Friday, May 2, 2014

Missoula Pt 2

It is amazing the positive effect a good hike in a beautiful place can have on your disposition. 

Missoula, you've got yourself a heck of a town here.  Pretty cool.

We didn't have to get up early or anything.  The trailhead is right there behind the campus of the school with designated parking and everything. 

It was time to hike the M.

Rested, fresh and eager to go.

What a beautiful day.  The trail is switchbacks crowded with college students and trail runners. 

We started up...and up.

It wasn't long before we caught sight of a neat little surprise.  Unfortunately I don't have a zoom lens, so the picture isn't the best. 

In the center of this picture there is a hang glider. 
We kept getting higher and the view kept getting better.

Pretty little campus for University of Montana.

Getting higher. 
Then we reached the actual M.

M for Michael and Max

And Mommy

Needed a rest on the M.

Then something weird happened.  We convinced the kids to keep going up.  Beyond the M. 

And they agreed.  Well, kind of.  Nobody cried.

We could see the L on nearby Mt. Jumbo.

Joe Cool on the trail.

Another rest break. 

Standing on the edge of the mountain.

Don't worry Mom, the drop off wasn't as steep as it looks.

The whole Missoula Valley was a glacial lake in the last ice age.

Waiting to go a little higher.

The kids weren't quite up to the summit push though.  We topped out and joined a different trail for the descent.  It was nice and certainly enough for the first hike after a winter of lethargy. 

Ready to head down.

Came across this cave.  It went back far enough that it was too dark for me to continue. Michael wanted to go get a flashlight. 

The view from the top of the M.
After the hike, we went for ice cream at a place USA Today rated as the best in the nation once upon a time.  Big Dipper Ice Cream.  While sitting there munching sugary deliciousness we could look back and see our accomplishment of the day.

Pretty stinking good ice cream too
We topped out just above where the bottom power line marks the mountain.  About 2/3 the way to the top.  Missoula has turned out to be a great little town.  I do recommend it.

Tomorrow we are on to Coeur D'Alene, ID. 

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