Thank Goodness: Summer in Missoula

Today marked the first day of summer and for once here in Missoula it is just not the alignment of the sun and a designation on the calendar that is verifying this fact. Looking ahead at the 10-day forecast, all I see are highs in the seventies and eighties. I see more sun graphics than cloud graphics, more blue skies and less rain. Finally! Summer is here and I couldn’t be happier.

I hear all the opinions and arguments defending the other seasons here in Missoula. Fall is the most beautiful time as leaves change colors, a refreshing crisp air rolls in, students come back on campus, and football season takes over. Winter is a time that defines the toughness of Montanans, it is ski/snowboard season, an excuse to eat hot comfort food and guzzle down hot chocolate.  Then there is spring, an entrancing period of new life, flowers bloom, animals have babies, grass starts to turn green.
I could care less.
For me, it is all about summer. You could take all of the attributes of the seasons above and combine them all into one mega season and I would still take summer. I love the heat and in a town like Missoula where you are lucky if you only see two real hot months all year long, this time on the calendar should be coveted. I know there are people out there who like sub-zero temperatures, blowing winds, torrential downpours, and weather that changes by the minute but I don’t. Give me the sun, give me the warmth, and give me the girls in bikinis. Thank you.
Once the weather part of summer is secured, all the activities that go with it trump anything else the other seasons have to offer. Activities such as eating and drinking on the outdoor patios of some of Missoula’s great restaurants. Hiking the “M”. Riding bikes. Stopping by Big Dipper for some ice cream.
These summer-musts just scratch the surface though. Summer in the Zoo also means Missoula Osprey baseball at beautiful Ogren Park at Allegiance Field. Nothing beats the laid back atmosphere, the people watching, the cold beer, and…oh yeah…the actual baseball. I got my tickets for the first homestand starting this Friday and I can’t wait.
Summer in Missoula also means great community events. Downtown Tonight, Out to Lunch, Farmer’s Market, Roots Fest, Testy Fest, Celtic Fest, outdoor concerts, and many more such events make late June, July, and August such fun months to hang out in the Garden City.
Let’s not forget the rivers and lakes as well. Camping, floating, and swimming are all rites of passage if you spend a summer here. Nothing beats the sun beating down on your body as the cool water underneath you neutralizes the rays while you down a beverage.
Summer in Montana also means long nights, beautiful sunsets, and breathtaking night skies. We have it so lucky here in Missoula. Summer nights in this state have provided me with some of the best memories of my life. Hanging out with friends while watching the sun set at 10pm is a special experience.
But the best part of summer in Missoula is the relaxation factor. Because most of the students leave the town for the summer and many townsfolk relocate to other areas, the city is just less busy and more mellow. This time of year makes people more care-free and, in my opinion, happier. Work is the slowest for me at this time so I get to enjoy myself with very little stress. I get to use vacation time and get away from the office a little. It is a time to get rejuvenated.
Welcome back, summer!! I am so glad you are here, please stay as long as possible. Hope everyone had a wonderful summer solstice and are ready for the next several awesome weeks that are to come. Don’t Blink.

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