Posts filed under ‘Montana’

Blue Mountain/Poo Mountain Recreation Area

Yesterday, Montana once again had better weather than Virginia.  It was beautiful and sunny and in the upper sixties.  I got to rollerblade in my 17th U.S. State (took the Bitterroot Trail System from McCormick Park to Southgate Mall).  Later in the afternoon Larry, Lindsay, Jennifer and I went for a quick “hike” in Blue Mountain Recreation Area.  We are also joined by the two dogs (Juna and Jasper) and a young woman named Rose who possess a radiant complexion, a beautiful smile and a very, very loud laugh.   The park is extremely dog-friendly.  As such, it has earned a nickname from the locals – “Poo Mountain”.

Well, I didn’t see any dog poo on our journey but I did get to see a lot of great views.  Some pictures from our outing:

Our crew hiking


Lindsay and Larry

Vivid Bark

All my pictures from our Blue Mountain Recreation Area hike are available on my Flickr site.

April 16, 2007 at 2:36 am 2 comments

The Dirty Car

In our 8 days here, our rental car has managed to get quite dirty:

Dirty car– you can’t even see the license plate!

View from inside the car

Apparently our car has provided much amusement to passersby.  Friday morning, Larry and I woke up to some messages written on the back windshield.  The first one was very typical of dirty cars:

Wash Me 😦

The other one was “Fuck You”, which Larry erased.  BUT, his technique could use some improvement.  He only wiped out the middle of the letters.  After three hours of driving, we realized the message was still fully legible.  We took some corrective action.

After visiting Glacier National Park and passing by scenic Flathead Lake, Larry and I returned to Missoula, picked up Lindsay and ran the car through a car wash near the hotel.  The “Ultimate” option we selected did a fairly good job…with the exception of the back of the vehicle.  Most of the mud was gone, but a stubborn film of dirt remained.  Even with the marked improvement, the windshield continued to attract attention.  After supper last night, we discovered another message was added to the vehicle:

I Wish My Wife Was This Dirty

When I just went out to take a picture of this “new” message, I discovered an even newer response had been composed:

I Wish My Wife Was This Dirty | She Is

I suspect the mystery responder is Larry because there was also a response to the “Wash Me :(” that was still visible in the mud film:

Response to “Wash Me :(” –  I already did

I’m not sure that much more can be added to the vehicle.  If anything happens to surface, I’ll be sure let you know.  As it stands now, the employees at Enterprise will have some amusing reading material when we return the car.

April 14, 2007 at 1:59 pm 1 comment

Glacier National Park

With our work obligations over, Larry and I got to resume exploring Montana.  Yesterday we ate lunch in Whitefish, Montana.  We got yelled at for jaywalking, but our experience was still very positive thanks to some delicious pies from Loula’s Cafe.  After that, we hit Glacier National Park.  This is the third National Park I’ve gotten to visit in the past year (Rocky Mountain National Park and Great Smokey Mountain National Park were the other two)!

Me at my third National Park in a year. 

Spring plowing of the park typically begins at the beginning of April and it can take two months or more to plow the Going-To-The-Sun Road.  Sometimes they are plowing through snowdrifts that are 60-70 feet deep!  It is typically late May or early June before the road is fully open.   Yesterday, they did have a ten mile stretch open to the public, so Larry and I took advantage of that.  We got to see a lot of great views, particularly of Lake McDonald. 

Me at Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald from near the Apgar Visitor Center

Lake McDonald, traveling southwest on Going-To-The-Sun Road.

I was disappointed when the park ranger told me that I would not see any sheep or goats because “they are higher up and snowed in”, but we did get to see some deer.

A deer in Glacier National Park

Afterwards, we visited a high quality gift shop (filled with wonderful crafts and artwork) near the Apgar Visitor Center and purchased a few souvenirs.  I have successfully secured Mother’s Day cards and gifts for both my mother and Sean’s mother this trip!

On the way back to Missoula, we passed by the gorgeous Flathead Lake and snapped some shots there as well:

Beautiful Flathead Lake

We definitely had a scenic day!  All my uploaded pictures from Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake (I have tons more on my laptop) are available on my Flickr site.

April 14, 2007 at 1:16 pm 2 comments

Easter: Jesus Beats Death, Larry Beats the M

In one of his previous visits to Missoula, Larry tried to hike to the big M on Mount Sentinal… and failed.  Presented with steep switchbacks and winded lungs, Larry had to turn around and abort.

What Larry was up against

Since then Larry has quit smoking, walks regularly and has often visited the Lane Stadium to walk up the stadium stairs.  He was driven by that M 1800 miles away.  I overheard him on numerous occassions say, “I’m going to get to that M, baby!”

He didn’t sound as motivated last night.  “I don’t think I can make it up,” he said, the same misconception I’ve told myself on numerous hikes!  But this time, it was Larry who conquered the M and not the other way around.  On this gorgeous morning, Larry and I ascended Mount Sentinel.  It is a brief, but very steep hike.  Larry did great!  In fact, he only had to take two breaks.  Some pictures from our Easter morning hike:

Yay, Larry!

Larry and his adoreable little hiking partner

View from The M

I have a substantial collection of Montana pictures now.  My favorites are available on my Flickr site:

Mount Sentinel Hike
Ted and Jennifer’s Hockey Game
Ted Driving Zamboni

April 9, 2007 at 12:59 am 4 comments

The Steady Seduction of Montana

Greetings from Missoula Montana!

When we were children and we found a stray or an injured wild animal, my mother would always give us kids lecture before we brought the animal in.  For example, with a baby grackle that fell out of his nest Mom said, “Don’t get attached.  I don’t want to see you playing with it.  I don’t want to see you giving it a name.  This is only temporary, we are not keeping it!”

The next thing my mother knew, that baby grackle was sitting on our fingers and listening to us coo compliments and his name (Simon).  It seems despite my mother’s warnings and knowing the relationship would not last forever, we would still fall in love.

I may find myself in a similiar situation with Montana.  I know I could never live here– the winters are too taxing for my husband to be happy.  But I can’t help but get seduced by all the scenery that surrounds me.  Every direction I look I see something I want to explore and hike and photograph.  Montana has majestic mountains like Colorado–but with more green and vegetation.  It’s a perfect storm!

There’s grass on this mountain!

I’m an adult now and unlike what I did with Simon the Grackle when we turned him over to a wildlife refuge, I will not shed tears when I part ways with Montana.  I will embrace Montana, but for what it is.  Just a fleeting affair.  A 10 day fling.

But, here’s another lesson I can take from Simon the Grackle, even if a relationship is short-lived, it doesn’t mean you won’t remember it and the joys it brought you.  Heck, like Simon, 15 years from now, I could be talking about Montana in a blog.  🙂

April 7, 2007 at 9:49 am 2 comments

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