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  • Journey to Easter and to freedom

    Michelle Jenkins|Mar 14, 2024

    On Feb. 14, “ValentAsh Wednesday,” this year, we began the holy season of Lent, and many of us received blessed ashes as a symbolic gesture of our repentance and of our resolve to live the 40 days of Lent to grow in virtue. In this holy season, we accompany Jesus in His 40 days of temptation in the desert. It is a time of purification and growth. It is a springtime for the soul. And it is a journey to freedom. In our Lenten journey to Easter, we are encouraged to move from where we are to where the Lord wants us to be: to a greater obe...

  • Keeping winter activities alive

    Garry Swain|Mar 14, 2024

    The winter of 2023/2024 brought a ton of sunshine and blue skies to Seeley Lake, and it also brought a ton of challenges for the ROCKS team as we struggled to keep our winter recreational areas functional and fun. No strangers to adversity, we who rely so heavily on the weather, everyone persevered. While our winter activities looked a wee bit different from normal years, we skated and we skied whenever we could. As we maintained the yurt with the Nordic Ski Club, we marveled at the ingenuity with which they forged ahead with a paltry amount...

  • It might as well be spring – almost

    Chuck Stranahan|Mar 14, 2024

    Remember that old Rodgers and Hammerstein tune? It Might As Well Be Spring, from the musical Oklahoma? It feels like spring should be here but hasn't arrived yet. It might as well be, and should be, but isn't yet spring. I remember Februarys in years past when Jan and I would take long walks on the banks of the river. Winter eased up to the point where it felt good to get out. Taking a fly rod on those walks would come next. The past few days have been sunny enough. But instead of rising trout,...

  • Comprehensive healthcare, Medicaid coverage, and the fight to end homelessness

    Lara Salazar CEO Partnership Health Center|Mar 14, 2024

    In the vibrant tapestry of a community’s well-being, a fundamental thread stands out — access to comprehensive healthcare. Comprehensive healthcare recognizes and addresses the interconnectedness of physical, mental, and social well-being, and it provides an essential foundation for individuals and families to live healthy lives. Healthy individuals are the building blocks of a healthy community, and when our community is healthy, everyone benefits. A comprehensive healthcare approach focuses on driving positive health outcomes, even when tha...

  • Humble pie in paradise

    Alan Muskett|Mar 7, 2024

    Since our last Pathfinder report, we have traveled the 240 miles from Fort Pierce, Florida to Key West. Along the way, I would estimate we have heard some version of Jimmy Buffet 500 times. Apparently, tourists expect a mind-numbing repetition of "tropical" music, none written in the last 40 years. Don't worry, be happy. I have substituted "cheeseburger" in the Buffet song for "humble pie," as I have made about every goober mistake you can make on a boat. I thought I was quite the docking artist...

  • Perpetua and Felicity Christian martyrs

    Kapp Johnson, Retired pastor Seeley Lake|Mar 7, 2024

    Today, March 7, is the commemoration of two early Christian martyrs: Perpetua and Felicity. They were residents of Carthage in North Africa and died in 202 A.D. In that same year, the emperor Septimius Severus forbade conversions to Christianity. Perpetua, a noblewoman, Felicity an enslaved woman, and other companions were all catechumens (preparing for baptism in the Christian faith). They were imprisoned and sentenced to death. In prison they were baptized. Perpetua’s father, who was not a Christian, visited her in prison and begged her to l...

  • Saying goodbye

    Ken Silvestro, Psychotherapist Seeley Lake|Mar 7, 2024

    It’s always difficult to say goodbye. Whether it’s to someone we love, a relative, or a close friend. Why is that? The obvious answer is our deep relationship to whom we’re saying goodbye. If we love someone and lose that person to a relationship breakup or death, the feeling of loss is the same. If it’s a close friend, the feeling of loss might be a little different, but saying goodbye remains difficult. Aside from this obvious understanding of loss, what else could be inducing the feeling...

  • Local sockeye, kokanee salmon in the Seeley area

    Reuben Frey, Fisheries Technician MTFWP|Mar 7, 2024
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    Have you ever been driving Highway 83 and noticed the surface of Salmon Lake rippling with rising fish? It's likely what you were seeing weren't trout, but rather the landlocked version of sockeye salmon called kokanee. These mini salmon have been stocked in the Clearwater chain of lakes for over half a century by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to provide recreational fishing opportunities. The story of the Clearwater kokanee is interesting and involves biology, laboratory science and most impor...

  • The search for the ultimate skwala pattern

    Chuck Stranahan|Mar 7, 2024

    My fly tying friends are at their vices already. They're tying skwalas - old favorites and some inevitable new ones. They can't help themselves. And they can't help but add too much of this, and a dab of that to their flies. Every flytier in western Montana where the early season skwala stonefly hatch occurs probably has at least one favorite skwala dry fly pattern, a fugitive from the accumulation of wild overdressed experiments gone wrong. Taken together, that scrap heap of abandoned flies...

  • People from our Past - Mildred Chaffin

    Tom Browder, Seeley Lake Historical Society|Mar 7, 2024

    In 1987, the Seeley Lake Writers Club started a project that two years later — in time for Montana's Centennial — was published as the book "Cabin Fever." This remains the best compilation of articles and interviews of the first 100 years of the Seeley Lake area. One of the key figures in the writers group was Mildred Chaffin. We have read many of the fascinating stories she wrote, but her own life makes for quite a story as well! Mildred was born in Evaro in 1908, back when Evaro seemed to be even more remote from Missoula than it is tod...

  • Board of health transparency

    Nathan Bourne|Feb 29, 2024

    I attended the Feb. 15 Missoula County Board of Health meeting in regards to the “new policy” Missoula Public Health, Environmental Health has for Seeley Lake. While the Missoulian and Pathfinder covered the presentation, both presented the changes to the Special Management Area (SMA) requirements as “proposed.” The chair of the board of health stated there would be a public process before the board implements new regulations. However, based on my experience, the health department is already enforcing the new policy that functions more like a n...

  • Volunteerism abounds

    Robert Shaffer, Double Arrow Ranch Landowners Association|Feb 29, 2024

    One of the many things I love about Seeley Lake is the volunteerism I see everywhere. When I bought my home here almost 10 years ago, one of the things I planned to do when I retired to Seeley full time was volunteer in some fashion to serve the community. That is actually how I ended up on the DARLOA BOD. I felt that the DARLOA BOD had arrived at a more harmonious place than it had been in some preceding years and I wanted to help keep it that way. Of course HOA’s have a way of always having some contention and DARLOA (being quite large) is n...

  • Fishing for winter whitefish, then and now

    Chuck Stranahan|Feb 29, 2024

    It’s been a few years since I deliberately fished for winter whitefish. The last time, I joined some friends at a café in Darby for a late breakfast. The object was to fuel ourselves up with enough calories to withstand a chilly afternoon on the river, where we planned to catch a mess of whitefish. After that, the plan was to cook a few for an early dinner according to one of Mike’s all-time-great whitefish recipes (he’s a great cook) and if enough were left over, to smoke them. Who would do the smoking was uncertain. Both Jim and Mike are gr...

  • You owe more money

    Jan Lombardi, Seeley Lake and Helena Montana|Feb 22, 2024

    Well, the next step in your residential property tax increase is happening. Banks are sending updated "mortgage bills" to homeowners. Guess what? You owe more money! Recently, a young friend reached out, concerned about his $100 monthly mortgage increase and he didn't know why. That's a lot of money — $1,200 a year. Drumroll for the explanation. Since the bill comes from the bank, it's the lender's fault, right? Nope. By law, a residential mortgage statement must show the escrow portion — the amount you pay for insurance and taxes for your hom...

  • Library news

    Carrie Benton, Seeley Lake Public Library Librarian|Feb 22, 2024

    This month’s Book Club pick is Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West. Swing by the library for a copy. The book club meets in the library the first Thursday of each month at 11:00 a.m. Next gathering is March 7. Your local Seeley Lake Public Library has added these new titles to the Montana Collection. For our quilters: Border to Border: Quilts and Quiltmakers of Montana. The quilts chronicle Montana's history over the last 150 years, tel...

  • New Year resolution for your teeth

    Dr. Alyssa Harris DMD, Seeley Swan Medical Center|Feb 22, 2024

    As the New Year settles in, you may be thinking about ways to improve your health. Many of us are familiar with Dry Month January where people abstain from alcoholic beverages. As a dentist I strongly applaud this effort. Alcohol is associated with causing seven different types of cancer, including oral cancers. Did you also know that alcohol as well as many other beverages cause acid erosion of your teeth? Severity of tooth erosion is directly related to the pH, or acidity, of the beverages we drink. The acid pulls critical minerals out of...

  • Archives

    Pathfinder Staff|Feb 22, 2024

    From 1989 Pathfinder Archives Feb. 23 Variety of talent in Swan Valley show Every artist was once an amateur, according to Ralph Waldo Emerson. His words of wisdom stretched across the stage of the Swan Valley Elementary School last Friday night, encouraging about two dozen performers who entertained a crowd of local residents and fans. Seven-year old Casey Parker stole the hearts of everyone in the audience when she stood up on the stage and sang, "Grandpa, Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days."...

  • A loopy idea

    Alan Muskett|Feb 22, 2024

    It is helpful, when your life or job is in grind mode, to have a diverting obsession. At 3 a.m., in a fluorescently lit surgeon's lounge, waiting my turn in the OR to reconstruct a face that, earlier in the evening, had lapped up a dozen beers or so, then flew through the windshield of his Ram 2500, I would peruse innumerable websites related to way cool boats and yachts and exotic locations. The fact that many of these vessels cost ten times more than my net worth (counting the sale of a...

  • Tactics and flies for late winter, early spring

    Chuck Stranahan|Feb 22, 2024

    One nice thing about fishing this time of year: you're not likely to fish in a crowd. You might see a couple of others, and like you, they probably value their solitude as much as you do. You tend not to bother each other; the social exchanges are apt to be quiet, pleasant, and brief before you go your separate ways. The solitude you'll find when it's not quite spring is reason enough to get out and fish. Another nice thing is that despite the cold water temperatures that lull the trout into a...

  • How Can The Savior & Our Heavenly Father Help Us In Our Trials Of Today?

    Sherman Smith Church of Jesus Christ LDS|Feb 15, 2024

    As we seek to follow Jesus Christ and walk the path of discipleship, line upon line, the day will come that we will experience that unimaginable gift of receiving a fullness of joy. As we nurture and prepare our children, we allow for their agency, we love them with all our heart, we teach them God’s commandments and His gift of repentance and we never, ever, give up on them. After all, isn’t this the Lord’s way with each of us? Young men and young women, as you grow older, making fun of others can evolve very dangerously. Anxiety, depre...

  • Changes in weather and weed management

    Karen Laitala Powell County|Feb 15, 2024

    Climate change refers to a change in a climate system that persists for long periods of time, irrespective of the cause. Montana has such an interesting history of environmental changes over the years. At one time western Montana lay beneath a lake approximately 2,000 feet deep. Ice dams 4,000 feet tall that blocked the Clark Fork River burst causing the 3,000 square mile Glacial Lake Missoula to drain in less than a week into the Pacific Ocean. Much of the rock formations and other geology we...

  • Not your usual February, and walking along the river

    Chuck Stranahan|Feb 15, 2024

    This February feels different. I don't quite have a sense of what to expect as it plays out. Today, as I write, I see a covering of fresh snow. The rain that fell over the last few days is frozen under the snow. The streets are icy and very slick. The cars move slowly, cautiously, along the road I can see from the house. The day feels more like it belongs in early December. The intermittent rains and snows will come, or so the weather forecasts tell me, and the snow will melt and the rain and...

  • The power of a walk

    Tom Browder|Feb 15, 2024

    At the Seeley Lake Historical Society, a main focus of ours is maintaining and enhancing the museum at the Barn. Those of you who have visited us recently (we are open Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m - 4 p.m. throughout the winter) have seen the updated exhibits discussed in our December article, and now can view our Veteran's display. This includes uniforms and artifacts going back to the First World War. We have other projects in the works, so in addition to visitors, we love to have volunteers as well! Understanding and appreciating...

  • Decisions of State

    Submitted by Dick Giuliani, Seeley Lake|Feb 8, 2024

    The State of Montana, through the Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved the Elbow Lake Gravel Pit and Asphalt Plant in 2023. The 20 acre site of the gravel pit on Highway 83 is part of the critical wildlife corridor to and from the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area (BCWMA). The rationale for the decision by the state to approve the pit was that it needed funding to support education. The decision was made despite overwhelming opposition to the gravel pit from the citizens of...

  • Kudos to the sheriffs

    June Swarvoski, Seeley Lake|Feb 8, 2024

    Kudos to the sheriffs here in Seeley Lake. Finally cleaning out the riff raff. This town is now a little safer. Now the sheriffs need to go after the speeders. Once they pass the motel going north their speed increases and that's a 35 mph zone. Even the traffic coming from Condon, they don't slow down and the truckers are the worst, constantly using their jake brake. Speed limit in town is 25 mph and they're going faster than that. Best idea is for cameras to catch the speeders. Colorado, Arizona and Texas, along with California have cameras...

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