Sunday, August 5, 2012

Missoula, Montana

We are at Jim & Mary's Campground for 5 days in Missoula.  On day 1 we arrived, set up camp, and went to Target to get Debbie's favorite Archer Farms Shortbread cookies and some Flexsteel for me.  We get some wet carpet in the living room every time we travel in a heavy rain.  I used the Flexsteel to seal the undercarriage.  Since we were pooped by then, I took Debbie to get her favorite chicken wings at Hooters.
On day 2 we went to a huge farmers market and bought lots of veggies, then shopped the downtown Missoula area.  We went into lots of stores, but to my amazement, Debbie did not buy anything!  That night we went to a minor league baseball game.  The Missoula Osprey, a class A team for the Arizona Diamondbacks, beat the Helena Brewers,  a class A team for the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-5.   The Missoula pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts!  It was a special night, honoring former Missoula Osprey player, Paul Goldschmidt, who now plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  We saw an ESPN video about him and each of us got his bobble head doll.  We also saw real Osprey flying over and landing in their nest, just past right-center field.
Day 3 was  a trip downtown to an arts and crafts festival.  Once again Debbie did not buy anything!
Then we visited the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and learned about the 6 million acres that they have fought to protect for the elk or bought to support the Elk herds, so they can go kill them!  Then we took a tour of the U.S. Forest Service Smoke Jumpers school and staging area at Missoula International airport.
Day 4 was a trip to Fort Missoula, built first in 1877, it has been used to protect settlers from the Indians, and was used through WWII.   It was also used as an Alien Detention Center for non-military Italian men, mostly merchant seaman, luxury liner workers, from ships seized in American waters.  Over 1,200 Italians and 650 Japanese where detained here.  The fort closed in 1947. Parts of Fort Missoula now is owned by several agencies, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, The University of Montana, The Northern Rockies Heritage Center, The U.S. Army Reserve, Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History, the National Guard, Missoula County, as well as the Fort Missoula Heritage Society, and the Missoula Iris Society.  All have banded together to use and save this property.
Day 5 will be for laundry and resting up for the next leg of our journey, the state capital, Helena.
Missoula is a beautiful city with everything you need.  It has a vibrant downtown with lots to do. 
Our campsite at Jim & Mary's in outside Missoula
Debbie didn't have to cook tonight
Watch out behind you!
The parachute packing and repair room
Parachutes sorted by the weight of the jumper with his pack and tools
The smoke jumpers 1970 made airplane(no budget for a new one)
Inside the plane-10 seats for jumpers, supplies, and 2 seats for jump crew
The 1950's DC-3 that is used to drop flame retardant chemicals(no $ for newer plane
The former Quartermasters storehouse, now the museum
A U.S. Forest Service Fire Tower, now used for training
The refurbished train station moved to Missoula from Drummond
The refurbished 1877 Non-Commisioned Officers quarters
The Fort Missoula Chapel
Debbie at the school house
A model of the U.S.S. Missoula
Debbie in the Iris test garden

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