I confess, it feels pretty darn good to be back in the good ol’ US of A. Where I understand what the temperatutre is outside and I can figure out just how expensive gasoline is. AND where my Verizon internet card works!!!! Yeaaaaaaaa!
Tonight we are in a nice little campground just outside of Glacier National Park – water, electric, sewer. Boy, did that long hot shower feel good! The slides are out and we’re just chillin’ out tonight. Had some good Alaskan salmon for dinner – yes, life is good!
But wanted to give a little bit of explanation for the Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump stop from yesterday.
Did you know that the Plains Indians didn’t have horses until around 1690 when the horse introduced by the Spaniards? Before the horse became part of their lifestyle, the only domesticated animal they had were dogs. And since the bison was their primary source of food, fuel, hides, just about everything, hunting them was critical, but quite a challenge. One of the methods they used was to stampede the buffalo toward a cliff where they would plummet to their death (or the waiting braves would bonk the ones that survived the fall.) Hence, the Buffalo Jump. This site was one that they believe (from archeological finds) was used off and on for thousands of years. The cliff doesn’t seem too impressive today, but then again, hundreds of years have gone by since it was used for a “jump”!
It was an interesting interpretive center – and a very pretty day –
and the view was great!
And then there was Fort Macleod –
Fort Macleod was the first western territory post for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was quite an historic trek that they made to establish order (and keep the Americans from selling whiskey to the natives) in the newly (and sparsely) settled Canadian West.
They were supposed to have a “Musical Ride” but the previous day’s rain had made the arena too muddy. But what is a “Musical Ride” you ask? We wondered too, so I found this on Youtube – I think it’s a bit more elaborate than we would have seen (they only had 8 horses), but I bet it would have been fun!
This morning we enjoyed the Remington Carriage Museum – one of the largest collections of carriages in the world. It was very well done, and very interesting.
These are the some of the ones in the “warehouse”-
Oh – the restoration guy said they get most of their supplies from New Holland, PA. Gotta love those Amish!
But of course, our main event today was getting to Montana.
We just had to pass through Customs one more time. Since we hadn’t had any trouble all of the other crossings we’d made over the summer, we figured it would go smoothly. After all, we’re Americans returning to America, right? We had our passports ready, sunglasses and hats off, and short answers practiced. But what do you think the problem was?
Yep, my poor jade plant that has bounced around every bad road in the Great North, who finally got bungied to the dashboard fan to keep it from falling over (again and again) and managed to get through customs every other time without so much as a mention was in danger of being confiscated by the US Customs guy at the little crossing into Montana. I took a quick picture and even pulled off a little branch (in case it was confiscated) while the customs agent was checking with his superior. Turns out it was OK to enter the country, but he did come in and check the rig out. And no, we weren’t hiding anyone in the lavatory!
Tomorrow we head into Glacier National Park for our drive along the “Going to the Sun Road”. I bet I’ll have some pictures to share!
Sweet Dreams, Montana. It’s good to be back, America!