So let’s see…here’s a brief round up of the past week or so after leaving the Lewistown area. We rode a few short easy days. We spent the first night in Giltedge in a rancher’s hay corral. The next day we made it as far as Highway 87 after a day of cross country riding along a ridge line that offered spectacular views, dirt roads, four wheeler roads, cattle trails and many, many fences and gates to go through. We came out somehow through a strip of trees lining the bottom of the ridge only to find a creek I could not cross. And a herd of cattle dancing circles around us as we walked the fence line looking for a crossing. Luck and good fortune were with me as evening approached and we found a grown over trail that still held a culvert for a crossing. We again stayed in a hay corral. There was even a watering tank where I could wash up and Claire and Honor could get good water. I try every night to cool Honor’s back off with water or ice if I’m at someone’s house. I know she appreciates it and surely it feels good. The ranch owner (of the hay corral with the water tank) stopped by checking to see who, what, where and said “Fine, yes, stay.”
Morning brought rain as we walked Highway 87 into Grass Range. Stopped at Little Montana Café and tied Honor up out front which brought many people to a halt with questions and looks. They brought my breakfast outside so I could stay with the animals. This was a little boardwalk, reddish building covered with years of dust, weathered and part of yet another, half-empty town. As I have passed through many more this week, I call them “born again towns.” They were once thriving towns, gold mining towns, railroad towns with hundreds, even thousands that populated the areas. Now all the snap, crackle and pop is out of them, but somehow a business has re-emerged or a house has been filled with a family and another town springs life from old decayed buildings and town sights. It is interesting. Flatwillow, Musselshell, Sumatra, Ingomar, Vananda all hold remains of prosperous towns, beautiful hotels, schools, banks, train depots, brick structures and many ornate, classy buildings rich with history and stories.
Friday, June 23, 2006
More of Bernice's letter
Here's more from Bernice's letter. She offers a fairly poetic look at some lesser known parts of the Big Sky State. Enjoy! There will be more tomorrow.