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!

Quick Credits

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.

3) Plan to stay in town and work? Maybe, but maybe not -Bozeman’s the fastest growing city in Montana and the job market is tight. Consider opting out of the seasonal job searches and take the fast track to a degree (and a real job). Taking just a couple classes each summer session can bump that spring graduation to fall. This would conveniently allow you to have a degree under your belt—or should we say helmet—right about the time the chairlifts at Bridger and Big Sky start running.
Summertime and the livin’ is easy
4) Fall semester can be hectic, especially your first couple years. Taking a few choice credits in the summer can ease you into the academic environment more slowly, improve your study skills, and give you a jumpstart on fall coursework. Campus is less crowded and there’s a laid-back vibe that makes the whole process that much more tolerable.

Takin’ A Break

by Meghan O’Neal

Upcoming finals mean endless days in the library pulling your hair out, subsisting primarily on energy drinks and protein bars, and attempting to keep it all together as you pull your third all-nighter this semester. With insanity ready to take hold at any moment, you must never underestimate the power of a quick study break. Try out these quick and easy study breaks within walking distance from campus that afford sure-fire cures to the study blues and bring you back to the grind with new motivation.

Procrastinator Theatre
Living up to its name, the Procrastinator provides inexpensive entertainment for a quick respite. Missed a movie in the theaters? This theater, located on the second floor of the SUB, usually shows films recently released to DVD at only $2 a ticket. Films are played daily (except Wednesdays) at 6:30 and 9pm. Call 994-5827 for show listings.

You don’t have to go far to ease your studying pain. Pop on down to the first floor of the SUB to enjoy a game of billiards, bowling, or shuffleboard with a few of your friends. Or, kick back and watch a show on one of their big-screen TVs. You can also rent a Play Station 3 by the hour. Hanging with a few of your peeps with some friendly competition will take your mind off the books for a while, and after an hour the stack of homework won’t seem so daunting.

Hosaeus Fitness Center

Exercise fuels mental activity, so if you find yourself in a study rut, MSU’s fitness center offers a wonderful way to rid yourself of excess energy and give your noggin a rest. With so many activities to choose from, such as a climbing wall, racquetball, ping pong, basketball courts, a swimming pool, exercise machines, and more, both workout junkies and those less inclined towards intense exercise (myself included) will find something that suits their fancy.

Museum of the Rockies

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. 

Hike Peets Hill
As spring rolls around, it becomes more and more difficult to remain inside and attempt to put a dent in the schoolwork load. So, why should you? Bozeman offers a variety of quick hikes and trails in town! Just a quick walk off-campus, hiking Peets Hill presents an easy little jaunt and rewards hikers a beautiful view of Bozeman. Drop the books and enjoy the teasing sunny spring days Bozeman sporadically provides. The directions are easy enough; continue east on Grant (in front of the SUB) until you reach the trailhead located at Grant and Willson.

Bug Appetit!

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.

Bozeman-Area Careers

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.

Where to Work after Graduation
by Tina Orem
As is the case on nearly every campus in America, graduates tend to scatter once they have their diplomas. But Montana’s magnetism keeps many students in the Treasure State after graduation: a 2003 study by the state’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research  found that 45% of Montanans under 30 had no plans to leave Montana anytime soon (and more than 80% of people over 30 said they don’t ever want to leave Montana).
MSU students in particular seem to understand the draws of Montana. Of 1,032 alumni who graduated between summer 2006 and spring 2007, only 38% left Montana, according to a survey by the MSU Career, Internship & Student Employment Services Office. The numbers varied by field, however: 67% of University College graduates had left the state, but only 24% of the nursing students and a third of the business students had done so. Less than half of the arts & architecture and engineering graduates were gone.
It’s not a surprise that so many grads stick around. After all, the Gallatin Valley can be a great place to begin a career. Montana State University and local government offices are two of the area’s largest employers, but opportunities abound in the private sector too. Few people realize, for example, that Bozeman Deaconess Hospital employs almost a thousand people, or that Big Sky Resort does too. Other large area employers include Williams Plumbingand Heating (about 200 employees), the Yellowstone Club (over 500 people during summer), and Martel Construction (150 people or so). First Security Bank and Gibson Guitar both employ well over a hundred people each, and those looking to join a tech-oriented company have Oracle, ILX Lightwave, Printing for Less, Schedulicity, and Zoot Enterprises to think about, as well as the startups hatching all around Bozeman and the dozens of other small companies in the area. People interested in the outdoor gear world have Simms FishingSitka Gear, Hyalite Outdoor Group, Mystery Ranch Backpacks, and a smattering of other companies. Like dogs and cats? Check out Westpaw Design, a pet-product manufacturer that employs dozens of outdoor-oriented Bozemanites.

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.

Underage Entertainment

Looking to have fun, but a house full of sloppy drunks just isn’t your scene? Fear not—Bozeman is packed with activities that will have you enjoying yourself without those pesky fines, hours of community service, and the 5-0.

SOB Barn
This building has been sitting on campus for generations and its unique wood-floor loft makes for a great place to get down, with all kinds of clubs congregating here for a variety of styles. From swing dancing to international folk, Scottish country dancing to hoola-hooping, it’s a much easier and cleaner way to meet fun people than over a loud tipsy bar grind, anyway—it’s flirty, it’s fun, and it’s free.

The Bowl
Newly renovated and the ready for action, the Bowl is Bozeman’s only actual alley. This being the case, the lanes are generally packed with people—join a league with some friends to guarantee a spot. With a huge variety of snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, the Bowl is the place to be. Plus, chicks dig bowlers—that’s a fact. (Another fact: p. 83 of the 2012-13 MSU Pocket Guide has a 2-for-1 coupon.)

Sizzling Salsa
Have you ever wanted to turn heads on the dance floor with your mind-blowing moves? Well, here is your chance. Every Wednesday, the Movement Arts Center (off S. 19th where Kagy ends) hosts a night of salsa lessons and open dance. It starts at 8pm and at a price of only $3, why wouldn’t you give it a shot? sizzlingsalsamt.com and themacmontana.com.

Procrastinator Theatre
Located in SUB 287, this student-run theater offers two shows each night of the week except for Wednesday. These cinematic adventures are usually straight out of the theaters and are very cheap— only $2 a ticket. And don’t forget about Erotique Night every Thursday (when tickets are only $1), featuring a late-night show and sexy giveaways. montana.edu/asmsu/procrastinator.html.

SUB Rec Center
This is a place most people seem to forget about. This little hole in the wall is packed with games: Playstation 3, pool tables, and bowling—just to name a few. Don’t forget about “Combust-a-Bowl” every Friday and Saturday night, featuring colorful lights and energizing music. For just $5 an hour, you can do almost anything in the Rec Room. If you are really pinching pennies, be sure to go to happy hour, Monday through Thursday from 3-6pm, when everything’s around a dollar off. It’s alcohol-free and they’ve got all kinds of good snacks and drinks. (And don’t miss out on their best-kept secret: the SUB Underground music venue in the basement hosts great local musicians.)

Norris Hot Springs
Ready to get your soak on? Just a short drive southwest will take you to these natural hot springs. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night from 7-10pm they host a variety of acoustic and Americana music. The musicians jam in “the dome”: a wind-resistant stage where they can perform year-round for soakers. At $7 to listen to live music and enjoy the water, you would be hard-pressed to find a better deal. They even have a safe driver program: each designated driver for carloads of three or more gets a free soak pass to use on the next visit. What a steal!

Top 10 Car-Camping Spots

It’s that time of year again: crisp air and cool mornings mean the last days of good camping weather are upon us. So after class this Friday, grab your gear, pack up the car, pick up some friends and head out for a weekend in the good ol’ Big Sky country. Here’s a list of spots to hit before the snow comes down.

1. Canyon Ferry Lake, south of Helena

Pull your Subaru up to the bank and prepare for a weekend relaxing in folding chairs—Canyon Ferry is a multifaceted recreational destination. Set up your spinning rods, break out the barbeque, and daydream about a fresh walleye dinner. You can scout the area’s great cliff-jumping areas for when you come back in the summer months.

2. Fairy Lake Campground, northern Bridgers

Take some buddies and trek up to Sacajewea, chill on the shores of the lake with a good book, shoot the breeze, or scope out the rope swing and try to dare one of your friends into taking the plunge. Be prepared though; it’s a long drive back into town.

3. Squaw Creek, Gallatin Canyon
Some of the most breathtaking sites can be seen just steps away from your truck, car, or tent at the top of Castle Mountain and Garnet Peak. Looking to climb? Just a short walk away, Scorched Earth and The Cave have some great climbing routes and stay warm in the afternoon.

4. Madison River, Ennis/Norris
Ever read Huckleberry Finn? There’s a reason they stayed on the river so long. Scaling Neat Rock, working on your cast, hiking the Bear Trap, and an apres-outdoor soak at Norris Hot Springs. This is the life.

5. Greek Creek, Gallatin Canyon
There is no place greater to catch a break than here. Take it easy while listening to the Gallatin gurgle down the canyon. Fish in Yellowstone Park for the day with friends, head south and catch an IMAX movie in West Yellowstone, or devour some onion rings at the Corral Bar.

6. Yellowstone National Park
The first of its kind never ceases to amaze. Take a dip in the Boiling River, run alongside the buffalo in the Lamar Valley, or take a hike up Slough Creek with your favorite fly rod. The best part? No traffic jams of summer tourists in taking pictures of bears and moose out their Winnebagos.

7. Yankee Jim Canyon, Gardiner
What’s better than paradise? Paradise with a cheeseburger. Set up camp and head to Helen’s in Gardiner to work on your belly. Head back to camp and lie next to the churning rapids of the Yellowstone. Take your chalk bag and crash pad for some nearby bouldering.

8. Pine Creek, Livingston
A little bit of music will always ease you into a nice slumber. Catch some live music at the Pine Creek Café and wake up curled nice a tight in your sleeping bag, ready to take in a hike to the picturesque Pine Creek Lake. Bring your rod. The Cutthroats are waiting.

9. Colter, Cooke City
Wouldn’t you love to trek into the Beartooth Wilderness without humping a 50-pound pack? Car-camp it at the Colter campground and rise with the sun to get a jump start on a day hike into this rugged alpine environment. Leave the whiskey at home; these majestic mountains deserve to be seen without the hangover haze.

10. Hyalite Recreation Area, Bozeman
Just a short journey from town lands you in this pristine paradise. You can choose from three campgrounds to start from. Mountain bike to the breathtaking Emerald Lake, trail run up Hyalite Peak, or take a trip around the reservoir in your canoe. This is car-camping at its finest. Casual, midday starts are expected and Town & Country is only a 20-minute drive away in case you run out of food.

This blog post is adapted from an article published in Outside Bozeman, Summer 2006, by Becky Edwards.