LOCATION: Missoula, Montana
CAMPING: Jim and Mary’s RV Park
WEATHER: HOT! What a swing – low 50; high 100!
To beat the heat, we hit the trail early this morning. We parked at one of the many city parks downtown and hiked the Clark Fork River (part of the great Columbia) on both sides, through downtown and parts of the Univ of Montana campus. The well-utilized bike/hike trail flows through 6 different parks. The City has really done a nice job. The downtown central area was sadly closed down, due to the virus. A big carousel, an amphitheater for concerts, and venue for food trucks were all closed. I saw photos of what the downtown usually looks like on a sunny, summer day – very vibrant and quite different from today.
After getting our 10,000 steps in, we returned to the RV park and I worked more on camping reservations. Working with the US government’s reservation website (for national parks, national forests, COE) can be frustrating. After about 2 hours trying to get the only 2-day stay I could find near the Tetons, we had to call. That was equally frustrating. In the end, we locked in it.
After that frustration, we headed to #4 of the 11 breweries on our to-do list here in the Missoula area. This one was Draughtworks, a neat old renovated warehouse in an older part of town. As the designated driver, I enjoyed two glasses of cool, refreshing Montana tap water. George had one of their IPAs and a stout. Both good.
It is interesting to see the Covid-19 precautions. One of the reasons we selected Montana as our summer destination is because the number of cases here is quite low. In the rural areas, where they have had virtually no cases, precautions are understandably pretty lax. Here in Missoula, like most of the bigger cities, precautions are tight. Masks are required in all indoor spaces. At the brewery today, the bar stools and about half of the tables were removed. There were signs telling you to let the hostess seat you and that once you were seated to stay at your table, only allowing a trip to the restroom. George, especially, enjoyed watching the wait staff deal with all of this, because they were cute girls in darling sundresses and cowboy boots.
Back at the RV park in the late afternoon still with 100-degree temps, we enjoyed Joy’s air-conditioned comfort and watched the Democratic convention.
DINNER: This is one of my fall-back recipes, easy to do and with ingredients I typically have on hand. Pasta in a cream sauce (just melted cream cheese) with a dab of horseradish and some capers. I dot it with slices of smoked salmon. Sides were a chicken/bulgher salad that needed to be consumed, and sauteed cabbage. I bought the smallest cabbage I could find at Saturday’s farmers’ market, but it is still huge. You will see cabbage on our menu for the next several days!