Tag Archives: Montana

Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam…..

We got a super early start on Friday as we headed to the National Bison Refuge about 30 miles away.
OK, it wasn’t pre-dawn or anything, but for what normally is a no-alarm day, I think we did pretty good. The plan was to get to the refuge early enough that the critters wouldn’t all be taking their mid-day nap! And while we weren’t overwhelmed with the amount of wildlife we saw, we still counted it a good day!
Even without the wildlife sightings, the views were spectacular –
The drive through the refuge was also delightful!
To say it was a bit windy might be an understatement!
And as for wildlife sightings, we really did just fine –
There were Mule Deer –
Bison (of course!)
Some Pronghorn and Bison –
Some Bison rolling in the dirt
And then some up close and personal Bison –
Pretty good morning at the bison refuge! #reachoutandtouchme #idareyou #bison #buffalo
And a Bison or two who just seemed to want to pose for the camera –
So it was a pretty good day for the Bison sightings!
We also saw some Bighorn Sheep, though they were doing their best to hide in the tall grass –
Can you see them where the grass meets the trees?
Here it is with a bit of zoom –
and then a bit more –
Can you sense just how excited they were to have company?
It was a delight when a large family of Ruffled Grouse crossed the road in front of us –
and even the White Tailed Deer managed to come into our range –
Or maybe we came into their range. Or maybe they’re mule deer. But they were there, and we got a picture!
We also saw, but did not document a Coyote (with a Pronghorn watching him very carefully) and a Golden Eagle looking for lunch.
And of course, I had to stop and take a couple pictures the beautiful late summer thistles and grasses.

We finished off our excursion with a run into Missoula (and a Costco stop, or course) and then back to camp. As you can see, it was a beautiful day to be out and about. And we were glad to be able to take it all in! There are some additional pictures of the Bison Refuge HERE if you’re so inclined!

Hope you had a good weekend! We had a couple more adventures, but I figured I’d better get this one ‘on the books’ before too much time went by!
Thanks for stopping by-

Camp Bighorn – settling in!

After our lovely “sitting by the campfire all day” day, we finished our journey to Camp Bighorn, just up the road about 20 miles. And what a beautiful drive it was!
Camp Bighorn is tucked between the Clark Fork River and the Coeur d’Alene mountain range, and specializes in Adventure Camps.
Just so you can get a feel for how close we are to the river – here it is on Google Earth –
We’re parked with the other SOWERS and volunteers in the shadow of the mountain,
and our view is quite lovely!
We can’t quite see the river from our picture window (and the sunscreens are up now so it’s hard to see out anyway), but as you can see from this shot on our way to town –
It’s O-la-la pretty here! Even with bugs on the windshield.

Remember how I mentioned that this camp specializes in Adventure?? Well, yesterday we (the SOWERS) were invited to go rafting! I knew that if I took my phone for pictures, for sure I’d fall in, so I wasn’t able to get any shots of our (almost) 4 hours on the river! But one of us did have a waterproof camera, so here are just a couple shots of our (yes, old folks can have fun too) adventure!
We saw bald eagles, a king fisher, deer, and some other rafters. And there was just enough “white water” to keep us on our toes (and our guides busy telling us to “paddle hard”!). It was a grand afternoon, and I believe just a precursor to a great month!
Worship tomorrow with our new SOWER family up in Plains, and then on Monday we start work. I know I’ll be working on refurbishing the dining room chairs with the other SOWER ladies, but I’m not sure just what Gary will be doing. But I bet the camp will find something to keep him busy!

I’ll keep you posted!

Mondays are for Memories – Montana Meandering

I recently saw an ad for a seasonal caretaker for a ghost town in Montana. Hmmm – didn’t we visit a ghost town when we were in Montana in 2009? Sure enough – we’d visited that very place. Now we certainly didn’t submit our application, but it was fun to make the connection!

Montana Meandering – September 6, 2009
Once again, we have thoroughly enjoyed our long weekend. Montana is as new to us as Alaska was so it was fun to do a little exploring. One sign that intrigued us was for Garnet Ghost Town. Tucked away (far at the end of 15 mile uphill dirt road) in the Garnet Mountains is a deserted town that was a thriving mining community at the turn of the century. Garnet was home to over 1000 residents during those boom times, but by the end of the depression it was deserted.
It was very interesting seeing the town in its un-restored state. I’m not sure things were left just as we found them, but it was fun to imagine that they were. I also had fun playing with the “sepia” setting on my camera!

Garnet-2 Garnet-3 Garnet-4 Garnet-5

From Garnet we checked out a neighboring ghost town, Coloma, that wasn’t quite so well preserved!
Even though the house was falling down, I bet the view must have been dynamite when it was standing!
It was fun exploring along the dirt roads up in the mountains and we were treated to some awesome vistas while we were at it!
Garnet viewpoint
So that was Friday.
On Saturday Gary and I struck out extra early to do some fishing. (OK, so I wasn’t going to fish, but he had invited me to come so I tagged along.)
Like I said – it was an extra early morning!
Fishing Morning
The sun had made it up by the time we made it to the river –
Fishing Morning-2
and after getting all his gear together
Fishing Morning-3
he started off down the river.
Fishing Morning'
Me, I had a nice quiet time in the truck (staying warm), and then had fun watching the tent campers (and the hammock camper) slowly emerge.
Streamline Camping
Plus there was always my camera to play with!
Fishing Morning-4
Reaching for the sunshine –
Fishing Morning-5
Ah, sunshine!
Fishing Morning-6
Once it warmed up I moved out to the water’s edge and enjoyed the sunshine too! And just as all the other fishermen were loading up their little float/boats
Montana Fishermen
Gary returned – a little discouraged (no fish), but determined to keep at it. Maybe on Monday. 🙂 He’s a new fly fisherman, and is still learning the ropes. He is the proud owner of a full season Montana fishing license (the best value for our time here), so he’s been going out most afternoons after work checking out different fishing accessses.
Maybe one of those fun little boats would help……..

Today (Sunday) we joined two of the Sower couples for church at a local campground. One of the couples is a new Sower (this is their second project), but they have served on the mission field in Africa for thirty years. He is a surgeon and in his late 70’s, and they still go back (to Africa) for several months each year. They were giving a mission report to a supporting church who happened to be camping at a nearby campground. It was interesting to hear some of their story, and we were blessed to be part of this small congregation praising the Lord in the beautiful (though a little damp) outdoors!

Campground Church Campground Church-1

Oh, I almost forgot! One of the nicest parts of the weekend was how it started. Thursday night we went out to dinner to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary! I don’t think I ever would have believed you if you had told me 10 years ago that I would be celebrating this anniversary in Montana! (Or living in an RV for that matter!) How kind God has been to us!

This week I’ll try to put together some pictures and stories about our work/play here at Camp Utmost. It’s been great so far!
Have a good one!

(Here‘s a link to the original post.)

A lovely reminder

I was exploring some of the interesting things you can do with a Google account (like sharing a spread sheet or sharing a calendar)when I saw that I could upload my very own picture for my Google Home page. Hey, that might be fun, I thought. For some reason I had Yellowstone on my mind, so I browsed to the folder with my Yellowstone pictures. But due to some setting that I’ve changed somewhere along the way (I think to make my computer start-up faster), I can’t actually see the pictures in the folder (just icons), so I just picked one. Yellowstone-24. How delighted I was to see this as the background on my screen –
Yellowstone Bison Crop
What a lovely reminder of one of the wonderful National Parks we visited last year.
Thanks for the memory!

Home, home on the range

Where the deer and the antelope roam…..
Bison National Refuge-2
We’re back on the road! Today we interrupted our westward drive with a little side trip to the National Bison Range. It’s about 30 miles north of Missoula, so we left the house in a friendly parking lot in Missoula and set out with just the truck. The day was bright and sunny, and even though we were a little disappointed that we didn’t see many bison up close and personal, it was still an outstanding day!
While we saw a couple that were close enough for this (with a little help from the zoom!)-
Bison National Refuge-6
most of them were more like specks of course pepper on the hillside.
Bison National Refuge-9

But when you’re treated to views like this
Bison National Refuge-10
and this
Bison National Refuge
and this
Bison National Refuge-13
it really is OK if the resident mamma bear and her cubs were off taking naps, and the elk in the valley perfectly blended into the brown fall grass, and the mule deer were off playing with the white tail deer deep in the trees. It was still beautiful.

Tonight we are parked at rest area – oh, about 40 miles west of Missoula. And since my trusty Verizon aircard is hanging on by one little bar, I’m going to let you check out the additional pictures of our day HERE! Our final destination on this leg is Spokane, Washington where we’ll be catching a flight to Dallas, TX. Seems I’ve been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Sower Ministry and next week is their annual board meeting outside of Dallas. We’re combining this with a visit to Lara, so that’s a real treat.

But to get to Spokane, we have to drive through Idaho. And guess what? I’ve never been there!
Can’t wait!