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“You couldn’t take a bad picture here,” Jonathan said, looking out the car window.

He was right. Everywhere you look driving into the mountains around us are stands of lodgepole pine, narrow avalanche chutes blanketed in grass, and bare faces of stone bordered by undulating piles of scree.

The day was overcast and cool, quite a change from recent 90o days. Only a mile or two down the road, we pulled over, put on the turn signal and got out to stare overhead at a big hawk. A truck passed us, the passenger giving a “What the heck?” gesture.

Our destination was Big Therriault Lake, 28 miles to the east of our current home in Fortine. We stopped to take photos of deer, ducks, and the beautiful water of the lake.

The rain began just as we were ready to picnic, and ended not long after. We set out around the lake, a beautiful walk with the sun coming out, the lake turquoise and absolutely still. There were no other people on the trail. Nearly back to where we started, a woman glided by on a paddleboard, two people in kayaks not far away. Their bicycles leaned against the picnic table, pickup truck parked nearby. They had everything you could want for a Montana day at the lake.