Friday, October 11, 2013


Thursday, September 26, 2013

The end of Summer came quickly in the far north mountains of Montana.  There is fresh snow on the mountains now and the air is cold and crisp in the forties. 

You are looking at the sun, rain and snow competing for space and heading my way!

Yesterday was my last work day and Bob and Diane had me over, along with their friend Marty, for drinks and snacks last night.
We had a great time and it was difficult seeing it end.  Everyone here have been very nice to me and treated me like family this past four months, which has made my new unwanted lifestyle a little easier to adjust to.  I will miss our daily talks and laughs but I will come back here again just to enjoy their company soon.  I hope we will keep in touch.

Marty wants me to come back next summer so we can go out for beer and pizza in Whitefish.  I think he is planning to fix me up with someone or at least present the opportunity.  Maybe by next summer I will be open to that suggestion……not just yet, if ever.

Bears!  Finally I see bears!

Today Dexter and I rode up to Many Glacier to try and see a bear before we leave.   We saw five!!  They were all black bears and pretty far up the hillside but viewable.  I also saw a bunch of mountain goats on the high perches of the mountain side.  I may not have met my Grizzly face on but this was good enough.  Next time  I come back to visit I plan to take some hikes I didn’t take this summer and go fishing  so I will have another chance.  After seeing these big boys, I will just keep my bear spray for that time.

You have to squint but those are mountain goats up there on the hillside.
 Final farewells

Tony and Woody came back this afternoon to say good-by and Woody and I are going to breakfast before I leave in the morning.  Bob said he would come by before I leave too. I am really blessed to have met such nice people while here. 

Tomorrow I will drive to Lolo, Montana, about 250 miles down the road, to a state park where Lewis and Clark camped on their return to Missouri.  I think it will be interesting to see.  After that I will camp in a Forest Service campground for a few days and then head on over toward Washington and then Oregon.  I plan to stay in some neat areas and take my time going to Prineville, Oregon where I will visit with my friends, Don and Margie for a few days.

I will miss my little camp spot and view but not the res dogs!

Ready to roll and the weather is perfect for my road trip.
 Lolo, Montana and the Lewis and Clark Trail

I made it to Lolo but my information was wrong about there being an RV park or campground here.  The place where Lewis and Clark made camp is a day use area right in town.  I continued up Hwy 12 looking for a forest service campground and found one about forty mile up the road.  It was a real nice campground and only cost $5 so I stayed overnight.

Hwy 12 going from Lolo, Montana to Lewiston, Idaho is the direct route taken by Lewis and Clark on their way to and from the West Coast of Oregon.  By all accounts on the information boards along this road, this route was one of the roughest ones for them due to the steepness of the mountain sides and the bad weather. 

The Native Americans of the Nez Perce tribe and other tribes and bands, led by Chief  Joseph, one of the greatest Indian Chiefs of all time, took this same trail when they fled from their lands in Southwest Idaho and Northeast Oregon.  They were being pursued by a Calvary General named Nelson who had orders to capture them and take them to a reservation in Oklahoma.  Mostly on foot and with women and children, they made it to within 40 miles of the Canadian border before they were captured and many on both sides died in the ensuing battles.  It is a sad chapter in our American history and not one to be proud of.

Truck vs Deer

I am just rolling along Hwy 12 almost to Lewiston, Idaho at 45 mph when this monster buck deer came running across the road at an angle towards me!  I hit my brakes but I also hit the deer and he was a big one. Some good old local boys stopped and shot the deer and removed him from the road and said they would call Fish and Game. Sure they did.  It could have been worse so no complaints.

Back home in Oregon for awhile

I finally got through the beautiful but desolate and vast wheatfields of Eastern Washington and headed south from the Dalles on Hwy 97 into my beloved Oregon.  It really felt good to be back in Oregon for some reason....maybe because it's been a whole year.  I just feel at home when I come back.

Mt. Hood in the distance....beautiful.
I stopped in a beautiful new isolated state park called Cottonwood Canyon.  I stayed for two nights and took some hikes and it was real peaceful.  I plan to come back here and fish for Steelhead some year.  I then drove the back roads into the small town of Fossil, aptly named because of all the fossils in the area.

Country courthouse in Fossil, Oregon

50 MYA stands for fifty million years ago.

I had to climb a pretty steep trail to see all the fossils on the rocks on this hillside.

Prineville, Oregon

When I was in Rockport, Texas I met a bunch of really nice folks at the RV park.  One couple was Don and Margie from Atlanta, Georgia.  They had been on the road about six years and were planning a trip to the coast of Oregon after spending the winter in Texas.  Well, long story short, they came to Central Oregon at my advice and loved it so much they bought a home and sold their RV. I spent a few days with them and enjoyed Don's good cooking and their warm hospitality.

They sure did get a great view, comfortable house and nine acres....all for $125K.  Not bad.  I need to do the same in a few years but I still have too many places on my bucket list to stop now.  

180 degree southern view.

I could get used to looking at this view.  And in the evening the mule deer come to visit.  And elks bugle in the distance.

Sorry for such a long post.  On to Portland to visit with the family for a month.  I wish the Central Oregon winters were warmer....I would stay for awhile.  I will be back again.