Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Cowboy Artist

This is at least our 4th visit to Great Falls, Montana.  This is the last stop in the US before heading into Canada.  We stayed here on both trips to Alaska, 2004 and 2012, as well as 2016 when we weren't headed to Alaska or even Canada. And we aren't headed there now.  But it is a good spot when traveling from Washington and Oregon toward Wyoming and Colorado.  We truly enjoy the art of Charles M. Russell and we came so we could attend a museum of his art here.  There is so much to see in the museum, we took advantage of an entry fee that is good for 2 days and we went there yesterday and today.

This bronze showing Russell is displayed on the grounds just outside the museum.

This sculpture part of any exhibit about the buffalo and it's importance to the early western experience and something Russell painted images from throughout his career.  This sculpture is not one he did.  It depicts Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump.  The local Native Americans and later European buffalo hunters would drive a herd of buffalo to a cliff and over the edge.  Other members of the party would kill the stunned buffalo at the base of the cliff.  In 2004 we visited a site explaining this in Canada.


This painting shows Indians hunting buffalo.

This is one of Russell's paintings of mountain sheep.

An early sketch of a woman deer hunter.

This painting shows Royal Canadian Mounted Police arresting cattle rustlers.  Indian tribes, European hunters and the buffalo often roamed on both sides of the US-Canada border.

A black and white image of an Indian chief.

One of Russell's paintings of the bad guys being shot by either the law or vigilantes.

A Russell bronze of bronc busting.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Trail Walking in Missoula

While we were parked in Missoula we took two really good walks along two of the trails in the town's extensive network.

The Bitterroot Trail started in town.

First we passed by a beautiful mural on the side of a building.

This interesting shelter caught our attention.  It is a creative way to used unmatched boards.

 These signs were posted along part of the trail and used "Hal's Words."  Hal Fraser was an active member of the community and his love of riverfront strolls are part of  the inspiration for this trail. This one says "commitment."  Others included perseverance, patience, vision, enthusiasm, selfless and courage.

The trail crossed the river
and followed it

The next day we walked on The Milwaukee Road Path which follows the old bed of the train's route through town.  The Milwaukee Road was one part of the Great Northern Railroad which brought rail transportation all  across the northern tier of the U.S.

There were old railroad lights along the trail.

It took us along the river and next to the forest and mountains around Missoula.

We saw these beautiful flowers on the side of the trail.

It was very easy to get our daily 10,000 steps in Missoula, not to the mention  getting a good view of the area's beauty.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Finding and Enjoying the Snake

From Portland, we traveled on east to Kennewick, Washington, then Clarkston at Hells Canyon Snake River.  On our way we drove through beautiful country.

A painted barn

A fence decorated with wheels

A blooming field of canola

And lots of grain elevators--at least that is what they are called in our part of the country.

And finally, the Snake River, which provides the border between Washington and Idaho, at least in this area.

We enjoyed this view out the front door side of our trailer.  In the river you can see a barge being pushed on the river.  The Snake begins in Wyoming and flows eventually into the Columbia River.

This dugout canoe was along the river's edge.

We could watch this riverboat.  If you look closely, you can see small boats between the shore and the large white boat.  We watched them speed by us then discovered they were getting ready to take riverboat passengers on a tour of Hells Canyon--a stretch of white water near Clarkston.

One day we drove into town and walked along a riverside trail.  We saw the riverboat coming in.

The hills across the river were brown.

This is a view of our trail.  It was very well maintained.

Here is a flock of Canada geese along the trail.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Multnomah Falls

We drove to Portland on Father's Day.  The following day, we visited the Rose City Cemetery where two of my great grandparents are buried. A great uncle is also there.

The next day we took a spectacular hike on the trail to the top of Multnomah Falls above the Columbia River.  We have been in this area before but never stopped to see any of the scenic falls in the Columbia River Gorge.

This was our first view of the falls.  Notice that there are no people visible in front of us.

As we got closer, there were a few visitors.  The falls are high and stunning. The upper falls are 542 feet long; the lower falls descend 69 feet.

As you hike to the top, there is a bridge that crosses between the upper and lower falls.

Here is the upper falls.

And the lower falls.

In 2017 a massive wildfire, named the Eagle Creek fire, raged in the forest surround Multnomah Falls.  As we hike, we could see evidence of the fire.

The falls are a major tourist attraction.  In this photo you can see two parking lots for visitors, the closer lot is off of Historic Highway 30, the distant one off I-84.

As we came down the trail we encountered crowds of visitors.  We had started our hike up about 9 am.  This is what we saw about an hour later.

As we traveled around Oregon we saw lots of red-leafed plants.  They provide a good contrast to the lush green foliage in the area.

We were glad we took the time to enjoy the Columbia River Gorge. We even stopped to see another falls, Latourell Falls.

Vista House at Crown Point sits at a location with great views of the river gorge.

This is what we saw from the view point.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Old Oregon Towns

We were both born and raised in Colorado, which became a state in 1876.  It has been rather amazing to discover how old Oregon is.  It become a state in 1859.  Obviously, the Oregon trail migration came before the Colorado gold rush.    We have been in Astoria and Portland  and earlier in Salem here in Oregon.

Salem was organized in 1842 and became the capital city of the Territory in 1851.  Astoria was founded in 1811 and became the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.  Portland was founded in 1843.

We enjoyed walking around downtown Astoria

Astoria is a fishing port and there were lots of fishing boats in the harbor.

Plants will grow just about anywhere in this climate.  These pilings along the harbor were sprouting foliage.  We saw this everywhere.

As we walked around Portland, we saw a number of bronze statues.  We were always sure who they depicted but we enjoyed them.

Look at this elk up on a roof.

A dolphin, I guess.

We spotted these men near our RV park.  They inspired and led the construction of the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway.

These old cities are attractive and very interesting.