26 September 2015

View To Mount Jumbo - Missoula, Montana

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.

25 September 2015

W Is For Willys - Missoula, Montana

Growing up, my older brothers were often kind enough (hmmm...or perhaps required by our mum?) to let me tag along on errands in their cool cars. And when you're six, any car is pretty cool. So perhaps it's partly childhood nostalgia that draws me to parking lot conversations around the open hoods of noteworthy vehicles.  A sunny lunchtime earlier this week provided opportunity for my education about the Willys Super Hurricane straight six and other fine points of this 1954 Willy's Truck. Freshly - & gorgeously! - refinished, it is probably now exempt from mundane chores of firewood hauling and the like.

24 September 2015

Mission Control - Missoula, Montana

"Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle." - James Surowiecki

23 September 2015

Downtown Flowers - Missoula, Montana

More evening strolling found me admiring downtown Missoula's most gorgeous flower display. Created in a blah boulevard by the entirely volunteer efforts of a local street vendor, this curbside garden continues to flourish, and has also inspired floral improvements on other corners. Hurrah for such a vibrant reminder that the positive actions of one person can change the view for so many others!

22 September 2015

W Is For Wilma - Missoula, Montana

The past few evenings have been so warm and lovely - a far cry from the drastic cooling  and rain forecast last week! The lingering end-of-summer days make it hard to come indoors as the sunset wanes to full-on dark. Thankfully, Missoula's downtown main drag is a great place for an evening walk - and safe, being brightly lit and having lots of people out and about. My habitual jaunt loops up one side of Higgins Avenue to the old train depot and back down the other side to the Wilma Theatre, which is in the throes of restoration and upgrades. The signature W lights mark the turnaround point to head back to my car and to home, and - wistfully - inside. 

21 September 2015

Red - Missoula, Montana

"...Red, gold and green, the leaves
lie on the ground, or fall,
or hang full of light in the air still..."

- from Grace by Wendell Berry

20 September 2015