We spent Father's Day Weekend in Missoula, Montana and we really enjoyed the small city. Who knows, we may even settle down here someday! First thing we did was visit the Big Dipper. I had heard about this ice-cream joint on Facebook, primarily for its Huckleberry Ice-cream. Patsy and I were the only ones who truly enjoyed this flavor, although Brendan did say he liked it as well. It sort of tasted like raspberry and blueberry flavors combined together.
Next on the Missoula list was to visit their fully restored and functional carousel, called a Carousel for Missoula. This beautiful piece of history is very affordable, kids ride for 50 cents each, but also quite fun because it is so fast. Blake and Tanner enjoyed the old-time feature of trying to pull the rings out of a dragon's mouth that is hanging close to the edge of the carousel. Both boys got some rings, but could not get the "gold ring" which would have earned them a free ride. Still each boy got to go twice on the carousel!
Right next to the carousel is a very large playground called Dragon's Head, aptly named for the dragons' heads that adorn the structures. Our boys have played in playgrounds all over the United States and while they said they have seen a few cooler playgrounds than Dragon's Head, it ranks up there at the top of all the ones they have seen. While we were downtown we saw something we had never seen before - two guys were river surfing! Hmmm, interesting.
On our way out of Missoula we stopped at the Smokejumpers Visitor Center. Smokejumpers are forest service fire fighters who parachute into remote areas with gear and supplies to fight fires where normally it could take days to hike into. Smokejumpers have been around since 1939 and their training facilities are in Missoula. At the visitor center they have several displays, some informational movies and a tour of the training facility lead by a guide. It was very interesting and free!