Thursday, August 21, 2014

Livingston to Bozeman to Missoula

We spent Sunday and Monday nights in Livingston, Montana; Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Bozeman; and arrived in Missoula today.

Livingston:  Livingston is a pretty little town.  It was founded as a railroad stop when the Northern Pacific Railroad ran a line from Minnesota to the Pacific coast. Livingston became the gateway to Yellowstone National Park.  Before that, Captain William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame passed present-day Livingston in 1806 on his way to meet Lewis as both men made their way back east. (The two split up for their return trips through present-day Montana, with Clark taking a southern route and Lewis a northern one.)

About 7,000 people live there today.  Jim and I drove around town and also spent some time near one of the city parks on a dog walking trail. 

Bozeman:  It was a short drive on to Bozeman, just 28 miles west of our Livingston RV park.  In Bozeman we went to the Bridger Brewery and the Montana Ale House.  We also walked all over town and did a short hike on a steep trail.  Cooper -- who turns 15 in a couple of weeks -- did the hike with us.  We also checked out the former home of our SLC good friends John and Deb, who lived in Bozeman for several years and who Bev and son Paul visited twice.

Last night Jim and I had the pleasure of having drinks and fun conversation with fellow Sunrise RV Park campers and fellow Lazy Daze owners Ed and Jeanne.  They are from Alabama by way of Pennsylvania and Ohio and have lived and traveled in many places.  Hope to see you again Ed and Jeanne! Their travel blog is at

Missoula: This morning we left for Missoula and hope to explore the town. About all we did today, however, was get settled in our camping spot at a private RV park called "Jim and Mary's" and then deal with a mix up for a prescription Jim had called in to the Missoula Target Pharmacy.  

This particular med costs about $130 for three month's worth. Target told Jim it would be $590. Jim figured he'd buy the meds and settle up with his insurance company later, but Target declined Jim's MasterCard.  He got out his American Express card and that was declined, too.  As Jim was walking away from the pharmacy but still in Target, he got a call from AmEx's fraud department.  After assuring them the $590 charge was OK, Jim then called his insurance company; they said they'd approved the prescription and the cost was $132. Jim went back to the pharmacy department; they ran the paperwork again and said no, it costs $590.  Bev later got a call from MasterCard, who said the pharmacy charge to them was declined because Target had not entered all the needed information. We figure we'll deal with the medication issue tomorrow, after Target gets its act together.  If they don't get their act together, we'll transfer the prescription to another pharmacy and see if we have better luck.

And then we went to Flathead Lake Brewery. It's a good day after all.

View of the Yellowstone River, a quaint bridge, and the mountains as seen at Livingston, MT's Sacajawea Park.
We ate lunch at a cafe just across the street from the Livingston Depot, the third incarnation of the local train depot.  In the days before automobile travel, just about all visitors to Yellowstone were delivered to this depot, as Livingston is just 40 miles due south of the park. This particular building was built in 1902; it's now a museum, a restaurant and a wine store.  Amtrak used to stop here, but discontinued the line that ran through Livingston in 1979.
Closeup of architectural details on the Livingston Depot. The red and blue mark is a yin/yang symbol and was the corporate logo of the Northern Pacific Railroad. President Lincoln chartered the Northern Pacific as the first northern transcontinental railroad.

A photo I like of of birch trees near Yellowstone River in Livingston.

This is the Bozeman Hotel and Annex, in Bozeman, MT.  It was built in 1890 as part of the city's unsuccessful bid to become the state capitol and named for John Bozeman, who led people on nearby prospecting trips and help found the city. When John Bozeman was just 30 years old, he was murdered while traveling on the Yellowstone River.
Bozeman is home to many lovely sculptures like the one above.  There was a similarly inspired one of a bear at the Sunrise RV park where we stayed.
Cooper on an attempted getaway to a stream on Bozeman's Leverich Canyon Trail. We wanted to hike a highly rated trail on Sourdough Canyon, but it was closed for some repair work.  This trail was great but the road leading to it was narrow and bumpy.
While hiking in Leverich Canyon, Jim tested our bear spray.  They both work.
We had this type of view on our way to Missoula this morning. It later cleared up, then rained again this evening.  It's supposed to rain for the next few days.
A first for us was seeing plane fuselages being hauled via train alongside I-90. They are apparently going to a Boeing facility in Renton, Washington from a plant in Wichita, Kansas. In early July, a train carrying several of the fuselages derailed and three of the green machines slid down an embankment and into the Clark Fork River.  There is an interesting story about the derailment and a great photo you can see if you click  here. In 1966, Jim worked on the construction crew in Renton that built the hangars where various airlines paint their planes.

Jim relaxing after the Target medication fiasco.  He had a Flathead Lake Imperial IPA.  Bev had a Bufflehead Brown Ale.


  1. Hellllloooo! We are still at Sunrise RV Park, sitting here in the rain. I like reading your blog. Ours is pretty boring. On another note, we may have told you that we had our roof sealed before we left home. Today in the pouring down rain, we found that there is a leak around the skylight in the bath. (I found it while sitting on the potty!) AND, we found that we can't turn the batwings, so they must have sealed it down. If it stops raining long enough tomorrow, Ed will go up on the roof and inspect. Just wanted you two to feel like you're not the only ones having issues right now. Sorry about your RX fiasco. I need to get a Walgreens RX filled, but found out Walgreens are very scarce in these parts. Oh, well. We enjoyed visiting with you two. If you are ever down our way in the deep south, come see us. Take care, Ed and Jeanne

    1. Regarding your roof: Oh No! What a bummer. Guess you'll be having a conversation with your roof guy when you get back home. In the meantime: Eternabond for the skylight? Thanks so much for hosting us in your beautiful RV. If we get to Alabama we will be in touch. I hope our paths cross again.

    2. Hey Jim and Bev, we are now in West Yellowstone, spent three really rainy days in Fishing Bridge and now clear skies~~!! We think we will stay here for at least three days then on to Colorado. Have you been to Rocky Mountain State Park? We don't really know where we are headed, but will check out the "Sisters on the Fly" camper down near Aspen. Today is Ed's birthday and we are on our way to dinner. Thanks for the great visit at Sunrise. Hope to meet you all on the road again!!

    3. We have not been to Rocky Mountain State Park and for as long as we've lived in UT don't have the experience with Colorado that we should. We have friends who love Glenwood Springs, CO, and travel there from SLC via the train -- I know Glenwood Springs has wineries and decent restaurants. I have not been to Boulder in years, but it's a hopping' town; as I recall the downtown area is blocked off to cars and has a lot of cool shops. If you get a little north of where you are, the Snowy Mountain area near Centennial, WY is beautiful and there's a scenic byway.

      Happy belated birthday to Ed! We'll see you down the road, I hope!

  2. Thank you for posting your pictures and commentary. Makes me feel like I’m seeing everything myself, … except, …. you know, …. I don’t actually need the bear spray. Just a heads-up, while I have never been in a position to need bear spray (at least not knowingly), I have had considerable experience with mosquito spray. Using the mosquitos as a control group, I’ve observed that the spray stops about 95% of them. A failure rate of 5% seems to be acceptable when applied to mosquito skin piercings. I’m not sure that kind of lenience should be afforded to bear maulings. Bev, just as a precaution, you might want to let Jim take the lead on the hiking trails.

    I regret that you and Jim had to deal with the Target/Credit Card fiasco. Though, I was pleased to see that by the end of the day Jim had found the medication that he required. So far I have been lucky and the only medication that I take is Dewar’s 25 year-old tonic. I have tried to get my doctor to actually prescribe it to me, (now that I’m on Medicare, I’d like to turn that one in.) but as of this date, he is still steadfastly refusing, (something about keeping his certificate to practice).

    I’ve got my road atlas open to Montana, and look forward to your next posting

    1. We were hoping that if we squirted bear spray on our clothing 15 minutes before going in the forest, it would repel bears a la Deet or Coppertone. Alas, that is apparently not recommended by anyone except Yogi and BooBoo.