Day 6: Missoula, MT to Great Falls, MT

Our easiest day of driving so far. Left Missoula at 0900, arrived in Great Falls by 1200. We had allowed for difficult winter driving conditions in the mountains, but apart from a covering of light snow near Bonner, Hwy 200 was bare all the way. We’ve had worse conditions in May. We didn’t expect to be able to check into our hotel so early, but they had a room ready for us, so we’re all unpacked already.

Plate of the day: Texas, which we spotted at our hotel.
Went downtown for lunch at Tracy’s, a fifties style diner with jukeboxes. Naturally, they don’t have a website – the preceding link will take you to Yahoo Travel reviews. It wasn’t clear how the jukeboxes work; there’s recent music on them that cannot have ever been pressed on vinyl. Maybe the big jukebox is really just the world’s largest MP3 player? Or maybe it plays CDs. Anyway, there are little individual jukeboxes with multiple pages that you flip with a knob on each table, along with the chrome plated paper napkin dispensers. I had a patty melt (on dark rye) and potato skins, while Caroline chose a cheeseburger and fries. Both were good, but I left half of my potato skins so that I’ve have room for a slice of coconut cream pie.
Washed the road salt off at a touchless carwash. I fed it a ten and got two dollars back in dollar coins. They look a lot like loonies, but round with ridges instead of flat sides. This is the first time I’ve seen them and they don’t say when they were minted.
There are not a lot of fancy places to eat in Great Falls, so we might just eat somewhere near the hotel. We have a dinner reservation lined up at a nice place in Bismarck for tomorrow night, so there’s no real pressure to find somewhere special tonight.

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