A Miserable Day in Yellowstone!
A Test of Endurance
Bear Charges Trail Riders
Brother No.1 Takes a Hike
Camping,Boating and Bears!Part I
Camping,Boating, and Bears! Part II
Cooking School with M
Dust, Dips, and Bear Tracks
Family Forestry Expo
Grinnell Glacier Hike
Hoar, Ghosts, and Pits!
Lost on Father's Day?
M&E:Kids in the City!
Marmot Mountain Fun and Terror!
Mystery in the Rain Forest
Shuttle Bus Adventure
Snowshoe Fun on Winter Trails Day!
The Big Fair!
The Blood Red Moon
The Great Goldfish Adventure
The Swan Rangers and the 79 Switchbacks!
The Tough Trail
Ticks, Elk, Buffalo, and More!
Too Much to Bear
by M and E
“Pack your duffel bags!”
E ran into her room and grabbed stuff, including her bathing suit
because she wanted to swim.
“Do you think we’ll stay in a motel?” asked M.
“Maybe. Mom and Dad sure are acting like we will,” E replied,
shoving her brand new tankini into the bag.
“I hope so, but Dad said he really doesn’t want to,” M added. “Lets
try to drag out our trip as long as possible so we have to stay
It was Mom’s birthday and Dad said that he wanted to do something
like taking a day trip. After thinking over several ideas, we found
out that the historic Fort Missoula museum was open. There was a new
display that was being featured and because of that it would be open
earlier in the season than usual. Nothing was confirmed until Dad entered the
“I see some enthusiasm around here,“ he said, “I guess we're going to
We couldn’t help but feeling as though he’d been planning on going
to Missoula all along. Mom and Dad had been unclear as to whether we
were going to stay overnight or not, but packing our bags was an
M tightened the laces of her olive green snowboots. “Can’t you
imagine those big city people flinching at the sight of my snowboots?”
she asked E who sat pulling on her tennis shoes.
“Missoula is a big city,” E added.
Because it was Mom’s birthday, we hurried up and ate the cake and
ice cream before loading up the car and driving away. After picking
up some fried chicken to eat on the way, we settled in for a long
drive. Missoula is 120 miles away, and it would take about 2 hours
to get there. E wondered what she would do to occupy herself on the
long drive. She tried amusing herself by
drawing a scene out of her
window, but realized that it was as bad as reading in a car. You
know, carsickness? Finally, she resorted to what she always does,
just staring out the window. Eventually, after passing Lakeside,
Polson, and Ronan, there it was. A sign read, “30 miles to
Before going into town, we stopped at a place, called Muralt’s, to
get something to eat. We sat down at a separate booth that was
bathed in warm sunshine. The waitress walked up, and spoke quickly
with a vague accent. She had to repeat herself before we could
understand her. Later Dad said that perhaps we found her hard to
understand because we are from the south and talk slowly. M ordered
7-up, her vacation drink, along with some fries. Everything was
delicious, and we even got to try some of our parents’ onion rings.
After dragging out our snack so we’d be more likely to stay
overnight, Dad finally got us to leave. It was time to hit the road
once again, but it wasn’t long before we would reach Missoula.
M and E enjoying their fries and soft
drinks at Muralt's.
Dad insisted on looking at the
Missoula town that we had observed being built when we first moved
to Montana. Ever since we’ve moved here, we’ve called these new
little neighborhoods with look-alike houses “Missoula Towns.” All
the houses are built the same, except for the colors, which vary from
bright yellow to brown. They are so close together that you get a
sense of being closed in or suffocated. It’s not a place where we
would want to live.
It was now a real neighborhood with a sign in front that said, “No
children! No alcohol! No loud music! No pets!” That was appalling.
Then we realized that these regulations were only for the area under
construction where more Missoula houses were being built.
Next, it was time to go to Fort Missoula. We walked into the museum.
The woman sat at the desk, looking furious.
“Hi!” M said.
The woman sort of smirked until Mom and Dad entered the museum. Then
a bright smile washed over her face.
“Hi!” she exclaimed.
It turned out that everything wasn’t open after all. After watching a short
introductory video, which actually made M less interested in the
museum, we headed to look at the exhibits which included a “guess
the bugle call” display. Everyone’s favorite was the trunk of old
clothes. We tried on bonnets, long dresses, hats, and mink coats.
After that we went outside. There were many attractions such as an
old root cellar, a fire lookout, lots of old tractors, and all kinds
of other intriguing buildings and stuff. M rolled down a hill as E
took video. It was a partial imitation of “Fat Kid Falls off
Stroller”. We strayed from Mom and Dad to avoid lectures, and had
fun climbing on the artifacts. The best was climbing the stairs of
the fire tower, but it was also horrifying having the knowledge that
with one misstep, we could fall to almost certain death. E took a
whole bunch of pictures and we tried to take as long as possible so
that we could get to stay at a motel. We roamed the museum grounds
for about 2 hours. By the time we were done, we knew that we
couldn’t go on the famous “Missoula Carousel”, as it closed at 5:00
and it was past that. To our joy, Dad told us that we would do that
tomorrow. Did it mean…we didn’t dare mention it. We drove away from
E dressed up as pioneer woman churning
We passed the mall and Dad asked if
we would like to go and look around. Of course! Our mall is
extremely small, quiet, is single story, and doesn’t even have a
fountain. First, we went into Dillard’s where the abundance of shoes
was magnificent. They also seemed to have more fashionable clothes
than the ones in our stores. We continued to explore the mall and
there was even an escalator in the
children’s Hergerger’s. There
were so many stores! There was Gap, Eddie Bauer, and a dark little
T-shirt shop. The shop was dark, smelled musty, and had strange
music playing. There was a guy in there that was the perfect image
of Raymond in the movie Aquamarine. A sign in a hall said, “Clothes
optional beyond this point >” . At
first I thought it meant something seriously naughty, but the sign
pointed to the fitting room. We left the store and went into
Victoria’s Secret. It was thrilling. They sold bras called Hello
Bombshell that add 3-cup sizes instantly. Of course, it was 3 inches
of padding. One of the highlights of Victoria’s Secret was when a
scruffy, bedraggled man entered the store. He was out of place.
It was too soon for us, when Mom and Dad said it was time to leave.
Now the moment of judgement had come. Would Dad ruthlessly start
driving home or would he find a cozy, luxurious hotel to spend the
night? We crossed our fingers. What would he do? Dad announced that
we would stay at a motel.
Dad pulled into the C’mon Inn. The name sounded tacky, and we were
ready for a dinky motel. But when we entered we saw two pools,
multiple hot tubs, and almost all the guests were families. Crowds
of kids walked around in bathing suits and lounged in the jaccuzis.
The C’mon Inn looked like a luxury resort! When Mom and Dad asked
the desk clerk about a room, the only rooms available had only one
king sized bed. We could have cried. After that experience, no motel
seemed right. We always have a lot of trouble finding a motel, we
just can’t decide! Some were too small, had a disgusting pool, were
too expensive, were for business travelers, or their doors were the
same color as a Motel 6. We drove around the outskirts of Missoula
for about an hour searching for a place to stay and wound up in Lolo
at the Days Inn. There was no pool, but we had a pretty nice room
anyway. We were sent down to the lobby to fetch some creamer for our
coffee, when we heard weird Indian music. At first we thought it was
coming from a room, but then we saw the maid watching the TV. The
maid turned and grinned eerily, her white teeth glowing. When we got
into the other building of the motel, we had a good laugh about the
maid’s music and the
smell of curry wafting around.
We woke up bright and early in the morning and went down to the
continental breakfast. We had fruit loops, coffee, muffins, waffles,
and apple juice. After checking out, we drove back to Missoula and
over to Caras Park, where the hand carved wooden carousel was. It
was only around 9:30, so to pass the time we walked around downtown
Dad makes waffles at the Days Inn.
After that we went back to the
carousel. We all picked our favorite horse and the ride started.
They were the fastest and the best flying horses that we have ever
been on. It was the most realistic carousel; it was actually
like riding a horse. Sadly, it was time to go home, but not until
after stopping at the SUPER Wal-Mart.
M on flying horses.
On the way home, near Arlee, we saw
police cars up ahead and a long wait. An ambulance drove by and we
finally reached the scene of the crash. A car was overturned in a
ditch and a pale blue sheet was covering a dead body. A motorcycle
was completely crushed on its side. Men and women with purple gloves
appeared to be looking for something. A biker couple held each other
looking distraught. We drove by, wondering how the wreck had
After passing the accident, we continued on our way home. We stopped
to take pictures of the mountains near Polson which are extremely
large and looming. The
Mission Range made way for the Swans and we reached our little
city of Kalispell. The traffic was light, compared to the bumper to
bumper traffic of Missoula. Even though our trip was a blast, it was
good to be home!
Please don't leave before you visit