Day Six: Missoula to Yellowstone

Since Tim and I both had ideas for the blog today, we’re each doing our own.

So let’s start with the most important meal of the day, breakfast! I’ve been through Missoula Montana a few times, and in my travels I discovered a place called Paul’s Pancake Parlor.

Now you might ask, what’s so special about a pancake house that rates driving several hundred miles for breakfast? In this case, it’s the sourdough pancakes. You see, the owner makes them with a sourdough starter that his grandma made 95 years ago!

These aren’t for the faint of heart. But if you love sourdough and don’t mind your breakfast food a bit sour, it’s really yummy!

After breakfast it was time to hit the road again. But before we could leave town, I needed two things, money and coffee.

Thanks to the miracle that is GPS, we found a Wells Fargo a couple of blocks away. However, their parking lot was designed by someone who makes hedge mazes, because each part of their lot was physically separated from the others. For instance, the lot by the front door was not at all connected to the lot where the ATM was, or the drive up windows.

Speaking of which, when is the last time you saw a bank that actively used pneumatic tubes in their drive through? I felt like I was six again.

After driving into one lot, out to the street, into another lot, onto the street, and finally to the ATM lot, I found a drive up ATM that was clearly designed for people in very tall trucks.  Once I was flush with cash, we were on our way to Starbucks.

Tim and I are firm believers that all coffee shops should have drive-thrus, so we try and support them whenever possible. Apparently the citizens of Missoula Montana agree, since every coffee shop here has a drive through. Including the one next to the Fudrucker’s Casino and Lounge!

Finally, we were properly caffeinated and on the road.

It looked like it was going to be another beautiful drive day. Rolling hills, snow covered mountains, and not a lot of rain. Well, not a lot of rain until we started to climb over the mountain.

Now I’ve talked a lot about how my MINI has little Gecko-feet. It seems that no matter how fast I go, or how sharply I turn, she just won’t let go of the road! Unfortunately, it’s got me in the very bad habit of expecting my car to stick to the road like glue.

As we went through the mountains, the rain started coming down in sheets. Then on a patch that must have been black ice, my MINI lost traction for about three seconds.

Needless to say, I was a bit scared. So despite the 70 MPH signs, I dropped to 23 and slowly made it off the mountain.

Back down to earth, we stopped at a rest stop. If this is what Montanans consider a rest stop, then California has a few lessons to learn. Ten individual bathrooms, an atrium, benches and magazines. It was a rest stop, so we rested.

Refreshed, we got back on the road. I had been listening to the Prime Minister’s debate on the BBC when my Sirius Satellite Radio died. You know, I love this product, but this is the second time a satellite radio has died on a road trip across the country. How fragile are these things?

Fortunately, I still have my iPod, and switched to my favorite tunes as we entered Yellowstone. We checked in, and went to the Yellowstone Mine restaurant. Here we met the love child between Guinness Stout and a nut brown beer. Ooooh, so very nice.

In what I’m sure is a related event, Tim once again started seeing imaginary animals. In this case, he saw a deer outside the window of the restaurant. I of course went to the window and saw no such thing. I really liked the beer, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t cause hallucinations.

So that was our exciting day. Missoula to Yellowstone, with a few misadventures along the way. Tomorrow we spend in Yellowstone. Stay tuned!

2 Responses to “Day Six: Missoula to Yellowstone”

  • Brian says:

    Is that casino run by the same people who make the burgers???

  • Tom Hammer says:

    I’ve eaten at Paul’s Pancake Palace…didn’t know that’s the place you were talking about on the phone!

    And Walgreen’s in downtown San Mateo has a drive through pharmacy with two lanes. If you use the outside lane, you get to use the pneumatic tube!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.