Missoula - The Oxford Saloon

Day 35 – Helena to Missoula

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Check-out at Jorgenson’s was only noon and we made full use of the fact! They had pretty good internet and I even managed to do my exercise. The pounds have started piling on in the last couple of weeks, so I’ve started back on 21 Day Fix, which of course means that I can hardly walk and get out of the car like a very old person. I know doing some exercise isn’t going to counteract all the bad stuff I fill my belly with, but it at least makes me feel a bit better about it!
We made another quick stop at Walmart as I didn’t feel like I bought enough fruit so got some more apples, before getting back on the road to Missoula. I’d read that Missoula was quite a liberal town and indeed it was full of ‘hippy’ shops, mixed in with the rather more rough pubs that I like to check out! We checked into the Days Inn and after my initial panic over the lack of a fridge we found one behind a fake panel in the room. We ventured out for a walk, despite the temperature being in the 30’s and soon realised that Missoula is rather a small town and we covered the town centre very quickly. It is a strange place with many, many nice restaurants and bars, but also a fair few people begging and harassing you for money as you walk past. There was nothing for it but to pop into a bar as there wasn’t much to see and it was boiling outside. We found some very nice local bars, and eventually ended up in one called Charlie B’s for most of the night. The funny thing was that the place was packed with a whole range of people (though mostly on the quite rough side) and there was a very trendy gastropub/brewpub next doors with almost nobody in it! Charlie B’s wasn’t that cheap, but they have a diner (Dinosaur Cafe) in the back where I had chicken wings and Brian had onion rings and deep fried mozzarella sticks, and the diner seemed very popular. We watched another NHL game and eventually went back to the hotel when we’d had enough. Other pubs we went to were the Oxford Saloon and The Rhino Bar. The Oxford also had a diner in the back that looked very neat and tidy, and had the cheapest food we’ve seen anywhere so far. The fact that it was very quiet was a bit of a worry though! The Rhino Bar had a frozen strip of metal on the bar, I guess to help keep your drinks cold, and I was very impressed as I’ve never seen that before! Of course your beer is served in chilled glasses and they are remarkably well equipped for places that have cold weather for most of the year!
Things I learned today: Local bars are always better than poncy gastropubs – just go where the locals hang!

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