Tuesday, July 9, 2019

One Last Stop in Missoula Before I Fly Away!

Missoula is one of my favorite places, because there's so much to do here. Usually it's smokey, but this year there's been lots of rain. Not good for touring, but really good for rainbows!

We're parked near Fort Missoula, and on the Fourth of July they had a celebration going on. First stop, the train!

I don't think their parents shouldn't let these kids play with the bears!

There are lots of buildings open on the grounds, including this schoolhouse.

And this old trolley.

The cutest tour guide in the world showed us the trolley and the 100-year-old fire truck behind him.

There was a baby pony nearby, only a week old!

The next day, we had a tour of the Smokejumpers Visitors Center near the airport. Smokejumpers jump out of airplanes to put out fires in the wilderness.

This is where the parachutes are repaired and packed. The repairs are necessary because they land in trees a lot of the time. It takes an hour to fold and pack a parachute properly.

This is one of the planes they use.

I got a free ride and jump!

Afterwards, we stopped by the National Weather Service next door. This guy was very patient and answered all our questions. There are 122 National Weather Service locations throughout the US.

On Saturday, we went to the 3 Farmers Markets in downtown Missoula. I forgot to take pictures, except for this one...

The next day, we drove up to Lolo Hot Springs. This is the very hot pool -

And this is the warm pool. I wish they had one in between, but it was still great. We just went back and forth between the two.

My last stop was a visit to St. Francis Xavier Church. In 1892, this was Montana's largest church.

The paintings were hand painted by a Jesuit lay priest, who also did the paintings in the San Ignatius Mission north of here that I have visited a couple times before.

Even the Stations of the Cross are hand-painted!

Well, I'm finally caught up on the blog! I'm on my way to a trip across the pond, so I won't be posting until I get back. But I will post on Facebook, if you can't wait!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

A Short Stop in Butte, MT

I made a short stop in Butte on my way to the next WIN gathering. Up in the distance, I could see the statue of Our Lady of the Rockies up on the mountain top.

Right across the street from Walmart is a large cemetery, where Evel Knievel is buried. He was a native of Butte.

He is famous for his mile leap across the Snake River near here. There's a picture of his "sky cycle" on one side of his gravestone.

There were lots of people with foreign names in the cemetery, and I found out why later...

A friend and I went on walk around old Uptown Butte. There are lots of unique old buildings here.

This was my favorite.

Butte is famous for being one of the largest copper boomtowns in the American West. Fourteen headframes still remain over the old mine shafts.

Each one tells you how many miners died there. LOTS! That is why there are so many foreigners buried in the cemetery.

Good night!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Idaho Falls - One of the Friendliest Towns I've Been To!

I next moved on to Idaho Falls, ID. I stayed at the Elks Lodge there, and it was one of the friendliest lodges I've ever been to!

Of course I had to see the falls. They were especially beautiful with all the flowers blooming.

I was only here for a few days, but by far the best thing I did was visit their zoo. It's small, but all the animals do not seem to be alone. They all have friends!

First up were these penguins, with the teacher lecturing to his students.

There were 4 African Lions - a mom and 2 daughters and a son. A small pride!

This baby Bactrian Camel was only a month old! It's a boy!

I liked the Servals, because my Grandcat is part Serval.

We saw this white Peacock just walking down the road!

And then we ran across this baby Robin being fed by Mama. And they weren't in a cage!

There were Laughing Kookaburras -

And Flamingos -

With a couple Roseate Spoonbills mixed in!

This is Sid, who was hand-raised by zoo representatives, because his mother was unable or unwilling to care for him. He is now transitioning to life as a Gibbon.

But this was the highlight of my trip to the zoo! What is so special about a dog? Well, her name is Justice, a Great Pyrenees who has raised several animals, including a lion cub, all on here own! She is so special that she has a house of her own! I had heard stories of her and was glad I got to see her.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Wildlife and Hot Springs!

With my sprained ankle, I couldn't do much at Grand Teton National Park. But one day, a group of us headed out to Granite Hot Springs. Sounded perfect for my ankle.

Leaving the campground, we saw 2 moose over by the river. Wow!

The drive out to the hot springs was very scenic.

Wait! What's that!?! Is it a grizzly bear?

Hey! Whatcha looking at!

Arriving at the hot springs. I got dropped off at the handicapped area and hobbled over to the pool.

The pool was beautiful, and I think the warm water really helped my ankle. The others were disappointed that the water was warm, not hot, but I liked it that way, because I could stay in for a long time. They seem to cater to families with kids in the summer and cool the water down.

After a long soak, we headed back along the river, where this time we saw rafters.

And then driving back to the campground, we saw another moose.

Wow! We're getting pretty good at spotting them.

On the night before we left, we went out looking for wildlife in the evening. We had almost given up, when we came around the corner and saw these Bighorn Sheep right on the road in front of us!

They stared us down for awhile, and then the alpha male led them up the hill around us. I don't think I've ever seen such big horns!

We turned around and headed home, seeing this beautiful sunset behind the Tetons. The shading of the light by the mountains was really unique.