It was 13 miles off of the route (not just the headquarters, the city in general), but worth my while. They had the bike used for the preliminary route scouting (essentially the first bike across the TransAm). A foursome cycling for a National Geographic article got the idea for the whole thing in '74. They also had a Polaroid of everyone that came through this year. It was cool to look for some of the people I had met (not many to find though, most people cut across to San Francisco).
Missoula was also home of the Grizzlies. Not the animal, but the student body. The campus was great, right next to a river, kind of like OU. I enjoyed a short ride through the college greens and a hike to the top of the bleachers in the football stadium (really nice stadium, built to feel bigger than it really is).
Missoula feels like a really big suburb. I guess it's around 50,000. It's big enough where you can have a white collar profession outside of the college and still live in a place that has a neighborhood feel. It's a great town. When you're there, you know you're in the city, but you never forget you're in Montana.
Tomorrow will be a short ride. I'll sleep in here at the Motel 8, because 40 miles in, another one of those 60 mile stretches of nothing is ahead. I'm close to the border. I think I smell potatoes.