Road Trip Day 13

June 21, 2019             Day   13          

Miles          115           Begin   Paradise, MT          To Kalispell, MT

Roads Traveled  MT 200 to MT28 to MT 93 with a side trip to Big Fork on MT 82 and 35

Slept at The Kalispell Grand Hotel, MT

Tennis 6-1

The view is another grey and rainy morning. Of course, that doesn’t deter a dip in the pools. That’s what we are here for.

Back to the cozy room so I can write for a while and Bub reads. Finally, one last  soak in these pools before we head on down the road.

Lobby Artwork at Quinn's, MT

On the road again…..missing the deer crossing the road

Mule Deer in the road in Montana
A Mule Deer Crossing the road Right in front of us!

10 minutes out, we have a 20 minute road construction delay. When we finally are released for a six mile one lane trek behind a pilot truck, the only evidence of the need for this are two people measuring the rocks on the side of the road and a crew drilling holes in the road. Summertime is prime season for road repairs in Montana.

As we head toward Kalispell, we see the first Oreo cows. They are black in the front and back and white in the middle.Their real name is Belted Galloway and they are from Scotland. 

Oreo Cows near Flathead Lake, MT

Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. It is beautiful in spite of the rain that has begun to pour in earnest. I still get surprised by my car’s auto-windshield wipers for the rain: the first drops start them swiping. As rain gets heavier, they go faster and they know when to stop. Just kinda weird.

Flathead Lake

We take a short detour around Flathead Lake to the town of Big Fork.

It’s my place to buy pillow covers. I am also starving so we have burgers at The Pocketstone Cafe. I have a Purple Dragon Burger made with jalapeños and huckleberries, accompanied with cream cheese to mellow the heat. Bub has a Bacon BBQ burger. Their menu was creative and these were worth the price and the service was friendly and prompt.

Back on the road for the short drive to Kalispell. We stop at Costco for cheap gas and Huckleberry jam. 

Bub notices the roads are dry. Maybe the courts would be too!
We check into The Kalispell Grand Hotel, whose warm chocolate chip cookies and popcorn cheer us up. We stayed here last year and were impressed. Built in 1912, when a room cost $2, it has undergone the fate of many historic hotels, falling into disrepair and then being restored. Thankfully, a restoration saved it and there are 40 affordable rooms and a friendly, helpful staff.

Historic Kalispell Grand Hotel, MT

One of the joys of this trip is visiting places we have enjoyed in the past combined with some new ones on the roads less traveled. In Kalispell, for instance, we knew how to find the tennis courts, loved the historic hotel and Farmer’s Market.

It’s already 4:30 and the sky has cleared. We change into tennis clothes and head to the Flathead Valley Community College. There are 12 courts dry courts and not another player around.. I am so full from lunch that running fast is no fun at all. Bub wins 6-1 and I don’t care. The exercise felt great and maybe burned some of the indulgent meal calories.

Tennis at Flathead Community College in Kalispell, MT

Back the the hotel and a walk to get lottery tickets. It is going to be our turn to win very soon! 

The rain resumes. I guess the tennis gods gave us the dry window as a gift. (Winning the tennis lottery!).
I’m in search of a Northwest Travel and Living magazine. They have assigned me an article for January and it will be my first article in a print magazine.

I didn’t see it in the grocery store. The desk clerk at The Kalispell Grand Hotel suggests Norm’s News , an old time soda fountain and newsstand, in the next block and Eureka —we find it. I love this town!

It is the longest day of the year and it is still light at 9 but I am tired, so we walk up the stairs to our room

We hear hotrod cars revving loudly in the street below that are here for tomorrow’s car show.

Hotrods in Kalispell for the car show

We toast to good times.

Life is good and I am grateful.

Wine at the Kalispell Grand Hotel, MT

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