Friday, July 19, 2013

St.Ignatius - Montana

I left Great Falls at 5:45 AM. The first few hours I was almost alone on highway 200. In Lincoln I experienced fog. I did not see much of the town, only the yellow center line and the white outside line of the road.
On highway 93 I had to slow down in several areas because signs were posted, telling that fire crews were in the area. I could see the helicopters on the ground and many small tents.
I arrived at St. Ignatius Good Old Days Park at 10:00 AM. 

We are parked in a cow pasture next to the park. The view from the front window is beautiful. The mountains are in a haze from the forest fires in the area.

In the back of the motorhome is a noisy, fast running creek. In the bend the creek wore down the soil. The fence posts are hanging in the air. 

St. Ignatius Church is only a few minutes from the park. A few years ago I visited the church when I came back from the Canadian Rockies. The paintings on the wall and ceiling were done by the mission cook. He did a wonderful job. 

Tomorrow the town celebrates Good Ol’ Days in the park.

Today it was hot again. Some people left early for our next stop. Sharon and Dick are with us now.
When it cooled off I fixed the night stand drawer. My big 12 volt fan stopped working when I needed it most. I took it apart and found out that a wire broke from the switch. If somebody in the group has a soldering iron I will be able to fix it now. Otherwise I have to wait until I find a Harbor Freight store and buy a cheap one. That fan is big and quiet and I do not have to use the inverter.

After Hugs and Mugs I fixed the fan. Gene has a soldering iron. Then I drove to Polson. I stopped at the Flathead Lake Overlook. 

Because of the Cherry Festival the traffic in town was atrocious. I followed the sign to a cherry orchard. When I asked for a pound of cherries I got the evil eye. They sell in large quantities. I bought two pounds. The cherries were all ripe and the same dark color. They are stored in large coolers. On the way out I stopped at McDonald and had a chicken wrap and did my E mail. Then I drove to the National Bison Range. 

One herd was not very far from the Visitor Center. 

Bison have the right of way. Nobody will argue with those large beasts. 

Back at the camping area it was time to cool off in the creek. The bottom of the body gets ice cold and the rest is cooled off. 

After the 5:00 PM circle meeting we went to the Good Ol’ Days BBQ.

They served sliced beef, hamburgers, and hot dogs. The sliced beef was very good. 

Most of the WINs came to support the St. Ignatius Chamber of Commerce. This is their only campaign to make money for good causes. 

In the morning I had gone to the General Store. It is owned by Amish people. In this region they do not farm, they own businesses. While enjoying my giant one scoop huckleberry ice cream, and one scoop is gigantic, more like three scoops, I noticed a little person on a big fork lift coming around the corner. It was not a regular fork lift. This one had the forks in the front and equipment in the back. The vehicle went to the loading dock of the building and picked up a skid with a large box on it. From the ground to the shipping dock it was about six feet. To align up the forks with the skid the person had to stand up to see what he was doing, because he was too short. It took a while to do this. When the task was completed I walked over to check out what was going on. The operator of this machinery was a small boy. He told me that he is nine years old. It is the short boy in the picture. He came with some other Amish children to walk around the park. They did not go on the rides. While I was watching him, back at the store, he was moving water melons from the warehouse to the front of the store. 

After the BBQ a four piece band played music to dance to. Some of us went. At 10:30 the fireworks started. We were worried that the grass in our camping area would catch fire. Everything turned out fine on our side. A small fire was started next to the area where the fireworks took off.

After Hugs and Mugs we went for breakfast to the Senior Center. For $ 5.00 we got pancakes, eggs to order, sausage links, and juice or coffee. Phil handed a check for $ 515.00 to the person in charge. This was our donation for parking at the pasture next to the park. Each rig donated $ 5.00 per day.

Some of us went then to the American Kennel Club Field Trials. There were 170 dogs competing. 150 of them were black Labradors. The dogs were kept behind a blind so they could not see what the dog ahead was doing. Then the dog was getting ready. He heard a shot and saw a man in the distance throw a duck to a place. This was not the duck the dog had to retrieve, it was used to confuse him. The trainer knew the location of the duck to be retrieved and had to direct his dog by whistle and hand signal to the actual duck. 

The dog took off in a straight direction. To make it more difficult the dog had to go through water. When the dog did wander off the correct direction the trainer blew his whistle. The dog would sit and wait for the hand signal and go in this direction. When the dog came close to the wrong duck he wanted to follow the odor. The trainer had to make sure the dog did not bring back that duck. 

Those dogs are very smart and I was surprised how they followed orders. 

I believe this is not an inexpensive sport. The equipment and travel must cost a lot of money. 

At noon we were enjoying the parade. 

The high school reunion classes had their floats. 

There was Miss Montana who comes from St. Ignatius. Her sister lives in Hawaii and is Miss Hawaii. The two sisters have to compete for Miss America.

Businesses had their floats. 

We are in Indian country, actually on a reservation. An Indian family rode their horses.

The Shriners never miss a parade. 

At the end of the parade two fire trucks had a battle going. The people in the cross fire were screaming, but I think they enjoyed the cooling off. It was hot again today.

In the afternoon the kids had fun again. 

There was also a mud place were kids looked for colored golf balls and later had mud fights.

Grown ups played horse shoes. 

Today we could have been freeloaders. At the local, small airport they had a fly-in and free breakfast for the spectators and the pilots. I thought it would be the typical pancake and syrup meal. To my surprise they served pancakes, two slices of Canadian bacon and eggs. Most of us felt guilty and we put money in the donation box.

The airplanes were all small two and some four seater.

Lunchtime I spent at the McDonald in Ronan, another small town north of here. I had a large soft drink and did my computer stuff. When I came back to the camping area I sat in the water with Peggy and Marvin. We were reading our books and enjoyed the cold water.
At the 5:00 PM circle meeting, it was a small circle, only ten people are still here, Peggy announced that at the park they will have gospel music and serve hamburgers and hot dogs for one dollar. After the meeting most of us walked over and had dinner there. The food was good. Women from two churches had brought salads and desserts. We gave more than a dollar. After the entertainment we got ready for moving to our next stop.  

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