A Local Gem – Hyalite Canyon, Montana

I grew up in the best place. I know I’ve probably said that before, and I’m probably a little biased. But it’s true. Because just 15 minutes from my house is the entry to Hyalite Canyon. The canyon is named for hyalite, an opal-like mineral that is fairly abundant in the rocks found in the canyon.

Since it’s basically in my back yard, I sometimes tend to forget just how cool Hyalite is. I mean, I’m always aware of the fact that there are opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, rock climbing, ice climbing, skiing, boating, camping, and any other similar activity. But what took me a long time to realize was that this isn’t a normal thing for most people. Most people don’t have mountain views out their back window. Most people can’t get way up into the mountains in just 30 minutes. Heck, my sister’s friend came to visit 4 years ago and when we took her up Hyalite Canyon, it was the first time she’d ever seen a waterfall. And when Pat visited Montana with me last summer, he was blown away by how huge and beautiful the mountains of Hyalite Canyon are.

Long story short: Hyalite Canyon is great for both recreation and scenery. Continue reading


The End of an Era

Today I said goodbye to one of my travel buddies.

Car Car was a faithful friend for nearly 8 years (albeit a rather unreliable one for the last few months), and we journeyed from coast to coast and all the way up to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia together. He carried us on many great road trips over the years, but I guess all good things eventually come to an end. He worked hard for a long time and now it’s his turn to relax.

RIP, Car Car. You were the first car I ever owned and you’ll always hold a special place in my heart. I’ll miss you, buddy!

Car Car takes in the view from the Cabot Trail – Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

In Loving Memory

This one, as the title might suggest, is going to be a bit different from the rest of my posts.

In September 2008, my college friend Dianna came to visit me in Montana. Though Dianna was from Seattle, her mom grew up in my hometown and graduated from my high school. Dianna and I met at our first college track and field team meeting our freshman year and bonded over sharing a name. As it happened, we shared a whole lot more than just a name. We both taught swim lessons as a summer job. We both used to be in gymnastics. Our team colors were the same. Our high schools also had the same team colors – and mascot! We were in the same major. And the list goes on. We called each other Twin. And for Christmas one year, she made us shirts that said “Team Dian(n)a.” You get the picture. Continue reading