52 Things to Fill the Off-Season

The mountain snows are melting, it’s rained for the tenth day in a row, the robins are back and bouncing, and the skiers & bikers are pouting. Yup, it’s mud season. The ski hills are all closed for the off-season and the trails are too gooey to ride. If you planned it right, you’ve already packed your bags and are on your way to Moab or Joshua Tree. But if, like most of us, you can’t jet-set your way around at every change of season, then you’re probably Bozo-bound in zero-acceleration mode wondering what in the mud-filled heck to do with yo’self. Well, fear not. O/B has come up with some cheap alternative activities to broaden your horizons and tune your mad skills.

1. Bow-hunt for carp at Canyon Ferry. Be sure to share the dead carp (carpses?) with your dog.
2. Rent a noodling video. Afterwards, round up your friends and have a sucker-snatching contest on the Jefferson.
3. Check out the gopher rodeo in Rapelje. (Don’t be upset if you lose; there are people who train all year for this.)
4. Make a rope with shed dog hair.
5. Drink every flavored latté at the coffee shop, one per day.
6. Get into improvisational jazz. Remember, learning the spaz
dance is half the battle.
7. Try finger painting—on the wall of your rental.
8. Find out how many days in a row you can eat only beans
(this could be lonely).
9. Learn how the moon affects the tides. (No, this does not mean
dropping trou at the East Gallatin pond.)
10. Sample every flavor at the ice cream shop.
11. Learn about the arts.
12. Spend a day contemplating the thumb.
13. Pierce a body part. You can do this yourself.
14. Introduce yourself to a stranger and then leave abruptly.
15. Bake something.
16. Go on a mullet safari, starting at the Filler.
17. Build a ship in a bottle and set sail your imagination.
18. Get a 3,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
19. Knit your summer bikini.
20. Shampoo your carpets—and if you’re a dirtbag, do your hair too.
21. Organize your maps.
22. Go to the craft shop. Ask for 20 yards of animal-friendly pink
tissue paper.
23. Skin up Electric Peak and go for a ski—starting from
Gallatin Canyon.
24. Hold a rollerskating competition in the living room.
25. Work on your knot-tying skills.
26. Sharpen all the knives in your house.
27. Practice your spring-cleaning skills—then go drink till you barf.
28. Go to the library and listen to books on tape.
29. Build forts and form a secret club.
30. Draft plans for a clothesline for your backyard.
31. Watch every MacGyver re-run. (Hockey-rocker mullet—yes!)
32. Make up new verses to the diarrhea song. (“I was sliding into home an my pants were full of foam. Diarrhea, cha-cha-cha.”)
33. Work on your rock collection.
34. Go to a contra dance.
35. Buy a yo-yo. (DO NOT smuggle it.)
36. Pull out the pogo stick.
37. Write a letter to the editor and tell them how you feel.
38. Go snorkeling in Hyalite Lake—with your scuba weights on.
39. Boogie-board the Gallatin.
40. Journal.
41. Learn how to write in Elvish.
42. Ask the guy at Poor Richard’s if he reads palms.
43. Eat well. Drink lots of water.
44. Communicate with everyone via Etch-a-Sketch.
45. Get a Mohawk.
46. Grow an ant farm.
47. Create a new font and then name it after yourself.
48. Go tree-climbing. Mind the sap.
49. Build a rock cairn garden.
50. Do the dishes.
51. Feng shui your home, starting with the garage.
51. Get in an argument with a pacifist.
52. Memorize all the lines in Napoleon Dynamite.