My last night here in Whitefish and I’m sitting in bed with the windows open listening to the night sounds. There is a lone coyote out there. It is calling out into the cool evening but there is no reply. The night, black as pitch, all of the stars blocked by a cloudy sky, his call sounds so lonesome. I wonder if the bears that are feeding on the huckleberries on the dark mountain sides, hearing his call, pause to listen.
I hiked with two sisters yesterday. Two blond sisters that somehow, both born and raised in Texas, made their way to Montana with husbands in tow and have established themselves in this small western town. People call them by name on the street and on the mountain. They look enough alike that from a distance a couple of friends called one by the other’s name.
They introduced me to “The Big Mountain”. We started at the base and hiked to the summit, some 6000 ft., zig-zagging our way to the top. It was windy up there and where we had shed our jackets on the way up, we now pulled them close around our necks to stay warm.
We paused to grab a handful of huckleberries as we walked. Sharing food with bears and the trail with only a couple of people, the views continued to amaze us as the colors became more significant and more brilliant. The view from the top was well worth the effort it took to summit and I grinned with the feeling of accomplishment as I always do whether I have climbed 6000 or 14,000 ft.
I thank God for the good health and the gracious companions He has graced me with on each hike. I have truly loved my time here, the people and new friends I have met and the education received by new surroundings. Thanks Mary, Paul, John, Kris, Cynthia, Joe, Lisa and Alan, Pastor Dave and Angela and everyone else whose smile and warm hug or handshake flavored the experience of my time here. What a blessed life.