|Riverside Park in Spokane through the smoke|
|Programmed water fountain|
Someplace else was Missoula. This is where we got our flat tire fixed 2 years ago which you can read about here. We stayed in a really nice campground on the west end of town about 1/4 mile from the truck stop that replaced our flat. There were no fires nearby, but the prevailing winds were apparently funneling smoke from distant fires both west of us in Washington and north around Glacier Nat. Park right down the I-90 corridor so while it wasn't quite as smokey as Spokane, it was far from clear the 3 days we were there.
|Oldest Pharmacy. Hills barely visible in background are only a mile away.|
|St. Mary's Mission|
|Very old bottles|
On the way back to Missoula we stopped at the Traveler's Rest State Park. The name comes from Lewis and Clark who camped here on their way west in Sept 1805 and again on their return trip in July, 1806. This area has changed little in the 200 years since their Journey of Discovery. Interestingly, while you can follow what we think is the "Lewis and Clark Trail" from St. Louis to Astoria, this is the only place where we have any archaeologic evidence that Lewis and Clark were actually here. The story is interesting (and a little disgusting).
|Lewis and Clark trading with the natives|
|Site of the tell tale latrine|
(not recommended these days). So they went and dug up the latrine area and, sure enough, found traces of mercury in the latrine pit from somebody's 200 year old pee. Ain't archaeology grand?
We walked the 3/4 mile trail around the camp area and learned that, other than a few rocks that were supposedly parts of fire pits, there is absolutely nothing left there to see. Just dirt and grass. But we did stand on a spot where Lewis and Clark likely stood. And at least the trail was flat.
The whole area around Missoula looked like it would have been beautiful if there were less smoke in the air and there were points of interest we didn't have time for, so we are already talking about coming back and spending a little more time here some year when the west isn't on fire. In the meantime, we will be hitting the road for Glacier. What's at Glacier? Well, at the moment there is fire.