Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day Four (Bear Paw Battlefield - Chinook)

Bear Paw Battlefield

I wake up around 7AM, and turn on the weather channel to find that the temperature is 27 degrees and sunny. After a so-so continental breakfast, I finished my blogging for the previous day's adventures. I wanted to wait until things warmed up a little, but by 10AM, could wait no longer. I had called Ethel from the Eastend Arts Council to tell her I would leave around Noon, and so this gave me some time to walk around a little more before leaving Havre.

I stepped outside to find blazing sunshine and temperatures in the 40s once again. The Chinook winds are blowing for a second day, and this is making everyone very happy. According to the woman at the front desk, this has been the best weather they have had in months!

As I walked around the block... I found a Salvation Army store. I have been shopping for clothes at the 'Salvation Armani' for a good 10 years now. Almost everything I wear was previously worn by somebody else, at four times the price or more. No such luck this time around, however, as I was hoping that some college students from Montana State Northern had dumped off their unwanted threads, but as I looked through the garments, I find nothing but a small bunch of XLs. They breed 'em big in Montana.

As I walked out of the store... I noticed a small group of Amish looking women coming in. (Huttites, actually). I have been in a great mood all along, so I held open the door for them. The first woman said "thank you", and the rest stared at me like I was an ex-convict. This would not be the last time I was to get a cold look from a small group of people. More on that later.

I checked out of the hotel and hit the road for Chinook: The next town on my way to Saskatchewan. I am stunned by the constant view of badlands and mountains. I half-expect dinosaurs to appear around the bend, and pterodactyls to hover above me. Nothing but Seagulls and Cranes. Chinook has only about 100 people, but some 20 miles to the south lies Bear Paw Battlefield - site of the last battle between the Native Americans and the U.S. troops.

Driven back after the battle of Little Big Horn : It was here that the famous line was uttered "from this day on, I will fight no more, forever." As I get closer to the historical site... the Bear Paw Mountains grow ever closer. My GPS guides me along Cleveland Road. (Other roads are called New York Road, Arizona Road, etc.) I spot a sign that indicates where I should turn off and park. The temperature is still in the 40s, with only a light wind blowing.

I step out of the car with my camera, and take a walk around.

After a good 20 minutes, I noticed it was almost Noon, and it was time for me to return back to the main road to continue on my way to Saskatchewan. I am overwhelmed with joy that I had such grand weather in which to make this little side trip, and I drive north... with the badlands in front of me and the Bear Paws to the South!

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