As of Tuesday, February 14, 2017
CLEARWATER VALLEY Groundhog Day seemed to be a turning point in the weather, with snow, rain, hail, mudflows since then. An exciting and beautiful drive on Friday, as the ice broke up and huge chunks floated down the Clearwater River. It’s not quite spring yet, but it sure seems possible now! The final count for the Groundhog Day Feed in Clearwater is 444 breakfast eaters and 3,540 pounds of sausage (including sausage sold to take home). Wow, that’s a lot of hogs!
Do you miss the snow yet? Then head up to Lolo Pass on Saturday, Feb. 18, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., for the snow sports demo day. The Forest Service and a bunch of partners are hosting a day to try some winter sports equipment. Strongwater Mountain Surf Co., will be showing “powder boards,” binding-free surf boards for the snow. If conditions are right, think “powder” snow, people can try the boards. (You’ll need good snow boots and snowshoes.) The Missoula Snowgoers snowmobile club will have a trail grooming demonstration. If you have some cross-country skis but need some pointers, the Missoula Nordic Club will teach beginner ski clinics. The Missoula Parks and Recreation Department will lead guided snowshoe treks. The West Central Montana Avalanche Center will show people how to use avalanche beacons. Representatives from Recreation Equipment Incorporated (REI) will advise people how to plan for winter camping trips. The Visitor Center will be open, so you can get in out of the cold too. The event is family-friendly and free. Dress warmly, the elevation is 5,233 feet and it can get chilly and breezy. For questions about the event call the Powell Ranger Station at 942-3113.
If you get hungry coming or going, the Lochsa Lodge at Powell serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and beverages. They also rent out rooms or cabins if you want to make a weekend of it. www.lochsalodge.com
If you’re not out playing in the snow on Saturday then check out “Febrewary” in Kamiah featuring local breweries- Wolf Track, Trestle, Clearwater and Riverport. The Brewfest is on Saturday, February 18th at 1 p.m. at the American Legion Hall (618 Main Street) In Kamiah. Your admission gets you a five-ounce collectible glass and five tastes of beer, wine or hard cider and a door prize ticket. The multi-talented Sonny Hirikawa will be the DJ and the band “Over the Rail” will provide musical entertainment for the festivities. There will be an auction, too, to raise money for a pavilion to use for BBQ days. You can buy tickets at the Kamiah Flower Shoppe, Higher Grounds Coffee or the Chamber Office or at the door. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Any questions, call the Chamber of Commerce office at 935-2290.
Any snowmobilers out there? The Valley Cats Snowmobile and ATV club is planning a chili feed on Mex Mountain, on Sunday, Feb. 26. They’ll be up there from noon to 3 p.m., with chili and “dogs”. Bring your own beverages. You’re welcome to bring a side dish to share. Call 935-0570.
April, at the Kamiah Library tells me she’s planning a book discussion in early March about a book called the “Lochsa Road.” She has a bunch of copies, so I picked one up and it looks like a fun read about some local places. A guy named Kim Stafford, who was a creative writing professor at Lewis and Clark College, shares his impressions of a trip he took from the “Heart of the Monster” to Wyoming in the early 1990s. It’s written in a lyrical style and an enjoyable read. It’s less than 100 pages, so it goes quickly. If you’re interested in reading the book and joining the discussion, stop by the library. As always, borrowing a book is free, with a library card.