This blog post is being written quite overdue, but I hope I will be forgiven considering the general pace of this trip (and lack of consistent access to a computer). The trip is currently nearing the end, but this particular blog post will focus mostly on our visit to Missoula on Saturday, February 25th.
While it seems naive to judge a place based on the experiences of one singular day, I must say that our brief time spent in Missoula left me with a sense of admiration. Our first order of business in Missoula included visiting a “Winter Market”, stocked with vendors carrying all sorts of homemade, natural or organic products. I had some good conversation with several vendors, one of whom was very excited to tell me about plant-based medicine. Another vendor actually sold me a plant: a little succulent in a tiny pot. This plant lovingly earned the nicknames “Butte (pronounced butt-ee), Butt, and Buddy.
After some exploration of local shops and cafes, a local student named Aspen (whom I share several mutual friends with) led us to her home, the FLAT. The FLAT was a student-operated house with a number of neat environmental programs and eco-friendly facilities and structures. Among these were a cobb stove, a “hot box”, a chicken coop (no chickens unfortunately), a modified garage, and a sink/toilet hybrid (not as nasty as it sounds). It was very insightful and many questions were asked and answered. Unfortunately, it was also cold as heck.
In the evening, we had quite a bit of freedom. Some of us hit the hot tub right away, while some chose to take it easy for a while. After supper, several students hit the town for a concert or to explore, while a good number stayed behind to play Bananagrams and “Heads Up”. There were many laughs that night, and sleeping on an actual mattress and having a shower available was a luxury that was more than welcome. It was a good day.