Coming back to Montana is something I always look forward to not only because of its incredible natural beauty, its lack of sales tax, or its wide open spaces, but because it's the last place I called home before packing up and moving into my van, over three years ago. I first came to Montana after high school looking for more access to the outdoors than I had available to me growing up in Minneapolis, MN. And it was here that I realized how important the outdoors are to me.
Driving North through Nevada from California felt long, but with the rapid pace of this three-month adventure, the downtime felt relaxing, and needed. And as the landscape changed the further north I got, the familiarity of the dry, mountainous terrain of the North West was welcomed, like coming home after years away, even though it’s only been a few months.
Although, this year’s wildfires through the west, including Montana, have been more aggressive than usual, painting the sky a strange mix of grey and orange that simultaneously feels ominous and beautiful. While fires are a natural part of the summer cycle in these areas, each year it seems they’ve been getting bigger and harder to control.
As the smoke billows in, the evening sky itself seems to ignite. Home sweet home, I guess. Lets just hope the smoke clears enough for next week’s adventure down in the Tetons!