Journal of A New Nation's Journey West
 
August 10 - 27, 2005

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From Pat Normand: Sunday August 21 -- Day 12

Went for a walk after a later breakfast this a.m., having free time until 11. spotted some ground squirrels & decided to see how close I could get. At 11:15 we headed up to the Upper Portage Camp and White Bear Island overlook. Checked out the iron-frame boat that Lewis had brought all the way from Harper's ferry with him. several of our group re-enacted covering the boat with a some beaver skin (they used bear and elk). At the C.M. Russell Museum we had lunch in the Au Wah Cous (antelope) Room & while we ate Mike Lamphiere gave a presentation: "The Portage -- Grubs & Duds." Several of us tried on the "duds." It was a lot of fun - cameras were really flashing. From there we got a tour of the museum, a really interesting, informative tour. One picture alone sold at an auction for $1.6 million. Another one mentioned was one that he'd done for the elks Club. they were going to have to sell it, so they sold it for $250 per square inch & made $1.1 million & the museum has put everyone's name on a plaque below it. Our last stop of the day was the Ryan Dam at the first falls of 5. We went across te suspension bridge & climbed to the top of the island for a better view. fortunately for us there waqs water coming over the dam. Apparently that doesn't happen too often -- made for great photo ops. there were even some fish milling around for us. Back at the hotel & dinner. Unbenownst to our bus driver a party was planned for his -- birthday. Happy Birthday, John.ok

Respectfully submitted,
Pat Normand


Sign at the upper portage camp.

 

Many of our folks climbed the rocks to stand in the spot Lewis did 200 years ago, when he first viewed the Great Falls. Even with the modern dam enough water was flowing to make us agree this was a "sublimely grand spectacle"

 

The birthday boy, John Wilbur, with Anne Goldhahn Buchanan, the local coordinator who set up the birthday party. We got secrets (good things) from his sister in Independence, MO and read letters from her and from his best friend. To quote: "He is so well-versed in the history of Jackson Hole valley and Yellowstone National Park that the Historical Museum in Jackson has called on him many times to locate old military outposts, stage stops, and early settlements."

John has driven all across the country, and adds a great deal of knowledge to the interpretive program. He is always on the lookout for animals, and alerts us so we can see them.

We are truly blessed to have him as our Motor Coach Operator. Happy Birthday, John, and many more to come.

Tom Laidlaw

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