The first day on our journey to Colorado began with Jeff and I having breakfast at Lil Johns in Bellevue before my dad and Kris met up with us to pick me up. Lil Johns is a classic Diner/Lounge that probably hasn’t changed much since the 60’s when it first opened. It is your typical greasy spoon with standard diner fare, and booze in the lounge. Loading up on your standard diner breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast, and hasbrown and two white russians, I was ready to go. I also lost $10 on pulltabs trying to win a free breakfast.
After several pit stops and playlists, the first attraction worth really mentioning was the 50.000 silver dollar bar in a random place off I-90 in Montana, before Missoula. This place was completely ridiculous and everything you’d expect out of a roadside gift shop. There is a diner, a coffee/ice cream stop, a large bar with 50,000 (less or more I am not sure) silver dollars on the wall, and last but not least a giant gift shop filled to the brim with crap that is most likely all 100% made in China but labeled MONTANA and complete cheese. We are talking: Jesus pictures on pieces of tree logs, dream catchers, porecelain native americal dolls, crappy jewelry, trucker hats with bears and wolves on them, barware, toys, magnets, cats and owls made from rabbit fur, I could go on and on. I purchased some post cards, a “50,000 silver dollar bar” shot glass, 2 magnets (one with a buffalo, one with a deer) that said “Montana” on them, and get this: a lucky rabbits foot. A real one. I haven’t seen those since I was a kid. Hot pink. The only thing I wish was that we had more time to stay and enjoy some ice cream (Even though it was pouring like in Seattle), or have some food and drinks at the bar. I am sure there would have been some interesting characters in there for sure.
Overall my impression of Montana so far is this: Trees. Lots of trees. Hills, mountains, rolling hills/plains. Old farmhouses. Cool rocks. But overall a whole lot of nothing. The trip over in the car once we got somewhat out of Idaho and into Montana was pretty beautiful. The part of Montana we are in now (Helena-ish) reminds me of Cle-elum. Pretty much everything outside of the mountainous areas and after Snoqualmie pass so far reminds me of cle-elum or eastern WA. I guess I am ignorant having grown up in the Seattle area my whole life..
We stopped for the night at a generic chian motel in Missoula. I wasn’t aware that Missoula was a college town, but we ended up having dinner at a college bar/pub called the Iron Horse Pub, which had a decent selection of local seasonal taps and amazing food. I couldn’t decide what to get on the menu but I settled on a buffalo chicken salad which wwas quite delightful but GINORMOUS so I couldn’t even get close to finishing it after stuffing my face. Kris and my dad ordered some delicious ice cream that was pink and made out of those pink frosted mother’s cookies with the sprinkes on them. The ice cream even tasted like those cookies. I think it was made in the house because It was something I have never seen before and probably never see again. Back at the hotel it was 20 minutes on the treadmill, some work on the computer, shower, and sleep on the pull out couch for 6 hours or so before getting up and ready for another day of car (about 500 miles to Buffalo, WY). It is fathers day today (Sunday) . We had breakfast at Starbucks in Missoula where I had a delicious hot coconut mocha (thanks to the craptastical weather that is just like in WA) and a turkey bacon sandwich for breakfast. We are going to be stopping at the Little Bighorn monument next. I have spent most of the morning working on an excel project to e-mail to my instructor to wrap up my accounting class, listening to Bob Marley, and eating beef Jerky. So far it has been a success, but my ass is going numb and I need hit up the next rest stop!