Monday, August 12, 2013

Miracle of America

This little town of Polson, MT must be at some sort of serendipity vortex.  We wanted to take a bike ride into town, and then down US-93 a ways.  We had no real goal in mind when we started, but were thinking about riding 5 miles out and 5 miles back.  As we rode across the bridge spanning the point where Flathead Lake ends and the Flathead River begins the sky and water looked forbidding......very blustery, and dark clouds in both directions.

Looking at the Flathead River side

On the lake side

Frankly, we weren't sure how far we would get before we were chased back home by wind, rain, or both, but we continued on......eventually TLE spied a bike lane on the lake side of the highway, so we crossed over and continued on around the lake following US-93.  As we rode I kept seeing small signs advertising a museum ahead.  We didn't have high hopes of finding any museum open on a Sunday.....our experience has been that most museums are closed on Sundays and Mondays......of course we continued on, because the museum was right about at between 4, and 5 miles from the RV park, so whether it was open, or not would have no effect on our ride.

Eventually we passed the Safeway supermarket, and then the old Walmart (currently still in use), and then the new Walmart (still under construction) and I saw the final museum sign saying "next left".  By this time we could see the Miracle of America Museum, so we continued on to find the museum was, indeed, open on a Sunday.  Before we even got inside we were seeing cool stuff.

I spent about 10 minutes just taking pictures of the stuff along the street before we even went inside.  There is a charge of $5 per person, which, frankly, is not bad at all.  After seeing what was outside I was eager to see inside.  Just the main building had enough stuff to keep one going for a couple of hours......outside the main building are dozens of other out buildings crammed full of stuff collected over a lifetime by Gil and Joanne Mangels.  A big part of his collection revolves around, motorcycles, bicycles, military weapons, military vehicles, jets, helicopters, old west rifles, well as oil and gas stuff.  He has literally moved dozens of old buildings on  to the old gas station, general store, school house, blacksmith shop, train station, bank, etc.

Photo courtesy of Miracle of America Museum website 

 Just a small sample of the out buildings.......

  ......they are everywhere......

 Very cool 1890 shaft drive bicycle

 Love Indian motorcycles....

 Below is an Indian "tadpole" setup

 Old Cushman's

 Old Ford fitted with tracks for the snow..

 Old Sno-Cat used in Glacier National Park back in the day.....

 Old Glacier National Park snowplow

We could have spent the whole day here, but after a while your brain goes on sensory overload.  You almost need to spend several days here taking in a part of the museum each day.  We both took over a hundred pictures, and trying to figure out which ones should be in the blog is difficult......and I just have to add a few more.......

 Beautiful old Hudson Terraplane
 The lines of this car are just captivating

 Old Lee Craft wooden power boat

And wouldn't you know it.....Gil sells old license plates!  I picked up these three to add to my collection for $15....wish I would have known this was coming before I spent $27 on two plates back up in Columbia Falls!

This was one of those rare serendipitous places to visit that don't come along everyday, and we loved the 2+ hours we spent wandering around the property.  If you are ever in the area, this museum is a must.

We made a quick stop at Walmart on the way back to pick up a couple of things, then headed back to the coach for the afternoon.....there was still the final round of the PGA to watch, pre-season NFL, and the Dodgers later in the afternoon.  As it turned out Jason Dufner and Jim Furyk battled it out down to the wire before Dufner pulled away and won by 2 strokes.....a very exciting PGA.  My Dodgers won again for the 37th time in 45 games.....8-2 over the Rays....they are now 7.5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks.

Around 6 we decided to head into town to try out the local Mexican restaurant, Fiesta En Jalisco.  We have very low expectations for Mexican food outside of California, Arizona and Texas, but this place blew us away!    I had the Carne Asada, and TLE had Chicken Enchilada a la carte.   Yelp gives it 3 stars out of 5....I disagree....I gave it a 5.  The food was robust, fresh, nicely presented, and the service was prompt.  The serendipity of Polson is becoming the thing of legends.....:-)

Al Fresco!


We took a walk along the lake after dinner just enjoying the breeze coming off the water, and going over our amazing day before heading back home for the evening with big smiles on our faces.

Thanks for stopping by!

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