Some people must travel all day and most of the night. When I go out for my pre bed amble the hotel car park is filling and when I wake for the first of the day (6am) it is emptying.
We leave Missoula feeling that we could have spent more time there. It was a shame that we were there on a Sunday evening and didn’t even give the town a chance to wake up. Nevermind, it left a good impression nevertheless. From the wide open valley where Missoula sits we travel up through narrower valleys and across the ridge of the continental divide at 6,963 feet. The road is good and it is not an unpleasant drive. We have been told that the Lewis and Clarke Caverns are worth a visit so we make that our first destination. Of course I am not allowed in the caves so that, together with a two hour tour time, they decide to take me on a quick side hike instead. I can hear another dog who has been abandoned in the kennels barking, his howling echoing around the canyon walls. I am so pleased that they chose the nice option.
We leave the park and continue on to Bozeman. The city centre straddles Main Street, we park the car and walk. It is an active and reasonably sophisticated western city, the Montana Ale House even has the hard to find Deschutes Fresh Squeezed on tap to make Mark a very happy man. We find the only other Dalmatian in town at a table there, she is far too frisky for me, or is it that I just don’t like the competition. We have words, she leaves. Apparently she is just off the plane from Norway, no wonder I couldn’t understand a word she said. Very strange that yesterday I was allowed on the patio but here, the waitress said I have to be kept off the premise. Never mind as I am only a foot from the table so am technically not in the restaurant.
It seems REI is in most of the cities/towns as they find one in Bozeman. Lisa goes in and finds the needed tent pegs to replace the bent ones as a result of the storm in Spokane.
Back at the campsite we pitch the tent, this time securely, even though thunderstorms and drizzle are in the air. Since eastern Washington the weather has cooled from 37c to 21c, it’s going to be cold tonight but at least two of us prefer it to the sweltering heat of the last 2 days. It will be a test to see how the blue thing survives, by far the oddest tent around – but free.
Another thing I don’t understand about campsites is their proximity to rail lines and highways. Montana is huge with a population of only one million and people travel hundreds or thousands of miles to get here. I am sure that they would put up with the slight inconvenience of travelling a few extra miles off the interstate to get some quiet!