Love of My Life

Paige Devlin and Nick Littman met eight years ago in spring, among the green wheat fields of Walla Walla, Washington. He was in his last semester of college, she was a sophomore, and they were both on the cycling team. Paige had her eye on him from the time he helped load her bike into the van at the end…

Something Blue

Clarity, color, cut, carat—these four C words meant little to me as a single woman. They didn’t shine or sparkle or mesmerize me the way the movies or fancy ring shops always let on. I hadn’t known the real, raw beauty of a stone until I held an uncut sapphire in my hand. Its shape and color—the way it looked…

A Gown to Clothe Our Heart

In 2011, my wife and I endured the unthinkable. She was 18 weeks pregnant with our first child and an ultrasound came back with some curious results. Within 36 hours we found out that our unborn baby was not well, and the prognosis was bleak. The following 18 weeks were filled with doctors we didn’t know existed, tests we had…


The winter before she turned 16, Caroline Kiemele had average expectations for a Christmas Eve out with her extended family at the Methodist church in Havre, Montana. A typical Missoula high schooler who enjoyed writing, volleyball, and spending time outside, Caroline had always shrugged off casual suggestions that she try modeling. But that night in church, the teenager was approached…

Sage Fashion Choices

To get your fall accessories and to see what other fashionable goodies Kristen has, check out Happy shopping! What better time to revamp your personal style than the beginning of a new season. For Sage Accessories' owner Kristen Bowditch, fall is the best time "to bring attention to your personal style" with—what else?—accessories. Here, she shares with us six…

Rocky Mountain Entertainment Agency

The daughter of a musician and a model-actress, Casey Pobran always had entertainment in her blood—so it was no surprise when the SoCal native found herself working in New York in her early 20s as a model, signed with famed agency Eileen Ford. But even though she enjoyed modeling, Casey loved the business development aspect even more. So, when she…

The Whizpops Present…

Even though our son was fast asleep in the backseat, my husband and I kept the music blaring as our truck sped along the Blackfoot River. It was supposed to be a kids album. But the infectious beat had me tapping my foot, and we couldn’t help singing along with the chorus: “Extinction really stinks...forever.”

Kindie Isn’t Just for Kids

They might say it’s music just for kids. I thought it was. Several months back, and still new to the Zoo, my girlfriend and I were browsing the events section of the Missoula Independent in search of something to do or listen to. Listed was a CD release party at Rockin’ Rudy’s for the Salamanders’ latest album Bubbles. “Excellent,” I…

Express Yourself

Fun back-to-school looks to copy—without getting in trouble!

Getting a Head Start

Students at Garden City Montessori are spread out across the floor holding impromptu photo shoots, earnestly making calculations, and debating the price of a new Casio watch. These students aren’t just here to learn. They are running a vibrant marketplace—and they mean business.

The Tastes and Tunes of Summer

They say, “If you’re lucky enough to live in Montana, you’re lucky enough.” Come to think of it, there are a whole slew of sayings that are particularly true of our region, another being, “Live a life you don’t need a vacation from.” When it’s mid-July and the sky is big and blue and the air is filled with music…

What Lies Beneath

Missoula Art Museum’s senior curator Brandon Reintjes begins with a blank canvas. His, however, is an empty room. That gallery space, once empty, is now the temporary home of the quilted pieces of artist Maggy Rozycki Hiltner. Brandon and his staff invited us to photograph the installation of Maggy’s exhibition, What Lies Beneath. What lies beneath are stories told through…

A Pathway for the People

Between Missoula and Hamilton exists a familiar vein to which we all might’ve felt its pulse sometime in our travels. Just outside the city limits, Highway 93 winds alongside the depths of our forests and whips down into the sprawls of golden-tipped grass ready for a first cutting. For bikers or foot travelers, the sounds of these small communities dotted…

Meet Joe Stone

Seven years ago on Friday, August 13, Joe Stone fell out of the sky. He’d been cruising over Mount Jumbo with his speed-wing, a fit and happy 25-year-old who was thrilled to be living out his lifelong dream of flying by soaring over Missoula’s golden peaks on summer afternoons. Usually, those daily flights were idyllic—both for the pilot and those…

Mighty Swords

“Basically,” said the man holding half a dozen fine needles, “I move blood.” That’s not exactly how most people would describe acupuncture, but the man, Doug Womack, acupuncturist extraordinaire and sole practitioner of Montana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs, who wields these fine tiny swords, assures patients that the war for one’s health can be won.

Choose Your Brew

Mix-and-Match the Perfect Six Pack for Summer

Keeping the Stars in the Big Sky

Chicks N Chaps, based in Missoula, is western events with a cause. Women’s rodeo clinics and fundraisers are held all over the country, promoting the western lifestyle and the sport of rodeo all while giving the proceeds to local community members who have been impacted by the financial, physical, and emotional burdens of breast cancer as well as other cancers.

Portrait of a Caricature: Miss Montana

“I’m not the usual pageant girl,” Brooke Bezanson said by way of describing herself. To this year’s Miss Montana, the secret to success was actually pretty simple: authenticity. “I just answered their questions as honestly as I could,” she said. Brooke is a tall, cosmopolitan-looking 20-year-old with a platinum bob, but something about her blunt, down-to-earth approach to answering interview…

A Senior Project to Long For

There’s still time to donate items or funds to Bonnie’s senior project benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Missoula. Please contact her at Senior project presentations will be Thursday, May 25 at Big Sky High School, 3100 South Ave. W.

Country Meets City

Playing the part of Missoula’s rancher is a profound role, one that straddles a rather wide line between farm and city and, best of all, bridges the gap between. And that’s exactly what Bart and Wendy Morris of Oxbow Cattle Company have done as our local ranchers.

In the Kitchen with Honest Herb

A beautiful blend of raw plant-based and vegan cuisine, this gnocchi made from parsnip from the kitchen of Jennifer James and Guinevere Aide, owner/chef and executive chef, respectively, of Honest Herb Catering, offers an alternative to the traditional boiled potato dumpling. Intentionally light on seasoning, this dish highlights nature’s flavors by incorporating raw ingredients and preserving their nutrient-dense value. Let’s…

Life at the Farm and Food on the Table

With the longer days and warmer temperatures I am starting to crave fresh food. I am no longer hungering for the heavy comfort food of winter. Bright green lettuce heads, crisp radishes, and succulent peas fill my mind. While we are still a few months from feasting lavishly on fresh- from- the-garden produce, I have been busy getting my seeds…

Cooking Under Pressure

Katie Barnes didn’t always imagine herself as a cook. She enrolled at the University of Montana as an anthropology major, and it was when she was taking introductory classes at the Missoula College campus that she began noticing that the white coats coming out of the restaurant looked like students.

Tiny Home under the Big Sky

A lot goes into a livable space—somewhere to sleep, somewhere to stow food, a place to cook that food, a bathroom, a place to play, and maybe somewhere to do laundry if we’re really living, but in truth, these are the essentials. As Americans, the size of the room in which we keep or do these things varies, often tipping…

Live. Work. Play.

More than a decade ago, in the heart of downtown, stood the remnants of a ghost. Today, the long-known “mill site,” which had been left vacant since the early 1990s and been an eyesore for Missoulians, is the Old Sawmill District, a community within a community comprised of all kinds of residences, businesses, and amenities—exactly like what you’d find in…

Less Is More

When he was a boy, Steve Loken spent many weekends taking apart buildings. He and his father would pack a lunch and drive out with two crowbars to the barns and houses slated to be razed in the path of I-90. “We built our farm and outbuildings out of materials that were going to be thrown away,” Loken recalled. What…

On Assignment

Last year, I received a message from Agence RÉA in Paris, France, asking me if I’d be interested in an assignment photographing James Lee Burke and his Montana ranch for the French magazine, Le Point. Oh my, twist my arm, YES! So off I went on a foggy, damp Montana Valentine’s Day to hang out with Jim.

Stags with Swag

Kristen Berube, author of Confessions of a Camo Queen: Living with an Outdoorsman, has colorfully embraced her role as a hunting widow, as hilariously noted throughout her collection of essays—camouflage lingerie, camping romance, and the inevitable primal home decor. As the true blue Camo Queen that she is, it was only natural that painting and bejeweling her husband’s steady stream…

Fend Off the Cold

It's cold outside and has been for a while. And not that autumn or spring, bundle-up-and-you-barely-notice-it kind of cold. No, this is the windy/wet cold that seeps under our clothes and becomes a nagging companion especially after working up a sweat. Taking the kiddo to the playground just doesn't sound that fun. And my two-year-old has dumped all of his…

Up Through the Ashes

As I heave myself upward and onward through the snow-covered trail before me, my breath does the same against my ribs, sending small clouds of warmth out into the biting air. My chocolate Labrador runs effortlessly ahead of me, chasing a scent over heaps of downed trees, mazing over and under them on a path that’ll lead to nowhere in…


When we hear the term “snowbirds,” many of us think of the people who escape the cold and overcast skies by heading south for a spell. Birdwatchers, however, think of the small but hearty group of actual birds that stick out the winter here in Western Montana. Birding is a great way to spend the winter months. It requires no…

We #Love2H8Fez

Felipe “Fez” von Sydow owns and operates Arcane, a local fitness studio located at 2424 S. Garfield St. He earned his master's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Montana and is an active participant within the community as the Community Engagement Director for Team RWB Missoula.

Bridging Uncertainity

Child Bridge, a nonprofit founded by Mary and Steve Bryan in 2011, recently opened an office in Missoula and its team of professionals include staff with theological and human services backgrounds. The organization recruits prospective foster/adoptive parents through churches, which they’ve found are uniquely poised to mobilize volunteers because of the shared value systems, regular gatherings, and sense of community,…

Faith in Action

To start, MIC stepped in to help with simple things like better coordination of food drive efforts to try to keep donations coming year-round, instead of seasonally. Then they started building their programming as it exists today.

A Three-for-One Show

Art is always unique, frequently original, and occasionally affordable except when Radius Gallery curates its annual Holiday Show, in which case you get a 3-for-1: unique, original, affordable fine art. For the third consecutive year, owners Lisa Simon and Jason Neal have put together a Holiday Show featuring paintings, drawings, photographs, ceramic works, and mixed media pieces from some of…

All About the Data

From Amerigo Vespucci to Lewis and Clark, map making has always been about getting the best data possible. Things haven’t changed much in the years people have been making maps, and for two Missoula-based companies, onXmaps and Cairn Cartographics, focusing on “the data” has been the driving force behind the products they make and the businesses they’ve created.

A Good Dog’s Work

Twenty miles north of Whitefish on I-93 is a sign for Running Dog Road, which leads up to the howling and eager pups that make up Jeff Ulsamer's Dog Sled Adventures. For reservations, call 406.881.2275 and to learn more about Jeff and his dogs, please visit

Team Red, White, and Blue

To find out more about how to get involved, check out Team RWB Missoula’s Facebook page. It takes a deep commitment to community and sense of duty to pledge a chunk of your life to military service, especially when the country is actively in conflict. That desire or need to serve usually doesn’t end when your service does. So what…

The Inside Track

Before his junior year, Jake Laskin approached Karen Umbaugh about taking on a bigger role with MYTC. Karen knew Jake to be an excellent student, a member of the National Honor Society, and an upstanding coach. But he quickly proved that he was also an outstanding organizer and computer maven.

Fun in the MUD

Earth Within offers the community a socially sustainable and earth-friendly alternative to flower sourcing through artful arrangements and education. In addition to leading flower workshops, they also create seasonal arrangements for weddings and events throughout the state.

Outdoor October

The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness complex is the most southwestern grizzly bear management area in the northern Continental Divide ecosystem. Here the density of bears is low, but there are definitely bears occupying the area.

Grit & Glam

At The Resort at Paws Up a large rock wall stands just beyond the main entrance where a wooden banner has these words carved into its surface: "…much pleased at having arrived at this long wished for spot." The quote is by Meriwether Lewis, the American explorer fondly remembered and known for his role as the leader of the Lewis…

A Walk 
in the 

After living abroad for many years, author Bill Bryson decided to re-acquaint himself with the U.S. by hiking the Appalachian Trail. His (mis)adventures were captured in the book A Walk in the Woods. As Missoulians, we don't quite have to make up such an extreme—albeit fun—excuse to go outdoors. In fact, our access to green spaces and the great outdoors…

Love Warrior

Glennon Doyle Melton is the author of the New York Times–bestselling memoir Carry On, Warrior and the recently released Love Warrior as well as the founder of Momastery, an online community reaching millions of people each week. Follow Glennon's blog at

Out to Pasture

There's a special slice of land that hugs the feet of the Bitterroot Mountains in Hamilton. Its green gown leaves a train of knee-high grass made taller each day by the warm, seemingly endless sun as we drift into the dog days of summer. There are projects underway, a ditch carrying the steady sound of bubbling mountain water and paddocks…

A Century 
of Business 
in Missoula

We don't often think about what life was like for the townsfolk who took up this very space in the early 1900s. Their existence—perhaps riding down these streets in their horse-drawn carriages, bustling down the sidewalks, working labor-intensive mill, farming, or mining jobs—seems as inconsequential to our lives today as the details from an old novel you enjoy, then place…

to Our 

It's remarkable to know that our community has played an enormous role in the Humane Society of Western Montana's 98% adoption rate, isn't it? All across our city there are bellies being rubbed, dogs taking their new owners on hikes, and felines burrowing into the necks of their fur-ever family members. It's a dutiful place of selfless, all-enduring love that…

A Heart for Hula

She grew up in Oahu, also known as "the gathering place" among Hawaii's eight islands, and it's the place where hula became what she would later see as a lifeline between her present day and her colorful past having grown up in an island culture.

From Dream to Reality

New York City and Los Angeles—they can be anyone's cities. Your first step on their streets is a way of staking your claim in some ways. Be anything, their buildings and too-bright lights will say to you. But Missoula's welcome mat is different. Our community takes pride in being nestled within the last best place and offering a way of…

A Passport to Hear the World Sing

Every three years, the Missoula International Choral Festival lifts Missoula’s soul in song. And like most successes in our valley, it all started as a dream. Professor Donald Carey, director of the Missoula Mendelssohn Club—a community men’s chorus—began dreaming in 1985, two years before the first-ever International Choral Festival was brought to Missoula. It was during the Mendelssohn Club’s first…