Aaron Carter follows me on twitter, I do not know how or why. I would like to say that he could sense that my love for him in early 2000s still runs deep and that the joy and excitement I experienced from his debut on that Lizzy McGuire episode in 2001 (you know which one I’m talking about) created a loyalty that cannot be broken. But more than likely it was a fluke, an accident or even a PR stunt.
Whatever it is, he is one of my 48 followers and I was able to message the tween sensation on twitter.
(above is the picture I took of Aarons profile from my twitter account)
I got the idea to reach out to Aaron Carter when I saw on Facebook that he is performing in Billings, Montana on May 6th. It was really serendipitous because I haven’t heard a song or seen Aaron Carter since my Lizzy McGuire fan club days and now he has been on my radar twice in the last month.
I figured I had nothing to lose and I was going to send him a message.
I did some research and by that I mean I typed into Google “what to say to a celebrity in a direct message on twitter?” and there was pages and pages of advice. There was even a WikiHow page and hundreds of pages from One Direction Fans who have tried every different way to get in contact with Harry Styles.
So I sent my first message. It was long and I babbled and I mentioned his appearance in Lizzy McGuire back in 2001 and how he is still a great artist.
It was an awful message. My eight-year-old self would have been so disappointed. But I told myself to keep at it.
For the next few days I stuck with some basic “Hey Aaron” or “Have a good day”, nothing too crazy because I didn’t want to sound like an idiot (that ship might have already sailed but for the sake of this argument we will say that ship is still in the harbor).
The next week I saw something on Facebook that was pure gold.
SO I messaged Aaron about Farch. Again, it was not a great message but I tried to get the point across.
I messaged him a few more times about the local artist.
( (a picture of Farch in the campaign for him to open for Aaron Carter)
After sending multiple messages I refuse to get discouraged.
I am continuing to message Aaron Carter everyday until his show or until he blocks me on twitter (whichever comes first.) And I will keep you guys updated. You can check back to this page for updates and you can also follow me on twitter @Katerade4
It just wouldn’t be a Summer in Missoula, MT without the Farmer’s Market. Drive, bike, or take the bus downtown and walk around Caras Park to get fresh vegetables, hand-squeezed lemonade, delicious food, and so much more! While you are enjoying the Farmer’s Market make sure to walk over to Brennan’s Wave to watch the kayakers and surfers do their thing.
For information on days and times you can visit their website:
Although not technically in Missoula, rafting the Alberton Gorge is definitely a must on the to do list this summer. Take a few friends, or a small group, find your favorite raft guide and hit the water!
Float the Clark Fork
Of course floating the Clark Fork made the list! Grab a paddle board, tube, kayak, or raft and get in the water!
River City Roots Festival
End your summer right by attending River City Roots Festival on August 28 and 29 in downtown Missoula. River City Roots Festival is two days of great food and drinks, live music, activities for the family, and even a 4-mile fun run!
For more information on the River City Roots Festival you can visit their website:
That’s right! Big Sky Brewing Company has been a fixture in the Missoula community for 21 years! To celebrate, Big Sky Brewing Company will be hosting their Anniversary party in downtown Missoula at Caras Park on Friday, June 17th from 4pm – 6pm. There will be 21 world class beers to choose from along with live music, street performers, food, and fun! The event is free but they will be charging for beer. What’s better? 100% of the money made from the sale of beer will help a Missoula non-profit group connect the public trail systems around the city. How could this not be on your Missoula Summer to-do list?
Whether you are a professional kayaker or you are just starting out Love Boat is something that everyone needs to experience. Every Tuesday night a group of kayakers (from beginners to professionals) go paddling. It is a great time to connect with others, learn new skills, and just enjoy the Missoula summer. Never kayaked before? Not a problem. Stop in at LB Snow and get yourself set up with some gear!
Go on a run!
Typically, I would not suggest running as a fun thing that you have to do this summer. But, with all of the fun runs in Missoula? Go on a run! This summer you can pick from runs like the Insane Inflatable 5k, Missoula Ultimate Wine Run, The Peak Triathlon, The Dirty Dash, and so many more.
To see a full list of runs in Missoula this summer visit:
We have all seen Thirst Gear’s Bike Trolley Tour going around downtown Missoula. This is summertime in Missoula, MT so why wouldn’t you want to go on a 3-hour pub crawl on a bike trolley with a group of people?
To get more information or book your bike trolley tour visit:
Enjoy Missoula’s downtown on the first Friday of each month for the First Friday Art & Food walk.
Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
Serene, beautiful, and located less than an hour outside of Missoula. The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is open from dawn til dusk every day and anyone that has visited will tell you it belongs on the list of things to do this summer.
I know, I know. It is Missoula so everyone pretty much has their favorite hiking spot already, right? Well, get out of your comfort zone and find a new one!
Explore Rattlesnake Recreation Area
It is all in the title. Go explore the Rattlesnake Recreation Area and enjoy the beautiful views that Western Montana has to offer. It is located in Lolo National Forest and is less than an hour drive from Missoula.
Mountain bike at SnowBowl
Mix it up and go mountain biking at SnowBowl! This mountain is not just for skiing and in the summertime it offers amazing views. It is definitely a must on the to-do list.
Catch an Osprey Game
Who doesn’t like to grab a hot dog and a beer and catch a baseball game in the summer? Go support your local Ospreys this summer!
Did you know there is an underwater cave near Missoula? This item on the to-do list is, perhaps, the furthest from Missoula but it is an underwater cave! You can actually swim under the cave and pop out at the other side so of course it is a must.
Folf at Blue Mountain, Pattee Canyon, or SnowBowl
Instead of folfing at a typical park this summer change it up and folf at Blue Mountain, Pattee Canyon, or SnowBowl. Enjoy the amazing views and the great Summer weather. Even better? Blue Mountain and Pattee Canyon are dog-friendly.
Drink some wine and paint with friends
This new trend is catching on everywhere and Missoula is no exception. Grab some friends and paint a picture the right way (holding a glass of wine).
For those of you who do not like spending your entire Summer outdoors take a cooking class at Taste Buds Kitchen. Although Taste Buds does cater to kids during the day, by night it turns into an adult BYOB kitchen.
Portland, OR and Missoula, MT have many similarities. From the craft breweries, bike craze, Birkenstocks, outdoors-men, organic foods, diverse restaurants.. Portland Oregon and Missoula Montana have a lot in common. Here are ten reasons, and counting, why these two cities are so similar, and what makes them such great places to live.
Portland and Missoula are listed in the top ten cities for beer drinkers. Portland beats out Missoula at 3rd place to Missoula’s 8th, but that recognition alone shows how much both cities love beer. There are nearly ten breweries in Missoula alone and Portland has 58 within the city limits.
Biking & Pedestrians:
Bikers always win in Portland. There are these green bike boxes downtown that allow bikes to wait in-front of cars while at a stop light. If you work downtown, chances are you bike to work and are well familiar with the many bikers all over the roads. In Missoula, there are many bikers as well thanks to the large selection of bike paths in the city, and downtown you can find elevated sidewalks only for biker use.
The Good Food Store, Missoula Fresh Market, Natural Grocers.. Missoula has many options for organic and natural foods and like Portland boasts farmers markets throughout the summer and fall seasons.
Montana roots gear is extremely popular in Montana, and in Missoula. Locals sport this clothing to show how much they love this state. Much like Portlander’s and Oregonians wearing the ironic “put a bird on it” shirts and their willingness to show their love for their hometown.
Hiking, Biking, Skiing:
Missoula is home to great hiking, biking, and skiing trails. You don’t have to go far to see the incredible places this city has to show you. There isn’t a time when there arent people exploring and hiking the “M trail” about the UM campus. Portlanders need to travel a bit further for hiking or skiing, but they are still favored weekend activities. There are also parks within the city, like Forest Park, where you can spend a whole day exploring and enjoying nature.
In Portland, you could eat your way through the city with any kind of food you are looking for. There are incredible and unique restaurants all over the city, not to forget the food carts around downtown that have their own unique food scenes. Missoula has great choices for food as well. Being a college town, you can find great burgers, pizza, and brunch.
A river runs through it:
Portland has the Willamette river. Missoula has the Clark Fork. Both rivers run through the middle of the city and are used for recreation. Dragon boats, kayaks, and rowers can be seen on the Willamette, especially during the summer months. A favorite summer time activity of Missoula is floating down the Clark Fork on inter-tubes. The Clark Fork is smaller than the Willamette and makes it easier for fishing and walking along it.
It snows in Missoula, and it rains in Portland. Both cities are often covered by gloomy gray clouds and have very temperamental and changing weather. While Missoula is well equipped for snow, Portland tends to shut down for less than two inches of snow. Even in April, the mountains around Missoula are covered with a light dusting of snow.
Griz games are huge in Missoula. Timbers soccer games are huge in Portland. Portland and Missoula both have huge support for their sports teams and if thousands of screaming fans doesn’t show this I don’t know what does.
Portland and Missoula are both incredible cities. Living in Missoula reminds me so much of Portland, which is home for me, has been incredible. These are two cities that are great to live and work in.
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.
Having grown up in the 90’s and now living in 2016, I’ve seen many aspects of our culture here in America change. I remember riding my bicycle without a helmet, drinking water from a garden hose and riding in the back of a pickup truck. These things are now considered “unacceptable” by today’s societal standards. I also remember combing over my hair before school, checking my flip phone for texts and listening to The Red Hot Chili Peppers. These things are now outdated.
Our cultural norms and standards of what is “ok” and what is “not ok” change. They always have and always will.
Another thing I’ve seen change over my short 23-year span here on earth is standards or expectations on how a church service is held. I grew up in a very traditional Christian Reformed (a specific denomination of Christianity) church. My family dressed up every Sunday morning, found our spot in the pews and stood up or sat down depending on whether the pastor was speaking or we were singing hymns along with the choir. The pastor wore a suit, the lights were always on and there were no screens. There is nothing necessarily right or wrong, good or bad about these things. It’s just how it was.
Today’s church culture is vastly different than the one I grew accustomed to. Pastors don’t always wear suits, the lights aren’t always on and you won’t get pinched by your mom or dad for using your phone during the service – Bible app for the win. Many churches now cater to the younger generation and feel more like a concert than a traditional service to the veteran church-goer. There are now hip clothes, drums, electric guitars and the occasional YouTube video during a service. It’s safe to say, things aren’t the way they used to be in church culture.
One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the gospel message. The Bible. God has provided us with this timeless salvation story. This is the story in which Jesus Christ, the son of God, came down from Heaven, died the death that we deserved and saved us from eternal damnation. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
That is of utmost importance. It is important that this story never changes. We should never dilute it or add to it. It does not matter that the music is louder and the lights are dimmer. Those things will continue to change and adapt to whatever society deems “normal.” We should not let those changes divide us as believers. We should be united knowing that the other believers around us have their faith and hope in the same promises that we do – that Jesus will come again. John 14:1-3Ephesians 4:1-5
Here is a quote from Roger Flynn, church manager of Zootown Church – the church I attend in Missoula, MT. “We’re different than some of the other churches in town, we don’t do anything that would be traditional. We try to avoid tradition in the sense that we don’t want to just do church to do church. We want to do church to reach the city of Missoula.”
It would be detrimental for Christians to “do church to do church.” That is religion for religion’s sake instead of pursuing a real, meaningful relationship with Jesus. Then, when we pursue Jesus together, we can unite to reach the unbelievers in our communities just as we were called to do. Mark 16:15
So, I hope on this Easter Sunday you were able to celebrate and share the resurrection story of Jesus in unity with believers and unbelievers, whether or not you were comfortable with how dim the lights were or how tight the jeans were. Culture is ever-changing and we will all be uncomfortable with some standards at one point or another. Let’s look beyond that – culture changes, the story doesn’t.
If you’re not a believer, I pray that you give a church in your community a chance. Not because you have to go to be considered a good person but because they will, hopefully, introduce you to a relationship with Jesus that will change your eternal future. Romans 10:9-13