August 13, 2012

Looking for the soul of Missoula.

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59 comments:

wyo sis said...

I got that same blue fish shirt for my husband for Christmas, and now we can't find another one like it anywhere. He loves it.

Ann Althouse said...

@ wyo sis Try WalMart. $8.

Bruce Hayden said...

Wish I knew that you were going there - left the area a bit over a week ago. Spent May through July about 80 miles downriver, and would go into either Missoula or Spokane every other week or so.

In any case, what I noticed about Missoula is the number of tattoos and the number of people smoking cigarettes. Esp. over on campus and nearby. Not as much when you get into the more suburban parts of Missoula.

State has some weird alcohol laws, so finding a liquor store is hard (there is one in one of the casinos on Reserve, if I remember right). And the casinos, after living in Nevada for awhile, are anti-climatic.

A while back was in town and they had the state high school rodeo championships at the county fairground. I think that was one of the reasons that my kid seriously considered going to the university there for college. Much cooler than lacrosse, soccer, and field hockey as a high school sport.

edutcher said...

Ann does Wal-Mart?

In any case, Missoula, which I believe is a college town, looks a little like Madison.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan said...

That first photo reeks of Oscar Madison's feng shui.

dbp said...

Missoula! You are only about two hours from Spokane--the most beautiful city in the world. You have to go. Once there, you might as well push on to Seattle since it is only another 4 hours.

Palladian said...

You're going back to Missoula.... MONTANA!

wyo sis said...

Yep, WalMart. Different print, but hopefully the same fit and comfort. Coming from Cheyenne by Friday. Ya gotta love WalMart. Thanks.

Amartel said...

Okay, fellow commenter, much as I love Spokane it is not the most beautiful city in the world. Recommmend going south from Missoula on Highway 93 over the Lolo Pass, along the Salmon River. Take a right at Challis and stay over in the Sawtooth Mountains then over to Sun Valley. Nonstop gorgeous.

KLDAVIS said...

Only a couple hours from Flathead Lake...and then only a couple more to the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Alan said...

Did any of the native Missoulians mention David Letterman's time there as a weather guy? I'm not saying he got chased out of town because he knocked up a 15 year old but ....

It's a small state. You learn all the sleaze. True or not.

dbp said...

Amartel, I am from Spokane so it will always be "the most beautiful" to me. You are totally right about Rt 93 though. I used to go that way when I lived in Sun Valley. Another variation (if they don't mind dirt roads) would be to stay on 93 until after 75 and take Trail Creek Road instead. It is even more scenic and shaves a lot of time off the trip to Sun Valley.

Alan said...

Small population, I mean. It's bigger than most countries.

Amartel said...

dbp, I am a Spokane fan. No disrespect intended. Also, my mistake, the Lolo pass is not on 93.

Muns said...

Missoula... Madison with mountains. Try Cooke City on the way home.

Kurt said...

I've never been to Missoula. I had always figured that maybe it aspired to be like Boulder, but from these pictures, I'm wondering if it aspires to be more like Austin, instead.

lewsar said...

i love the missoula area. my dad was transferred there in the late 50s, and missoula is the first place of which i have any consistent memories. my brother was born in missoula, my wife and i own a house in missoula, and the main company i drove for is headquartered in missoula.

flathead lake is great, and glacier national park is not to be missed.

as for lolo pass, i have a truck driving story for everyone. the company had its own driving school and unless there were exceptional circumstances, if you passed the school by getting your commercial driving license, the company would hire you as a driver. this is how i got started driving.

about three years ago, a new driver, still in his first week of employment, was driving east on highway 12 towards lolo pass.

this area is lovely beyond description, but it's a hard slog driving through the area. there are all kinds of interesting things to look at, and the road is constantly meandering back and forth as it follows the lochsa river. and i mean constantly. in something like 112 miles, there might be a stretch of straight road that is perhaps a 1/2 mile long. otherwise, you are constantly sawing at the steering wheel.

so this new driver has the truck chained up, because it's snowing in a winter of much snow. he's creeping along, with any company driver following him, when they come across a swift driver trying to chain up. the road is blocked, so they come to a stop.

the new driver goes back into the sleeper to do whatever, and is minding his own business when an avalanche rolls down the mountain, hitting his truck and trailer broadside, and depositing the truck and trailer upside down in the lochsa river.

the new driver kicks out the windshield, and crawls out through the gap into the river and up onto the river bank. it's still snowing, it's cold, and he's soaking wet. he gets in the other company truck, and the other driver takes a bunch of pictures (which i have seen).

a forest service truck, also heading east, comes up the road, manages to get turned around, stops, and tells the three drivers to get quickly. there are never avalanches in this area, and if there is another they might be there until spring.

so our new driver, with only the soaking wet clothes on his back, gets in the forest service truck. all three drivers are dropped off at the first motel westbound from the montana/idaho border.

only problem is, there is no phone service at this motel. i don't mean no cell phone, i mean absolutely no phone service period. it's a little remote there :)

at this point, i come driving into the missoula terminal, and some guy drives out of the yard in a brand new jeep with a strange expression on his face. a couple of the trainers are standing there watching him, and i ask how things are going.

from the company's side, one truck has disappeared from the satellite tracking system, one truck hasn't moved in a couple of days, and they have a cryptic phone call that says you guys need to go get your drivers.

the guy in the jeep was another new driver, driving a rented jeep, and carrying a bunch of cash and a company credit card. his job was to find the missing drivers and bring them back to missoula. nobody at the terminal was sure what had happened or where the drivers were.

eek, i said. i drove off about my business, and showed up again three or four days later. the drivers were back in missoula, and i talked to the hero of our story for a few minutes. he was getting another truck, and hoped his second week with the company would be a little quieter.

the company ended up losing both trucks and both the loads, and considered themselves lucky they didn't lose both drivers as well. as it was, they had misplaced them for almost a week.

wild chicken said...

Oh poop, you could warn us?? I should have had my hair done last week.

Which WalMart? We have two, you know. One is super, and one is not.

Lem said...

If Romney wins, garage has threatened to move to Missoula.

mesquito said...

It's strange that college towns, filled as they are by untamed, independent spirits, all look exactly the same.

Amartel said...

Hey, dbp, speaking of wild driving stories ... two hours from Missoula to Spokane?? Two?
I like your style.

wild chicken said...

Oh, and the soul of Missoula is at Al & Vic's Bar.

Lem said...

The declaration didn't get us there on its own... the declaration didnt build us.

In order to re-write history.. to evolve our history in the image of an Obama socialist vision... you have to shut people up.

The Crack Emcee said...

Wherever resides that insane screed Meade is reading, burn it to the ground. Why should I have endure delusions because others consider reality "narrow confines"?

And "narrow" compared to what? Oh yeah - the reality I live in without their bullshit.

Why can't the losers just put up a white board, representing their lack of imagination, and quit insisting we have to live in a funny farm to be happy?

"Living proof to those who need it,..."

What they need is straightjackets, to be locked up, an I-V of anti-depressants, a little shock therapy, and a steady diet of Jell-o and Bugs Bunny cartoons,...

Lem said...

Too much historical consumption out there.

The 1700 hundreds?

Whats that in ounces?

Titus said...

My father has a house near Big Sky by Bozeman. I went there a few times while in high school.

My father used to do an annual cattle drive and loved trout fishing.

The airport has these cool fake birds suspended all over the place.

I also snowmobiled in Yellowstone surrounded by bison and elk.

I believe there are no gay bars or gays in Montana. But the Holiday Inn Parking lot in Helena gets cruisy after 2 in the morning.

I had to fly to Newark for a very strategic executive meeting in Princeton and there was an actual bird in the airport.

In the airport in Bangalore there are birds, squirrels and dogs roaming around.

Who is the old man with the hideous shirt and shoes in the pic?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Once you've found the soul of Missoula, you should ask harrogate to tell you what it's secretly thinking but is too dishonest to say out loud.

Calypso Facto said...

garage has threatened to move to Missoula

not if

finding a liquor store is hard

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

Hmmm... Missoula likes its inspirational quotes from a dude who blows his brains out. I usta like and admire HST. We share a birthday. I order Wild Turkey, neat, on occasion. He was The Man when I attended J-school in the mid-70s in Ohio. But then I read two biographies of the man, one by a childhood pal, the other by a stranger. My admiration for the man dwindled to nothing by the time I closed the second book. I still have some sympathy for him, though. My advice to folks is: Don't read a biography of someone you admire.

Irene said...

Be sure to have a piece of boysenberry pie before you leave Montana. There's a little place in Kalipsell that makes a great boysenberry pie. I don't remember the spot's name, but it is housed in a log cabin.

traditionalguy said...

Meade is studying Tattoos.

Word to the wise, an 82nd Airborne patch may be bold, but it does not stand for Ann Althouse.

Rick Lee said...

If you go to Bozeman, eat at "Over the Tapas".

dbp said...

Back then, you could drive as fast as you wanted in Montana if it was daytime and you were on the freeway. As soon as I crossed the border from Idaho, I would floor it and leave the car floored until I got to Missoula.

I had an '83 Tercel and the speedometer only went to 85 but it stayed pegged the whole way. I had to make good time since on the Spokane to Sun Valley run, Missoula was barely 1/3 of the way.

The pass between Stanley ID and Sun Valley is, according to the maps, closed in Winter. But they did keep it open when they could and it was way shorter if you could use that road, rather than take the long way around. One time I made it over Gallena Pass on a good foot or so of unplowed and untracked snow. Good old Tercel would only make 45 MPH due to the resistance from the snow, of course it only had a 60 hp engine.

dbp said...

When I expanded the HST quote to a size I could read, Althouse appears in the casino window reflection.

lewsar said...

irene, it's huckleberry pie, not boysenberry. a huckleberry kind of looks like a blueberry but tastes more like a raspberry.

i had a good quip about obama and huckleberry hound, but i think i'll spare everybody.

Irene said...

lewsar, I remember it as boysenberry pie.

ken in sc said...

Missoula is part of the NPR archipelago, just like Madison, Austin, and Chapel Hill. Islands in a stream.

Muns said...

"NPR archipelago" Wonderful turn of phrase. Thanks -

Wally Kalbacken said...

In August of 1980 I bicycled down from Whitefish to Missoula and met a friend there. He had bicycled from the east (all the way from Norfolk VA) along what was known as the "Bikecentennial Trail." The Adventure Cycling Association is the successor to Bikecentennial and is still HQ'd there in Missoula - and methinks those bike photos were from the Bicentennial days. The ride from Missoula to Lolo Pass was a bear, because I had the wrong gear-set and it was very slow going near the top. But then it was all downhill through most of Idaho, then on to Eugene, Oregon and then down the coast to SF.

Chip Ahoy said...

Hidjus shirt? Did you see his shoes?

I saw this guy today with leather shoes, sort of urban/hiking dual purpose, all around good looking shoe, and he stood out amongst all the stinking-feet trainer-wearing people because of that and I almost said, I came this close -->||<-- to saying, "HEY DUDE, THOSE ARE NICE SHOES" but I checked myself just in time because an urgent editing voice inside my head goes, "don't say that, Chip, everybody'll think you're a weirdo." eeerrrk stopped.

XRay said...

Maybe you'd be better off looking for the soul of yourself.

lewsar said...

irene, boysenberry pie is a wonderful thing. any berry pie is a wonderful thing. but nobody i know in montana, idaho, or washington would even think about boysenberry anything if there are huckleberries about.

that being said, mmmmmmm, boysenberry pie!

David said...

My youngest daughter went to Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Mizzoula. Excellent school and a great town. It would be a good place to live.

Irene said...

Thanks, lewsar. I was only an occasional visitor, so I did not know that huckleberries were the genuine delicacy. I love all berry pies.

(Pie is my favorite dessert.)

Mark Nielsen said...

My part of the country! I love Missoula, and was through there only yesterday driving home from Utah. A lot of over-the-hill hippies there, but with a generally laid back libertarian atmosphere. And the roads in western Montana are pretty enough that they could charge admission to drive on them.

Chip Ahoy said...

If I painted a fish on a shirt, I would consider a single fish in the back. Striking at a fly and the line goes over the shoulder. The fish comes up from the bottom of the opposite side with its mouth agape, its body curved, its tail disappears, it's a partial fish and it takes up most the back. So it'll be a little bit like

hang on

*checks althouse [fish blouse]

goodness there's a lot of fish on althouse

[shirt fish]

a little bit like Ann Romney except much more subtle than that and on the back not the front, and no primary colors, quietly dynamic through action not loudly dynamic with loud bright clashing colors. Come to think of it, not at all like Ann Romney. Okay, forget about Ann Romney, I'm sorry I brought her into this, she has nothing to do with anything, my fish shirt would be green.

Chip Ahoy said...

I too wore a shirt today. But then took it off because it's hot and then it was just a t-shirt, and eventually took that off too, but we do that sort of thing out here in the wilderness and I was at home by then.

wyo sis said...

Much ado about a fish shirt.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann does Wal-Mart?"

Ann would have Meade get all his clothes at Jazz Man on State Street, but if he goes to WalMart and buys a shirt, what can I do?

Chip Ahoy said...

A guy burrowed my cordless drill today and brought it back with a broken bit. And that goes to show you

something

about

I don't know. I give up. What does it show? I thought I had it there but I don't. Actually, I don't even know how to replace it. It's the revers-o thing that comes with it, and clamps on the side, flat on one side Phillips on the other, apparently not titanium or cobalt or something strong. The guy sure was happy to use it though. He used the shit out of that drill, as a screwdriver. Saved his wrist.

Chip Ahoy said...

Three blown glass hummingbird feeders came today. They are not absurd nor ridiculous. I'm disappointed. They're actually beautiful individually. Each one would be fine by itself. Now there are four. The rest of them were cancelled :-( no reason given, I guess the ridiculous absurd hummingbird feeder suppliers are unreliable flakes. Who could have predicted that?

Anyway, if you could own only one, then any one of these four would do. For now there will be one for each railing basket. Like horse troughs with coconut fiber lining. But it's so dry here that has to have an additional lining which runs counter to the idea of the coconut fiber.

I never owned a hummingbird feeder before. The whole idea of inviting birds seems strange.

wyo sis said...

Chip
In the spirit of good neighborliness he should replace all that shit.

Simon Kenton said...

lewsar wrote:

"only problem is, there is no phone service at this motel. i don't mean no cell phone, i mean absolutely no phone service period. it's a little remote there :)"

Some decades past: was tooling down the canyon of the Payette about 1 am and spotted a motorcyclist jacked up half in the barrow ditch, half against the cliff; we stopped. He was a lumberjack, a drunk, and had recently been a prick. Seemed he had spotted a couple in a van messing around as they drove down the canyon and decided to harass them from his cycle. Good fun until the driver tired of the joke and brushed him over, off the road and into the cliff. He'd been down with a broken femur for a couple hours when we found him. Still drunk, though.

An impressive body. Damn. We set out to make a traction split and finally had to improvise a screw tightener with some pipes and half-inch rope and a shovel handle as capstan to take the load. Even when reduced (decompartmented?) his thigh was as big as a man's waist. 30" plus. Like a bicycle velodrome sprinter big. The rest, comparable. But that thigh in tetanus, hard as an oak timber, in girth like an old cedar. Calling Mr. Titus, Mr. Titus, please pick up the White Raging Telephone....

We loaded him in the van and drove. And drove. Got to some little burg - Lowman? - and started beating on doors. Finally somebody opened a second-story window and called down to us that the phone system was turned off each night, regular, at 9. Wouldn't be back on til 7 AM. Not even God could activate the phone system: remote switch. At last somebody agreed to radio the hospital in Boise. We gave them our route - not like there were many choices - and asked them to run hot. When we saw the light bar, we'd flash, shut down, and transfer.

We drove about another hour before an ambulance swept round the bend in front of us, we flashed, we all transferred. It took about 8 people to lift him. I later gathered it took a buttload of muscle relaxant for them to be able to set and splint.

PS - Looking for the soul of Missoula? It's the river. And check the traces of glacial lake missoula.

Quaestor said...

Ann would have Meade get all his clothes at Jazz Man on State Street, but if he goes to WalMart and buys a shirt, what can I do?

Meade is evidently one of those men who say "If I'm going to spend $100 for a shirt, it had better be fucking worth $100."

Ann Althouse said...

"Meade is evidently one of those men who say "If I'm going to spend $100 for a shirt, it had better be fucking worth $100.""

That sounds angry in a way that he never is. It's more that he thinks it's nice that you can get perfectly good stuff cheap at Walmart. But he likes Jazz Man and the great people who run that shop.

Ann Althouse said...

"Meade is evidently one of those men who say "If I'm going to spend $100 for a shirt, it had better be fucking worth $100.""

That sounds angry in a way that he never is. It's more that he thinks it's nice that you can get perfectly good stuff cheap at Walmart. But he likes Jazz Man and the great people who run that shop.

Quaestor said...

Chip Ahoy wrote:
I never owned a hummingbird feeder before. The whole idea of inviting birds seems strange.

Don't put them out this year. It's likely too late. Feeders can present a real danger to hummingbirds. All of them migrate to Central and South America, and all are dependent on finding sufficient nectar-bearing flowers along the Gulf coast to "fuel up" for their long over-water flights to Yucatan. If they get delayed in the Northern states with an abundance of artificial food they can miss the bloom of those all-important flowers in the South. Thus they run out of fuel and crash into the sea like WWII fighter planes flown too far from their carrier.

Rusty said...

Irene said...
Be sure to have a piece of boysenberry pie before you leave Montana. There's a little place in Kalipsell that makes a great boysenberry pie. I don't remember the spot's name, but it is housed in a log cabin.


Another place, just outside of Dillon, on the interstate, is the Calf-A. The ladies that live in the area make the pies.


Actually, I don't even know how to replace it.

Any big box hardware store, Chip.


apparently not titanium or cobalt or something strong.

Must have been driving dry wall screws. Them things is HARD.
Titanium is kind of soft, like Alum. Cobalt is added to steel to make it tough.