All good things must come to an end. I always knew that I would have to leave Missoula eventually, but I can’t believe that the time has really come to pack up and hit the road. I have a feeling that it won’t sink in until I’m hundreds of miles away from Zoo Town and unable to satisfy my craving for a banana-chocolate milkshake from Big Dipper, or a carne asada burrito from El Diablo, or a trail run up the Rattlesnake, or…well, you get the idea. Here are five things I’ll miss the most about Missoula:

  • 1

    The running community

    For the past six years, I’ve had the great fortune of enjoying not only Missoula’s abundance of incredible running trails, but also the unique spirit of the running community. When I started running with the UM cross country team, I was amazed by the number of runners I saw around town on a regular basis. I also was amazed by the number of races, groups, clinics and activities available for runners in Missoula. It’s going to be tough knowing that I can’t hit the Kim Williams Trail whenever I get the itch.

    Photo courtesy of Oh-Barcelona.com/
  • 2

    The music

    No matter what time of year it was, I always knew I could find a great local band to see on any given Friday or Saturday night. I danced many a night away to the tunes of Zeppo, Whiskey Rebellion and County Line. And the best part was that most performances were cover-free, something you’d be hard-pressed to find in many other cities.

    Photo courtesy of masochismtango/Flickr
  • 3

    The food


    Whether it’s date night or take-out night, Missoula’s vast array of dining options has something to suit every palate and occasion. Sushi Hana, Old Post and Biga Pizza are some of my all-time favorite places to grab a bite, and I know my taste buds will miss them dearly.

    Photo courtesy of BrownGuacamole/Flickr
  • 4

    The scenery

    From Mount Sentinel, to the Clark Fork River, to the tree-lined city streets, urban living doesn’t get much better than Missoula. It’s easy to take your day-to-day view for granted when you get to see it all the time, but I have a feeling that my eyes will yearn for the Garden City long after I’ve left.

    Photo by Brooke Andrus
  • 5

    The people

    Missoula is home to all walks of life, from artists and musicians to lawyers and businesspeople. What I love most about this community is that people of all different backgrounds, beliefs and interests can respect, appreciate and learn from each other. Here in Missoula, we welcome people with open arms, and I will truly miss that sense of camaraderie.

    Photo courtesy of billaday/Flickr