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Old 05-13-2005, 09:05 AM   #29
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I bet that there will be many different shades of brown. The subtleties make all the difference in the world I bet. Big Grin </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

True! But it's hard to see them with all that perspiration dripping into your eyes...

I'm sure you will have a great time.... and its a good chance to experience how great that basement A/C works in high, high heat!
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Old 05-13-2005, 06:40 PM   #30
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Mike/Colleen: If I read the one post correctly, you may be back up in South Dakota before returning to the east. If so, e-mail me direct at JGehlen@direcway.com. We will be workamping here in Custer, SD until after Labor Day.
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Old 05-13-2005, 10:01 PM   #31
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Glacier National Park Entrance, West Glacier, MT

Colleen, Roxy and I set off this morning bright and early to go and see one of the best national wonders in the country, Glacier National Park. We had planned for a round trip of some 412 miles which would have had us depart Missoula north on Route 93 to Route 2 and on into the park. It took all of about 2 hours to get to the Apgar Visitor's Center at the West Glacier entrance to the park.


McDonald Creek and view of Heaven's Peak 8987 feet

Once in the park we were disappointed to find out that the Going-To-The-Sun-Road was only open for 14 miles since Logan Pass was still snowed in by at least 10 feet of snow. We made it as far as Avalanche Creek before we were obliged to turn around. Although our trip was cut short we were indeed not disappointed. We felt privileged to have seen what we did while we were here.

Lake McDonald borders the western approaches to the Going-To-The-Sun-Road. From the southern shore line we viewed a panorama of geology too rich in peaks to list here however one prominent feature that caught my eye was the Little Matterhorn. Its features much resemble its famous Swiss relative as the peak and side walls were similarly cut. Back dropped by the blue sky, the peak was enveloped by a streaming cloud formation that was wind driven appearing much as if a billowing pennant was purposefully placed for our enjoyment.


View overlooking Lake McDonald and looking northward toward Straton Mountain 7750 ft., Mount Vaught 8850 ft. and Heaven's Peak 8987ft.

Lake McDonald is a cold lake fed by glacier melt and it's devoid of moss, plants and any other algae. The water is crystal clear on the shore and it's my understanding that even at a scoured depth of 3153 ft. the water remains crystal clear. An abundance of fish habit the lake and in the recent past other species were introduced to the lake that have just about all but displaced the native fish that were originally the habitants of the lake. Lesson learned is that man often mistakes when trying to change the natural way things are. The lake lies as it was created by a 2 mile high ice sheet during the last ice age and the southern shore of the lake was the furthest point that the glacier advanced.


Going-To-The-Sun-Road over shadowed by Heaven's Peak 8987ft.

By the simple wave of His hand the majesty of this place brings to our simple existence such an admiration for the creative forces that have provided this terrestrial palace for the countless of generations that have preceded us and to those that will yet look up in wonderment at His works.

Make it a point at some point in your life here on earth to pilgrimage to the wonders of the Glacier National Park. In closing the best places on earth are right here in the good ol' U S of A.

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Old 05-14-2005, 04:41 AM   #32
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I really enjoy your narrative of your trip and the photos are magnificent. What is your internet connection? I'm impressed that you can get internet access at such out-of-the-way places.
Keep up the good work; it's almost as though we are traveling with you.
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Old 05-14-2005, 06:32 AM   #33
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Doggievet:
I'm impressed that you can get Internet access at such out-of-the-way places. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Thank you Annie, it's my pleasure in fact I should have started this story line a lot sooner but I wasn't sure how it would be received.

My Internet connectivity device is a Verizon V620 WWAN Wireless Air Card. As you can see I uploaded all the pictures that you see in my article with the V620 and these pictures were transmitted to the photo website in their native 5 MPX format. No easy feat for a dial-up connection but the V620 negotiates a good connection routinely faster than dial-up and in over 2 dozen locations I can actually negotiate a broadband connection of some 2 MBS.

While we were traveling on I-90 west and Colleen sent a birthday card to our sister-in-law while traveling at 55 mph. A feat that could be achievable with a conventional dial-up connection it would however need a rather long telephone cord.

Have a great day. If I have the time my next project should be Rushmore, Crazy Horse and the surrounding area.
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:31 AM   #34
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WOW, Mike those are some spectacular pictures! Keep them coming and travel Safe. ED
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Old 05-14-2005, 02:19 PM   #35
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Driver,

Great coverage of your trip. If you go back through Bozeman, there is a hot springs bath right next to the KOA.
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:27 PM   #36
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Now, DriVer, you are beginning to appreciate what we have always known. The West is GREAT! Road construction is a sign of spring! And the country you have passed thorugh is some of the best in the nation, glad you have been able to share your pics and stories as you go.
Enjoy the ride!
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Old 05-16-2005, 07:37 AM   #37
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Mike, those pictures bring back memories. I've gotta believe that when the good Lord made the Garden of Eden he had to have patterned it after Glacier. Too bad you were too early to drive Going to the Sun. We were there on June 26th one year and it was closed. They had flooded creeks on the St. Mary side and had to use choppers to evacuate the campers from the campground inside the park.

Still, even when the weather goes wrong, the mountains are still beautiful and majestic.

Arrrgh - Now that I've seen these pictures I wanna go back there too. Summer is too short and work is too long to fit everything in and still pay the bills.
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Old 05-19-2005, 03:49 PM   #38
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Well, it has been four days since an update. I wonder if he got ran over by a buffalo?
Or maybe he filled the tank of tht thing and really got a shock!

Mike, hoping you are enjoying yourself.

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Old 05-19-2005, 06:43 PM   #39
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DriVer is fine. We just finished a one hour session in the WCMC chatroom and he promises to resume this travelogue shortly. ED
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Old 05-20-2005, 10:29 AM   #40
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On May 15th we set east out from Missoula on the I-90 toward Homestake Pass. The grade was marked as being 11 miles long and 6% as we began our ascent. What we observed on our GPS is that we achieved an altitude of 6260, and we were running 4000 rpm at 45 mph. Once we crested the pass we happened to look up and saw a small sign stating, "Continental Divide" and observing an elevation of 6363 feet I said "It's all downhill from here!" We missed that sign coming Westbound probably obscured by the snow storm.

When we began our run up the grade I knocked off the OD switch and maintained the 62 mph speed that I was making however that soon slowed down to 45 mph with a steady climbing rate. Pedal to the metal at this point, I let the computer do its thing and we continued climbing. Toward the top of the grade the rpm increased to 4200 then 4400 and finally 4500 and she shifted up to 4th gear. At the shift point I was running close to 50 to 55 by this time and the rpm decreased to 3000 to 3200. Right after the shift the cooling fans kicked in and cycled on for a brief period and then went off.

The top of this grade isn't that long and we began our decent. Manually selecting 3rd gear, the motorhome descended the grade at about 55 mph slightly increasing at times to speeds close to 60 however an infrequent jab on the brakes brought the speedometer down quickly. Rolling out toward the bottom of the grade, I enabled the OD, shifted up to 4th and resumed cruise at 65 mph. At 65 to 66 mph I turn about 2400 rpm.

Being mindful of weight, we did not fill up before leaving Missoula so we negotiated the climb with the fuel gauge in between and of a tank. Once we arrived in Bozeman we stopped at the Pilot and filled up with 88 octane. Knowing your weight profile and the challenges ahead you can make good decisions about your weights. In this case going up and over with low fuel no doubt helped. We rolled into Hardin KOA at about 2:30pm ending our travels for the day.

When we first came out this way we rolled by the Little Bighorn Battleground and although we didn't have time to stop going westbound no sooner than I hooked up the rig for our overnight, I unhitched the Vue, patted the wife on her head, kissed the dog and it was off down the road I went. The Little Bighorn Battlefield is located on the Crow Indian Reservation off exit 510 between Garryowen and Crow Agency, MT.


Gateway To History

One of the questions that was never clear in my mind was how did the battlefield get its name, Little Bighorn. It's actually named after the river that flows to the west of the battleground in turn this river flows into the Bighorn River. The Little Bighorn flows north from Northeast Wyoming.

I arrived at the battlefield and paid my admission fee at the gate and proceeded up to the parking area. The very first thing that you notice there is that the grounds are used as a National Cemetery that has interred veterans from as far back at the battle that occurred there through the Korean war. I briefly visited the cemetery and remarkably there was a kiosk that has an audio presentation about the people that are buried here. Most all are from Montana as the headstones are engraved and I also saw where numerous wives were also buried here. Engraved on a tablet were these words, "The muffled drums sad roll has beat, the soldier's last tattoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that Brave and Fallen few."


Little Bighorn National Cemetery

The visitor's center at the battleground is a modern masonry building that houses more things to sell than things to see. On display were some of the personal effects of Custer, artwork and dioramas of the battle. The Native Americans were equally represented most notably was a warrior in full dress with a "new" repeating rifle. There was a bench to sit on and view a DVD movie about the battle and the events preceding it and it was very informative. Period firearms were on display several being hand guns that were similar to the ones used during the battle. Many artifacts that had been unearthed subsequent to a wildfire some years ago were also on display. Included were pictures of shallow graves containing bones, quite a few soldiers were buried where they fell.


Last Stand Hill

Soldiers, civilians and Indian Scouts that fell in the battle were eventually exhumed and are now buried in a plot of land perhaps some 30 x 30 feet in a mass grave with a monument listing the names of the dead from Custer's command. The monument is placed on the summit of Last Stand Hill The bones of the horses littered the battlefield as of 1879 on Last Stand Hill and were later collected and reburied in 1881 under a marker to the east from the summit monument.

Standing practically alone from the rest of the troops that fell on Last Stand Hill is the marker from GA Custer. This marker is distinguished by a black background with raised stone lettering that states, Lt. Col G.A. Custer, 7th US Cavalry, Fell here, June 25, 1876. Artwork from the period shows Custer firing his sidearm while standing in his buckskins and directing his men. Once the fighting had begun on Last Stand Hill in was over in 2 hours.


Bvt Maj Gen George Armstrong Custer Fell Here June 25, 1876

So exactly what started this battle and what went wrong? Major Reno commanding a squadron of Custer's men that numbered approximately 175 men attacked and commenced firing on a Sioux encampment of some 15000 Sioux people. The Sioux and Cheyenne Indians under the command of Chief Sitting Bull began returning fire and gave chase to the cavalry. As the cavalry men fled across the Little Bighorn River the operation quickly went from offensive to defensive operations their cause was quickly lost. Subsequent to the Indians giving chase a pincer movement was tightened against the Cavalry soldiers in the field and the battle was quickly over. The new repeating arms that the Indians had multiplied their force effectiveness. Thousands of arrows filled the air from the warriors that were gathered on the western banks of the Little Bighorn River, the largest gathering of the Indian Nations up until that time.


Sacred Native American Shrine Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

What is known about this battle is that in about 2 hours, 2 things happened, the total defeat of the 7th US Cavalry in action and the end of a two-thousand year old civilization as it was known. Both sides fought bravely and you can tell immediately and appreciate the respect and admiration that is given to both sides when you visit this National Monument.
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Old 05-20-2005, 05:10 PM   #41
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Hi Mike Just happened to check this thread and really enjoyed the history lesson. I didnt realize you were going on the trip--have not had much time to come to the site due to the Mothers Day hectic times (for those not knowing us-we own a florist shop in Clearwater Fl) We are now waiting to see what model changes there are for 2006 and will be getting our new coach once we can decide !! Have a safe trip and keep the info coming.
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Old 05-20-2005, 07:30 PM   #42
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It's a good thing that you started posting again.
I was ready to put out an "Amber Alert" on you!
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