu2u also provides good finds. It may take some digging, but when you find a deal here, you’ll feel like you’re stealing. Their selection changes daily, so if you don’t find what you need today, be sure to check back later!
Whether you’re a poor college student or a strong member of the community who wishes to give a little of your time, Bozeman offers a variety of awesome bike deals and donations. Join the barrage of Bozeman bikers and steal some wheel deals today!