Journal of A New Nation's Journey West
 
June 12 - 29, 2002

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Thursday June 20, 2002:  Medora, ND - Billings, MT

After waking often during the night to the sound of train whistles, we proceeded on from Medora, ND to Billings, MT. Before our "keelboat on wheels" embarked Randy Hatzenbuhler, President of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, talked to us about the foundation and its volunteer program. (Interested people can call his wife, Laurie, at 1-800-medora-1)

Early in the day, after sharing our thoughts for the day, we all adopted our Indian Names (Do we have to learn all those, too?) Upon entering Montana we soon connected with the Yellowstone River and followed it all the way to Billings. Along the way we saw pronghorn antelopes, elk, cattle, horses, and sheep. the countryside was described with mesas, buttes, and pinnacles. their stone color gradually turned from brown tones to yellow as we moved up the Yellowstone River. ok

by George and Joanne Carr

Our lunch stop was at a beautiful riverside grove in Forsyth, MT. While picnicing a blue heron was spotted along gthe opposite bank. One member of our expedition identified 24 "natives" observing us. Tom gave them some beads and thanked them for letting us use their park. We proceeded on to:

Howard Boggess, a Crow Indian, greeted us with an insightful presentation of the Crow Tribdes in Montana. This was followed by a climb of 294 steps to the top of Pompey's Pillar where we were greeeted by a magnificent view of the Yellowstone river for miles up and down stream, and the high bluffs that border the river. About halfway to the top we were able to see William Clark's name and date (July 25, 1806)  Clark himself scratched into the rock. On our ride to Billings, Howard continued telling us about the life, history, and religion of the Crows. His special insight.added a valuable chapter to our experience.

 

At the Sheraton our Elderhostel sponsor from Rocky Mountain College arranged a delicious, and much appreciated sit down steak dinner. , Held in a room on the 23rd floor with windows on three sides we could enjoy the stunning Montana natural features in a way that Lewis and Clark could not have imagined. 

After dinner we were treated to maybe our most enjoyable and informative presentation to date. Jeffrey Dietz, Chair of the Yellowstone County Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission and a retired teacher of 27 years, talked with us about Lewis and Clark in Montana, using a list of 16 trivia questions. His wealth of knowledge, his enthusiasm, his clear articulation, and his ability to draw us into his presentation made for a very short 1 1/2 hours.

We then proceeded on to bed.
George and Joanne Carr

Nature Notes

Patricia writes: As we entered Montana we saw several antelope. Meriwether Lewis wrote:

Sept. 14, 1804 [Lewis] – “This day Capt. Clark killed a male wild goat, so called – its weight 65 poundsEye deep sea green, large piercing and rather prominent, & at or near the root of the horn within 1-1/4 inches.” Clark adds more description including “its brains are on the back of its head.” (Moulton 3, 72)

 

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