Lolo, Montana to Washington

16 Jul

Shortly after entering Idaho on US 12, a road sign proclaimed “sharp curves next 99 miles” which explains why our speed for much of the day averaged barely 45 mph. Posted speed limit was 50.The drive is potentially more interesting because of other warning signs: Watch for Rock, Watch for Stock, Game Crossing, Moose Crossing…. Fortunately, the only ‘hazards’ we encountered were three muledeer that appeared standing in the middle of the road. At our slow speed there was plenty of time to slow even more until they became aware of our approach and bounded off the road and into the forest.

The road generally follows the course of the Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers and views of the rushing water enhanced the beauty of the drive. At one of the few places to pull off, we enjoyed a walk into the woods to take a few pictures. The river appears to be quite rocky and shallow for much of its width but the center’s swift current would make it difficult, if not impossible, to safely cross.

The day also included the shift into the Pacific time-zone and a substantial rise in posted prices for fuel. Of course, this is the season for road construction and one project reminded me of my early driving years. Preparing for resurfacing, the contractor had removed a layer of old pavement and a ‘grooved road surface’ remained. The removal had left the right side edge of the lane intact; it was like driving on the curbed highways in Iowa in the late ‘50s (that’s the 1950s).

We drove thru Lewiston, ID to Clarkston, WA where we spent the night at a campground we visited once before. Arising early the next morning, we re-crossed the river/border and headed northward on US 195. Exiting Lewiston involves a steep climb to an amazing view of the city below.

As we moved north along US 395 past Spokane and Colville to our destination near the Canada border, the logging/timber industry was apparent; we passed a logging mill, mountains of sawdust, and a lumber-making factory [only the logging mill was in a spot for picture-taking].

That big moving log carrier had just dropped a load of logs.

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On Our Walks

9 Jul

One delightful surprise on our daily walks around the campground at Lolo has been the number of wildflowers we discover.

And Pippy waits patiently while I snap the pictures.

The Flag

4 Jul

As those of you who follow my travels know, I rarely use this site to express my opinion. Today is an exception:

On this Fourth of July, National Public Radio did its traditional reading of the Declaration of Independence. Also featured were short statements from people visiting the National Mall in Washington, D.C. One lady from Brownsburg, Indiana, expressed her concern about people who say they are ashamed of the flag and that they should be proud.

 

I am one who has expressed my aversion to the waving of the flag in recent months and years. I am not ashamed of the flag per se but of what that Flag has come to represent: a nation of bigoted nationalists not unlike the Nazis of Germany and other similar groups throughout world history. I am ashamed of the nation’s support of brutal dictators around the world, the supplying of weapons to other nations which are used to kill innocent human beings including women and children. I am ashamed of a nation which believes, like other empires of the past, that it is always right and that, therefore, it should control all that happens on the planet, irrespective of the lives and needs of other nations and human beings.

Lakota Way July

2 Jul

Lakota Way, July                   Bravery

 

Being brave is having or displaying courage during hardship or being strong in the face of pain and uncertainty. If you don’t think you know how to be rave, look around; you’ll find someone who does know how When you do, follow him or her. If you follow long enough, you’ll learn how to have courage, or the courage within you will rise to the top. When that happens, turn around, and don’t be surprised if someone is following you.

 

Joseph M. Marshall III

Near Lolo

1 Jul

After too many days of rainy weather both in South Dakota and near Glacier NP in Montana, it’s been more pleasant for a week now. We spent two more days in Choteau after I decided to take a more southern route to Washington via US 12. We’re currently spending a week at a lovely wooded campground outside Lolo, MT. Our current ‘home’ is among the pines with wonderful smelling honeysuckle to enjoy on our leisurely walks.

 

On our way here we did some shopping in Helena and then crossed the Rockies and MacDonald Pass. I took a few pictures from ‘on high’:

After the 4th of July, we’ll head across Idaho and Washington for a planned stop in Goldendale.

Back to Choteau

25 Jun

After a rainy two weeks at Glacier Meadow, I started making plans for our trip on to Washington. RV park rates west of the Rockies in Montana are ridiculously high so we retreated back to Choteau for two nights. We’ll take some nice walks on the local walking trail where Pippy frequently spots gophers and wants to give chase [she has escaped my leash grip on occasion].

On familiar roads, the day’s drive was mostly pleasant and relatively traffic free. After a stop at the rest area just north of Dupuyer [I was told at one time the name means ‘back fat’ presumably referring to the hump on a bison] to stretch our legs, we continued south. I had been spotting clumps of brightly colored flowers here and there along the right-of-way. Suddenly an amazing spread of color filling a wide field came into view.

…and a sample

Near Bynum we spotted a group of motorcycles stopped on the other side of the road. It quickly became apparent that one of the riders was ill or injured, sitting in the grass alongside the road and being tended to by his fellow riders. Then I spotted two ladies running southward on the road. I stopped to ask if I could help. One lady explained that they had already called 911 and were headed up the road to take a picture of the deer which had run into her husband’s motorcycle. Moving on, the deer carcass lay in the middle of the lane with shattered parts of the motorcycle scattered around.

Soon I spotted flashing lights headed toward us; pulling off repeatedly we observed first a sheriff car followed by an ambulance and two fire department vehicles. Such things remind one that there are more hazards than crazy drivers on the roads!

21 Jun

After a cold, rainy, and windy month in The Black Hills, we took our usual route north and west through Montana. We spent a lovely week at 7th Ranch near Garryowen where Pippy loves to run and explore in the wide, rolling pastures. This was followed by stops at White Sulphur Springs and Choteau before booking two weeks at our current location, Glacier Meadow. Intermittent rain continues to plague us but we’ve had some time to visit and play with our friends, Ken, Jody, and Scout.

On days when it warms, rufous and ruby throat hummingbirds visit the feeder and yesterday we had a pair of evening grosbeaks chowed down for a good five minutes.

This pair has been feeding with us for a week now; he arrives first and then calls to her. When a few blackbirds arrived yesterday, he got feisty and chased them off ‘his’ feeder.