After we sampled and browsed to our hearts content, we made a few select purchases. Then Lauren took me on a walking tour of the town, which included key stops at all the local favorite bakeries, craft shops, and alternative boutiques. Crossing the bridge over Clark Fork, a river that cuts through downtown, I stopped to watch a couple of kayakers surf a sweet little rapid with the city skyline as a backdrop. As much as I love my hometown, it is dearly lacking rapids.
Our final stop was an office supply store, so I could fax my paper work to defer grad school until fall 2011 to USC. It was a little daunting to finalize my decision. I'm still not quite sure exactly how to manage this year deferred. Still, there's not much I can do about it, or planning, or deciding until I get home. For now I've really just got to keep keeping on with this epic adventure, and enjoy the ride. Ain't no use worrying just yet. The weather's real fine, there's national parks to explore, roads to drive, and friends to visit.
In the afternoon we met up with some of Lauren's next door neighbor took us to meet up with some locals so we could tube down the Clark Fork. We drove several miles upstream of the city, and floated back down. Apparently, that's a Missoula favorite summer activity. There were tons of other people on the river, all trailing a bag of beers in the cool water, all smiles, all friendly, all kick backed and relaxed. Absolutely perfect.
At sunset I set back out on the highway. Flying at eighty miles per hour eastward under crystal clear skies with a full moon so bright you hardly needed headlights. Look out, South Dakota! Here I come.
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