Showing posts from August, 2012

Captains Log: Irish-Scottish-Welsh-Norse fest

The weather was perfect for attending the Irish fest we had heard about in Hamilton, just down the road aways from Missoula. We had directions to use the Hamilton high school parking lot and catch a shuttle to wherever the festivities were so off we went to find the high school. Turned out to be a huge parking lot for a small town high school. No waiting for the shuttle (a school bus) so after a short jaunt, we were pulling into this beautiful property with a mansion and very nicely landscaped grounds. Lots of tents. This was going to be great.
You could hear the bag pipes tuning up as we approached. There were several bands with pipes and drums and kilts. Lots of kilts were everywhere, not just the band members. Occasionally you saw a double-handed broad sword on the back of a guy wearing a kilt, which made the the whole look a little tougher. I wasn’t too sure the Irish wore kilts, so I figured they were Scotts. Some of them were, but others were Irish, or Irish/Scotts, or maybe even…

Smoke on the Mountain

We needed some exercise today and decided another bike ride would be good. No rain in the forecast so we could go a little further. I discovered that there is a bike trail from Lolo south to Hamilton along US-93 that is a 46 mile bike trail that is paved and relatively flat called the Bitterroot Parkway.  It is a nice trail and well kept but the disadvantage of this trial is it follows along beside the highway so you never get away from the sound of traffic. We rode about 20 miles by going from Lolo to Florence and back. There are mountains on both sides but the haze from the smoke made it hard to see a lot of those mountains. As we rode south the haze got a lot heavier. Like I said yesterday it has been quite the season for fires. It was a good ride but I’d love to see this area when there isn’t such a haze.

I mentioned yesterday a book I had read previously by Nora Roberts. Well I found it on my Kindle and decided to reread it. The book is “Chasing Fire” and is set here in Missoula a…

Smoke Jumpers, Bikes and Breweries

So far Missoula has proven to be a real treat. Sunday we headed to the downtown area to check out one of the local microbreweries that had great reviews, Tamarack Brewery. This sits right next to the Carousel Park overlooking the river. When we pulled into the parking area and there was a small farmer’s market and craft show going on. This was handy since I was planning on going to the grocery store on our way back to the rig. There weren’t many vendors but they had several things that I needed. Yea!! After a little shopping it was time to check out the brewpub. John was excited because they had an Imperial Stout and he says it was excellent, for me they had an unfiltered Amber that I found to be exceptional. We also ate here and the food was also excellent. It gets 5 stars from us all the way around. So if you find your self in Missoula and you need a bite to eat and a place to quench you thirst, Tamarac Brewing is the place to go.
Also downtown we were able to get a look at their bik…

Sheridan WY and Livingston MT

After an excellent week at Custer State Park, on Tuesday morning we drove to Sheridan WY.  If you stop here there is an nice little RV park called Peter D’s right off I-90. The guy who owns it keeps it immaculate. They are all pull throughs and there is a hill that buffers the noise from the interstate. The sites are a little close but for a short stay it is great. We decided to stay 2 nights and use Wednesday to get an oil change on the truck, do laundry, and get groceries. That worked out pretty well except for a little trouble with the oil change. We took the truck in and were waiting quite awhile. I began to wonder if there was a problem; well there was. Seems the mechanic when he was taking off the oil filter had a wrench slip and took out our AC sensor. I have to say though that they handled this very well. They came and explained the issue and that they didn’t have the right one in stock and had to order one that would arrive Thursday morning. They said the truck usually arrive…

A perfect day & Mt. Rushmore

Sometimes I just have to pinch myself to see if its all real. Getting to be out here traveling and seeing this country is just such an amazing experience. Sunday was just about a perfect day. Clear skies, low humidity and temps in the low 70s, picture perfect. We decided to get outdoors and enjoy it. First we took a hike. The Stockade Lake Trail is only about a mile and a half long but like the previous trail it has some very long steep areas that make it more challenging than a normal mile hike. I think we enjoyed this trail more as the views were better and it had a little more variety along the path. 
Once that was done we were just a short drive to the Stockade Spur of the Mickelson Bike Trail. This spur is paved which is nice and goes all the way into Custer City. This spur unlike the main trail does not follow a former rail line which means sections of steeper grades, but at least they were shorter. I will admit I had to get off and a walk a little. I have a little asthma and I l…

Hiking and Bicycling in the Black Hills

The last two days we’ve tried to be a little more physically active. Yesterday we drove with our bikes up to Custer City to one of the trailheads for the George Mickelson trail. This is a rail trail so the grades aren’t very steep they are just very, very long. We started right out on an upgrade. These legs with no warm up were feeling it, the grade lasted about a mile and finally it was downhill and downhill and downhill, it felt great except we knew we were going to have to turn around and go uphill the same distance to get back. After a good 2-3 mile downhill we decided to turn around and yep it was a the same 2-3 miles uphill. The hard part of these grades is not that they are steep but they pull at you for so long. It was a good feeling when we got to the top and had a final downhill back into town. It was only about a 10 mile ride but we were exhausted and John was whining about his butt, now he’ll tell you it was me whining but that’s not how I remember it.

Since it was only abo…