My Journey

ITTOG

Active member
Based on my own experience, Challis, Idaho is definitely the real deal in terms of individuals wearing hats and boots NOT being posers. You can find 'em on the Montana side of the Divide in Wisdom, Jackson, Wise River, and even in Dillon, too. Bozeman and Missoula, not so much.

Last time we drove our Superduty to MT, we stopped for coffee and baked goods at the "Wheat, Montana" mill/bakery/deli/coffeeshop at the junction of US-287 and I-90 near Three Forks, a little west of Bozeman. It was early on a Saturday morning and a young family parked their mud-covered Superduty beside ours. Out bounded 2 kids around 6 to 8 years of age, a boy and a girl, a Marlboro Man dad (only in his late 20s/early 30s) and his wife, who could have passed for a Paris runway model, only with no makeup and long,long blonde braids. All were lean, fit, and clad in Lee jeans, well-worn long-sleeved chambray shirts ,straw cowboy hats. and scuffed and muddy Western boots of the ranch worker variety. Dad's and Mom's had spurs. We figured they were headed to a local rodeo or maybe a 4-H gathering. Whatever their mission, they were the real deal, too.

Looking forward to seeing where you wander in Big Sky Country, Jerry.

Foy
Interesting, the description made it sound like they were trying so hard it could only be fake.

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Foy

Explorer
What the obviously genuine young ranching family was doing was stopping by the coffee shop/bakery for an early breakfast while enroute to a work exercise or ranching/farming related exercise. Locals favor Lee jeans and loose-fitting chambray shirts for comfort while in the saddle (the Lees) and protection from the sun (the lightweight chambray shirts.

Foy
 

Foy

Explorer
Workaday bumper spurs, guys, not ornamental or other long-shank spurs. Bumper spurs are a wavy steel wire stock which wraps around the boot heel and sticks out only a half-inch or so, and mostly on the inside of the heel. With only the non-wavy wire on the outside of the right boot, they're easy wear while driving. The bumper spurs were in fact part of the authentic impression. Jeeze.

Foy
 
Foy.....I have recently passed through some of the very cities that you mentioned in your initial post. God's country.....



Slowly.....very slowly moving north along Highway 93.....our next stop well worth recording was at the Gold Bug Hot Springs located just south of Salmon, Idaho. We departed the highway, drove a short distance past a few residential properties, and then the road came to an abrupt dead end. For me, that meant unhooking the Jeep, turning both vehicles around and rehooking up, and then parking along the roadway pointed toward our eventual exit. Not everyone is quite so respectful.....

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Unfortunately signs like the one shown above.....negative attitudes from locals towards visitors and travelers.....are becoming more of a norm than they are an exception. I've mentioned it before, and no doubt I'll mention it again.....things have really changed the past few years. Disrespect is expected.....respect is a fleeting way of life. For a quarter mile we hiked on an easement through this mans property.....

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The trail climbs from the valley floor and rises 1,375 feet to the hot springs. From above, looking back at the mans property, I saw a beautiful cabin built below.....perfectly kept.....I wished it were mine briefly.....then I remembered all the dirtbags that he must put up with.....I was then glad that I was a visitor.....a traveler.....

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The trail followed the creek up the mountain.....lots of wonderful waterfalls that stopped you in your tracts.....

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After two miles of hiking we reached the hot springs. The views up here were spectacular.....

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I had read that Spring is not the prime season for soaking in the Gold Bug Hot Springs due to the runoff of the snowmelt that mixes with the steaming hot waters. I found that to be true.....the water a bit cooler than what I would have wished for.....but it still felt really, really nice.....

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We enjoyed a few hours here.....we left no trace.....

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Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Jerry you had me confused with “signs like the one I posted above”. Then I read it again and realized you meant pictures of signs like I posted above. As I’ve said before I’ve seen spots trashed up but I’ve also seen them in fine shape. Maybe it was just after some caring individual or group cleaned it up. I believe the latter is a growing trend.


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ITTOG

Active member
Where was the letter stapled? Hopefully not on any of your property? It cracked me up when reading because I don't think I have ever heard/seen the word crick other than books from the 19th century and earlier. Made me laugh.

As usual, great pictures.
 

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Where was the letter stapled? Hopefully not on any of your property? It cracked me up when reading because I don't think I have ever heard/seen the word crick other than books from the 19th century and earlier. Made me laugh.

As usual, great pictures.
You don’t frequent all the fun places. Crick is still heard in redneck circles.


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Foy

Explorer
We had the great good fortune to visit Gold Bug in mid-July 2011 and that's where we first met our friends from Challis in person. A different couple owned the house pictured at that time but their frustration with the behavior of visitors was the same--8 or 9 on a scale of 10. The handwritten sign appears to have been stapled to a normal NF signboard at the trailhead which is beside the driveway to the irate owner's home.

Looking forward to following your entry to Montana from Salmon.

Foy
 
Ace.....yep, I edited that to make it a bit clearer.....

ITTOG.....thanks and I'm the same as you. I can't recall the last time I've seen creek written as "crick"......

Foy.....that's exactly right. It was posted on that board that the BLM had erected there.....




Back onto Highway 93 and once again driving north along the meanders of the Salmon River.....

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Just south of Salmon, Idaho we pulled into a quiet small BLM campground to have lunch.....we left here four days later.....

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As you know, I'm not big on campgrounds but Shoup Bridge Campground, for $2.50 per night, was a real bargain. It was a good place to pass the time.....to do nothing.....

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We were camped right on the shoreline of the Salmon River and right at Shoup Bridge.....

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The weather continued to be an issue with a mix of clear skies and downpours.....

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We walked whenever we could.....mostly on the backroads which were lightly traveled. This farm along the river was simply amazing.....

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The dogs wanted to swim but that river was flowing way too fast.....the snowmelt and the rains. I wanted to paddle but intermittent rains kept me off the river.....

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Someone had dropped off three domestic rabbits at the campground. I don't get it.....they were doomed.....

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We visited the town of Salmon a few times.....I liked it here but we finally we moved on.....as we always do.....
 
We continued north on Highway 93 and finally we once again entered into Montana at Lost Trail Pass (7,014').....

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It was hard to believe, this late in the season, how cold it was that day on top of that pass as intermittent cloud bursts of snow passed by. On top of the pass we turned right onto Highway 43 heading east now, briefly reentered Idaho, and then once again reentered Montana at Chief Joseph Pass (7,251'). Here we crossed the Continental Divide.....it felt good to be back in Montana.....as it always does when I come home.....

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We spent most of that day at Big Hole National Battlefield.....

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Since it's a part of the National Parks system the dogs weren't allowed on the trails.....

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So we broke our day up into three parts.....walking with the dogs along the roadways.....

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Walking all of the trails without the dogs.....

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And hanging out in the visitors center watching a great film and getting warm. Up high above the valley was the only Howitzer cannon that the cavalry was able to use against the Nez Perce people.....

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Along a mountainside we walked through an informal cemetery where cavalry soldiers were killed during the battle. There were still berms and indentations in the soil where the soldiers took cover while fighting the Nez Perze Indians who were camped below along the creekside. This monument stood to honor the fallen cavalry soldiers.....

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I found it odd the way a place like this can affect one's moods and thoughts. Of course it was educational but it's more than that. Just to be in a place where so many people were massacred has an effect on you.....at least on me it did.....

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Foy

Explorer
I first visited the Big Hole National Battlefield as a 23-year old college student in 1978. I returned with my bride just 4 years later, with her and our teenaged sons 18 years after that, and the wife and I visited the rider's camp at the beginning of the annual Chief Joseph Ride (coincidentally located about 10 miles up valley from the battlefield in that 2011 summer) 10 years after that. We visited the Big Hole Valley just last year, stopping at Miner Lakes and Twin Lakes and picking up some water and snacks in Wisdom. Every time I've been to the battlefield or passed close by I've had a powerful feeling of sadness about the events which took place there. I've told many that it's a place every American should see or at least be familiar with. Thanks for posting the pictures and for telling your own story of how the Big Hole National Battlefield affected you.

Foy
 

ITTOG

Active member
I can't believe it has been two years. It seems much more recent.

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ITTOG.....doesn't time just fly by.....

Foy.....I was reminded of last spring when I walked through the fields of Pennsylvania where Flight 93 had crashed during the 9/11 attack. It kind of gives you the same sick / empty feeling.....



We walked through the area where the Nez Perce had been camped when the cavalry attacked.....

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I liked the way that the park service had constructed the teepee frames to give one an idea of what their camp would have looked like.....

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Many of them had name plates installed nearby.....they indicated who would have lived where within their camp.....

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It was easy to see why this was such a great location for camp.....the area along the creek seemed to provide most all of the essentials for life.....

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As we were leaving the battlefield we passed this touring cyclist on the highway. As one who also toured on a bicycle, I would nearly always enjoy the rare occasion when someone stopped and offered me a drink or a snack, so I stopped and helped this guy out.....10 minutes later we were back on the road.....Michael, from the Netherlands, was thankful for the surprise of a water and a protein bar.....

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We continued driving west late that afternoon passing through small Montana towns such as Wisdom, Montana.....

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And to the south Jackson, Montana.....

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There's really no place on earth that I'd rather be.....I hope to take my last breath in Montana.....

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