Interlude: A Taste of Early Summer, Missoula Style

While I was in New Orleans last week, Western Montana finally seemed to shake off the dismals and allow summer to make an entrance. Thankfully, the weather held up through the weekend. We did a ton of yard work on Saturday, including a couple truckloads of garage junk to the dump, to free up time on Sunday for a hike. The morning dawned bright through the front window, and did not go uncapitalized on.

We parked Julia’s car at the M parking lot, then took my truck up Pattee Canyon to the Crazy Canyon trailhead. From there we started up to the top of Mt. Sentinel, which overlooks Missoula at an elevation of around 5150′. The upside of all the rain is how green everything still is, even on the cusp of July, with wildflowers everywhere.

I was going up the last steep little stretch at the top when a hang glider soared overhead. They use the top to launch off from — I’ve seen them up here several times.

Cresting the top, there was another one preparing to launch. Missoula looks pretty awesome in the background, doesn’t it?

The surrounding peaks — a couple of which I intend to camp atop of this year — are still under snow.

Our airborne glider was still soaring around.

Meanwhile, the saucy redhead was wondering what the holdup was.

Hey, buddy — you need a push, or what?

For whatever reason, conditions or something, the second dude finally packed up and never launched. No biggie — we had strawberries!

On the way back down, I engaged in a taste of watermelon as well. A man’s man’s watermelon, that is. . . .

It was a great hike. Here’s the map, as detailed by the fancy GPS thing on my phone. Can’t wait to get out again.

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