(fossil fish on the left)
I had a very good week. We started out with RAIN! Beautiful rain, two days of rain falling straight down. The ground just swallowed it up! Everything looks greener. Then a friend from college days (we both agreed that was 100 years ago) came from Minneapolis to visit me. I don’t get much company so that was really an honor that she would take the time to do that. We traveled together years ago to Hawaii, Europe and the Pacific Northwest, but since then have had our lives to live. She was a history major in college as I was and she is single so we had much in common. That included politics. It was great to have some good solid conversations without having to bite my tongue. We watched the final episode of The Vietnam War and remembered that time in our lives and how we were affected back home.
We both remembered the institution of the draft. Numbers were drawn out and assigned to birthdays. I lived in the girls’ dorm and I remember the cries and the tears as the birthdays of boy friends were drawn. It was an emotional time. She remembered the next morning the guys meeting on campus on sharing what their draft number was. It changed many lives, sometimes permanently. We agreed we are not over it yet. A friend died in June of Hep C and complications from Agent Orange he contracted while in Viet Nam. Forty years later another casualty.
I had to deliver some prayer shawls from the church at Savage to a pastor in Wolf Point for her work with Native Americans, so it was a good opportunity for us to be out on a brilliant Indian summer day. From Savage MT we headed north to Fairview, then turned and crossed the Yellowstone to Fort Union and Fort Buford in North Dakota. Union is an old fur trading post of the American Fur Trading Company. It was established about 1831. Ft. Buford came later as soldiers were protecting settlers in the area and rounding up Indians for the reservations. Sitting Bull, the great Sioux chief, turned himself in in 1881 at Ft. Buford. Nearby is the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, the arteries of transportation in the early West and for Lewis and Clark. The steamboat FAR WEST came up the Yellowstone and then traveled down the Missouri to Ft. Abraham Lincoln with the news of the massacre at the Little Big Horn. All of this activity came right past Glendive which makes the history of the community a real hub of the Great Plains.
From there we traveled on Highway 2 across the Fort Peck Indian Reservation to Wolf Point where we delivered our shawls and then proceeded on to Fort Peck. Fort Peck was the largest earthen dam in the United States, built as a WPA project during the Great Depression. We visited their interpretive center which is fascinating and a great place to bring children — displays of prairie animals — wolf, Grizzly, etc. Water displays with live fish swimming — walleye among them. And fossils galore. Just as Glendive is on the Dinosaur Trail, so is the area around Fort Peck. They discovered a complete T Rex in the vicinity and also had fossils on display from the area. Very impressive. The trip home included dinner in Circle at Around the Town. We were really hungry by that time.
Thursday I took her through Makoshika Park. We walked, took pictures, visited and just enjoyed another beautiful day. For a thank you gift she gave me two books by Minneapolis author William Kent Krueger. I had just finished his newest book Ordinary Grace and had really enjoyed it. It was so funny she picked those. I am ready to read more of his work.
She is now on her way home and today is catch-up day.
The fall weather couldn’t be more gorgeous. Some rain this week-end we are told. Bring it on!!!