Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
Cliff Lake  

August 3rd, afternoon. I stood on the side of the road a few minutes ago, looking at mountains with their white peaks and the streams surrounding me, I said out loud “Montana”. No one could hear from miles, I realized for the first time that we had bonded. There was no rush. Space surrounding us, it is a feel developed these past years and unknown territories have a way to penetrate my inner emotions, sometimes taking leisurely as long as it needs to bond. How strange it is I feel as not long ago I would cover Florida to Vancouver in just a few days. It was the thrill of speed, today is the thrill of the identities surrounding me.

Homestead Park sign  

We stopped at “Parker Homestead State Park” this morning, I had passed by it a couple times, a very small Park where I have never seen any other vehicle stopped, maybe more reasons to be intrigued and curious of it’s history and origin. “Pearl Price Robertson’s” words dug deep down into my emotions when I read them as suddenly this humble cabin stood in front of me on it’s own amongst this vast land, there was no road here in years past. I understood too well his meaning as myself, my own sensibility took me back to “The Oasis” where I still feel best, in an often inexplicable way of Life.

Parker State Park  
State Park State Park
Kingdom of Hope  

“and the laughter of the Jewett’s four children rang across the fields…”. I also stood there and listened to them, how happy they must have been, untouched by today’s World, on their own, how pure I wonder was their lives within this simple cabin and vast lands surrounding them. So many memories linger throughout this country of ours with every step we take and, as if someone really tried, could even catch the smell of foods cooked, the sounds of past hard work, labor to built these such cabins, plow the fields and fill the buckets with the so much precious needed water as so often water wells where out of reach.


 Evening. Beautiful Lakes we saw, Wade Lake and Cliff Lake. The roads incredible again as so delicately painted for the moment we passed by. Many campers, much screaming, $12 a night, it just did not sit very well to set up camp. There was no loss however, the moment was mine, riding around with no set destination as I always know we will eventually find our own little corner by evening in the shade of some trees away from the beaten path. Still early in the day we went on and stumbled on another road I will forever remember as being the ultimate Masterpiece. A narrow stream, rocks covered with moss so delicately drawn and flowers of all colors, tall green grass on one bank, a steep hill and trees on the other. I went “wow” for lack of better words. I should have not said anything, it did not do any justice. I think that was the moment “Montana” and I bonded as we stopped again once out of the Canyon to catch my breath.

Wade Lake  
Wade Lake  

Wade Lake

Cliff Lake  

Cliff Lake

I use mainly a “Benchmark” map, worth buying one for each State we spend a lot of time in. Wade and Cliff Lake are off 287 past Ennis going southbound, a few miles before 87. Nice dirt roads, they start off as 241, then on 572 and back out to 84 riding 122. The later is the road that took me by surprise as I call it a true”priceless treasure”. With no complains I noticed the lack of traffic and the total lack these days of any dual sport motorcycles. Hidden gems maybe? Yellowstone with it’s crowded paved roads and traffic seemingly more attractive?

241-122 241-122

122, south and north, roads maybe a while back I would have not paid much attention to, today their simplicity, their bands carved through allows me to breath, ride through leisurely, stop often, just be. Sometimes a truck or other vehicle will also stop to ask us if we are doing alright, a bit surprised when I say we are just taking a break as for so many there is nothing to look at, but myself find so much to feel. And suddenly a few feet away the road plunged to give me this sight.


This is when it all comes together, this is when I never want to return with the only desire to stay planted. Not long after the Canyon started, a narrow road but yet found a place to park and let the true pleasure of this Journey begin…

122 241-122-
241-122 241-122

Sometimes no need or purpose for words…

flower 241-122

I have no clue how we end up in Idaho, but we did. The sign said so. National Forest is what I look for, free camping, not National Recreation Areas, we only visit those. Before I knew it we were back in West Yellowstone and a sign reading “Mountain Man” “Reenactment… ” stares at me. The turn signal is on but the car behind me still honks. What else is new! We are a little late, only a couple tents have their flaps open, it looks promising for tomorrow. Riding around, looking for an out of sight space since the signs say “Day use only, no camping” I discover snowmobile roads I had never thought about riding before. Endless as they also went into all the way to Idaho. But we came back and decided to camp near by the Fair, I will be ready for the Kitchen I noticed serving dinner the old fashion way, they will have “biscuits and gravy and… “. Not a match for my granola mixed with pineapple bits and chopped dates… Will see how strong my will power is as I am just not as trim as this past winter at “The Oasis”.

tree 241-122

We also stopped at “Wheat Montana” this morning, a real Mill where you can buy huge 50lb bags of flour of all kinds, oats, and of course, another mistake of mine I heavily paid the price… a huge chopped walnut and honey covered cinnamon roll. No photos, the roll did not fit in the frame. Heated of course, and very proud of myself when I said “no” when asked about butter on top of it all. We passed by where Ron and his horses had camped a couple nights ago. The grass was shorter… there was no red wagon… but my memories did bring them back if only for an instant. We crossed him this morning, I told him I was only going to wave as the road is of a narrow one. He is most likely in Belgrade tonight, then on bypassing Bozeman to finally reach South Dakota where we will also be going in about a month or so. The reason being, as both our destination is Texas eventually, we will be on flat plains avoiding the Mountains.

Fair Fair

August 4th, morning. The sun is up, bright and warm as the couple that just stopped by to talk to us. “Peace and Love” he said as they pulled away. We had met in Utah at another Fair reenactment, Monticello I remember. What a small World as they recalled us. I don’t know right now what day it is, I look it up when I post here, but we might come back on the weekend when all will be in full swing. So it is a minor detail one would say, but it opened up the doors to this one more day starting on such a Happy note. “Peace and Love”! Those were the days, I want them to remain “these are today’s…”.

Fair Fair

Camping is like a big puzzle. One piece at the time as camp comes up and comes down. Never in the same fashion as the game is to find easier ways to put it all together and vice versa. I like taking it down because there is always some steaming coffee in the morning that goes along with it as the heat of the sun also dries everything up, nice and warm they go back in their little bags awaiting the next space where they will again harbor us.

Till next time… as seemingly every day is an Adventure of the mind and body…


Be well… always.

Merchandise on Smugmug,  also Photos and Free “e-card” on my new Zen  Gallery

Your support will help us continue these endless chapters you read. It will be more than greatly appreciated… throw the Dog a bone! 

Ara & Spirit

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6 Responses to “MONTANA… MT”

  1. LaPetit Says:

    Mouth drops open in awe. I want to lay in that lake and soak up its beauty. Stunning.

  2. Doug Smith Says:

    My Great Grandfather Nathan Trogdon homesteaded north of Billings in the Bull Mountains in the 1880’s. An old Indian Cavalry Scout by the nickname of “Bean Campbell” would pass through every Fall as he headed out of the mountains for the Winter months. Old Campbell always left Great Grandpa Trogdon an old Indian Artifact when he stayed with them. These old items were in my Grandfather FitzGeralds’ possession until the early 60’s. The items are now in the possession of the Yellowstone County Museum where they will remain. One item was a large hand carved stone morter & pestal. It was probably old & rare in the 1800’s. To look at this stone age item and imagine how a person so many years ago could have carved it by hand is hard to imagine. If only it could speak……..but I guess whenever I go look at the old piece, it does speak to me…………..

  3. chessie Says:

    Hi Ara…
    Just stopping in to see how you are…of course…I shouldn’t worry…you’ve found something once more…as always, You’ve made my day special with the way you see our planet…and the great West…

  4. karen Says:

    Wow Ara…just…. WOW

  5. Louise Says:

    I see you are packing much lighter these days if you have room for the coffee pot on the back rack! I read this blog post after I emailed you about the Great Plains. Yes, you see all the subtle treasures.

  6. Sandra B Says:

    The homesteader’s remarks mirror my own thoughts and feelings regarding the spot I have been fortunate to have arrived at. This is a beautiful planet we call home and some of us are greatly blessed to take the path to the places that have remained wild and free. The fellow with the horse operation…wow! It would be most interesting to hear his story- how did he come to be on this journey? Most unusual in this day and age…but I admire it so much. Free spirits choose to live the way the heart calls them to….not just accepting the standard issue life-style that is conditioned by societies and the status quo.

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