Planning and executing my annual, 200+ mile hikes takes several months of each year, but that leaves several other months during which I enjoy my home and family in the US. This year my hiking friend, Lynda, and I decided to take several shorter, day hikes in the beautiful mountains and valleys near Bozeman, Montana, which happens to be the home of my youngest son and his family. Loaded with our hiking gear, we drove the 1,000 miles to Bozeman so that my two Border Collies, Panda, and Bandit, who are eager companions on the trail, could join us. Bozeman sits in the Gallatin Valley and is surrounded by majestic mountain ranges all a part of the Rocky Mountains, the backbone of the American west. Bozeman is a perfect, central location for spectacular day hikes around “Big Sky Country” as it is known in the US. Andrew ( my son) put us up for two weeks as we enjoyed a vacation of hiking and generally looking around the area. He, his wife and daughters know the area well; they directed us to some outstanding trails. Another good planning resource for these hikes was Robert Stone’s “Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana”.