Letter from the Editor – Spring 2016

By Hayley Leray

sig spring 2016 cover copy

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” — Mark Twain

I adore spring! It’s like Christmas in March with nature offering up an abundance of gifts that quietly awaken and unfold before our eyes. From the budding trees, the blossoming flowers, the birds serenading from the treetops to longer, brighter and warmer days. Spring is green, gentle and alive. It’s the infant stage of the seasons of transition where innocence and purity resonates throughout the landscapes. It’s a season of hope and renewal that encourages months of optimistic dormancy to awaken while gently nudging the seeds of new beginnings to burst into fruition. How can you not love spring?

Continue Reading

Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT

Gear Up at Helena’s Bicycle Haven

Text by Claire Baiz • Photography by Nicole Keintz

The Garage, Cole, Steve and Evan

The Garage, 334 Jackson Street

The moment you walk in, it’s obvious The Garage isn’t just a retail store—it’s a working part of central Montana’s cycling community, offering local art, a meeting space with a full-on DJ studio, and even beer on tap, along with custom bicycles, accessories and fine repairs.

“The Garage grew out of…my own garage,” owner Steve Coen grins at the metal overhead door that opens onto North Jackson Street.

A bike shop can be like a classic art studio, where personalized craftsmanship is the result of years of apprenticeship. With a little help from Steve, Cole and Evan, you’ll pedal out of The Garage on the bike of your dreams.

Continue Reading

Matthew Nottingham – Reel ‘Em In, In Style

His Look

Text by Claire Baiz | Photography by Garrett Thompson

Matthew Nottingham’s best advice for the well-dressed outdoorsman: “Never underestimate wool socks.”

This avid hiker and fisherman knows Big Sky Country: sunny one second, snowy the next. Nottingham encourages people to dress in layers, with a quick-dry base.

Montana’s own Simms and FishOn Energy companies are this Helena native’s go-to sources for gear.

Dr. Nottingham, an optometrist with Helena Vision Center, advises polarized lenses for outdoor activity—even for kids. He wears Maui Jims, which protect the eyes and don’t have to darken the terrain. “They really help me see into the water,” he says.

Continue Reading

Neonatal Flight Nurse, Breckett Perkins

Up in the Air, Compassionate Neonatal Care

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Text by Claire Baiz • Photography by David Rabenberg

Beckett Perkins knew by the time she was in junior high that she wanted to help sick babies.

This Missoula native was well on her way to becoming an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) when her own premature twins began their lives in Salt Lake City’s Neonatal ICU.

Perhaps because she’s “been there,” Perkins’ compassionate professionalism inspires everyone—especially her twins Alissa and Ainsley, who are nursing students, and daughter Brianna, who is working on her pharmacy degree. Perkins, a Benefis employee since 1997, says there’s no such thing as a typical day. “I couldn’t do it without my husband and family.”

Continue Reading

Arvon Block’s Celtic Cowboys:

Home on the Range

Whether you’re a local looking for lunch or libation, or a tired traveler in search of supper and a place to hang your hat, Reid and Patrick will greet you at the front door of the Arvon Block.

Whether you’re a local looking for lunch or libation, or a tired traveler in search of supper and a place to hang your hat, Reid and Patrick will greet you at the front door of the Arvon Block.

Text by Claire Baiz • Photography by Phil Procopio

“It wasn’t until I moved back,” Reid Ellsworth says, “that I realized what makes Great Falls feel like home…People here have the courage to tell the truth—it keeps us genuine.” Reid, whose experience is in the restaurant business, serves as operations manager for the Arvon Block; his husband Patrick Sullivan, a fourth-generation Montana hotelier, is general manager.

Continue Reading

Spring “Brew” Training

Spring has sprung and it’s time to transition into some crisp and refreshing brews. To kick off the season, I have rounded up some beers to help power through those spring chores or perfect for sitting back and relaxing with friends on a sunshiny day.

Craft beer is all about diversity, which is reflected in the assortment of beer styles produced by breweries during the spring season. Let’s kick things off with Saison (seh zohn) and Session beers. Saison, French for season, is a pale ale that is generally around 7% ABV (alcohol by volume), highly carbonated, fruity, spicy, and often bottle conditioned. Historically, in the 15 and 1600s, they were farm house ales made in the cooler winter months and stored for summer use when the seasonal workers came to work the farm. These workers were called Saisonniers and were entitled up to five liters of beer every work day. Remember, in those days, water harbored bacteria and fermentation was a sure way to eliminate the risk. Back then, no one kept track of the ABV, but most agree they were probably 3 to 3.5 percent evolving to 4.5 to 6.5 in the early 20th century. Today, you are more likely to find them between 7 and 8.5 percent. Saison is generally a Belgium style brew utilizing Belgium style yeast to give it that crisp, fruity and clean finish.

Continue Reading