I was raised with the belief that it’s not hot unless it makes you sweat. And as a lover of spicy foods, I have compiled my top 5 favorite hot sauces made right here in Montana.
#5. Scorpion Pineapple – Arthur Wayne Hot Sauce, Missoula, Montana
This sauce is just what it sounds like, searing hot Moruga Scorpion peppers and the sweet taste of pineapple go together well with all types of foods. I typically pair this with pizza and other Italian foods, along with Asian foods.
#4. Habanero Chipotle Sauce – El Topo, Big Fork, Montana
The great taste of the habanero and chipotle peppers without an overwhelming heat pairs best with Mexican and Spanish food.
#3. Spicy Tomatillo – Arthur Wayne Hot Sauce, Missoula, Montana
This green sauce from the tomatillo pepper is light on heat but brings a great amount of flavor to enhance the taste of a variety of foods. I typically use this to give some flavor to enchiladas, ramen, and all kinds of meats when I’m light on seasoning ideas.
#2. Montana Rooster Sauce – Arthur Wayne Hot Sauce, Missoula, Montana
This sauce is a take on Sirracha that will blow your mind. It carries a fuller flavor with more heat that takes the typical sauce to a new level. If you like Sirracha, I would strongly suggest trying this one out.
#1. Haba Haba “Dime” Sauce – Arthur Wayne Hot Sauce, Missoula, Montana
By far the most versatile sauce on the list, it is my go-to for almost everything. Great for breakfast, lunch and dinner I use this sauce on Omelets, casseroles, potatoes, pasta, pizza, Mexican, Chinese. You name it, it’ll pair well with it.
Rooks Hot Sauce, Missoula, Montana
This sauce has a unique flavor that is difficult to describe, unless you are already familiar with the ghost pepper, pairs well with several types of food, but is light on heat.
Huckleberry Ghost – Arthur Wayne Hot Sauce, Missoula, Montana
This sauce has a very sweet taste from the Treasure State huckleberries, but will melt your face off with the scorching heat of the ghost pepper. This sauce is certainly not for everyone but it does have incredible flavor. I use it sparingly for dips to add a touch of sweet flaming goodness.
My name is Spencer, and I have spent A LOT of time in the dreaded “Friend zone” over the last 4 years. Just how much you ask? Over the last 4 years I have been Friend zoned by 13 different girls. No that wasn’t a typo, and no, you didn’t read it wrong. I’ve been Friend zoned 13 times over the last 4 years . Pretty much everybody in the world knows what the Friend Zone is, but for those of you who don’t know I’ll help you out a little bit. “In popular culture, friend zone refers to a platonic relationship wherein one person, most commonly a man, wishes to enter into a romantic relationship, while the other does not. It is generally considered to be an undesirable or dreaded situation by the lovelorn person.” The term Friend zone itself came from the popular TV show Friends when Ross, who was lovesick for Rachel, was described by character Joey as being the “mayor of the friend zone”. MTV even had a TV show called Friend Zone, fortunately (or unfortunately), I never made an appearance on the show.
The point of this blog post isn’t to tell the 13 (highly entertaining and fairly embarrassing) stories about how I got Friend Zoned, no, the point of this blog is to tell you what I learned from those experiences. I think many of my close friends would in fact call me the “Mayor of the Friend Zone” as well. So without further ado, let me tell you the valuable lessons I’ve learned about women, relationships, and myself over the last 4 years.
1. The end of high school, and especially the summer before college, is not the time to make your move. You’ve already had 4 years to make your move. In many cases if those 4 years weren’t enough, three more months won’t really help the situation. Plus, everyone is getting ready to go off to college in different states and not many people want to enter a long distance relationship at that time.
2. The first 2 months, or even the first semester of college is a crazy time and you are meeting a lot of new people. Before coming to college I had been told by one of my friends (who I actually happened to friend zone 2 years before) that everyone comes into college looking to find a significant other. I can tell you this is totally true. In my opinion there are two potential outcomes in this situation. You either meet someone and stay with them until graduation (I know several couples in this boat) or take another route. The other option is to try to confess your newfound love to every girl you meet and get friend zoned (this was the approach I took, obviously).
3. Sorority girls stick together. I learned this one out real quick. Girls in sororities will always stick together, especially when it comes to guys. Of the 13 times I’ve been friend zoned, 8 of them have come from one sorority.
4. Even if you’re 1,000% sure she’ll say yes, there’s always a chance that she will not, and will friend zone you.
5. Girls will tell you that they like the dad bod, but they don’t. I fell victim to this trick last year. The dad bod hype was going full force and I figured, with a little work, I too could have an amazing dad bod (I even went so far as to buying a “dad bod” tank top”). Girls got so comfortable around me, and I got so comfortable with the dad bod, that they actually just started calling me dad. Trust me when I tell you that if anyone calls you dad, they see you as NOTHING more than a friend, or like actually a paternal figure in their life that they can come to with any issues.
6. Smirnoff Ice, Mikes Hard Lemonade, Reds Apple Ale, Twisted Tea, Lime-a-Rita’s, and Angry Orchards are the way to a girl’s heart, I mean friendship. They are also an excellent way to bankrupt yourself. When you have a never ending supply of sugary malt liquor drinks on hand people start seeing you as more of a bartender, and friend, than a romantic partner.
7.Not all relationships are meant to be. Looking back now, there is no way that I would have had a good relationship with several of the girls who friend zoned me. Of course at the time, I was heartbroken and wanted to know what was wrong with me. But as you get older and wiser you start to see that things do tend to happen for a reason, sometimes.
8.Every failed relationship (or successful friend zone) teaches you something about yourself. It’s important to take a step back after getting in the friend zone and figure out why you were put there. Some of the conversations I had were tough, but it’s important to stay positive and be open to change and criticism. It really is eye opening to find out what other people honestly think about you.
9.It’s actually not that bad to have girls who are just friends. There is no tension in those relationships. You can talk to them about other girls, or really anything for that matter. Some of my best friends are girls who friend zoned me 2 or 3 years ago. It is always nice to get another perspective in life and being friends with girls provides you with that opportunity. I can still remember my mom telling me this back in high school and I thought she was crazy. Looking back now I wish I would have followed her advice. Maybe if I did then I wouldn’t be “the mayor of the friend zone”.
I’m not really sure what it is like to have a “normal” sized family, and for that I am thankful. I’ve grown up with too many aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, great aunts, great-great aunts to count. Growing up in a big family is really wonderful for some reasons, and not so wonderful for other reasons, but it’s all about how you look at it. Here are seventeen things everyone with a big family will understand:
ONE: There is no such thing as a small gathering Oh it’s your birthday?! Once all 65 family members arrive, it’s time to celebrate!
TWO: There’s no difference between your first cousin and your fifth cousin You know you have 12 first cousins, but you’re not really sure which 12 of the family members labeled “cousin” are those ones. You have so many cousins, and your family is so inclusive and there are so many family members at the gathering that you wonder to yourself, “Am I really even related to this person?”
THREE: Your cousins are your best friends
You met your best friends the day you met your family. Those cousins that you’re always forced to hang out with, you fight with, and you sometimes get annoyed with are actually your favorite people on Earth, and you’re so thankful they’re related to you so that they are forced to be your best friends forever.
FOUR: You know just when to head to the kitchen so you beat the line for dinner You know exactly which family member is in charge of the last step for the family meal. When you see them walk into the kitchen you strategically place yourself so that when they yell, “Dinner is served!” You can be first to jump in line. With a big family, you don’t want to take your chances being polite, there might not be any food left when you reach the front of the line in an hour!
FIVE: Saying goodbye takes forever You have to start saying goodbye an hour before you actually want to leave to make sure you have time to say a proper goodbye to all. Often times you forget who you’ve already said goodbye to and end up doing your rounds more than once.
SIX: Gossip I know, no one likes to admit it, but we all gossip. There’s no such thing as keeping a secret when you have a big family. Gossip spreads like wildfire. If you have some news, you better share with everyone before your mom tells her sisters and her sisters tell your cousins and your cousins tell… You know what I’m talking about.
SEVEN: The kids table You’re in your 20s but you’re still sitting at the kids table. Yes, you are an adult but there still isn’t room at their table for you. Now your family had to create the “little kids” table for the generation behind you.
EIGHT: Family vacations Family vacations are a lot of fun and there’s always someone willing to go on whatever adventure you want to go on. But with that big of a group it’s almost impossible to get everyone out the door. You spend more time trying to get everyone on the same page, than you do enjoying your vacation.
NINE: When you hear family picture you run Taking a nice family picture with that many people is impossible. There are always a few family members missing that will need to be photoshopped in anyway, so you wonder if you can just be added to that list. Someone is bound to have their eyes closed, or not be ready for the photo. But once you do get that perfect picture you all post it as your Facebook cover photo and are happy to have a great photo of your favorite people.
TEN: You’re always shocked when someone’s significant other can actually handle the crazy Or, the opposite, you cannot understand when they don’t embrace every minute of “family time”.
ELEVEN: You have rehearsed the answers to the questions you will be asked by everyone before gatherings. Yes, I’m still single. No, I don’t know what I am doing when I graduate. You know exactly what questions you are going to be asked so you prepare. You almost want to just make an announcement when you arrive to avoid the repetition, yet, you ask the same type of questions to everyone else. And everyone is asking because they truly care, so you feel bad if you give a half-assed answer.
TWELVE: Members of the family start to move away and it’s almost impossible to always be together Every gathering you hope that everyone will be there, but it is so rare that you can have all of your favorite people in the same room at once. You are even that person who has to miss out on the parties now, and you long to be with your family more frequently.
THIRTEEN: You have mastered taking over an entire restaurant… Or even small town. As soon as you walk into a restaurant everyone knows you are there, and you won’t let them forget it for a second. Thankfully, you have those uncles with the great tricks and jokes that never fail to get the entire restaurant to participate in the family party.
FOURTEEN: The Holidays are never ending Christmas eve eve, Christmas eve, Christmas, day after Christmas, day after the day after Christmas. You find any and every reason to get together. Some family members try to act like they hate it, but hey, they still show up so you know they secretly love it.
FIFTEEN: You don’t know how your grandparents do it Your grandparents have seen and heard it all. They have had to put up with all of this craziness for many years and yet they still seem to be sane. You don’t know how they remember every little thing about each member of the family. Your grandparents have so much love to go around, and you want to be just like them when you grow up.
SIXTEEN: You’ve had a lot of really great times and really bad times. Like any family, in a big family you have some great times together and then you have some really hard times. Your family is who you want to celebrate life’s accomplishments with, and they’re the only people who know just how to comfort you in a hard time. The highs are extremely high with a big family. The lows are a little less low when you have such a big family because you have so many people supporting you.
SEVENTEEN: You secretly wish there was a family gathering 365 days a year At the end of the day, you miss your family when you’re not with them. You wish you could see all of them everyday.
I wouldn’t trade my big family for anything. I am so thankful I have grown up with all of my crazy, hilarious, and loving family members!
Three companies that have the potential to make you a great return on your stock investment.
1) Amazon (AMZN)
Thanks to their dominance in the online retail industry, Amazon stock has doubled in 2015. Expect this company to continue this exponential growth as they are breaking into the technology industry with cutting edge electronics featuring the Amazon Echo. Also, Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to grow worldwide helping other companies improve their online presence.
2) Tesla (TSLA)
While Tesla stocks have had some highs and lows lately, this company is on the verge of making astounding achievements in the transportation industry. Electric cars, and even more exciting, self-driving cars are the next big thing. Society’s push to go green and reduce carbon emissions only helps Tesla’s cause. By developing longer lasting batteries, and designing a more affordable vehicle, electric cars are bound to become mainstream.
3) American States Water Company (AWK)
Most people underestimate the value of water stocks. While technology companies have great potential, the demand for water is guaranteed to rise as the global population increases. Some larger cities including San Francisco, Atlanta, and Albuquerque have borderline unsafe tap water. New an improved water treatment sites are in need. The fact is, the world can’t survive without fresh water, and the infrastructure needed to supply this demand is only going to increase.
Summer time in Montana- boats and jet skis, music festivals, streams full of anglers, drive-to sight seeing. Sure, all of these to-dos are full of fun, but there is something about packing in to a camp with only what you can carry on your back while seeing stunning views without another human being in sight.
Montana’s Rocky Mountains provides many different landscapes, with an endless amount of exploring to be done. These five destinations are by no means the best in this great state, but more so are destinations that are a must-see.
#5 The Chinese Wall – The Bob Marshal Wilderness
This is one of the more popular destinations to visit in The Bob. The moderately strenuous hike to The Chinese Wall is about 17 miles from the trail head, and is best accessible from the months of July to September. The Chinese wall is a 1000+ foot high limestone cliff wall that stretches for about 12 miles between Haystack Mountain and Larch Hill Pass.
#4 Upper Potosi Hot Springs – Beaverhead National Forest
Hiking in to this destination is a good day trip, and is one of the few backcountry hot springs in Montana that are on public land. Enjoy the multiple 100° – 110° pools located just off of the trail, all while soaking in a panoramic view of the Tobacco Root Mountains. This is a short hike, with a lot to reward.
#3 Hidden Lake (Our Lake) – The Bob Marshall Wilderness
This is a moderately strenuous hike with a 1500+ foot incline that brings you up to an alpine lake on the face of the Rocky Mountain Front. The hike to the lower falls is near 4 miles, and to reach the summit to Our lake is another 2 miles. This can be considered a day hike, but people often camp below the falls overnight to catch the sunrise, and hopefully some Yellowstone Cutthroat as well. If you continue to hike above the lake to the top of the west saddle, you can catch views of The Chinese Wall.
#2 Upper Holland Lake – Bob Marshall Wilderness Entrance
Holland Lake is a good destination that is full of privately owned cabins and is good for camping, boating, and fishing, but if you find yourself wanting to get away from the boats and the jet skis just head to the north eastern side of the lake and hike towards the falls. From the trail head to Upper Holland Lake, you will experience rocky terrain that brings you to an incline of 2100 feet in about 4.5 miles. If that hike wasn’t enough, keep heading up the trail and you will find yourself entering in to The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.
#1 Crystal Lake Ice Caves – Big Snowy Mountains
Crystal Lake is a smaller lake located in the heart of Montana near Lewistown. Despite the fact that the Snowies are not part of the Rocky Mountains, there are plenty of treasures hidden away between the surrounding peaks. Gaining over 2200 feet in elevation in the first three miles of a 4.5 mile long hike, you are introduced to fascinating views and very unique geology. The ice caves at the end of the near five mile hike preview a spectacular scene of ancient aquatic fossils nestling away in the limestone while staying cool enough year round to preserve pillars of ice.
If you find yourself needing to escape reality, or people in general, take a weekend off and go explore!