Visiting with Friends

Pam and I made a couple of stops to visit with some friends on our way to Montana. First, was a stop to see Bert and Leigh and their place along the Wind River in Wyoming.

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They are retired cattle folks from Wisconsin that have a beautiful place along the Wind River, with some large pets.

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We rubber-rafted the river once we arrived there, which was fun, but an upstream neighbor had strung a barbed-wire fence across the river. Our raft encountered the wires first, and with Pam in the front. She ended up with a pretty good scratch as we attempted to deflect and duck under the wire. My scratch was not nearly as colorful. Luckily her wound was not deep, she had a recent tetanus shot and the beer was cold at the campfire that night, so all is good. They raft the river frequently with visitors so I think Bert may have a talk with his neighbor about his recent fencing change.

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Bert gave us a great tour around their place, and into the adjacent hills that included an amazing mountain view.

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He also took us to a nearby Petroglyph wall in the area.

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Biscuit, their heeler puppy, was sad to see us go, and is closing the gap on running down one of the many rabbits that live around their place.

We then took off west, heading towards a forest fire near Dubois, WY. Bark beetles had killed many of the trees already, and a recent lightning strike sparked the fire that is helping to clear the mountainside. Hopefully, no folks or buildings will be lost before they get it under control.

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You could barely make out the Teton range to the west through the smoke haze once we jumped over the Togwotee Pass.

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We made our way through Teton National Park, Jackson, WY and then over Teton Pass to visit with some other friends on the west side of the Tetons in Idaho. Allan and Laurie also had a beautiful place in the basin on the west side of the Tetons. We did a relaxing canoe trip with them on the Teton River – no barbed-wire this time. We had a great hike up into Teton Canyon.

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We also went up to the Grand Targhee ski area where you had an unbelievable view of the grand Tetons from the west side.

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Heading north again, we stopped at Big Springs CG after leaving Allan and Laurie. Big Springs is the headwaters of the Henry’s Fork River, where over a million gallons of crystal clear water comes out of the ground per day to start the river.

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There was an old homestead house there that has been preserved due to its unique construction. Johnny Sack built the place starting in 1929 using just hand tools, and using bark as the finishing trim like I’ve never seen before.

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He even built a small waterwheel house to run the electrical generator and water pump for the cabin.

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We then hit the Madison River outside West Yellowstone and followed it west into Montana. I now have my Montana fishing license so we’ll be heading back there during this trip. Again, we cut across some dirt roads that ran through some beautiful country.

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We also drove through some small towns that we’ll have to stop in when we have more time. We were heading to Pam’s sister’s place in Missoula so we had something of a schedule to keep for once.

We did stop at the Big Hole National Battlefield to see and read up on the history of the place. The battlefield was one of several battles between the US 7th Calvary and the Nez-Pearce Indians prior to their surrender later that year in central Montana. What started as a morning attack on the Nez-Pearce village did not end so well for the 7th Calvary.

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We’re now in Missoula, getting reading for a three-day river trip. Hopefully there is no barbed-wire across the Missouri River down through the Missouri Breaks. We’ll see.

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