Holland Falls Trail and Imagine Nation Brewing Company
After leaving Gallatin National Forest we went a couple hundred miles north to Flathead National Forest, just south of Glacier National Park. We made an overnight stop midway however so that we could take a side trip to Missoula to visit Imagine Nation Brewing Company. Yes, I made Tom drive 80 miles out of our way to visit a brewery, but since I first heard of this brewery I’ve been dying to go there. Imagine Nation essentially combines brewing beer with being a “center for community transformation:” social activism and beer was a business model I could not pass up learning more about. While I was there I poked around their community meeting space, chatted with the bartender, and of course, sampled their beer – which was truly stellar (favorite: Freedom Fighter IPA). I hope to return to Missoula in the future to participate in a workshop and learn more about how they use their space to allow community groups to provide services and informational meetings.
The following day we hiked the stunning Holland Falls Trail on recommendation from a ranger. An easy 3.5 mile walk, the trail follows the shore of Holland Lake before ascending the last half mile to the base of Holland Falls. The raging falls are beautiful and through up an impressive mist, but it was the walk around the lake we enjoyed the most: The clear, powder blue water of the shallows was just about the prettiest color I’d seen in awhile, and the saturated cobalt and turquoise in the deeper sections of the lake was equally fantastic. The best part of the hike perhaps though was the swim in the warm channel between one of the peninsulas and an island.