Category: Jack Blog!

Jack’s got your Zootown hacks!

Nothing announces the end of summer in Missoula like the crush of students that arrive the last weekend of August.

Yes, it’s true – the fall semester has arrived, and while the official fall season is still a few weeks out we all know that Missoula’s summertime fun has pretty much come to a close.

But that doesn’t mean there’s not a heck of a lot to be done over the coming weeks and months.

Whether you’re a returning UM student or brand new to town, we’ve compiled a short list of “Missoula hacks” to help you make the best of your time here:

this-just-in-the-subaru-has-now-officially-been-named-786638• Yes, Missoulians love our cars – Subarus, especially – but we love any and every opportunity to ditch our cars as well. We’re especially proud of our cool new-ish bike lanes downtown (they’re green and impossible to miss), as well as our zero-fare Mountain Line bus service, which will get you just about anywhere you need to go for free!

• That said, downtown bike parking can be just as hard to find as car parking. And whatever you do, don’t think that Missoula’s love affair with biking means you don’t need to lock yours up …

• Jam band freaks have a cozy corner of their own, and it’s called The Top Hat. Check out “Grateful Dead Hour” every Monday from 5-7 pm, and the Phish-themed “Sharin’ in the Groove” happy hour MOST Wednesdays at 4:30.

• You haven’t had a breakfast burrito until you’ve had one from Market on Front. Make sure you check it out before the snow starts falling – they have an amazing patio for people-watching in and soaking in some Vitamin D.

• You can’t go wrong with either of our local ice cream parlors. If you couldn’t tell by the line, Big Dipper Ice Cream is a Missoula institution with dozens of great flavors – and lots of opportunities to meet happy fellow locals and visitors. And though it has less options, fans of Whitefish-based Sweets Peaks are dedicated to their unique flavors, locally sourced milk and cream, and much smaller line.

• Scout out all of the local coffee shops, pick the one you like best and plan to spend the next four years there. That’s where we do our studying, our socializing, our relaxing – and sometimes our napping. And whatever you do, don’t forget to tip your barista.

• You’re not truly a local until you flaunt your local-ness. What do we mean? Whether it’s a T-shirt, a hat or a bumper sticker, Missoula-, Montana- or 406-themed gear is required for all residents. That includes both while you are hanging out in town as well as traveling. It’s also first on your list of gift ideas for anyone who doesn’t live here.dubbed-coffee-nap-researchers-claim-drinking-coffee-having-quick-power-_uw2t

• Speaking of local-themed clothing and accessories, The Green Light downtown has a big sale the last weekend of every month. Those 406 shirts you see all your attractive friends wearing? That’s where they got them.

• There’s a two-way tie for best hangover cure. Pretty much anything on the weekend brunch menu at Burns Street Bistro is to die for; but don’t miss an opportunity to try the appropriately-named “Hangover Stew” at Doc’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop downtown.

• Same with happy hour: Some swear by the bar seating at the Mustard Seed, but do note you will NOT find a seat if you don’t get there early! Others will point you to Bridge Pizza on the Hip Strip, where you’ll get a free 10 ounce beer with one slice of pizza and a free pint with two slices every day from 3-5 pm.

• There’s only a handful of all-night eating joints, and only one that’s truly locals. It’s called The Oxford Saloon, but locals call it the “Ox.” If you were wondering, yes – it’s inside matches its outside; but no, they no longer serve brains and eggs. We like to call it “historical” – but no matter, it’s the best place to catch a late-night, post-bar snack and it’s pretty much always full of fascinating people.

• There’s free stuff everywhere if you know where to look for it. We won’t name names, but with a little tenacity you can enjoy free slices of locally baked bread, free chunks of amaaaazing donuts and cookies, free jams, jellies, fudge – even wine. Here’s a hint: Start with the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, and plan to be downtown the first Friday evening of every month.

• Finally, speaking of free stuff – you’ve found Missoula’s No. 1 spot for giveaways. We’re talking tickets to all the best concerts and events, gift certificates to your favorite stores and restaurants, free auto inspections and details – even lotto tickets! All you gotta do is follow Jack on Facebook, stay on top of Jack’s website blog or just keep your dial tuned in to 105.9, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to walk away a winner at some point in the near future.

There’s lots of other great corners and coves in town, but this is a good place to get started. If you’ve got a favorite “Missoula hack,” we’d love to hear it! Send us a message on Facebook or drop us an email at aubrey@missoulabroadcasting.com.

However long it is, we hope you enjoy your time in Missoula!

Jack is all about the college lifestyle.

The sports, the girls, the parties, the late night pizza runs … yep, he’s been living that way for years.

The thing is, Jack’s not too much into learning. And he’s not exactly welcome on the UM campus anymore.

But that’s another story.

So instead of providing the kind of support you probably want, Jack’s here to provide the kind of support you really need: A soundtrack for the grind.

What do we mean by that?

Jack keeps the party rocking all the time. Whether it’s pop rock, classic rock or buttrock, his soundtrack is all about variety with attitude.

He’s there for you on those Friday nights when you’ve got the lampshade on you head in some dirty basement apartment in the Slant Streets. He’s by your side on those Saturday mornings when you need a little extra motivation to get out of bed and continue on with life.

Jack keeps it rocking Sundays, when you’re cramming in a week’s worth of homework in the final two hours of the weekend; and he keeps it rocking Monday morning when you’re polling your friends for great excuses for skipping class.

Looking for something to do? Jack’s got giveaways going on all the time, from concert tickets to scratch tickets and free auto inspections and details, he’ll help you busy and have fun without breaking the bank.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can find a friend at 105.9 FM.

No, Jack’s not the brightest guy, and some of his behavior has been questionable at best. But he’s the most consistent, and sometimes consistency is everything you need.

So welcome back, students of life and partners in debauchery. We can’t wait to make your acquaintance.

 

Welcome back students!
Get your watermelon on!

You call it lazy; Jack calls it life efficiency.

We’re talking about his lifelong dedication to minimizing output. That means don’t get up when someone else can get it for you, don’t make plans unless a court order requires it, and stay away from competitive sports altogether.

That worked for most of Jack’s life – until Takeru Kobayashi upended the world of competitive eating with 50 hot dogs downed in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2001.

That’s when Jack added an asterisk to his life mantra: Stay away from competitive sports altogether, except when massive amounts of eating is involved.

Hot dogs? Check. Pies? Yawn. Burgers, chicken wings, pizzas? Been there, done that.

But watermelon? Now THAT’s a food in which Jack would love to out-eat you.

Good news, Jackhead: You now have a chance to try your skills at competitive watermelon eating.

It’s going down this Saturday, September 2nd, at the Ravalli County Fair, and while Jack was ruled ineligible for performance enhancing drugs – the contest is wide-open for your participation.

This year’s winner will walk home with the following prizes:

-Ten FREE pint fills at Bitter Root Brewery
-Two BOGO soaks at Lolo Hot Springs
-Two FREE drink coupons at Lolo Hot Springs bar
-$25 cash from Bitterroot Community Federal Credit Union
-$25 gift certificate to Florence Coffee Company
-$75 gift certificate to The Steel Paintbrush tattoo and piercing studio
-Jack FM goodie bag with cooler, tshirt, coozies and stickers

That doesn’t even include all the watermelon you can eat PLUS bragging rights.

So if you’re at least 21 years old and take eating as seriously as Jack, this is the contest for you. Contest takes place at 4 pm – again, that’s at the Ravalli County Fair in Hamilton this Saturday, September 2nd.

Click HERE to sign up.

Good luck, and thanks for listening to Jack! And if you read this far, your reward is this excellent primer on how to prepare for – and win – a competitive eating contest.

Don’t get it wrong: Jack loves a good road trip as much as the next guy.

But when it comes to hitting the trails, let’s just say sometimes he gets a little more enthused when the sofa isn’t too far away.

It’s true: Whereas some children have security blankets; Jack has a security sofa.
So in honor of that – as well as the unpredictable nature of all the wildfires across western Montana – Jack’s going to share some of his favorite close-to-Missoula hikes.

Check ’em out, and don’t forget to CLICK HERE to register for a free auto detail courtesy of Lithia Ford of Missoula!

 

1. Rattlesnake Main Trail, #515

An easy stroll along Rattlesnake Creek that satisfies all ages and most abilities

The Rattlesnake Recreation Area and Wilderness are the closest wilderness areas to a major metropolitan area in the United States!  They are comprised of 61,000 acres – 33,000 of which are designated wilderness.  There are more than 73 miles of trails that are great for activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, horseback riding, fishing and more.

From the main Rattlesnake trailhead, head down the wide trail (a single-lane former logging road).  After a quarter mile you’ll see Rattlesnake Creek on your right.  At 0.4 miles there is a horse bridge that goes over the creek.  If you’re lucky you’ll see an American dipper hopping around on the rocks below.  This is a lovely spot for the kids to play in the water or to have a picnic.

At 0.6 miles, a small trail splits off to the right off of the main trail.  If you take this trail, you’ll hike closer to the creek for the next mile.  If you stay on the main trail, you can go another 15 miles!  Take the smaller trail on the right that follows the creek.  Here you’ll be hiking through Ponderosa pine/Douglas fir forest with an under-story of primarily nine-bark.  Look for lady slipper orchids, buttercups and even trillium.

At 1.7 miles this narrow river trail meets back with the main trail.  Stay on the main trail until you come to an outhouse (3 miles).  From this point on, you are officially in the wilderness and permitted to camp.  Turn around here or if you’ve got time for a deeper foray into the wilderness keep going!

How to get there: From Missoula, head north from Broadway onto Van Buren St. (near Eastgate Shopping Center). Cut under the freeway, and Van Buren will eventually turn into Rattlesnake Drive.

Continue about three miles until you reach the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area entrance.

2. Vista Point Loop

A pretty little loop in south Missoula with great views

Blue Mountain Recreation Area is in the Missoula Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest and is located only 2 miles south of town. This area was part of the Missoula Military Reservation until 1952.

There are 41 miles of trail here, including 9 miles of the Blue Mountain National Recreation Trail (NRT).  Dogs are allowed to be off-leash, making this a favorite hiking area for folks with dogs.

From the trailhead, take trail 3.04 through the big field. This is a one-lane former road. At 0.75 miles the trail curves to the right then heads north along the base of the mountain.

After about 1.25 miles on trail 3.04, go left on trail 3.06. At 100 yards you’ll see a strangely bent tree. After passing the tree, you switchback up the hill for approximately 0.75 mile to Vista Point where you’ll have great views of the Bitterroot River and the Missoula valley.

From the top of Vista Point go down the backside (southwest). At 0.25 mile there is a junction of trails 3.06 and 3.05. Go right on trail 3.05 and head downhill. Hike 200 yards and turn right at trail 3.03. You’ll pass a very large rock sitting by itself. After 0.5 mile from the top of Vista Point you’ll join the original road/trail 3.04 (point “D” on map). Go right and follow the old road back along the base of the mountain and through the field to the trailhead.

How to get there: From Missoula, head south on Brooks like you are headed towards Lolo and the Bitterroot Valley, but just after leaving Missoula proper you’ll hit a stoplight at Blue Mountain Road. Turn right here and then head another half-mile to its junction with Forest Hill Road.

Turn left here and you’ll be at the parking lot.

3. Pengelly Ridge Trail

A heart-pumping hike to the top of Mount Sentinel

This is a challenging but rewarding route to the top of the south side of Mount Sentinel that is sparsely used, as opposed to the more popular hike to the “M”. It is named after David Pengelly, a Missoula lawyer who died at the age of 52 in a climbing accident.

It starts on the edge of the residential Pattee Canyon neighborhood and follows the short “Mo Z” trail before climbing the single-track trail to the top of the mountain.

The first 50 yards of the trail is very steep. At the top, the trail splits. Take the trail on the right, between the 2 Ponderosa pines. You will wind your way up to a gravel road in about a third mile. Make a right and follow the road until you see a major junction and the wood sign for Crooked Trail (which you will not take). The trail that you want is the narrow dirt single-track that heads up.

From here, you will climb up and up and up on a single-track dirt trail. You will still be in a native prairie habitat composed of lots of native bunchgrasses and some spotted knapweed. You may see whitetail or mule deer, hear western meadowlarks and see large raptors such as red-tailed hawks or turkey vultures overhead.

After about a half-mile heart-pounder, you will enter a small patch of trees and see some rocks at the base of trees that are painted with pictures. Keep climbing uphill along the trees on the narrow trail another third mile until you get to the stone plaque on the ground dedicated to David Pengelly. At this point, you can turn around and go back down the way you came up, or continue on.

Shortly after you find the stone plaque and you turn around and head back down the mountain the trail will split. Take the LEFT trail. If you take the trail on the right, you will head steeply down across the mountain toward the “M” above the University of Montana campus.

How to get there: From downtown Missoula, head south down Higgins Avenue to where it begins to curve west. Turn left onto Pattee Canyon Drive here, and head up about .6 miles to the parking strip on the your left.

The parking area is at a natural gas utility substation with a chain link fence around it. Look for the trailhead sign at the green metal gate.

 

Hike close to home with Jack!
Demo derby to benefit firefighters

For most of our lives, August in Missoula meant one thing and one thing only: Fair season!

Today, however, we experience another less fortunate association when someone mentions the month of August: Fire season.

And while the fair gets better and better every year (free admission, anyone?) it seems like the fires get worse: Earlier breakouts, thicker smoke, more evacuations and, worst of all, increased firefighter injuries and fatalities.

20526030_10155694536400625_17888284464083652_nSince the fair dust and fire smoke are already intermingled in our heads and lungs, it only make since we formally lump them in our hearts as well.

With that, we’re excited to announce the annual Demolition Derby will be expanded into a two-event show benefiting the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which assists families of firefighters injured or killed in the line of duty.

The Put Out the Peaks Motor Rally will still happen in the arena on the final day of fair week, but this year there will be derby’s at both 4 pm and 8:30 pm – and a portion of proceeds will go directly to the foundation.

“Firefighters are risking their lives so we can enjoy summer traditions like the fair,” said fairgrounds director Emily Bentley. “Honoring their sacrifice – and the sacrifice their families make – is the least we can do.”

Attendance will be $16 per show, with each scheduled to last about two hours. You can pick up your tickets in advance HERE.

Or … you can try your luck at a free pair through our Facebook page!

If it would encourage you to invite along a few paying friends – or at least make it easier to put money in the boot when it’s passed around – we’d be more than happy to get you to the show.

Thanks to you for listening, thanks to the firefighters – and their families – for their sacrifice – here’s to more fair dust, and less fire smoke, for all the Augusts to come!