Mount Sentinel is an icon in Missoula. This mountain sits on the easter end of town forming the Hellgate Canyon w/ it's smaller (but not lesser) partner Mount Jumbo. It is home to the M & the M Trail & it has been taunting me to summit it since the very day I arrived in Missoula. I have no idea why it's taken me this long to venture further up the mountain than the M, but I have finally conquered it! *evil laugh here*
Today started out easy enough. Bryce & I both slept in then decided to meet up to venture to REI to get a replacement day pack for him & a can of fuel for the JetBoil. Bosco was left alone in the car w/ one of our Mountain House meals we were planning on having for lunch on the mountain. Well, here's the outcome of that smart choice of ours.
So after taking a quick break at the M we continued on the trail that leads you to the top of Sentinel. About half way up the mountain a cave suddenly appears on the trail. (CHARLIE: There is a cache in here! I really think we should do this one together when you get here!) We decided that this was a good stopping point for lunch as it would provide a little protection from the strong winds. Well, you can't stop & have lunch at a cave & not explore it! So we put on our headlamps & started down into the cave.
Never having been in a cave before Bosco was not happy w/ our descent into the cave w/out him.
He stood at the entrance unsure of what to do and whined for a bit before manning up & jumping over the boulders at the entrance to follow us into the earth. This bravery did not last long & almost as soon as he reached me he shot off & was back up at the entrance where he remained during the rest of our exploration.
He was very happy when Bryce & I returned to the trail.
After exploring the cave it was time to press on!
So we went up.
Of course we had to stop along the way to enjoy the ever growing view of Missoula.
Finally we reached the top!! The views from the top of Sentinel are amazing! The wind was blowing HARD. I'm trying to upload a video from the top, but it's taking a bit of time to upload.
On the way back down Bosco found some of the last patches of snow in the area & turned back into a puppy (Bosco turned 2 a few weeks ago!).
We stopped on the M to take a photo & eat a snack on the way back down.
As we sat on the M munching away, I noticed something strange in a hotel parking lot far below us. Since we couldn't exactly make out what it was (although we had a good hunch) I took a photo and zoomed in.
It was exactly what we guessed it to be! So once we descended the trail back to my car & headed towards the mystery object in the hotel parking lot. We found it easily & ended out day w/ one last quick picture.