Summer Came and Summer Went

My first summer with Whitefish Legacy Partners is coming to a close.  Although the grasp of warm air held strong this week, the days are definitely shorter and the trees are transitioning to a long winter’s sleep.  Fall is by far my favorite season.  Come October, I get a strong dose of Appalachian nostalgia when the maple leaves turn red and eventually swirl in a seasoned breeze.  My childhood in the mountains of East Tennessee is never far from my thoughts during fall, and since moving to Whitefish, I have come to appreciate our fickle season even more.  Winter could literally arrive next week and shut the door for good.

The past few weeks have been heavenly on the Whitefish Trail.  So heavenly, in fact, that we have repeatedly forgotten to take pictures for the website.  We apologize! Those moments that inspire wonder have been all too frequent that thoughts of work have effortlessly slipped away.  In fact, I have to admit that I rode from Lion Mountain to Woods Lake for our Guided Mushroom Hike and did not stop once to take a picture!  I wish I had vibrant photos of mountain bikers riding underneath a colorful canopy set against the backdrop of a perfect blue sky, but I do not.  I’ll try to take up the slack in this trail report with words rather than photos.  Cooler temperatures and fresh breaths of air are welcome relief from the record dryness and smoke-filled summer of months past.  Local farmers had a rough time keeping plants watered and firefighters worked overtime to keep blazes at bay.  The summer of 2015 will go down in history books and will be remembered for decades to come, but our steady, dependable Fall has returned and given our valley some much needed TLC.

Although the trail could use a little more moisture to lay down stubborn dust, conditions could not be more ideal for recreating anywhere along the 33 miles of Whitefish Trail.  Although I did not see another person on my trail run this morning, I was not alone.  As I rounded the last turn before the Skyles Lake Overlook, the light from my headlamp revealed several green eyes watching me through the trees.  With increased bear activity and a manhunt in progress, my heart stopped but only for a second as a family of deer gracefully turned and revealed white tails disappearing into the sunrise.

Fall is a time for locals.  It’s a time for us to revel in why we have chosen to call this small corner of NW Montana home.  It’s a time when we take our trails, city streets, and brew pubs back from summer visitors, and truly enjoy the calm autumn evenings with friends.

So…as the golden hues of autumn hold off old-man winter for another couple weeks, I challenge everyone to get out on the Whitefish Trail.  Whether for an all day mountain bike at Spencer Mountain, a trail run at Beaver Lakes, or some simple solitude at Swift Creek, I guarantee you will have FUN and get some more appreciation for this place.  The Whitefish Trail is an amazing asset to our community, and right NOW is the perfect time to get back to your favorite spot.  Thanks for reading :)

-Alan-