Saturday, 5 November 2016

Vacation 2016 day 5

Edited to add: This is part of a series. The Vacation 2016 story begins here.

My plan said:

Friday drive 5 hours to stevensville and Stay 8-26 and 8-27 nights TownHouse Inn of Hamilton (Saturday visit with Lani)
(Directions and optional stops that we didn't take)

This day was mostly driving... We stopped at the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, and had lunch in a city park there. The museum was fun, and we bought a few more souvenirs.  
Driving west from the Interstate to Hamilton, Montana was very interesting as we crossed mountain passes and drove across deep valleys. We stopped at a little country gas station where some people wanted a pack of gum as a "souvenir."
We pretty much filled up once per day, and got between 15 and 20 MPG throughout the trip. Which is pretty impressive for a gasoline-powered 12 passenger van. Other perks of the new van include comfortable seats, increased visibility, working heat and a/c, rain-sensing wipers, a cabin quiet enough to talk in, responsive driving, MUCH easier parking... Bob had spent hours looking up and downloading audio books, so we had some fun and educational listening times.

The town just south of Hamilton was having a community event of some sort, and there were a lot of people about, but we still made it to our hotel before dinner time. For the first (and only) time of the trip, Bob went in to check in alone. He was in the office a good 30 minutes. Turns out our reservation had been made so far in advance that it had cleared out of the system, and they were completely booked on account of hordes of firefighters that were working in the National Forest nearby and were coming into town to rest. BUT, as we had the email print out, and Bob was persuasive, they did honor our reservation and then discounted the price a bit. 
We ate dinner at a nearby Taco Bell, where the manager was very friendly. The next morning the same man was working in the hotel. This hotel looked kinda dumpy on the outside - it was adjacent to a gas station - but was pretty nice inside. Very plush, if not posh. I did laundry here, too; not sure which night, but I was up till midnight getting it done.

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