Next stop in our tour through Montana was Missoula. We had several people tell us how much we would enjoy this city, so we decided to spend a week there. Based on the recommendation of several of our RV friends, we stayed at Jim & Mary’s RV Park, just northwest of town. We had a nice, shady spot and full hook-ups, which was a good thing as the temps were pretty high the week that we were there. The park is full of flowers – someone there is definitely a gardener!
Missoula has a great walking/bike trail system that runs right through town and along the river, and that was the first trail we checked out. There are several pedestrian bridges over the river – I always love taking pictures of bridges for some reason.
One of the bridges had a section where people put locks on it – to symbolize their love, or something like that. I’ve heard of something like this before – I think the tradition started somewhere in Europe, and since I’m writing this post while I’m offline I can’t research it. So I’m not sure how this started, but I thought it made an interesting picture. My favorite lock was the one where someone simply wrote “I hope this works out.”
There is another fantastic trail system just southeast of the city called the Blue Mountain Recreation Area. There are miles and miles of trails and they are all very well marked and easy to navigate. You could spend days exploring this area. We found the entire city of Missoula to be very dog-friendly, and there were lots of people here letting their dogs walk off-leash. In fact I think our 3 dogs were the only ones that we saw on a leash the whole time! The scenery was pretty and it’s definitely worth a stop if you visit Missoula.
Missoula is chock-full of local breweries and we visited several of them, including Big Sky, Tamarack, Kettlehouse, and Draught Works. They were all excellent. We also made sure to check out the hamburgers at the Missoula Club, at the insistence of Nancy & Betsy. I’m glad we listened to them! This is a no-frills restaurant – the only real options here are the number of patties you get, but the burgers were delicious!
The University of Montana is located in Missoula, and near the campus there is a large white “M” on the hillside above that you can see from all over town. We found out that you can hike up to the “Big M” as it’s referred to, so we did that one afternoon. It’s not a long hike, but it goes straight up 620 feet through a series of switchbacks, so it isn’t particularly easy! It gives you some great views back onto the campus and city.
One of my favorite things about week in Missoula was that it just happened to coincide with my very favorite musician playing in town – Brett Dennen. He was playing with a bunch of artists, so unfortunately for me he only played about 8 songs. But I was very excited to get to hear him play. The concert was outdoors behind the Big Sky Brewery, and we had a blast. They wouldn’t let me bring in my big camera though, so I had to use my iPhone to get some pictures. At one point the headliner, Michael Franti, came out into the audience and stood on a table just about 50 feet behind us.
All in all we loved our time in Missoula and it’s definitely a place we’ll put on the list for a return visit.