This summer has mostly been about getting some quality time with family, but it hasn’t been without travel. Last month I got the opportunity to really see a small piece of Montana for the first time.
It seems pretty cliche, but Montana is an outdoorsmans’ paradise. Even in Missoula, Montana’s second-biggest city, typical pastimes include fly fishing (no shame fly fishing in your business casual attire on the way to work) and tubing on the Clark Fork River. No engines allowed on the Clark Fork, of course, but row boats and fishing rods are welcome.
Just be careful where you step because there’s a lot that can kill you in Montana.
The hiking is superb though. I’ve been to very little of Montana, but if a city has trails this good, I can only imagine what some of the parks must be like. Here’s a view from the base of the famous “M” trail in honor of the University of Montana. The trail hairpins back and forth up to the concrete “M”, which offers cheap seats for football games in the stadium.
And if hiking or fishing isn’t your thing, there’s always surfing.
The city of Missoula boasts a man-made wave just steps from downtown. Thanks to the flow of the Clark Fork River, it’s a perpetual wave that never completely crashes. That may make it the best surf wave ever heard of.
The feature is known as Brennan’s Wave, in honor of Missoula native Brennan Guth, a world-class kayaker who died doing what he loved in Chile in 2001 at the age of 32. The wave seems a fitting way to remember him.
Perhaps most remarkable of all was the daylight hours in Montana in July. It had been a while since I’d been this far north, so I was surprised on several occasions to learn it was already 10pm and we could still see well enough to hike.
And those sunsets.
Well played, Montana. Well played.