Road Trip: Columbia Falls to Missoula, MT

A busy itinerary demands some time on the road today. Reluctant to leave Glacier National Park. It’s not goodbye, I’ll be back for more. This is just a teaser whirlwind trip from Spokane through Idaho and Montana.

A view of the dazzling Flathead River in Columbia Falls.

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A highlight was the sparkling town of Big Fork, an affluent community where the Swan River flows into Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. (See featured top image.)

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The scenery along the 35 East includes horse ranches, cherry orchards, spectacular Flathead Lake, and so much more.

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Then it was on to the awe dropping mountain ranges.

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After all that, how could Missoula be anything but a let down? Again, one of the places I’d heard so much about that didn’t live up to the hype. Hit it at 4 PM with rush hour  in full force. Had a flashback to LA/San Diego as I tried to navigate 4 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic through the urban sprawl – every big name retailer and fast food chain you didn’t want to see. Also plentiful pawn shops, bars, and casinos along the dry foothills. The university and historic downtown had some redeemable qualities, but the traffic and sprawl left me with an overall “meh” impression.

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