Today was not hilly and not long (56 miles) but it was hot, shade-less, and windy. It was very interesting, however. I have a bunch of things I want to point out.
There is a drought in this part of the state. See how brown the hills are. B
The last 21 miles, there was absolutely nothing except the Broken O Ranch. 200 square miles, and they don't allow hunting, so it has become a deer sanctuary. The owner of our hotel says that if you drive Rt. 21 (the road we were on) at night, you will hit deer. She and her husband have each hit at least 3. The ranch was recently purchased by a sports team owner. The ranch has a very large irrigated farm through which we passed.
On the left, green. On the right, brown.
Tomorrow night we will be in Lincoln, MT, home of Ted Kaczinsky the Unabomber. So we are only 55 miles away now. Can you tell?
These are all signs on D and C Rohrer's property outside Ft. Shaw. One sign mentions a Huterite. We saw Huterite families at the rodeo in Stanford, and we talked to the women cleaning the motel rooms there. They spoke with an old German accent. Huterites farm communally.
I haven't mentioned it before, but roadside crosses mark every highway fatality. The American Legion has been doing this here since 1953. They are all over the place, and unlike in our area, they're permanent. The locals who have been here for 6 generations are not going to neglect or forget their relative. No doubt most of these deaths were utterly preventable. I think about these losses a lot- how it might have happened, and the losses and suffering involved. We saw one group of 4, with the names and the date 28 Jan 1982. Here is an example.
Heretofore I have shown you many scenes of great natural beauty. The truth is that there are a fair number of homes and farms that are not pretty. In the interest of a more balanced presentation, I'm including some typical examples.
Before setting off on the final 21 mile, no stopping point run into Augusta, we had snacks and Gatorade at this garage. Check out the customer's car:
This is a 1927 Lincoln, purchased by a doctor in the area, and still owned by the same family.
We are staying in a bunkhouse that was built in 1912. It's very cool and the owner Amy is very nice. It has B&B elements, but no breakfast. Also the baths are shared baths down the hall. We're the only ones here so sharing the bathrooms is not an imposition.
Dinner was steak and baked potato (no vegetable) at the Buckhorn Bar and Grill. Exceeded expectations.
The menu at the Buckhorn gave the history of the town and the "Mannix Store" in particular.
Here's the store, where we bought groceries. I could also have picked up an assault rifle for only $999.
I do not want to carry a weapon on this trip. I already fantasize about using one on vehicles that pass us unnecessarily closely at unnecessarily high speeds. Marie employs the opposite strategy of invoking a blessing on them. We probably cancel out each other's efforts.
Tomorrow will be 55 mile run up Rogers Pass, elevation 5610, on the Continental divide. There will be no places to get food or water all day, so we will be fully prepared. This will be our first time up a mountain on this trip, so I'm really looking forward to the test.