We ended up staying another night in Missoula and the carousel may be the reason why. No matter how many times she rides the darn thing she wants to get back on again. How many times can you spin around in a circle before hurling? My limit is two (and then don’t feed me anything for a little bit after).
Created by artist Chuck Kaparich as a gift to Missoula it was first offered to the public on May 27, 1994. It is just 75 cents for children and $2.25 for adults (no charge if you are just standing next to your kid). We might have spent over a thousand dollars on tickets. Probably not, but the $50 annual pass (which I laughed at when I bought my first ticket) may have actually been the way to go. Oh, and here’s the fun thing, each time around you are encouraged to grab plastic rings coming out of a dragon’s mouth. The last ring is brass and guarantees the winner a free ride later. This, by the way, was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings series (Noel’s fake fact of the day).
In case you haven’t caught on, Missoula is a pretty cool place. Besides the welcoming family attractions like the park next door to the carousel that is littered with wooden fort like/ easy to get lost in climbing blocks and the nearby children’s museum, the town is set in a truly beautify valley. The locals and tourists both seem to spend a lot of time floating on the river and the college gives the place a decidedly liberal leaning and intellectual air. There also seem to be festivals almost every summer night with the action mostly centered at Caras Park (which is adjacent to the carousel). In fact, everything about the place screams “stay!” a week, a month, a lifetime. But 40 is a big number and I owe it to you, Hennacornoelidays Nation, to move on. Tomorrow we ride. Noel
Note: Almost immediately after writing this Henna lost her lunch. She feels much better now, but maybe nine year olds have a limit too.