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by Lloyd Treichel
Dateline: August 15, 2006 -- Helena, MT
[To view photos full sized, click on the thumbnail photo]
North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park... was a place to explore for several days
During the ride we saw wild horses, huge prairie dog towns and the ever present buffalo. We did manage to come across a rattle snake without incident. However, near the end of the ride, a buffalo did spook the trailing wrangler's horse tossing the wrangler. Fortunately, it was a young wrangler; they bounce better than us old guys.
This horse ride was a definite high point of my recent travel. There is no better way to see these wide open spaces than on the back of a horse.
Buffalo making an appearance for dinner at the Cottonwood Campground.
One of the thousands of prairie dogs in the park.
Petrified wood fragment on the roots of a petrified stump. There are no logs here, but a field of petrified stumps.
Great Fall, Montana...
On the bike trail following the Missouri River is Gibson Park where I found this scenic cabin. It would be just the right size if I was interested in a home without wheels.
High fuel prices get me to thinking... about alternate forms of travel.
Campground Report... Near Helena is Devils Elbow -- a BLM campground on Houser Lake. No hookups with beautiful views at $10 a night ($5 with Golden Age). The lake is yours from Monday through Friday. The local boaters appear on Fridays and stay through Sunday.
I did a self guided tour of Montana's capitol building in Helena. It's in very good shape with an interior painting and updating completed in 2000.
On a hike along the Ridge Trail, I came across a picnic table with carvings of female nudes in various forms of outdoor exercise including this runner. The oldest nude was dated 1997. The latest was 2006 with only one year missing. The tabletop includes a recent crude scratching "Who is the jackass making the nudes?" The real jackass is the guy who scratched the crude question.
The Grizzly Bear is the state mammal. These painted bears can be found throughout Helena. This was my favorite. It still looked like a bear.
Helena has several buildings utilizing natural stone in construction. This is a detail on the Atlas building located on the third floor level. Wondering about its significance, I headed to the nearby library. The building's original owner was in insurance. What better symbol of insurance than the strength and reliability of mythological Atlas.
Another natural stone construction is this church built in the 1930s. This is not the usual straight line construction which would have been really easy for a mason. Shaping the stone to these irregular shapes and patterns would take a real artist.
Speaking of cinnamon ... Neither was the baker at Baker Bob's in downtown Great Falls.... I headed downtown to Baker Bob's and selected a cinnamon roll "to go". When I opened the box after my lunch, I took a bite. Where was the cinnamon flavor? Then I unwrapped the roll's layers. There was no cinnamon or a filling in the whorls. With a little powder sugar frosting on the roll, it tasted like white bread with frosting. That is what it was! I was ticked and considered returning downtown to complain, but instead the roll went to the dumpster and I saved myself diesel fuel calories. Could this be an omen to give up the cinnamon roll search?
Wind's Pastry and Bakery in Anaconda, MT makes a great cinnamon roll -- with raisins. Before hitching up and hitting the road that last morning near Anaconda, I made a special trip to Anaconda just for a cinnamon roll. Yes. I used diesel fuel calories to get the roll. It was delicious. After four days in the area, it was only yesterday when I saw the bakery while on a bus tour of Anaconda.
WANARCE -- car looks fast
B&CLYDE -- appropriate for a retro car: the PT Cruiser
2XPLOR -- on an SUV
WAR PNY -- spotted on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation
4HUSKRS -- Nebraska fan?
OUR 10T -- on an RV
FSHCAMP -- another RV
GRBGMAN -- profession or a personality statement?
Recent Reads ...
Life On The Mississippi by Mark Twain This is essentially a travel book. Thirty years after he was originally a steamboat captain on the Mississippi River, Twain travels the river in 1882. In this book he recounts his life as a steamboat captain and how the river and its cities have changed over the years. The geography and river commerce comes alive as Twain tells his story.
Maple Leaf Rag by Stephen Brook Subtitled "Travels Across Canada", the author begins his cross Canada travel in Newfoundland. After the Maritimes, he heads west through each province along the way and ends his journey in the cities of British Columbia. It proves an interesting journey as the author tries to find a Canadian national character. The author finds a very large and complex country made up of independent provinces which does not yield to a single definition.
Rocky Mountain West by Duane A. Smith Subtitle: Colorado, Wyoming, & Montana 1859-1915 This is a history of the booms and busts in mining, railroads and agriculture for these frontier states as they went from gold strikes to urban cities, statehood and beyond in a very short time. Over a 100 years later, not much appears to have changed; the economic life continues to be boom and bust.
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