Bozeman, MT, Wednesday,August 14
The finish is near and yet far away. I have come down with a cold and Chris is doing all of the driving. We are thinking of making our visit to Teddy Roosevelt National Park only a few hours and cutting one day off of the trip. But both of the remaining days are long drives and with me doped up, not sleeping, and not driving, our plans still remain fluid.
We left our Evergreen hosts after a great waffle breakfast and made our first stop at the National Bison Range about 30 miles south of Polson.
This is a range managed by the Fish and Wildlife Bureau. The range has a 16 mile loop drive that is home to various species of wildlife. We saw bison, black bear, pronghorn antelope. The drive took us about 90 minutes and then we were on our way to St. Ignatius mission church.
The Jesuits were invited here by the Flathed Indians in the late 1800s. The church is simple but contains a series of murals and frescoes created by one of the religious, Brother Joseph Carignano, the cook and handyman. We have included a picture or two.
After lunch in Missoula, we visited a smokejumper base camp. This is run by the forestry service to train forest fire fighters who are parachuted into a forest fire zone. They are frequently the first responders on the ground for remote fires.
At this location new recruits are trained. They learn how to pack their parachutes and how to jump out of the slow moving planes at low altitudes. This base also serves as a regularstation for 70 smokejumpers throughout the fire season.
The rest of the day was spent driving to Bozeman.
This blog was not finished on the 14th of August. It is now being worked on while we sit in Theodore Roosevelt national Park. We stopped for a herd of bison that were in the middle of the road. We turned off the car to wait for them to pass. The car would not restart. AAA has been called and we are now waiting for the service person. Of course, this happened in an isolated area and it will take a while for them to get here.
Conclusion of the saga will come with tomorrow’s post.
Ed and Chris. August 15 7:30 PM