It has been more than one week since we landed in Missoula on the freezing night of April 27th. The weather is getting warmer and warmer every day, which serves so well to us (coming from Southeast Asia, most of us are not familiar with the dry cold here). All Missoulians we met said that we are lucky to come at the best time of year – Spring time. Three weeks ago Missoula was covered in snow, comparing to that the weather now is really a treat. The spring season in Missoula is where the flowers and trees begin to bloom. Being a nature-lover, I’m so pleased to witness the changes that spring is bringing to Big Sky City.
First, let’s talk about time difference. Many members of the group suffered with jet-lag, especially during the late morning early afternoon because it was supposed to be sleeping time in our countries (that’s why when we felt a bit sleepy in section, we blamed it on jet-lag hehe). The number of sun-light hours here is also unusual to us. The sun shines from 5am to 9pm, which I myself find really fascinating. From the view of our room window, I can see the spectacular view of Sentinel mountain and Cark Fork river from early morning when I wake up till the evening coming back from dinner. This funny difference makes me confused sometimes because 6-7pm here still feels too early for dinner, the sun is still up high and my stomach refuses to be hungry before it can see sunset 🙂
However, more sunshine hours also means more time to enjoy the view and life around me, which I love to do. How beautiful it is to watch all the buds turn to flowers after just 1-2 days. In the University of Montana, there are so many different kinds of flowers that I can’t keep count, color ranging from yellow, white, red, to pink, violet, blue. There are flowers in the garden, along the walking aisle and even inside the UC (university center)! I was amazed by how easy it is to take some steps and you are already closer to a lovely flower plant or a beautiful tree. I can’t help but thinking that if my university also cared so much about building a nature-friendly environment, I would have loved going to classes every day.
As the city comes to life and shows off its shades of green in spring, we decided to do what a lot of Missoulians would do at weekend – go hiking on Mount Sentinel (well known as M-mountain). Three-hours hike to the top of Mount Sentinel and to the big M – the iconic spot of Missoula – gave me so much energy and spirit. Plants and trees are blooming to welcome the wind and the sun of spring. On the way, we met many smiley hikers (not just people, dogs hike very well too). All added spices to such a lovely morning hike.
The second hike that I’m looking forward tomorrow is at Glacier Nation Park – where snowy season has gone and be replaced by the blooming of greenery.
Spring not only brings new life into trees and plants, human and animals also seems to be more cheerful as the weather is getting warmer. The dogs are happy because they get to go outside running, playing on the grass and swimming in the river. Birds are singing the most beautiful songs. All around people walking by carrying an up-lifted energy, smiling and saying lovely words to each other.
I feel truly blessed to be here at this time of year, thanks to YSEALI. Missoula in spring would definitely stay in my heart for the longest time.
Blog: Ngo Thi Phuong Thao – Vietnam
Photo: Viet Nguyen – Vietnam