Woody Packard

Words + Pictures

Clark Fork

Clark Fork, in October
Clark Fork emerges from Hellgate Canyon to separate the north half of Missoula from the South. Connecting these two pieces of the city are five bridges, not including those that are for foot traffic only.

Early in my stay in Missoula, I developed the habit of running on the river trail that runs along the south bank of the Clark Fork. Living on the north side of the river, I got to this trail by running along Broadway until I got to the Orange Street Bridge. After stopping a few times to admire the view, I realized that it was a great vantage point from which to watch the seasons pass, along with the water level, the weather, direction of the wind, and accumulation of ice. In early January I settled on a spot from which to photograph each day as I crossed over to the south side.

In addition to the overall progression of the seasons, each day presents its own drama, as wind direction changes, sunlight creates shadows on Mt. Sentinel, and later in the year, human activity on the river unfolds unexpectedly.

Eventually I would like to turn this material into a short animation, but for now, here is what it looks like in still images.

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Clark Fork


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