I didn't know what to expect when I got assigned a work trip to Kalispell, Montana. It would be the furthest west I had ever been! As many would probably agree, my first trip to Montana was full of awe and wonder. There is nothing more majestic than experiencing the mountain ranges for yourself. While I didn't get to go to any of the well-known sites like Glacier National Park - these smaller visits I'll be sharing with you this month are well worth the visit if you are in the area. Watch the adventure unfold in my vlog below and keep reading for more sights and tips.
My first stop was the closest park I could catch a Lyft to. Lone Pine State Park is not too far out from downtown Kalispell making it a perfect afternoon stop. The various winding trails which were taken by hikers and bikers alike have a variety of lengths to suit every adventurer. I was blown away before I even left the immediate parking lot area. Walking up the hill towards the visitor center led to an opening in the trees that revealed an overlook to the town of Kalispell in the valley.
As my first experience hiking alone, I am happy to report all went well. I enjoyed the extreme quiet among the noises of nature to ponder thoughts and take in the views. One thing that comes with hiking alone is capturing the sights to show others when you get home from the trip! This is where selfies and self-timer features on your phone or camera come in handy.
We sometimes often forget to capture the full experience nature gives us. We forget to look down where we stand or up at our full surroundings. I feel like I have never seen grass as green or a sky as blue as I did in Montana. As memory keepers, we try to capture things not only the way we see them but also with intention of how they make us feel.
For example, the photo of my feet on the trail could just be showing off my kicks, but instead, it shows the smooth trail ahead. Paired with the photo of the winding trail through the trees, we have a fuller story about the experience of hiking alone and the ease and beauty of the trails.
Some more tips while hiking alone - keep your eyes peeled! You never know just what type of woodland creatures you'll be able to approach by yourself when walking the trails. I got to meet a few deer, but only captured the one beauty on camera. Look up and down often to find even more beauty surrounding you.
I hope you enjoyed this brief exploration of Kalispell, Montana with me as we took a stroll through Lone Pine State Park! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for how I will be capturing these memories and photos in my traveler's notebook!