Wednesday, May 27, 2009

High on Mt. Sentinel!

I put this picture in my last post, saying we planned to hike up to the "M" soon. That time came today, 'do or die'! We and lots of other folks had the same idea.

Just a little history from a sign at the parking lot: "Mount Sentinel has provided one of the state's most popular hiking trails since forestry students cut its switchbacks in the early 1900s. In 1909 students built the first M with whitewashed rocks, and freshmen gave it an annual whitewashing until a concrete M was built in 1968. The M is 125 feet long and 100 feet wide and sits 620 feet above the Missoula valley floor."
(You may click on any of these photos to enlarge them.)

The path is quite steep, at least to two old 'out-of-shape' coots like us. We saw several young people actually jogging up or down the trail, as if they were using it for their work-out time. This is Keith huffing and puffing.

And here I am looking back at him.

The view from the trail was outstanding. This photo shows a building on the grounds of the University of Montana. The building is central in the campus layout, but I don't know what it is.

This photo is for my daughter, Jessi, though it's not a baseball stadium. It's the Washington-Grizzly Football Stadium. Quite impressive from this vantage point!

I love these flowers, the arrowleaf balsam. They remind me of the Wenatchee Valley in springtime. Below is the city of Missoula, so beautiful and full of lovely, large trees. The highway in the upper right of the picture is I-90 going west. The river flowing through the middle of town is the Clark Fork River.

And here I sit among the flowers after taking the above shot.

We really made it to the top! Once there, we couldn't tell the white concrete was an "M". It was too large. We climbed to the top of it and looked down, and pretended it was a "W" for Wenatchee! Or it could have been for the University of Washington instead of the University of Montana. Just being silly!

Here we are, two old coots feeling quite proud to have climbed to the "M" even though we were exhausted. A friendly fellow climber wanted to take a picture of us with the city in the background.

And one last photo. I like old stumps and was glad to find this one on the hill. You can barely see Lolo Peak in the distance.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring in Montana!

Sure looks like spring, doesn't it? We tried to visit a ghost town, Garnet, up in the hills east of Missoula, but were turned back by snow on the dirt road. We'll try again in a few weeks.

This is the play equipment at Dragon Hollow in Caras Park, downtown Missoula. I would love see my granddaughters playing on it!

The famous "M" just above the University of Montana. We plan to climb up to this landmark soon to get a fabulous view of the city. The zigzag trail leading up there is visible in the photo. (Click to enlarge.)

"A River Runs Through It". Missoula was built right on the banks of the Clark Fork River and the river is a dominant part of the old downtown scenery. The building across the way is an old train station, no longer used for that purpose.

Two "old coots" in the mirror outside the Carousel in Caras Park. We can't wait to go inside and ride the Carousel for ourselves. Got there too early for that on this picture-taking day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mother

It's Mothers' Day, and I can't help but think of my own mother, now in heaven for the past 7 years. What a glorious time she must be having! I like to think of her watching her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and being proud of them all. That was what she was like, an always encouraging, positive, and loving person.

This photo was probably taken in 1931 when she was around 18 years old. She had freckled skin and red hair, not unlike one of her granddaughters and a great granddaughter!

I'm proud of her, too, because in a day when few women went to college, she completed her studies at the University of California at Berkeley, and at San Francisco State College. She went on to become a school teacher, first in California and later in Washington. In between, she spent 19 years as a social worker in Washington. My mother's life was not easy, but she worked hard, took her daughters to church faithfully, and was always optimistic, kind, loving, and had a servant's heart. She had a great zest for travel, instilling that love in at least one of her daughters, me! I think of her often as we travel, knowing she would love to be doing the same, and can, I'm sure, from her vantage point. God bless all mothers this day, and always!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Little things

It's my philosophy to always look for small wonders to enjoy in the midst of the big things going on in my life. Right now the big thing is trying to learn the workings of the KOA, the computer program, the dynamics of the park, etc. All that can be overwhelming, but God, as usual, gives me many glimpses of His creation to enjoy. This picture is an example of the park's wildlife. (Not to say there won't be some human wildlife, too, as the season progresses!) There are many squirrels running around, up and down the trees right outside our rig, and balancing themselves as they run across the street on the overhead power lines. What comical little creatures they are, and beautiful, too.

Now that we're settled in our new place, we plan to take some trips around the area and I'll be able to post some pictures. For now, I"m content to watch the squirrels!