This is Monday, Sept 1st, Labor Day. Happy Labor Day to all. We left the campground and Sandy took me out to Fosston and continuing on hwy 2 west. It is a windy day today. Came across an historical marker. Entrance Red River Valley of the North. The ridge within a 1/2 mile east of this marker was the eastern shore of Glacier Lake Agassiz, at its Campbell stage. Other ridges lying easterly towards Mentor where beaches formed at its earlier and higher tintah, norcross & herman stages. These beaches were formed about 9,000 years ago when the lake had a southern outlet through the Minnesota river valley. Eastern shores at its mccaule by bille stages ( no longer had a southern outlet). Lake Agassiz was once larger than all the Great Lakes combined. Just leaving the state of Minnesota, impressed by the state and Minneapolis bike trails throughout the state, also walking trails and outdoor place for people and 10,000 lakes. We are entering into North Dakota, have reservations about North Dakota because of the weather patterns. We will be staying tonight about 20 miles west of Grand Forks. As we are heading towards our location I am hit with a storm, where I had to get off the road and take cover. Sandy up the road aways was waiting for me and was hit by a funnel cloud, so we got out of the area and spent the night in a state park campground.
This is Tuesday, Sept 2nd, still traveling hwy 2 west and came across a historical marker. Old Fort Totten Trail. Over this trail the Indians carried freight and mail for the U.S. Government from Fishers Landing to Fort Totten in the years 1879 to 1882. Because of the winds of 25 to 30 miles an hour, the rain and the temperature in the mid 50's there was a shorter day than planned. Only made about 45 minutes, we decided to spend the night in a parking lot in the town of Lakota, North Dakota.
This is Wednesday, Sept 3rd, still traveling hwy 2 west, actually seen a few items I hadn't planned on such as seagulls and a group of pelicans that were flying by and also an Amtrak train close to where I was. Plan to spend the night in Rugby, North Dakota.
This is Thursday, Sept. 4th, heading west on hwy 2 where we ended in the town of Minot, N.D. and we are in an RV Park and went to see the first football game of the NFL season at one of the local bar and grills.
This is Friday, Sept. 5th, traveling along we came to Ross, N.D. and spent the night.
This is Saturday, Sept. 6th, traveling on hwy 2 west there are a lot of rolling hills with farming, ranching, and also oil expiration. We ended up in an RV Park in Williston, N. D. for the night.
This is Sunday, Sept. 7th, still on hwy 2 west we have left North Dakota and now in Montana. At the state line of North Dakota and Montana is the Stateline Casino were there are a few cars parked this Sunday morning. In Montana I have come across an historic marker. Imposing and Elaborate Establishment. Fort Union one of the largest and best known trading post in the American West, was located on the Missouri near the mouth of Yellow Stone about 14 miles southeast of here. Built in 1828 it was the head quarters for the American Fur Companies newly created upper Missouri outfit. From the Fort the company ruthlessly crushed its opposition while conducting a profitable trade with the Assiniboine, Gros Ventres, Mandan, and Blackfeet Indians. Fort Union was a substantial post with stone block houses on opposite corners of the stockade, which enclosed managers Opulent residence a barracks, warehouses, a powder magazine, and stables. Guest to the remote outpost were comfortably housed, well fed and lavishly entertained by the companies manager. There was also, however, a dark side to the post. It's history was a continued series of conspiracies, family feuds, sieges, pitched battles, drunken brawls, and cold blooded murders. In 1840 the price of furs and hides fell and Fort Union began a long decline. In 1865 the U.S. Army took over the post and 2 years later the Army dismantled the buildings and moved them across the Missouri to construct Fort Buford.
This is Monday, Sept. 8th, we spent last night in Poplar, MT. and continuing on this morning found an historical marker. Fort Peck Indian Reservation. It's the home of two tribes, the Assiniboines, whose forefathers were living in this vicinity when Lewis and Clark came up the Missouri in 1805, and The Dakota (Sioux) descendants of the hostiles, who fiercely resisted the white invasion of their homelands. Some of the Dakota's took part in the Minnesota uprising in 1862 and moved west when the Army tried to round them up. Others took part in the Custard's demised at the battle of The Little Big Horn in 1876. The Assiniboines, also of the Dakota descents split from the Yamktonai Band in the early 1600's and migrated west. They shared the vast Blackfeet hunting territory set aside by the territory in 1855 from which Fort Peck Reservation was created in 1888, where 17 million 500 thousand acres were seated to the government. The public tribe resides on the Fort Belkna Reservation, 160 miles west of here. Named for Camel Kennedy Peck, Fort Peck was originally a fur trading post established at the mouth of the Milk River by Abel Farwell for the Durfee and Peck Company in 1866 to 1867. In 1873 The Bureau of Indian Affairs began using part of the post as Fort Peck Indian Agency. Flooded out by an ice channel on the Missouri in 1877 and the agency was moved to the present site at the mouth of the Poplar River. The earlier site now rests under the waters behind Fort Peck Dam. Having arrived in the town of Wolf Point is an historical marker. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed by here westward bound in May 1805. Fur trappers and traders followed them a few years later. Steamboats began making trips from St. Louis up the Missouri as far as Fort Benton in the early 1860's. Wolf Point was a halfway point between Bismark and Fort Benton. Wood choppers supplied cord and wood for boats that stopped to refuel. The American Fur Company, Packet Chippewa, blew up and sank not far from here in 1861. A deck hand taped a barrel of alcohol by candlelight; the fumes, the candle, and 25 kegs of black powder did the rest. Fortunately now lives were lost in the disaster. Wolf Point originated as a sub agency and trading post for the Fort Peck Reservation in 1879. The place was named when trappers killed several hundred wolves and stacked their frozen carcasses next to the river. They were observed by men heading up the river on a steamboat. The name Wolf Point stuck and no one there has been bothered by a wolf at their door since then.
This is Tuesday, Sept. 9th, we spent the night in Glasgow Mt. and watched Monday night football at a restaurant called The Hanger, had pizza and watched the game. Traveling on there is an historical marker. Buffalo Country. The great plains of eastern Montana was home to thousands of buffalo before American hunters nearly wiped them out in the early 1880's. The animals were central to the Indian life way. In the dog days they herded buffalo into a corral where they killed them. With the arrival of the horse in the 1700's hunting methods changed. As much as for necessity hunting buffalo with bow and arrows on horseback was dangerous and exciting. Fat buffalo cow was the choice meat. Women preserved the meat by making jerky and pemmican. They made pemmican of dried and pulverized meat mixed with marrow bone grease and oil. Wild berries gave it flavor, the ascorbic acid in the fruit acted as a preservative. Pemmican packed away in skin bags kept indefinitely. The food value, one pound of pemmican equal ten pounds of fresh meat. This staple sustained the tribes through many long winters, when fresh meat was unavailable. Indians used tanned ropes and rawhide for clothes as well as bedding tools and utensils. Buffalo figured prominently in religious practices and disputes over hunting ground caused inter-tribal conflicts. Following hwy 2 came across a rest area outside of Glasgow, Mt. Liquid Gold. Water is the blood of Montana. During the states early settlement the rivers provided transportation and trading routes. Later they sustained the growing of crops for ranchers and homesteaders, and they still provide Montana agricultural industry and tourism. The Milk River that perils hwy 2 from Glasgow to Hinsdale is one of the most important rivers in the north central part of the state. One of the earliest Milk River users was Augustin Armal who arrived about 1820. He worked at all the major American Fur Company boost on the Missouri River until 1850's. In 1855 he opened Hammell's House, the first trading post on the Milk River located about 7 miles southwest of here. Later comers to this region raised mostly cattle, sheep, and wheat. They needed water on more of the land than was blessed with. Today you can see the irrigation system along hwy 2. The Lower Milk River Valley Water User Association promoted the construction of the Vandalia Dam and Canal in the early 1900's. Following hwy 2 west outside the town of Saco an historical marker, Cree Crossing, the Missouri River once flowed through this valley as it made its way northeasterly to Hudson Bay. A gigantic ice stem diverted the Missouri to its current channel about 15,000 years ago. The Milk River occupies the old channel and flows through a valley choked with glacier debris. The river is as crooked as a dog's hind leg and at certain times of the year may appear to be somewhat trivial and even dusty. But during the spring thaws it gets right down to business and runs the bank full. One of the best fords across river in this part of Montana lies just northeast of here. For thousand of years the crossing was used by the Indians to reach the buffalo range to the south. Although other tribes used the ford it became known as Cree Crossing. Archaeological evidence indicates people have been using it for at least 5,000 years. They left evidence of their presence in abandoned campsites and petrogoyphs are into the boulders half hazardly strewn about the area.
This is Wednesday, Sept. 10th, we spent the night in Malta, Mt. heading west on hwy 2 ended up in Chinook Mt. with a day of partial rain but we are still heading west.
This is Thursday, Sept. 11th, we spent the night in Chinook, Mt. just leaving town there is an historical point. The Battle of Bears Paw. This battle was fought September 30th through October 5th, 1877 on Snake Creek about 20 miles south near the Bears Paw Mountains where after a 5 day siege Chief Joseph one of five remaining leaders surrendered to Col. Nelson Miles of the U.S. Army. The usual fort had methods of the whites which have deprived these Indians of their hereditary lands caused Joseph and six other primary chiefs to lead their people on a torturous 2000 march from their home to evade U.S.troops and to gain sanctuary in Canada. The great Indian Generals fought against fearful odds. They and their warriors could have escaped by abandoning the women and children. They refused to do this. Joseph's courage and care for his people were admired by Miles with promise and safe return to Idaho. One of the blackest records in our dealings with the Indians was the governments repudiation of this promise and the subsequent treatment recorded Joseph and his followers. Traveling west on hwy 2 came to the town of Havre, Mt. an historical point. Cow Punchers, Miners, and Soldiers are tolerable virile persons as a rule. When they went through town in the frontier days seeking surcease from vocational cares and solace in a cup that cheers, it was just as well for the urbanites to either brace themselves or take to cover. The citizens of any town willing and able to be host to the above combinations diamonds in the rough had to be quick on the draw and use to inhaling powder smoke. Havre came into existence as a division point when the great northern railroad was built and purveyed past time to cowboys and miners on the side. It is hard to believe now but as a frontier camp that was wild and hard to curry. Before reaching the town of Chester is an historic point. The Sweet Grass Hills. The Sweet Grass Hills possessed special significance to the Blackfeet Indians and other tribes in the Northern Great Plains. According to legend the creator Napi dashed in the hills in the dim past out of rocks left over from the formation of the Rocky Mountains. Napi liked his creation so much the hills became a favorite resting place. Located in the heart of the fertile hunting ground served as a vantage point for game and as a look out for enemies trespassing in Blackfeet territory. Because of their isolation in the connection of the creation of the earth has deep significance to the Blackfeet as a spiritual refuge for teenage boys on their vision quest to bring them into adulthood. Many of the Blackfeet traditions still take place in and around the hills.
This is Friday, Sept. 12th, spent the night in Chester, Mt. the hill entering Chester I was able to see a few peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Still heading west on hwy 2, the Rocky Mountains are coming into view a little more, also there is an historic point just outside of Shelby, Mt. The Baker Massacre. On January 23, 1870 soldiers commended by a Col. Eugene Baker killed 173 Blackfeet Indians, in a surprised attack on Heavy Runner's camp near here on the Marias River. The strike was in retaliation of the killing of Malcolm Clarke at his ranch near Helena in 1869. Heavy Runner had no quarrel with the U. S. Army. His people did not participate in Clarke's killing. Waving his good conduct papers and medals Heavy Runner was the first casualty of the Baker Massacre on a cold January morning. With most of the men away hunting in the Sweet Grass Hills the soldiers fired into the lodges while the women, children, and elderly slept. The soldiers took more than 100 prisoners, but once when they realized they were infected with smallpox released them with no food, clothing, or shelter in subzero weather. Many refugees froze or starved to death seeking shelter in nearby camps at Fort Benton. Ironically the soldiers were in pursuit of a house and led by Mountain Chief who was camped several miles downstream at the time of the attack. The Baker Massacre profoundly impacted the Blackfeet people and is very much alive in tribal memory.
This is Sunday, Sept.14th, we spent the night in Cut Bank, Mt. took a picture of the Penquin when I came into town. They claim they are the coldest place in the U.S. We took Saturday off from riding, but now heading west on hwy 2 I am now approaching the base of the Rocky Mountains where I have come across a herd of Bison off the side of the road, took a picture, also today helped a horse get back into his area, he was wondering along the side of the road. I am looking at the majestic Rocky Mountains a short distance from Glacier National Park which is our destination here for the next couple of days. I have reached the Marias Pass the continental divide, elevation 5,216 ft. this is the second time on my trip I have crossed the continental divide and heading west still on hwy 2 and bordering the Glacier National Park. I have passed my 9,000 mile mark so I am on the 4th quarter of the trip. On the south side there is a rest area, monumental area, at the summit, which says Welcome To Memorial Square at Marias Pass. This site at the present location was constructed in 1989 to facility public safety and recreation. The name Marias was first mentioned by Capt. Merieether Lewis from the Lewis and Clark expedition in his diary of 1805. He believed he named the Marias River after his cousin Maria Wood. Head waters of the Marias River on the east side of the pass, where the continental divide was later identified as Marias. At one time Marias Pass was owned by the Blackfeet Indian Nation as Backbone Pass. Salish and Kootenai Indians used the pass to cross the mountains to the plains to hunt bison. The pass has also been referred to as the Theodore Roosevelt Pass. This 5,216 foot pass is the lowest crossing on the continental divide in Montana. Water flowing west from the continental divide flows to the Pacific Ocean, flowing east eventually ends in the Atlantic Ocean. Monument Square is located on the continental divide which is also the boundary between the flathead and Lewis and Clark National Forest.
This is Monday, Sept. 15th, we spent the night in Glacier Meadows RV Park about 6 miles west of the continental divide. Today heading west past West Glacier entrance. Came across an historical point. Bad Rock Canyon, the flathead river enters the valley through Bad Rock Canyon, old timers of their aver that a Blackfeet war party from the plains serged over the divide years ago seeding with ambition to corral a choice assortment of cayuses, and maybe a scalp or two from the unsuspecting flat heads. They came with stilth and breezed out with haste and horses. This foray took the home folks from the Klod. They lined out on the trail of those vanishing intruders determined to reclaim mounts in their honor. The departing Blackfeet had antisipated some such caper, so cunning and agile as squirrals, they took to a projecting rib on the canyon wall and waited for the irate oncomers. It developed into quite a disburance. Many warrior joined his fathers in the grave beyond that day. Sorrowful relatives there after referred to that ill omened citadel as Bad Rock.
This is Tuesday, Sept. 16th, this is a no ride day. We will be spending the day exploring Glacier National Park here in the Rocky Mountains in the western part of Montana.
This is Wednesday, Sept. 17th, it is my mom's birthday, happy birthday mom. She is an inspiration to all of us and sometimes have trouble trying to keep up with her for all the things she does. Today we are leaving the Kelispell area, heading west on hwy 2 and ending up in the town of Libby Montana for the night.
This is Thursday, Sept. 18th, we are still on hwy 2 following the river and came across an historical point. Kootenai River. The river is named for the Kootenai tribe that lived and hunted in this part of Montana and adjoining territory in Idaho and Canada. They were settled south of Flathead Lake in 1855 with the Salish on the flathead reservation. They were friendly with their neighboring mountain tribes but suffered frequently from their incursions of the bitter enemies of the Blackfeet. Came across the continental divide when they were horse stealing and scalp expeditions. First white men in here were trappers and traders for British Fur Companies as early as 1809. The placer discoveries were made in mining operations commenced about 60 years later. Traveling on I have passed from Montana into Idaho. We have traveled over 660 miles of hwy 2 in Montana and we are now entering Idaho.
This is Friday, Sept. 19th, continuing on we have passed Bonner Ferry. A couple of historical points. Glacier Lakes. Moving from the north down this valley the edge of the continental ice sheets blocked rivers and formed glacial lakes. Then as the ice gradually melted a lake rose here behind a receding ice dam and extended up Kootenai Valley into Canada. Until the ice disappeared about 10,000 years ago this lake drained through the valley to the south. Then Kootenai River cut down the lake bottom exposing the small tree covered granite hill in the valley. Lakes Coeur de Alene and Pend de Oreille, due south are remnants of this glacial action. Another historical point here is, Wild Horse Trail. Thousand of eager miners came by here in an 1864-65 gold rush to Wild Horse. Parts of their pack trails still can be seen. An extension of North Idaho's earlier gold excitements Wild Horse was served by pack trains that bought supplies from Columbia River steamboats and wagon roads that connected with this trail. Some packers used camel trains outside of this forest wilderness. Outside of Sand Point, Idaho hwy 2 heading west came across another historical point. Scneacquoteen. Long before white men discovered this river Indians used to camp here at this important early crossing. White fur traders, surveyors, and miners followed the old Indian trail, that forded the river here at Scneacquoteen. A kalispell word meaning crossing. During the Kootenai gold rush of 1864 a wagon road came from Walla Walla to a ferry here. The Wild Horse Trail a packed route planned on north of the Kootenai mines in British Columbia.
This is Saturday, Sept 20th, we spent the night Laclede, Idaho now heading west on hwy 2 we are crossing from Idaho into the state of Washington.
This is Sunday, Sept. 21st, we spent the night just north of Spokane still traveling on hwy 2 west through Spokane and it is a rainy day. We are stopping for the night in Davenport Washington.
This is Monday, Sept. 22nd, it is windy but make it to Coulee City, Washington where we spent the night.
This is Tuesday, Sept. 23rd, still on hwy 2 west we are climbing out of the area where they have a reservoir, a great picturesque area. Have been climbing and now I can see the Cascades Mountains which is another range of mountains we have to cross which we will be starting into tomorrow before we can reach the Pacific Ocean. It has been a long time since we have seen one of the oceans.
This is Wednesday, Sept. 24th, heading west on hwy 2, today we have traveled through the Cascades and gone through Stevens Pass with elevation just over 4,000, it wasn't too bad. On the other side there is a lot of moss growing on trees, bridges, and whatever even going down the highway it is growing on the edge of the road. I take it there must be quite a bit of rain in this part of the country, as it sprinkles on me this moment.
This is Thursday, Sept. 25th, we spent the night in Startup, Washington. We are now in Everett, Washington where we will spend an extra day to visit the Seattle area. This evening going to meet some friends, Dwayne and Sheila Sales that we know from the Las Vegas area.
Today is Friday, Sept. 26th, this is a day off, am getting a bike tune-up done. Spent the day in Seattle, did the Underground Tour, which was very interesting and also visited the Space Needle. Good view of the whole area, the weather was cooperative so you could actually see the area.
This is Saturday, Sept. 27th, we left Everett, Washington and took a ferry over to Kingston, connecting with hwy 104 which then connected to hwy 101. Coming across here there is a Heritage Marker, just after the Discovery Bay area. To Commemorate The Exploration of the Waters of the Pacific Northwest by Capt. George Vancouver. His first camp was on the beach at the mouth of of this stream, May 2nd 1792. Heading west on hwy 101 came across another marker here. Discovery Bay. On May 2nd 1792 the intrepid English explorer, Capt. George Vancouver in search of a northwest passage sailed his sloop, Discovery, and the armed tender chatham down the Strait of Juan De Fuca and entered this sheltered harbor. This bay Vancouver named Fort Discovery for his ship, and the small island guarding the entrance he appropriately called Protection Island. While at anchor here Vancouver set out in smaller boats for further exploration of this vicinity and discovered the nearby harbor of Port Townsend, so named by him for the Marquis of Tounshend.
This is Sunday, Sept. 28th, we spent the night in Port Angeles, this morning we are still following hwy 101 and just before we split to hwy 112 there is an historical point. Juan De Fuca. According to a 17th century account, Apostolos Valerianos discovered a waterway through the northwest corner of North America in 1592. A Northwest Passage. He reputedly sailed for the Spanish under the name of Juan De Fuca. For a century and a half no one tested the claim, finally in the late 18th century explorers of many nations sailed their tallest ships to the pacific northwest to charge claim and trade. In 1787 Charles William Barkley, an Englishman, commanding the Imperial Eagle and seeking sea otter pelts from Indian people, cited a major inlet at 48 degrees claiming its north latitude. He honored the perhaps imaginary ancient mariner by giving De Fuca's name to the strait. From 1790 to 1792 the Spanish chartered the strait and met his residence the Nakah and Klallam tribes. George Vancouver included a title Suppose Strait of Juan De Fuca on his charts in which were published in London in 1898 and widely distributed. We have traveled today and made it to the northwest point of the United States, Neah Bay, in Cape Flattery area. We have buried our plaque just prior to the entrance of the Indian reservation which makes our third plaque. We also are enjoying the sites of two whales. We have reached Washington, 10,000 miles, and we are now turned and heading south, down the coast of the Pacific Ocean.