Thursday, July 1, 2010

Montana

Last weekend my husband and daughter headed into Montana to spend the night. First we headed to the National Bison Range in Dixon. The drive was longer than we thought and we were tired, hot, and crabby upon arrival. We took the short drive in the range which only netted us 2 Bison to look at, which was hardly worth taking a picture of. So I took a picture of this strategically stacked pile of assorted antlers taken off of the range over the years. It was quite impressive really.
Even though we didn't see much for Bison, the Mission Mountain Range gave us a beautiful view of sno-caps. They're part of the Rockies and the highest point is 9,900 feet. I've never seen such a huge mountain range in my life. My daughter has such a better camera than I do, I wish I was using her shots.
With a long drive back to our room in St. Regis we were impressed by the very long Clark Fork River. It just seemed to go on forever and was always in our sight. It has an unusual greenish color to it which my daughter thought was gross; typical teenager.
The next morning we headed over Thompson Pass which joins Montana and Idaho. I've never been over the whole thing; just drove from Murray to the summit many years ago. At that time there was still some snow on the top so we romped around in it for awhile. This is the summit, truly a beautiful view. I wish I had been thinking enough to do a panoramic shot. Don't you just love afterthoughts?
At the end of the pass lies Murray, Idaho, a once booming gold mining town. At one time it had a population bigger than Boise. Now Murray may have a population of 60. This was my dad's favorite camping spot and they spent many summers here. The Memorial Day (1984) after he died, we brought his ashes up to the campground and put them in the little creek. That's me way back then.
My husband and I have been back a few times since that day but the creek had run dry. We made this trip because our daughter had never seen the place where her Grandpa had been to so many times. The only place to eat is the Sprag Pole Inn which is a bar but their food is wonderful. It brought back a lot of memories being in there and I'm glad our daughter was able to see it for herself. Finally the reason for the whole trip was to check out the campsite. We headed up the little road, over the bridge, ready to take a left into...... Wait, where's the creek? Where's the campground? It was all gone. A home stood in its place with a no trespassing sign in the road. Another road to the right led to another home and a dead end. So our trip ended with a dead end and a disappointed child. But all-in-all it was a great weekend full of fantastic scenery. I'm not sure I'll ever go back to Murray but it was worth one more trip to say hi to my Dad.