West 2021:
Day 8 - Missoula, MT


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West 2021: [Day 1 - OakdaleI] [Day 2 - Fargo] [Day 3 - Beaver Lake] [Day 4 - Bismarck] [Day 5 - Little Missouri] [Day 6 - Miles City] [Day 7 - Billings] [Day 8 - Missoula] [Day 9 - Steamboat Rock] [Day 10 - Bay View] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Seattle] [Day 13 - Seattle] [Day 14 - Millersvania] [Day 15 - Yakima River Canyon] [Day 16 - Farewell Bend] [Day 17 - Bruneau Dunes] [Day 18 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 19 - Grand Tetons] [Day 20 - Buffalo Bill] [Day 21 - Buffalo] [Day 22 - Badlands] [Day 23 - Jordan] [Day 24 - Trempealeau] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

Monday, May 10, 2021: How nice to awake to sunshine at a rest area!
We didn't want to have to use the generator to power the microwave, so breakfast was cold sandwiches.
This magpie likes to dress to match his surroundings.
We left the rest area and continued to follow the Yellowstone River.
Much scenery.
So pretty.
It's a beautiful river, ...
... but the time came for it to turn south and head down to Yellowstone. We'd see it again in a couple of weeks or so.
Our first stop of the day was in Bozeman ...
... at the Gallatin Art Crossing Sculpture Park. These aren't sculptures - they're just cool bike racks.
But this one is a sculpture. It's amazing how many animal sculptures are created from scrap parts.
Sculptures wrap around the public library and continue to the park behind it. If you look closely, you'll see there's a crow in front of the library with antlers on his head.
This cute little fairy garden was for "all children, fairies, elves, gnomes, and other magical creatures."
This utility box was covered with a photograph of books so realistic, we had to look carefully to verify that it was only two-dimensional.
Even though they exist throughout the world, this is the first peace pole we had ever seen.
This is a closeup of two of a dozen twirling silver thingies in a tall thin sculpture.
We are suckers for cool wood sculptures.
The park and sculptures went on quite a bit further, but we turned around here.
We saw Humpty Dumpty ...
... and got a look at the pretty mountain view before heading on.
Next, we drove through historic downtown Bozeman.
It's an interesting mix of ultra-modern and vintage.
Old neon signs still line the streets.
The Rialto Theater must be a beauty when it is lit up at night.
They have Ted's Montana Grill here. Makes perfect sense.
There's a fun lizard sculpture attached to a building. A yellow SHOP banner features the silhouette of ...
... this yellow horse.
The classic Lewis & Clark Motel features the by-now-familiar Lewis & Clark pointing pose.
So, back to the scenery.
Here's a cool ranch sign.
We were now following the Missouri River.
We were happy to get a Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Auto Tour Route sign to add to our collection.
Here's the mighty Missouri River again.
As we continued to enjoy the scenery, we heard from our daughter, who had put her home on the market three days earlier. Over the weekend, her home had 21 showings and received 15 offers, and she accepted an offer well over list price. We were thrilled for her.
Our next destination was Helena. After getting McDonald's for lunch, we went to the state capitol.
Then we went to Fort William Henry Harrison to see ...
... Montana's Merci Train boxcar.
Here's the sign that goes with it, ...
... and here's the back. This was the second boxcar in a row that we had seen that had a US shield in one corner of the boxcar and the Merci Train logo in the opposite corner. We had seen this in North Dakota a few days earlier, but hadn't noticed this before, so it was a mystery. Stay tuned for the big reveal when we get to Idaho.
We passed lots of farms, but this was our first alpaca farm.
We entered Helena National Forest.
Here's a pretty overlook as we climbed elevation to ...
... the Continental Divide. There was no sign for the Continental Divide, but this Montana historical marker hinted very heavily that that's where we were.
Another historical marker along the Bigfoot River described this area as the Valley of a Thousand Haystacks and they were right. It also described a haystack-creating device called a beaver slide.
We didn't get any pictures of either the many haystacks we saw or a beaver slide but here's a picture of what used to be a haystack as a consolation prize.
We really enjoyed seeing field after field filled with lots of fresh baby cows. We noticed that they were often grouped together, resting on the grass, while a few adults kept an eye on them.
In this field, Tom described the baby cow nursery as though someone had upended a box of baby cows and they just dropped down to the ground, legs splayed everywhere.
Here's a big field of sheep, demonstrating the variety of livestock in these beautiful hills.
We were now following the Clark Fork and passed a particularly pretty outcropping of bright orange rocks on the mountain.
Here's the Clark Fork looking a little calmer.
After months of seeing four shiny silver triangles reflected onto our dashboard and ruining countless photos, ...
... Debbie finally peeled them off. They were held in place with double-sided tape and they came off without any visible damage. If only we had done that when we first bought this rig last December!
It was close to 4:00 PM when we reached Missoula, ...
... headed to the Missoula KOA Holiday, ...
... and got settled into our site. We were happy to have no neighbors on either side of us, and just this tiny trailer one site away.
For the fifth (FIFTH!) time this trip, Tom got on the rig to seal something. This time, it was the radio antenna.
We had some Crystal Light cocktails, followed by refreshing showers.
Dinner was ramen soup with cubed corned beef brought from home. We forgot to photograph it until the very last bite.
We relaxed in our rig and later watched Elon Musk guest hosting Saturday Night Live, just a couple of days late.
We were amused to see a pair of rabbits hanging around our rig as it got close to sunset.
Speaking of sunset, there it is.

Day 9 >


West 2021: [Day 1 - OakdaleI] [Day 2 - Fargo] [Day 3 - Beaver Lake] [Day 4 - Bismarck] [Day 5 - Little Missouri] [Day 6 - Miles City] [Day 7 - Billings] [Day 8 - Missoula] [Day 9 - Steamboat Rock] [Day 10 - Bay View] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Seattle] [Day 13 - Seattle] [Day 14 - Millersvania] [Day 15 - Yakima River Canyon] [Day 16 - Farewell Bend] [Day 17 - Bruneau Dunes] [Day 18 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 19 - Grand Tetons] [Day 20 - Buffalo Bill] [Day 21 - Buffalo] [Day 22 - Badlands] [Day 23 - Jordan] [Day 24 - Trempealeau] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

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