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Have nothing but great things to comment about Missoula. Went there as an unscheduled pit stop to re-aligning of my "tow" on my wee Honda CRX when it got fucked up on I-90, during the "summer" while under construction. A monster pot hole that was unavoidable (concrete railings, or whatever they are called, ruled my direction to hit this bitch) wreaked my front end alignment, some sort of radial arm, etc. I had to make arrangements in Missoula and they were nothing short of wonderful. The houses were familiar to those I grew up with in Sitka, Alaska. I liked that very much. The streets easy to navigate. Never a lack of a smiling, friendly face willing to engage in lively conversation or help a lost tourist.

 

Go.

 

I am envious.

 

And I feared my needed visit to rectify my front end alignment and recently completed work for this trip 'cross country would hamper my further travel through Idaho (startling with the moutain passes in scenery) and getting to Snoqualmie Falls in time to spend my one night in bliss (the Salish Lodge for all former Twin Peaks junkies) on a hard, long road trip that I had to drive crunched for the sake of my Kitchenaid Mixer, alone, in a two seater wee Honda and still catch the Blue Canoe on time, was quite tense. And very worth it.

 

Some of the best folks in this resto biz I've met have come from or lived in Montana, truly, and I don't know why. Fun. Party. Down to earth and connect to who they are and their craft. The vibe is very cultivating to craft and art. I was wholly addicted and sorry I spent my scheduled itinerary in Butte (which the fellow Missoulans even made a joke about that was on the spot.... The server that forgot my cheese in a cheese and cracker platter by bringing the cheese on the palm of her hand and served me saltines.... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!). For this pleasure I would have been happy to drive that few extra hundred miles for the uncultured and rude treatment I received in Butte when I spurged at what was dubbed one of the town's finer establishments. (I asked for a wine list and they told me they had house chablis, rose and a cab!!!!! And only by the glass!! But the crude steak dinner was about as good as it comes off of my own home grill, naked....)

 

Sounds like a tremendous place for you, my dear friend. I wish you all of the best, in this public post. Please keep this thread alive with your journey. :o

 

 

edit: spelling/typing faux pas :rolleyes:

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WHAT UP BEANS!!!!!

Can I go with? :o :o

 

I'm weary from this current food and beverage scene of Cleveburg meself. But I wish you all the best and am glad to read of your culinary adventures.

 

 

 

Jaymes, I forgot to ask you about the Blue Canoe. Ever ride? If so were you in a tent or cabin? Or as aventurous to sleeping bag it? All of the above is quite an interesting, good experience. :rolleyes:

 

Considering a near mechanical breakdown and the deadline time of when my car had to be there to check in, and not knowing how Seattle morning rush hour was on I-5 was killer and a real nail biter.... Ah, the good times. :lol:

 

 

But back to Spencer's big move, sorry for this tangent!

 

 

Woo hooo Missoula!!!!!!

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Note -- continuining side conversation --
Jaymes, I forgot to ask you about the Blue Canoe.  Ever ride?  If so were you in a tent or cabin?  Or as aventurous to sleeping bag it?  All of the above is quite an interesting, good experience.   :rolleyes:

But back to Spencer's big move, sorry for this tangent!

Sure. Many, many times, But I was fully growed. With three kids. Or on day trips, like across Prince William Sound. No sleeping bags or tents for us. Still, marvelous, in every way.

 

And now, as Beans says, back to Spencer's big move.

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Stopped by Wal-Mart today to price camping gear and was pleasantly relieved to learn that I'm not going to have to break the bank. I'm getting the bare minimum: a 4 man tent, a radio/latern combo, a camping cot, a hanging light....so on and so forth. Slowly I'm mapping the route but still having issues with it. Do I go North to Chicago (a town I've never been to) and link up with I90 and follow that to Missoula? That would take me right through the badlands and I'd get to visit Mount Rushmore (big fuckin' woop). But I don't know if that's the shortest way, or the most scenic for that matter. I could go through part of Kansas and head North gradually but there are too many roads to link up with or miss and the last time I was in Kansas I blew a tire and lost my friggen mind trying to find another one. The locals were less than helpful. If I end up in Chicago it'll be on or around November 3rd and thought it might be fun to have a few with some Chicago foodies. Awbrig? You gonna be around? Anyone else? If anyone has advice on the route I'm all ears too. The date is fast approaching. I'm leaving the day after Halloween....

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which ever way you drive you'll have to cross the great plains :rolleyes:

 

if you do come north to chicago, you'll also have to drive through illinois (which is also the great plains). the drive through wisconsin and eastern minnesota is very nice. i'm also fond of the SD badlands and the black hills (this is where hbo's deadwood is set.) you also may run into snow in the north in early november.

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Do I go North to Chicago (a town I've never been to) and link up with I90 and follow that to Missoula?  That would take me right through the badlands and I'd get to visit Mount Rushmore (big fuckin' woop).

Mt. Rushmore is certainly worth a stop if you're passing by. But the true gem in the region is the carving of Crazy Horse, just a few miles away.

 

And interesting story.

 

The Black Hills possess a sort of spiritual quality. It's easy to see why the Sioux and other tribes in the region consider them sacred. I do, too.

 

So the US government had a treaty with the Sioux, giving them the Black Hills. But when gold was discovered, the government reneged on the deal. And then, as if that were not enough, had the gall to carve enormous busts of four of their heroes into the sacred rock, adding insult to injury.

 

In 1939, Chief Standing Bear and other Lakota Sioux leaders commissioned a carving of Crazy Horse into the stone of the Black Hills. They said, "We want the world to know that we have great men, too," and added something akin to, "and we want our guy a lot bigger than those white guys."

 

When Crazy Horse was arrested, he was taunted by a white soldier that asked him, "Where are your lands now?" to which he famously replied, "My lands are where my dead lie buried."

 

The monument continues to progress slowly. Federal funds were offered some years back, but refused.

 

It's really something incredible to view. It stays with you forever.

 

Crazy Horse Memorial

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jaymes is right on about the black hills.

 

the missippi river valley is incredible. try to plan a stop there. i would also recommend taking 'back roads' much of the way. i think it's us 12 that goes out that direction. you'll see many more interesting things than the interstate.

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And buy these two CD's to listen to while you drive the Badlands and Black Hills:

 

Brule -- 'We the People'

 

and,

 

Bryan Akipa -- 'Eagle Dreams'

 

Brule is a band founded by Paul LaRoche, a classically-trained musician that discovered well into his adulthood that he is, in fact, a Sioux adopted at birth from a Brule Indian reservation. He has combined his classic training with Native music and instruments to create this powerful and unique sound.

 

Bryan Akipa is a Lakota Sioux that carves (and sells and plays) his own red cedar flutes in the same manner as generations of his ancestors. Flute music is, he says, the music of love and lovers, the music of the wind, the rivers, the rustling of the trees and grass.

 

Both of these albums are fitting and magical soundtracks to accompany any trip to the Dakotas.

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And buy these two CD's to listen to while you drive the Badlands and Black Hills:

 

Brule -- 'We the People'

 

and,

 

Bryan Akipa -- 'Eagle Dreams'

 

Brule is a band founded by Paul LaRoche, a classically-trained musician that discovered well into his adulthood that he is, in fact, a Sioux adopted at birth from a Brule Indian reservation. He has combined his classic training with Native music and instruments to create this incredible and unique sound.

 

Bryan Akipa is a Lakota Sioux that carves (and sells and plays) his own red cedar flutes in the same manner as generations of his ancestors. Flute music is, he says, the music of love and lovers, the music of the wind, the rivers, the rustling of the trees and grass.

 

Both of these albums are fitting and magical soundtracks to accompany any trip to the Dakotas.

there's a radio staion from the pine ridge res. that broadcasts indian music all day too.

you should definately stop at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and read little big man before you go. see the movie with dustin hoffman too.

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Well since I've done the other routes I think I'm going to do the Chicago to I-90 to Missoula thing.  Thanks g.

I've looked at my travel notes from when I drove to AK all along I-90. (BTW, that freeway is nearly in my backyard, literally). I once had a beau in Seattle while I was in undergrad (at BGSU), and he used to joke that all I need is to get myself to I-90 and turn right.....

 

 

Anywho. Wisconsin was sort of boring and alarming. I drove through most of Wisconsin in the dark, and saw many bad outcomings of deer versus semi. When I got to Minnesota, it was a bit hilly (not much) with neat and tidy rest stops and farms. However, those farms, at one point seemed endlessly looking all alike.

 

When I got to the Mississippi, I stopped to take a break. If I could upload pics, I would. I was there at the beginning of sunset. It was a thrill to picture my little red two seater zipping down to cross the river. That was where I really knew I was getting somewhere!

 

Into Montana was a horrendous thunderstorm that the rain literally fell sideways. Me and a mini-van sort of linked up and drove together for that stint and I remembered watching the mini-van veer nearly off of the road.

 

I do not recommend a stop in Butte. As you can tell, I thought the whole thing sucked and I lucked out somewhat when I decided to cover, to mask, anything of "value" with large restaurant kitchen garbage bags. Proved to work as other cars in the same hotel parking lot were broken into all around me. Imagine half way to Bellingham and having to turn back!

 

That glorious, sunny afternoon driving through Wyoming is one of the best highlights of my drive to Alaska in my Honda Civic CRX.

 

I even remember having to beg a server to serve up that burger medium rare and *still* got it well done. Mandated health guidelines... grrrrrrrr.

 

Will you keep in touch with us as you go along the way? I hope so. :wub:

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