Missoula Or Bust.

On the 4th I headed out from Portland to Boise to spend the day with my best friend and her family.  Today I sit at a hotel in Missoula, on the final leg of my journey, visiting with my Dad.  In the course of that time, I took a mini road-trip with my best friend Chris up to the Old Sawmill Station campsite, near Clayton, ID, to spend a few nights camping on my way to Missoula.

The drive from Boise to Old Sawmill Station was gorgeous.  We stopped a lot along the way so I could get pictures.  And, if you know me, you know I did.  We had one episode where we had pulled over off the highway so I could snap some pics.  Chris was backing up and all of a sudden I felt the right back tire of the car floating on air.  Luckily, we did not end up in the ditch.  We stopped in at Stanley Lake, Redfish Lake, and made our way to the camp site Wednesday night.  I loved being outside.  Chris cooked us kebobs for dinner and we sat outside enjoying some adult beverages and waited for the sun to set.  And then we saw the deer! It was magical.  The mama and babies were playing out in the field behind the trailer.  There is something so right about sitting on a fence drinking a beer with no place to be.  

Old Sawmill Station Road Trip

On Thursday we spent the morning at the trailer and then decided to go out and see some ghost towns in the area.  We hit Bonanza and Custer, and then went down to the river across from Sunbeam.  The land and scenery is gorgeous!  We drove along the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River (I think that's right) and saw the old gold dredger which turned over tons and tons of rock looking for gold and silver.  And for whatever reason, I collected rocks from every site we went to.  Now I have a pretty good little collection rolling around in the car.  When did I become such a nerd? 

Bonanza Ghost Town

Custer Ghost Town

Yankee Fork Dredge and Sunbeam

We had so much fun kicking around exploring.  The one ghost town we didn't make it to was Bayhorse.  We spent my last night at the camp site hanging out.  We thought we might go eat in one of the towns but Chris ended up cooking up some brats and we sat around and shot the shit.  When I say we, I mean Chris, her boyfriend Brian, and I.  A few of the guys from Brian's job came over and said hi.  They're doing road work at milepost....205 or something like that, so they've been up there for the whole year working during the week.  Then we decided to watch "Hot Tub Time Machine".  Can't say I missed much not seeing it up until now, but after the movie was over, I did get to see the baby deer eating outside the camper.  It was pretty cool.

On Friday I left for Missoula.  I drove the Salmon River Scenic Byway and came into the Southern end of the Bitterroot Valley.  I did stop in to Bayhorse on my way through.  It was awesome!  I love history, so learning about all these old mining towns was very interesting to me.  Fires destroyed most of them, and so people moved on elsewhere.  Custer has a pretty cool museum and they make their own old-fashioned soda, so when we were there on Thursday I got a Black Cherry old-fashioned soda.  The drive went pretty well.  There were a few instances when a deer was out on the road, but luckily no mishaps.  At one point there was a semi truck bearing down on me and I wasn't sure if he was gonna hit me or I was gonna hit the deer, but everyone was safe.  I didn't take a lot of photos of the Bitterroot Valley because I was anxious to get to Missoula and had already wasted a bunch of time.

Bayhorse Ghost Town

It's been raining in Missoula since I got here Friday.  A little unusual for this time of year.  So, I've been hanging out with my Dad and doing mainly inside stuff.  But, today we might get out to a baseball game or do some exploring since it has stopped raining.  We'll see what happens.  I'm heading back to Portland on Tuesday.  I'll be glad to get home but will most likely start planning another adventure.  I've got some ideas in mind already about where I might go.  I'm never happier than when I'm on a trip, or planning one.