Vacation Long Time Coming

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 9.21.39 PMJust arrived home Sunday afternoon after a few days in the Los Angeles area on an actual vacation. We flew out early Wednesday morning and were going pretty hard until we flew back again Sunday. We had a great time. I may elaborate further throughout the week as I get photos sorted out, but in a nutshell we saw some things we’d never seen before, visited some good friends, and basically just did whatever the hell we wanted. Weather cooperated, hovering around the 80° mark, for the most part, which was so much better than the upper 90s I experienced back in May.

Still, it is quite a welcome return home. I love Southern California, and would go there more often if I could. But for all its beauty — the mountains, the ocean, the wild and creative things people do there — it is also a blight. The smog is so thick that even on a clear day it’s a little gross. We could have done at least two or more things if we hadn’t spent so much time in traffic. Coming home to breezy and cool temperatures, blazing sun in a flawless blue sky one minute, then iron gray clouds and storming the next (stand in a spot and turn a circle and you can see all that happening at once depending on the direction you face), it is as if everything is viewed in high definition. I didn’t take any pictures this evening, but maybe I should have . . . it was something to behold. Absolutely crystal clear, waves of forested texture as the light stroked the slopes of the mountains, just all that touchy feely postcard stuff. As much as I love seeing other places, Montana remains a glorious place, and I am truly fortunate to live here.


(As I write this Sunday night at dusk, suddenly a cacophony of coyote yips and howls erupts. I open my window the rest of the way and kneel in front of it to listen; maybe a minute or so. Two of them sound to be about 100-200 yards to the west, and I can hear another one well off in the distance to the north; just as suddenly they are quiet. I do love it here!)

Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

2 thoughts on “Vacation Long Time Coming”

  1. Hey, really nicely described. LA used to have REAL smog. What you saw was a special effect for tourists. The traffic, however, is not fake. If you live there, you learn when to venture out and when not to. You are making me yearn for a return trip to Missoula, however.

    1. Thanks, Ron. The smog was most noticeable from Keys View in Joshua Tree, where it just clouded the view incredibly. It’s also interesting to note just how grimy all the signs in LA are from all the vehicle gunk clouding the air.

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