The Great American Road Trip - 20 - Big Sky Country
We got up in Spokane today and went to the stadium of the Spokane Indians. Being a short-season team, they were not playing, but they let us in and sold us a hat and pennant all the same. We briefly went through Idaho afterwards - but through its thin panhandle, so we weren't in the state for very long. In fact, we went through only two counties.
Getting into Montana, we had our sights set on Missoula, where we were going to get something to eat as well as see if we couldn't get a pennant from the Missoula Ospreys of the Pioneer League, also short-season. Their web site is horrid, and the parks and rec people don't know where their offices were located because, as we were told, they move them every single year. Abandoning the attempt, it was saved at the last moment by my mom, who spotted their new location on a street corner. We popped in and bought the pennant, in which we were greeted by a person who was flabbergasted their their site still listed their old offices and demanded that we prove it was on the site. We did, and she felt stupid, and thus we left.
We ate at a diner that, though built in the 90s, has the charm and atmosphere of a place that has been in existence since the 50s. The waitress call us "honey", "sweetie", and "sugar" throughout the meal. While the burgers weren't anything special, their milkshakes had been voted best Missoula shakes for 15 years in a row, so we had to try them. While not quite to the high standards set by Gatsby's, they were still pretty good. Seeing that a storm was rolling in, we headed on out.
And then we got caught in some of it.
We managed to escape the heart of the storm, but its outskirts were violent with circular clouds that looked especially eager to drop a funnel cloud on either our heads or the heads of the horses that were so peacefully grazing as if nothing was happening. Lightning was all around, and hail was interspersed with large drops of water. We got out of it in time, however, and kept going through Butte and into Bozeman. We called ahead the hotel in Billings, where we were informed that not only was the hotel completely booked, but the road from Bozeman to Billings was being pelted with hail and other symptoms of a violent storm.
Tomorrow, we are going to try to get to Gillette, Wyoming.