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ROOTS – Missoula Food Bank

July 26, 2013

Montana – Monday, July 15

There was another bike trail on the other side of the river from where I was last night, and it was longer, so I headed over there this morning, and got 4 miles of walking done. The trail started out as a paved, well-traveled trail that went by the University of Montana (strange for me to see a different U-M – seems like University of Michigan should be the only U-M!), then the farther I went into the mountains it became a dirt trail, and I enjoyed seeing the different houses and things along the river.

Then it was time to do my donation today. I had read about the Missoula Food Bank ROOTS program, which provides boxes of food to homebound, low-income seniors, and this was the group I wanted to help today (part of my decision was very uncharitable – with all the young “hippie-type” people hanging around Missoula – and they were near the food pantry – I didn’t particularly want to support them because they all looked like able-bodied young men who could work!). I wanted to be sure my donation would go toward the senior citizens. I tried calling a couple times to see what food they might need, but didn’t get an answer. They had been open this morning, and they also had evening hours on Mondays, but I decided to drive by in the afternoon since I was nearby from my trail walk. I could see someone stocking shelves in there, even though they weren’t officially open, so I walked in to see how best to make my donation to the seniors. The volunteer told me that a financial donation would be wonderful, and if I specified the senior citizens in the memo line, it would definitely go to them. She asked if I wanted to talk to anyone – it sounded like there was a board meeting going on (which is probably why no one could answer the phone) – but I didn’t want to interrupt the meeting, although someone there could possibly have answered my question about the high numbers of young people hanging around! The ROOTS program currently helps 415 seniors in the area, and I left my note and donation.

Then I had to figure out where a battery store was – my pedometer has apparently been used so much that the battery wore out, and I was just getting flashing numbers. Luckily there was a Battery Store across the river, and they were able to replace the battery, although all my setting were lost. So I’ll have to work on that later, but at least it keeps tracks of the number of steps I take on a walk (and it’s very accurate!) and I know how many steps I walk in a mile. I set off for another mile and a half in a neighborhood near the battery store. I was really happy the battery died when I was in a city where I could replace it!

Then I wanted to finish off my walking for the day in Fort Missoula – thinking it was some historic place, according to the signs on the road. I drove quite a ways, but never saw any historic part of town, or a fort, and I think I misunderstood the sign. But I found another place to walk in the area since I was there – not the most scenic, but it was there, and I finished my walking.

And then I headed back to the motel. I’m very aware I’m leaving for Alaska in a couple days, and will have a long drive through Canada, and a busy time in Alaska, and I really needed to finish getting caught up with some donations that needed to get mailed out, and I had to get my checkbook balanced and all that sort of stuff. And I finally got it all done! Some of those things had been hanging over my head for a while, and I’m very happy to get all that paperwork done, and am feeling good about leaving the “lower 48” in a couple days. My days are often so full that it’s hard to squeeze in some of the routine things that need to be done – especially when I’m away from home for so long!

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