Points North
on Oct 07, 2013 in Travel

Road Trip Day 1-2: Seattle to Missoula

It rained my last two days in Seattle. And not the brief showers that you sometimes find in Miami…. I mean steadfast, ongoing, relentless (from my point of view) rain. Back on the east coast we call that a good reason to stay in doors. However, in the Pacific Northwest, the rainy season is one that many are well acquainted with and life somehow continues. I went out and ran errands to be ready for my road trip, fighting my better judgement of wanting to curl up with a book and glass of wine, indoors.

On the day that I left Seattle it rained in the morning. I did my best to wait it out so I wouldn’t have to load up my car under such conditions. There were temporary breaks but it definitely poured down as I drove out of Seattle and didn’t stop until I was a couple hours away. Back in out in the great land that divides magnificent cities, I enjoyed blue skies with white clouds, and spectacular views on the road.

Not yet back in the groove of what it means to road trip, I made frequent stops for photos and took my time. Then I realized that I was crossing back into Mountain Time, and losing an hour to the wind. YIKES! Despite my best intentions to get back on track, I was doomed to arrive to Missoula at night fall. And let me tell you, because Missoula is surrounded by mountains, I didn’t see the breathtaking sunset that I was expecting. I hear its spectacular at other times of the year, but this time it felt like someone literally flipped a switch and there was darkness.

One thing I am not a fan of: driving winding mountain roads in the dark. So my natural sarcastic reaction was “AAAAAAAAWESOME.” I actually stayed behind a truck that had its blinkers on for a good few miles, but even he grew tired of having an audience and slowed down even further so I could pass him (thanks…. I guess). Slowly but surely I made my way up to the AirBNB room I was renting for the night.

There my awesome host and her husband greeted me with smiles and we shared tea before bedtime. The following morning I slept in (without having to convince myself of why I should sleep in). After getting some great suggestions (and fabulous conversation) from my host, I ventured into downtown Missoula. I had also posted my arrival on the CouchSurfing website, which gave me the opportunity to meet two others later in the evening.

My day in Missoula consisted of wandering through downtown shops, browsing art galleries, having lunch and a nice cafe, driving up the scenic Blue Mountain Drive for photos, and back down into town for live music.  The live music was by a local favorite who’s name escapes me. There I shared drinks and tapas with new friends via CouchSurfing.org. And I love this, that I can connect with perfect strangers as of we were long time friends. That we can all get lost in the strum of a six string, and laugh at the nuances of life all the same.

I came home just in time for tea with my AirBNB host, and we laughed ourselves into a slumber. The following day, after more tea of course :), I packed up and got back on the road. My last stop in Montana was an awesome co-op I went to for lunch.

Here’s everywhere I went:

Catalyst Cafe & Espresso (street view, cozy, perfect for lunch)
Fact & Fiction (local bookstore, easy going owner, stop and stay a while)
Red Bird Restaurant (live music, drinks, tapas, fireplace)
Co-op Downtown (in Bozeman, delicious food, organic, locally sourced, awesome)

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