Missoula Maidens & Their Tats

Posted on June 29, 2010


Missoula Is A Special Place

When you get to Missoula its like being hit up side the head with a “laid back” stick. Life slows way down. Ahhhhh …

Angel & Jesse: Missoula, Montana, Is Their Home: A Very Happy Home

Rudi arrived around 5:30 pm just as Jesse got off work at REI. After losing his sunglasses in a parking lot, and filling up his gas tank, Rudi followed Jesse to his and Angel’s home about 20 miles out of town. Rudi also bought some wine for his hostess, Margit, who owns the home where Jesse and Angel live … with five dogs, three parakeets, and four rescue horses. Margit is a very caring person who was enjoying Germany’s shellacking of England during the World Cup match on Sunday morning.

Artists' Fair In Downtown Missoula

Jesse and Angel took me to a fine dinner just 5 minutes from their home. Rudi was put on the shelf as unfit company in these exalted social circles. He did not darken the door of a single restaurant on his five day ride (Day 1 was the exception when he stayed with friends in Kentucky). Rudi dined at gas pumps on shelf and cooler food, or cooked his own on his propane camp stove all through the 2,300 mile trip. Rudi is cheap. 2,286 miles is the actual total from Rudi’s home in Atlanta, to Florence, where Angel and Jesse live.

On Sunday we did some shopping and I got to know my soon-to-be-new-daughter, Angel, much better. A stroll down the river walk when Jesse got off work, and time spent at a crafts fair rounded out the day. I met the woman who is making Angel’s wedding ring and tried to sell some of her jewelry as she took a break. No luck with that.

Rudi's Idea of Fine Art

The University of Montana is in Missoula and the atmosphere is casual and young, but with a large number of street characters to add some graying spice to the pot. There must be some very talented tattoo artists out here because the quality of the tats adorning the young women is outstanding, and there is plenty on display in the warm weather.

They Can't Spell In Missoula. Were You Hoping For Art Of Another Kind?

Shoulders, backs, breasts, sleeves, and other body parts are proudly tatted with exotic designs and beautiful colors. Women can get away with more artistic designs since they are not making any macho statements, just enjoying their body art.

Oh, the men must have some tats too, but Rudi failed to notice very many. Why, I couldn’t tell you. Rudi had obviously returned to the party, much to our dismay.

Jesse and I sorted out bike gear, tools, and camping gear in late afternoon, getting rid of a lot of weight in the process, and Jesse grilled veggies and chicken for dinner with a great Oregon Pinot Grigio to wash it all down. We’ll work on the bikes tomorrow and plan on leaving around 10 am Tuesday morning., June 29th.

Rudi Believes This Is An Endorsement Deal

We plan on going north to Glacier National Park by way of the Swan Valley. Along this scenic route we’ll stop and see the wedding venue for Jesse and Angel which is a short drive from the highway.

Early Days Through Alberta & British Columbia, Canada

While it is exciting to begin the “real” Alaskan journey, there is a tinge of sadness too as I miss my wife and three children who are not making this part of the trip, and Jesse and Angel do not like to be apart for long. There will some tears shed in the morning. But we will link up again in about two weeks in Fairbanks when Celeste and Angel rent an RV and meet the guys for a two week tour of the state.

The blog entries may be sporadic, or totally absent for the next eight days as Jesse and Rudi want to camp only at primitive sites, where bears and mosquitoes will be more in evidence than wifi and AC power. Showers. Who needs a freakin’ shower? Follow us into Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory on SPOT here:


The road beckons. What did Bilbo Baggins say? Be careful of the path heading away from your front door, because it leads to dragons and dragon gold with perils undreamed, of and beauty unimaginable … the road goes on and on and once you are on it you cannot step off. I think Bilbo said something like that. Maybe it was Frodo. A hobbit, certainly said something like that.

Big Bertha Gets A Fresh drink Of Oil

Final Tweaks To The KLR650

Tomorrow is the day. The oil is changed in Bertha, the headlight gravel guard is in place on the KLR, the Pelican cases are packed tight as are the waterproof duffels. A quick morning stop at NAPA auto parts in Missoula for exhaust guard sheeting for Bertha and we then are off to the Swan Valley and, eventually, the Arctic Circle.

Jesse is cooking elk steaks and sweet potatoes tonight for a farewell dinner as soon as Angel returns from work. Margit will join us and perhaps a few of Jesse and Angel’s friends. The elk can join the butterflies fluttering around in our stomachs.


Environmental Fund Raising Site for Rudi G & Jesse

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Thank you.

Rudi G  & Jesse