By ERIN STONER
One day last August, during a routine walk to the Farmer’s Market, I caught a glimpse of old Missoula.
I’d trundled those few blocks from my house to the string of Saturday markets on Higgins Avenue dozens of times. I don’t remember what changed my usual route – a truck blocking the sidewalk or a craving for kettlecorn – but I detoured down the alley between Sapore and Taco del Sol.
On a brick wall above my left shoulder, amidst a tangle of pipes and cables, the big, black-and-white Missoula Laundry Company lettering loomed large.
I laughed out loud at myself. One of the knitting hippies tending a craft stall smiled at me. How the hell did I miss something like that all these years? Seriously. It’s huge.
I felt like a kid who’d found an Easter egg. There it was, hidden in plain sight for, what, decades? It’s got to have some good stories.
Since then, I’ve found myself walking around like a tourist, camera in hand, head swiveling this way and that. Missoula’s got so many of these lovely little gems squirrelled away all over downtown.
Sometimes you just have to detour and look up.
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Erin Stoner is a local copywriter, editor, and marketing monkey. When she’s not pushing words around, she’s probably teaching yoga, playing Legos with her three-year-old, or tromping around in the woods. Missoula is her happy place.
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