Friday, July 25, 2014
SHORT STORIES --Part 5 --Road Adventures
UP THE BITTER ROOT VALLEY TO MISSOULA MONTANA .
Daybreak at the mountain pass that separates Idaho and Montana. We parked undisturbed at a ski resort parking lot.
My companion leads us to an emu ranch where a nice lady gave us a tour. Here is a male and female. The male makes a most unusual sound--with the depth of a kettle drum. When the fad of raising emus for profit first started a few years ago, a breeding pair sold for $45,000. One year later the price was $25,000. The next year $11.000. The next year $1.000. The next year they were given away free.
Apparently, it is a troublesome and even dangerous hobby.
The lady explained that raising Ostriches would be even more dangerous. They sometimes kill.
She sells eggs---this one is equivalent to a dozen chicken eggs.
My companion considered--then rejected the egg---opting instead for 2 pounds of emu meat and a $40 bottle of emu oil. (very refined and powerful stuff)
We rested for 2 days in this vacant lot of a small town. Lying on the ground was a part that I had been desperately needing for my truck---wow what serendipity.
Into Missoula, Montana, which straddles the Clark Fork --a very serious river--as you will see.
Its thrust is enough to create surf-worthy waves.
See those striations on that mountain? They were made about 10,000 years ago when an ice age glacier damned up this river creating a lake whose level kept on rising--up ,up, up---filling up giant lake Missoula--whose volume was greater than lake Erie and lake Huron combined. Altogether it contained 500 CUBIC MILES of water. AND THEN----AND THEN-- ONE DAY THE ICE DAM BROKE and 500 cubic miles of water rushed across southeast Washington in the greatest flood earth has ever seen.
I'm on my way to see what this surge of water did to the land. (Will show you later)
See this bike/pedestrian path? Missoula has them everywhere---on both sides of the river. Bikes are everywhere--it is a college town.
Locks attached to the bridge fencing. An imported European fad. Each lock has initials on it symbolizing that someone loves someone,
Here's something I bet you've never seen. A vending machine for bicycle parts. Sure enough you can buy a chain, an innertube, cables, gears--whatever out of that machine. And you can install them on that post apparatus--from which dangle the tools you might need. On the side of the vending machine is an air pressure hose. Neat!
And guess what else---a lovely carousel. I love them. Persuaded my companion to give it a whirl also.
And then it got hot---sooo we drove into the mountains for 2 days--camping on this dead end road next to Snow bowl ski lift.
Then we returned to Missoula and found this perfect spot to camp and watch the 4th of July fireworks.
Meet Joe and Tracy, who drove up out of the blue--and called me by name---said they have read my blog for years. Ahh friends--that strokes the ego--makes me appreciate the reach of an internet blog. They have an interesting business--- auctioning things--all sorts of things--estates, farm sales etc.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Sweet people---I hope I've suggested what it's like to drift across the nation with an open and curious mind and a cozy little mobile houselet . Add a bright and congenial companion and one's cup runneth over. Sadly, here is where we part ways--she has "promises to keep in the East" and I am drawn westward.