Three Forks, MT

Monday, July 20th, 2009
Love Life  

Saturday, July 18th, evening. If one only took the time, had the time to move on slow and slower through this country of ours. Yes, it is “our” luxury, there is no doubt, it is also the choice to seek for the quality of the Journey, those moments presented versus the quantity as my own expression has always called it “16 countries in 5 days”. Hazy day today, could barely see the mountains surrounding us, it probably hit 100 degrees with much surprisingly humidity, all subject to change these coming days. The Missouri River starts just a few miles from here with the little town of Three Forks neighboring by and it was the direction we took on this first day since we moved away from Reed Point.


Sunday, July 19th, evening. Vegetating till tomorrow all day it has been. One of those much needed to let things settle a bit. I felt all day yesterday as signs of crossroads where meeting me. Alone with Spirit I somehow get into I would call it a “zone”, for lack of better words. My sight has not been any better, probably worse since we have been on the road, but I feel as I see and feel more than ever about my surroundings. I actually take pleasure noticing and maybe translating into photography some aspects that suddenly jump up and scream “look at me… feel me…”. It is really nothing, details, I don’t often see anyone stopping as I do, I guess it is only my own peculiar sense of quintessence that emerges often to entertain me, and more, present themselves as symbols for the thoughts. Such as was the “mural”, the railroad “crossing” and also the three Rivers near by forming one.

the rivers  
the hand  
Headwater Park River sign  

The Jefferson, the Madison, the Gallatin, all deciding to form the Missouri. I felt it as being an important place to be, the start of “something” bigger as maybe on also our Journey. Many have felt as well, Lewis and Clark camped here, many settled, tried to, sometimes the needs of Life of the Pioneers exceeded only having water near by. There is always a rumble in my mind stepping on these grounds as my own imagination without even closing my eyes can visualize the past human presence. I like to stand quiet and immobile, undisturbed by the present Life and illusions of today. I hear the laughter, the wheels rolling, the hammering, the cries, always wondering who they were.

Gallatin City Hotel building  
Gallatin City Hotel sign  

Gallatin City was no more, the remains are now the few planks of it’s past Hotel. All is quiet, silence prevails and only the sound of the flow of the three rivers today emerges for our visit. I was touched by the Cemetery for the Children of Pioneers. So small as they were also and thought if there was really a special passage for them. I wondered if they all had already met Lance and maybe they were smiling from up there even if I was the only one standing looking down at this ancient ground, when maybe instead I should have been looking up. I wonder, always.

cemetery a  

It was then on to Three Forks a few miles away, unlike Gallatin the Town stood well with it’s pleasant Visitor Center. I like Visitor Centers. They are always pleasant and yesterday was a man that was born and raised in the town with much knowledge of the surroundings and roads to ride on. I must invariably sign the guest book, it is “Ara & Spirit” and where we are from?… “the road” it is. It might change soon to Texas as “The Oasis” has more and more been a missed space within me, specially the fire ring, the center of my own “Universe”. A Friend of mine, Ryan, some might remember as my “solar Mc Gyver” alias “potato gun” aficionado, has just purchased some land a few miles away and send me some photos of “The Oasis”, a nice gesture. All is still there including the spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

visitor center  
visitor center porta potty

So yes, I thought the little rug in front of the porta potty was a nice touch, including the decal which I think is “Sponge Bob” (?). Even more surprised was inside, clean and more decals with a little cow standing watch in the corner… What can I say? I see those things. It has to smooth out anyone’s mood and feel welcome as I did.

porta potty  

Well, I was not aware of it, it was “Rodeo Weekend”. My luck, much to see even if we had missed the parade which I was told is so small that it passes through town twice! It was also “free lunch” day and I did not pass that up, courtesy of the local Grocery store, “customer appreciation day”. I did not have to shop but I did get my free lunch. Wonder why they did not have free dog treats? Music was on, the big raffle prize was a beautiful hand made wood and fiberglass canoe and time was passed chatting with colorful locals…

free lunch canoe
the 50's  

…or watch half an airplane go by! Why not.


What really thrilled me was to meet this 17 year old young lady, the local ice cream truck, Jeep in this case, “owner”. I was really proud of her, at 17, her summer job, smart and pleasant, had her State, County and City licenses that unable’s her to go anywhere she likes to sell her ice creams. I could only wonder what she will be and do in another 10 years, much success I am sure.

ice cream girl  

Afternoon, hot and a bit muggy, I had decided to return to camp when I started hearing some gun shots coming from the fairgrounds. So it was one more stop in this little friendly town, no shade for Spirit besides his own cover, we did not stay too long but long enough to watch part of the balloon shooting runs.


I love horses. I have often even just a few days ago, stopped and scratch their heads when they come to a fence near by. I sometimes think what a shame we cannot go on within this Journey on a horse. Maybe two. Spirit of course would have to walk, he has been as I say it “getting a bit soft” lately. Well, it is not going to happen, I think and know they are even more high maintenance than Old Faithful.

rider b  

My first rodeo was in Halfway, Oregon, a couple years ago, when I truly enjoyed it. I had never see the balloons shoot out. They are shot with bullets filled with powder only, the riders are timed through the course adding also how many balloons are shot with their two guns they carry. Everyone has a hobby… This is the Wild Wild West, traditions are not lost. A bit more chatting with a couple riders, my mind was on Spirit more than anything else on this hot day as we left shortly to find some shade within the coolness of the evening not too far away.

rider d  
rider rider
rider yawning horse

Love the horse yawning behind her! Reminds me of Spirit who has started yawning when I talk to him lately wondering if it is a sign of things to come… We are headed a bit north tomorrow, adventure of the mind into a new area for us…

Be well… always.

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

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Ara & Spirit

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3 Responses to “Three Forks, MT”

  1. Janet Says:

    Beautiful Ara, just beautiful.

  2. Randy Says:

    Three Forks is a very pretty town. You’re helping me relive thirty year old adventures. Did you find the Sacajawea Hotel?

  3. Don Says:

    Very nice, brings back memories of Montana visits to my sister and her family in Helena, just downriver from your location here. The Lewis and Clark references are everywhere though, fun the first time, but tiresome after a bit….kind of like Alamo everything in San Antonio. Good people and great scenery are the bigger attractions….enjoy!

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