Sunday, October 5, 2014


As I mentioned last post, spending the night in Missoula was on tap for Friday.

We arrived at dinner time which is about perfect for us - we don't like to arrive to early when we are planning to spend the night in a Home Depot or Lowe's parking lot. Not much to do other than eat, hang out on the internet and sleep. We also usually leave pretty early in the morning - we don't want to overstay our welcome.

I have a feeling that Missoulians see some pretty spectacular sunsets. There wasn't much we could do about the hydro lines and street lights from the parking lot of Lowe's but impressive nonetheless. 

Upon arrival to Missoula on Friday night (although I thought it was Thursday) we decided we would spend a bit of time in Missoula. That all changed come - what turned out to be Saturday morning - all the busyness completely scared us off. It wasn't until Philipsburg that we found out it was Saturday - guess that's what happens on the road. We were really wondering why Walmart was so busy on a Friday morning and why there were so many kids!

So, with our shopping complete we headed out.

A few more Walmart shopping trips are needed. I know, I know there are other stores - we go to Walmart because we understand the place after all these years. Each fall when we arrive in the USA we have a bit of a list of things we need for the rest of the trip apart from groceries. Mostly odd and end type things - I needed a new information keeping notebook, we needed a new long neck lighter, we picked up some OFF for Mexico (the last time we were in Patzcuraro we were eaten alive!) and we are still looking for a square tent for our blow up bed - also for Mexico.

A nice ride out of Missoula as in. 

Darn! We missed it! 
Derek and I sure had fun with that one for the next few minutes. 
Here's the link ---
I dare ask - have any of you been to this event?

About a half an hour later we exited the Interstate (thank goodness) onto #1 which would bring us to our next destination - Philipsburg.

Hmmmm… just never know right?! There was a car stopped along side of the highway in the itty bitty town of Hall, to take a picture of these ahhh - trees. We did the same - you have to admire the guy - or gal's - stickwithitness.

This is Montana Cattle Country to be sure.

After an easy one hour drive from Missoula we pulled into Philipsburg. We had so much fun in the Historic town of Wallace the day before we figured we were up for a least one more. Remember the Montana Visitor Center we stopped at the day before - the one that was closed? Well, thankfully they had some tourist books outside - as we were driving to Missoula I found Philipsburg for us. Being the Wood Clans Social Director that's my job - I take it pretty seriously too.

Driving by on the highway you would never guess that this quaint downtown exists just a short distance away.

We drove to the top of the street and parked.

Across the street we found Sasquatch. Cas has been fascinated since a fellow told us in Madrid, NM last winter that he actually saw one on his property. She's not quite sure what to think about it all. We had her for a minute when Derek said during lunch that there was one standing outside. Ahh - kids at this age - you can really get them going can't you.

It's not the desert but we are blending in quite nicely with the reds. 

After lunch it was time to take a walking tour. Here are the pics!

The Sweet Palace. Closed! We'll be sure to visit tomorrow.

And by the way - it was pure coincidence that Philipsburg has it's own Craft Brewery! Ha!
Live Music?! We'll be back…..

Just before this we headed back to the van for a bit. Then we walked here with Rufus - just up the road from where we were parked is the location of the Kroger Brewery opened in 1875. The creek here starts from what looks like a blow hole.

Sadly, they attached the new building to the old. Shame.

Walking back to the van from the brewery building.

Next, we decided to go out for dinner. We try our hardest not to eat out too much because it is hard on our budget but who could resist some award winning Montana BBQ at UpNSmokin?! I had the Pulled Pork Sandwich with Coleslaw and Derek had the Ribs and BBQ Beans. Very good. I do think though that they should have stayed in their former smaller place - the new place lacks warmth and atmosphere. And it's crazy that the paper towel holders are attached to the table and there is no place to put your used paper towels nor any wet ones. Just a little rant.

Then back to the brewery! A busy place on a Saturday night.

We went for the Porter (of course) and the Razzu. 

How a five year old keeps herself busy at a brew pub. And yes - that is a purple Halloween pumpkin she is sporting these days. A $1 purchase from Walmart she talked us into. The poor kid has yet to go Trick or Treating.

Our walk home at 8:00pm. We spent the night in downtown Philipsburg - just a little stealth camping. Our location wasn't the best though - we heard the party goers leaving the other bars late into the night morning.

This morning Cassia and I took a few more pictures on our way to The Sweet Palace.

A pretty impressive place with an equally impressive selection.

Thankfully this five year old is still pretty trusting of mom. We got out with a bill of $3.75.

On our way out we found the old School House.

So long Philipsburg! You are a neat little town with a lot of dedicated and hardworking business owners! We'll spread the word!

It was a good day - in a line of a couple of good days.

Obviously that wasn't going to last.

Today wasn't a bad day - actually it started out quite well and we are very shiny clean after our trip to the Fairmont Hot Springs this afternoon.

Sadly, our luck has run out and we are spending the night in a small town on the Montana - Idaho border. We should be in Idaho Falls tonight but when we stopped for gas our van stopped for good.

We seem to have either an electrical problem or it's our alternator or regulator. Our battery is not keeping a charge. Darn.

Thank goodness for small towns and small town people. Clint, the husband of Diane, the lady at the gas station gave us a boost and then offered their driveway for us for the night - complete with electricity and wifi. Very generous. 

We'll head over to see the mechanic in the morning to find when he can look at the van. 

Not sure - we may be here a few days. 

Fingers crossed that it doesn't put a major dent into our winter fund!



  1. Awesome sunset pics.
    Looks like are moving right along.

    1. Derek did a good job on that one……moving right along to the mechanic that is….

  2. You don't have your trailer! Praying for a quick and simple fix!!

    1. Forgot to mention that we left it behind - I'll put that in the next post!

  3. Oh no - don't like the ending - hope you get fixed up without too much problems! Love all your photos!
    Fingers crossed!!
    Connie in PA

    1. Me neither but I've learned not to sweat about this stuff too much - not much that can be done but to get it fixed and move on. Thanks - about the pictures - I so enjoy taking them.

  4. Glad to see your frequent postings again. Hope the repairs don't go far into your budget. Thanks for all of the photos!
    Gene in Ohio

  5. Yes, where is the trailer? I suspect you will find a not too expensive solution to the electrical problem. Gotta love these small towns!

    1. No trailer this year thank goodness! Not too expensive - we can absorb it. LOVE small towns and more importantly small town people.

  6. Darn electrical problems!! Hope its an inexpensive fix! Your pix so far look much better than last year---get a new camera? Or it could be my new laptop, showing better color....whichever, the pix are awesome!

    Safe Travels..........

    1. Darn alternator problems! Inexpensive enough - we can live with it. Same camera actually so not sure why they look better - must be your laptop….


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