Spring and summer in Montana are magical. Western Montanans know that we are extremely blessed; being able to wake up to spectacular sunrises, dew covered grass, & meadowlarks calling. Long days of endless azure skies and warm breezes, and daylight lasting until well past 9 or 10:00 p.m. Evenings allow us to catch our breath, offering a polite coolness that makes sleep easy with the windows open. Our days are filled with gardening, golfing, biking, water sports, hiking, fishing and wildlife watching.
Trips to Missoula’s Greenough Park to sit beside Rattlesnake Creek and watch joggers and picnicker’s, while enjoying the creeks coolness amid the cities hubbub. Hiking to the ‘M’ (the mountain overlooking the University of Montana) in the early morning to enjoy the pleasant Western vista below. Watching kayakers take on Brennans wave from the downtown Higgins bridge, or floating the famous Blackfoot River, or fly fishing along the banks of the renown Rock Creek, for rainbow trout. Strolling through the grounds of the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula or visiting the Elk Foundation and learning more about those elusive, majestic creatures. Attending the Farmers Market on Saturdays and ‘Out To Lunch’ at Caras Park on Wednesdays and then riding the colorful and quick Carousel or watching the children play around Dragon Hollow playground at River Front Park; alongside the impressive Clark Fork River. Enjoying the Current’s indoor pool & slide or the outdoor Splash waterpark on a hot summer day. Strolling the many local museums and shops in Downtown Missoula on a warm Friday evening for the First Friday Art Walk. Missoula really shows off its’ own special look and a feel that can only be described as eclectic. Enjoy playing 9-holes on the mountainside at Highlands Golf Course, and then sipping an ice cold drink on the deck; while surveying the vista of Missoula Valley in its summer green glory or, even better, a sumptuous late dinner here at The Keep, while viewing the city lights twinkling below. Missoula is, after all, nicknamed the ‘Garden City’ and oh, does it show.
Missoula is also known as the ‘Hub of 5 Valleys’ and just like the spokes on the Stelling wagon wheel logo, so are the valleys that flow from Missoula. They are: ‘The Clark Fork Valley’ to the West, the ‘Flathead Valley’ to the North, the ‘Blackfoot Valley’ to the NE, the ‘Deerlodge Valley’ to the East and the ‘Bitterroot Valley’ to the South. And like limbs of a huge tree these large valleys split into smaller branches (or valleys) and so on.
Yes, we are certainly grateful for being able to live in an area with such sheer beauty surrounding us daily. The sky, the mountains, the trees, and the friendliness of the people – all are constant reminders of just how blessed we truly are. As a recent visitor from the Midwest said, “Noone can tell you about the beauty of this place. You have to see it and experience it first hand, with your own eyes. It is amazing! . (About the pic: Sail Along With Me to see Stunning views of amazing Flathead Lake; the largest Fresh-Water Lake West of the Mississippi)