Sentinel Mountain looking over Missoula, Montana
Missoula, Montana is a town tucked in the center of a ring of mountains. Sentinel Mountain watches over the University of Montana campus. Waving grasses bump up to long switchbacks in a trail that begins from a city road. Imagine, anyone who lives at sea level, as I do, or in flat places, or far from mountain trails, an ordinary morning in Missoula. You take the dog, perhaps, over to the trailhead, finding there a supply of extra leashes just in case you forgot yours. Within 20 minutes you are hiking past a gigantic concrete “M” painted white, set into the hillside for the past half-century or so. Beyond the M, the trail swings right or left, taking a longer or slightly shorter route above a wind sock affixed to a pine tree. Birds scold you, the wind blows a little chilly, the traffic and a freight train murmur below, and in the distance, deep gray clouds and mountains watch.
I am here this week for the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists. More to come on the field trips and interviews.