Missoula is dubbed the Garden City for its mild winters relative to the
rest of Montana. It's no wonder we're suffering some growing pains: Missoula
is a pretty good place to live. Depending on the season, we hike, ski, fish,
run rivers and ride mountain bikes. We talk politics and shoot pool. We're
also a literate town; it's commonplace to chat with a local author about
his or her latest book. (John Updike dubbed Missoula the "Paris of
the 90's," a flattering but somewhat gross exaggeration.)
Missoula is located in an old, glacial lakebed, which is now cut by Clark
Fork River. The Bitterroot River feeds into the Clark Fork on the Southwest
edge of town; the famed Big Blackfoot River meets the Clark Fork just east
The University of Montana is here, as is the Northern Region headquarters
for the U.S. Forest Service. Retail trade is way up, extractive industries
like logging are waning.
Just as the university students leave each year, the tourists arrive. Missoula
is 3 hours south of Glacier National Park and 3-and-a-half hours west of
Yellowstone National Park. It is surrounded by national forests and a handful
of wilderness areas. In short, it's not a bad place to hang out in the summer
or (if you like the snow) winter.
Enjoy your cyber visit here -- you'll find a bit of everything.