Saturday, October 7, 2006

Scenes from Montana

This brilliantly lit sky appeared over the Canyon Square store in West Yellowstone as I took advantage of the wait for our Chinese Food to go buy a couple of six packs of Moose Drool ale, a Big Sky Montana beverage. It felt a bit like those scenes from Flash Gordon. Remember the theme song from Queen..."Flash!......he saved every one of us."

After leaving Ennis, MT the big skyness of Montana began to show itself. The mountains spread out on all sides, and small bands of antelope were feeding in the pastures. Then I came upon an interesting sight, a model T graveyard. There were about six and all. A real photographers dream. I could have spent an hour there looking for good angles. Instead I took about 4 shots from the other side of the fence. Just enough to catch the idea of beauty in the Juxtaposition of abandoned technology amidst Big Sky country under the heavens.

This shot was taken later that same day at the entrance to a pasture where I stopped and had lunch in the grass. I remember I made a small thimble full of hot chocolate because it was cold that day. I really liked this homemade fence and chain.

Montana really came to life around the Big Hole Nez Perce battleground. After travelling through National Forest, I chose to take the old Lewis and Clark trail along Trail Creek. This was a dirt road which had been the major route for the Nez Perce, and the escape route of Chief Joseph in the late 1800's as they were being pursued by the US Army. The open prairie along the creek was so wonderful I had to get off the bike and just walk around in it for awhile. And then lay around it for awhile longer.

After laying around in that grass, I found this old Forest Service cabin called Logan's cabin. I don't know the history of Logan's cabin, but they made the mistake of leaving the side window unlocked and it was getting cold and the sun was going down. Sometimes I have just had to acknowledge that the Lord is trying to bestow his blessing. I split a few logs and loaded up the wood stove. I had been feeling under the weather for several days so this warm hearth really was a needed blessing. I had peanut butter, honey and dried figs on bread for dinner and some hot chocolate. I spent the evening reading a few chapters of Memoirs of a Geisha. Yes, I read fiction for pleasure. Inside the cabin was a pantry that folded out into a table. I felt the allure of Thoreau living for a day. I left the cabin better than I found it, and next day felt refreshed and jubilant.

As I continued through Chief Joseph Pass next morning towards Sula, I was stunned with the beautiful forest floor beneath these charred pines. The plant that I had seen in Colorado (I called it Colorado cotton) must do extremely well after a fire, because nearly every square foot was covered in them. The cottony seeds were floating in the breeze everywhere that morning, catching specks of sunshine. If fairies exist, they would live in a place like this.

I have to be quick now because church starts in about 15 minutes. Once I reached Missoula, I decided to stay and explore for a while. Missoula is one of the greatest towns I have ever visited. My friend that I had not seen in 6 years (I like to refer to him as Ultimate Andy....I'd have to explain that at length) showed me some of the sights. It's the most bike friendly town I have seen and I explored quite vigorously, finding this skate park that they had just completed the week before at a cost of $750,000. Tony Hawk had come to town to inaugurate. I'm not a skater, but this is cool. I also took a raft trip down the West Fork of the Clark River which runs straight through town. I hooked a fish, then gave him too much line setting him free.

A golden calf. But don't be tempted to worship it.

Montana was a great state. I'm in Idaho now in a town called Cambridge. I haven't taken enough photos of Idaho. The wilderness is endless. Next entries will be about farming. Stay tuned.



  • 10/8/2006 9:16 PM Rebekah wrote:
    Your camera takes vibrant photographs. What kind of camera are you using?

  • 10/9/2006 8:02 PM Anna Erickson wrote:
    Thems some perty pictures. I was wearing your t-shirt at a protest on behalf of hotel workers the other day and sooo many people complemented me on it (a right quixotic crowd). I told them about what you're doing and your website, so if you get any t-shirt orders, I get a 30% cut. It's only fair. Bueno. Hasta Luego.

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