Made it to Missoula early this afternoon.
The ride from Kalispell on US 93 South along Flathead Lake was quite scenic, marred only by rain and holiday traffic.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I brake for college campuses. My main objective for the Missoula visit was to explore the University of Montana (enrollment about 16,000 if you’re counting).
Fortunately, the only grizzly in residence is this one, the U or M mascot.
Though I did spot some other wildlife on campus.
She was calmly munching away near the library.
The football team has a lovely stadium. One in which you can actually see the game (unlike our 100,000-seat monstrosities in the SEC).
I was delighted with the good timing to land here on a holiday weekend when the campus is virtually deserted and all the offices are closed. Including the every-vigilant Parking Services (a chief barrier to any carefree campus visit).
|Wild guess - this must be the Forestry Sciences building.|
I had planned my usual long self-guided campus tour but you just can’t miss M Mountain from any location. There it lurks behind the main administration building.
I spoke with a couple of helpful students who advised me where to park and where to pick up the trail. Bonus! I ran back to the GDB, laced up my hiking boots, and was off in a flash.
The trail is all steep switchbacks.
It took almost an hour of steady climbing to reach the summit.
Going down was oh-so-much quicker. I had left my hiking poles behind and, consequently, had to be even more careful on the steep descent. I have osteoporosis, so the refrain in my head when I’m hiking on any road trip is:
Break a hip,
End of trip.
What a captivating campus!
Sometimes I think my favorite part about hiking is that I can eat whatever I want afterword.
I’m at WMT tonight and breaking my rule about always asking permission to overnight. But there are about a dozen other RVs here at 6 PM. So I figure it's OK. And according to the Overnight Parking database:
City ordinance effective Sept 2007 allows Overnight RV Parking in retail business parking lots with permission of the business.
I knew I liked this town!
Look forward to exploring downtown Missoula tomorrow.