Hiking with friends atop Missoula's Waterworks Hill trail system, we paused briefly - only to take in the widespread views, of course. Pointing out a route I'd taken last year that popped up along Mount Jumbo's ridge and then down its face, directly around the "L", I suddenly realized how big a hill that is. Plodding along the trail, your vision and concerns are more immediate and close. But stepping back a bit - or maybe a lot, as in this physical instance! - your perspective widens, which can give room to feel a bit proud of how far you've come.
Of course, it's always good to have a balancing factor: one of our little group pointed out a barely smaller hill to the left (out of this photo frame) and recounted his grandpa's telling how, back in the day, his grandma would go over the hill every day to work in East Missoula - and back (uphill both ways - for real!). We sincerely hoped she had a trusty mule or horse to make that commute.
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