We are starting the process of summer trip planning. Truth be told, this started some time during our last summer trip. Corey and I both are suckers for maps and routing out trips is a great road game, especially on the interstate. Even Henna gets into it a little. Right now we are probably headed west through then down Colorado to the Grand Canyon, further south to visit family in Phoenix, west to S. California and then hitting Sequoia and Yosemite National Park on the way home. We also would like to hit the pretty parts of Idaho. And somewhere in that jumble of parks and beaches, maybe a night spent in Missoula, Mt.
Missoula is a funky western town at the intersection of I90 and route 93. Not funky like San Francisco, but funky in that it is everything you like about the American West and everything you like about college towns blended together. It also is set in an understated high desert landscape of low hills and buttes. One of those hills has a giant M on top with a steep trail leading to it. I have yet to touch that M. Corey and I first came through Missoula on the way home from our Alaska trip. Just married, it was our last trip sans kid and we hung out at the college bars. The county fair was going on and we had fun betting on horses, checking out livestock, and watching some bad karaoke. The next time through was with Henna. No bars, the county fair was there again, and we discovered a laid back and very cool children’s museum. They also have a great park with a restored carrousel. If, while on the carrousel, you are able to grab the brass ring, you earn another free ride. If I remember correctly I earned three free rides. This summer, if we end up spending the night there, I know which horse offers the best brass ring access point. I also plan on dragging Corey and Henna to that M. Or more likely they will be eating ice cream while I venture a solo ascent.