Our first day in Missoula was spent relaxing on Inky’s porch (see picture of incredible view) and then an afternoon of swimming at Splash Montana. Though it was packed with families trying to escape the heat we still had a blast. In addition to a lap pool the complex has 3 slides and a lazy “river” you can float around on in an inner tube. One of the slides is designed to allow the tubes (and double tubes) to be ridden. Mike and I took turns riding the double tubes down with Gregory and it was such a kick. It was just what we needed to chill out for a day. We stayed for a few hours, did some grocery shopping and then went back to the cabin to share in a dinner of venison burgers with Inky, her partner Danny (chef, hunter, historian and all around nice guy), Sarah and Grant (summer tenants and University of Montana graduates bound for Portland). The burgers were loaded with garlic and spices and were quite tasty. Gregory had his “no thank you bite” but just couldn’t manage it. Mike was surprised he enjoyed them so much because the last time I cooked venison burgers for him and our friend Mike Landes, they swore off venison for life (it was gamey and had been in a freezer for a while).
On Monday (our second day in town), after we said our goodbyes to Inky and Danny, who were headed off on their rafting trip, we decided to try to track down our packages we are expecting and check out REI and the other recreational and bike shops in town. We also got delicious ice cream at the local creamery “The Big Dipper”. Mike had vanilla with Reese's, Gregory had white mint Oreo and I broke down and had espresso with Heath. Yummy. Yum. Yum. We enjoyed a delicious barbecued steak dinner with Tom, a friend of Inky’s who lives just down the street. Tom is a geologist and brought out his rocks after dinner. Gregory and I were right in our element. Tom also had a microscope for his Mac Book Pro so Gregory had fun magnifying a variety of things including his dad’s fingertips and the inside of his not so clean ears. Ugh! Grant (Inky’s tenant and Gregory’s new buddy) joined us and he and Gregory looked up several sites on Google Earth, which Gregory found fascinating. We visited until dark and reluctantly said goodbye to another new friend.