Sunday, July 11, 2010

We're Off - North to Alaska;-)

So - I am sitting here listening to the thunder from one of those wonderful storms that we grew up on in Arizona - thankful that I am in Magic and not one of those tents at Girl Scout Camp in Prescott, AZ;-( You can get VERY wet in those tents during a good old fashioned summer storm!

We have finished dinner, watched “The Big Chill” and I was going back over the last two days and figured the thoughts may as well get into the blog - so here I am.

Yesterday was a long driving day - about 10 hours - from Park City to Great Falls, MT. 5 discs of “The Girl Who Played With Fire” kept our attention and made the time fly!! We arrived in our camp for these two days and were all set up in time for dinner and our ‘walk about’ the camp. The office was full of brochures on what to do in Great Falls - so we also mapped out the activities for today.

Saturday, July 10 - First stop was the Charlie Russell Museum Complex, which included a museum of his works, his home and his workshop. Russell began painting ‘his vision of the West’ when he was only 13 - living in St. Louis and painting from what he read or conjured up in his head! He followed his dream and moved west from St. Louis when he was about 22 - he never returned to his home there. We are all very lucky he didn’t - as his works of art wonderfully capture the ‘Old West’.

The C. W. Russell Home in Great Falls, Mt.

Russell's studio

Our next stop was the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. When Lewis & Clark were attempting to complete their Presidential ‘charge‘ of navigating/charting the Missouri River and all its tributaries in order to figure out how much territory had been acquired by the Louisiana Purchase - and to map a route to the Pacific - they ran into a great deal of difficulty when they hit the Great Falls which reside in what is now the state of Montana. Even though they had been warned by the Indians (who were a GREAT help to them despite some history teachings) that they would encounter these falls - they were surprised when they came upon them. AND when they found four more falls (Crooked Falls, Rainbow Falls, Colter Falls and Black Eagle Falls) - they began to plan the best route for a portage, as it was impossible to ‘drag’ their boats upstream (as they had been doing) over these falls! This was the hardest and worst part of their historic venture. Lewis did have a wonderful/pleasing sighting of the Giant Springs during this ordeal - a bubbling springs of unknown origin that create the shortest river feeding into the mighty Missouri! After our stop at the Interpretive Center we were off to see the Springs and all the falls for ourselves - and here they are -

Giant Springs. Yep, that is the whole 201 foot river there.

Giant Springs up close

The Great Falls

Rainbow Falls

Black Eagle Falls

While at the Great Falls, we were watching this magnificent storm move in and decided it was best to head back to Magic for dinner, a movie and a quiet night. Tomorrow we head on north to Glacier NP and the many beauties and wonders that await us there.

More in a day or two - E & G

PS - You may have noticed that our last posting was in May as we returned home from our Spring trip and are thinking that we must have been lolly gagging during the past two months?!?! Not to worry - we did have a quick two week trip in June to California and had company in PC over the fourth;-)

Also - if you did not receive my email indicating we are back on the road again - this time headed NORTH TO ALASKA - here is a brief schedule of this trip as it is set now (always subject to change!) -

Leave July 9 - to Great Falls, MT
July 11 - 17 - Glacier/Waterton NP
July 17-23 - Golden/Jasper
July 23-August 3 - Highway to Whitehorse (stops at Vanderhoof, Smithers,
Stewart Hyder, Dease Lake)
August 8 - Dawson City
August 10 - Tok
August 12 - Glennallen
August 15 - Fairbanks
August 18 - Denali/Backcountry Lodge
August 21 - Talkeetna
August 23 - Girdwood
August 25 - Homer
August 28 - Seward
August 31 - Glennallen
Sept 1 - 14 - Make our way home????? We don't have this entirely mapped out
other than probably make our way to Edmonton and Calgary then home.

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