Day 13 - Day Off in Missoula - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

June 15, 2016

Day 13 - Day Off in Missoula

Ahhhhhhh - a day off is just what I needed,
But I am overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed that Missoula has everything -
and many of the small towns I have just been through have little to nothing.

Downtown Missoula - Da Big City
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Since I started touring in 1987, I have seen these little towns whither away.
There used to be a range of service in the bigger towns and little country stores along the way.
The little country stores are gone - and it just isn't a convenience issue for cyclists.
It is as though the small capillaries are gone and now the collapse is striking the larger ones.

And yet, I see and hear - over and over again - an unwillingness of many in small towns to tolerate views other than their own. Perhaps, urbanites have this same mind-set. They can afford it. But small town residents cannot if they wish to preserve their communities. Otherwise, they will continue to wither away. The little grocery store with dust on the cans tells the story.

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It is nice to get up on a chilly 34F morning in the warmth of a hostel.
A very, very nice hostel indeed - Shady Spruce in downtown Missoula.
Chris, the owner, has anticipated almost every possible guest need.
And the place is immaculate.

I stopped by Adventure Cycling and renewed my membership. Got the requisite photo take. They have really done amazing things over the past 40 years.
Met Greg Siple in the lobby and he showed me their new photo album book.
Yes, indeed, it is a Christmas wish.

Stopped by the Adventure Cycling Headquarters - Got My Picture Taken
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So, I am off to the laundromat and bike shop early - which is a good thing.
After I get everything washed and the bike dropped off, I walk back to the hostel.
It's funny - when you are touring and your wheels are gone, you feel very vulnerable.
Fortunately, Chris also had townie bike available for his guests.
So I did a little touring of town and grocery shopping.

O.K. I'll admit it. I am a big railroad fan.
Still, the old Northern Pacific depot is loverly.

For a Rail Buff, the Old Northern Pacific Depot Is a Jewel
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Got my bike back - went over to Rev. Carter's University UCC to practice.
Then I rode back to the hostel in the mist and prepared a batch of arroz con pollo.
It is amazing how fast a day off can go by.

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I remember coming through Missoula on my first cross-country trip in 1987.
I stayed at Ernie's Birchwood Hostel and saw his wonder dog do his tricks.
The hostel was always pretty full and hopping - engaged.
Nowadays - maybe because of this virtual medium - people seem less connected on the ground.

Or course, I am older. Couldn't begin to pass even as a midster.
But I miss the old days of everyone gabbing and connecting around the table.

Another Bike/Ped Bridge on the Greenway
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