"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." ~Goethe~

18 September 2009

The Continental Divide & more...

This is the view that started each morning while on our little trip. It was so wonderful to sit and eat breakfast while watching the sun come across the little valley. The window and door to the balcony would be open to get the crisp morning air into the room and to hear the sound of the river while enjoying breakfast. Then as with the other two mornings, the local bald eagle would come flying around the bend and past our window as it went on down the river valley. Could you imagine seeing that every morning? That would be pure bliss I tell you.
After everyone was fed, dressed and ready for the day, our trip to the Continental Divide started with a quick drive up to Gibbonsville, Id where we would turn off onto Gibbonsville Rd. Little place with just about 100 people living there. Everything is very old. It used to be a good sized mining town at one time, but any more. I quickly realized that we were on another one lane road all the way up the mountain, with the drop off on my side of the truck. FAB. I took a quick glance at things here and there but didn't focus too much on high we kept climbing on the road. And hoped that we didn't met anyone that was coming down the mountain. We stopped a couple of times to check out the scenery. That isn't bad because I'm controlling how close I get to the edge of things.

Here's a view of the Salmon Forest facing north. So peaceful listening to the wind in the trees and hearing the birds sing in the morning with no sound of traffic, etc. to disturb it all. There is a calming effect that comes over you when surrounded by all of this. It's just absolutely wonderful.
Back in the truck and up the mountain we go again. Yeah.
Then we finally get to the top to the Continental Divide. The girls thought is was very neat that they could be in different states and still be so close to each other. Driving in a car whizzing down the road and crossing state lines just doesn't seem to "hit" you until you are able to walk around and experience it for yourself. They thought it was funny to go from one state to the other with only one little hop. That kept them busy for a bit while Glenn and I walked around to take in the scenery of this portion of the Continental Divide. Awesome!
And wouldn't you know it, as we were getting ready to get back in the truck, three vehicles drove by us, heading down the road we just came up! Talk about luck! I just about fainted from thinking about meeting up with them while we were on the road!
So down through Montana we went to see a new piece of the countryside not seen by us before. There was more evidence of pioneers from the past.
Rolling hills and meadows.
Beautiful shots of the mountain ranges in Montana.
And little girls enjoying seeing the scenery as they were hanging out the window while Dad was driving slow so that he could take in all the scenery also. There was an occasional moo that was said to the cows that were on the ranches along the side of the forest road. You have to wonder at times.
Some one just didn't need it anymore I guess.
Then we went to the Big Hole National Battlefield located right off of Hwy 43 in Montana. I can't explain why but after going into the visitors center seeing and reading all the artifacts and writings from those who were involved with this event, I could not look at this area without thinking what an absolute tragedy this event was.

Below is a quote from Chief Joseph, which is believed to have been made before the Nez Perce was to be moved onto a reservation in Idaho. Very humbling.
So, the Nez Perce lived on their land in the Walla Walla valley in Oregon. Settlers started coming out west and started to settle on the Nez Perce land. Conflicts started but things really started to heat up after gold was found in this land. That is when the Govt. came in and wanted to move the Nez Perce off the land and move them somewhere else on a reservation in Idaho. Chief Joseph tried to negotiate with the Govt. to keep his people on their land as agreed to in treaties signed in 1855 & 1863. The Govt. reversed their agreement and wanted the Nez Perce to move "now". Chief Joseph agreed with great hesitation because the reservation in Idaho was a very small fraction of land of the original territory they lived on. As they began to move to Idaho, three rouge warriors massacred some of the white settlers due to their outrage over losing their homeland.

Chief Joseph feared that after this act his people would be killed by the Govt, so he and 5 other tribal leaders lead their people away from the area. They were trying to make it to Canada where they thought they would be able to live in peace and would be able to unite with other tribes that had fled there recently.

After many weeks after running, the Nez Perce came to the Big Hole area and decided to camp in the area near the creek because they thought they were far ahead of the Army. Little did they know that another regiment was very close behind them and waited till the very early morning on Ag 9th, 1877 to attack the tribe. There were heavy casualties on both sides but the Nez Perce were able to overwhelm the Army and take over their cannon and dismantle it. The Nez Perce were able to flee the area and try to get ahead of the Army again on their journey to Canada. Eventually though, they surrendered in October 1877 due to the starvation, freezing temps and exhaustion, just 40 miles from the border of Canada. They had fled over 1170 miles just to try to keep their freedom.

It was very sobering to walk on this land which is now sacred land to the Nez Perce. The poles that the Nez Perce used to build their tepees are still standing, without the hides. A quiet, somber feeling comes over you to think that people who just wanted to be left alone on their native land were killed here. A quiet people who wanted no harm to happen to anyone.

To look down on the valley where the attack started some how quietens you. To think of what happened while the Nez Perce were sleeping and not hurting anyone. But then to think of how they were able to defend themselves and defeat the Army in order to keep from being completely killed off was numbing also.
We were told that the blue flags marked spots were artifacts from the soldiers and volunteers had been found along with some remains of a few. It is a lot to take in while visiting this Battlefield. It's a grim reminder of the greed that some people had just because they thought they were above others, who had lived on an ancient land for so long and who belonged were they had lived for many years before. And then to learn of how the Nez Perce, and other tribes, were treated on reservations during this time of our country. Very sad. It makes me wonder if my great-grandmother ever went through treatment like this or her family members before her.
After that moving bit of the afternoon, we were back on the road to head back towards Idaho, climbing up to the Continental Divide once again. The one thing that is very noticeable is that the Idaho side is very rugged and steep along a huge portion of the Divide and the Montana side is more rolling and easy to reach the peaks. The girls called it "smooth".
Another quick history lesson about a pioneer that came to this area and made it a bit more livable for themselves and those who came after.
Down the steep road towards the valley below. This is the area Lewis and Clark traveled once they decided the Salmon River was too treacherous. Very rugged, just without a huge river.
A shot of the Continental Divide from Salmon, Id.
Another beautiful hillside showing all the beautiful colors that it has to offer. We called an end to the day after we made one more trip down the road along the Main Salmon River to see if we would see the elusive Moose. No luck. But at least Brenna was a positive little adventurer and said maybe next time we have an adventure. You gotta love her. There was elk on the side of the mountain to see along with the bald eagle again. Some one said they had just seen a mother bear with her two cubs but they headed towards one of the gulches in the valley not to be seen anymore. Good. I don't want to get too close to them. Then back to the room to pack and get ready for our VERY early beginning the next morning.
I hope you got something out of this trip through bits and pieces of what we saw. I do enjoy our family explorations because we always go searching for things that we did not know before. We don't go on trips just to relax and block the world out and to be consumed with commercialism. We are always trying to learn about the things around us in hopes that our kids will be better informed and to learn about their surroundings and their country. We live in a beautiful land and Glenn and I try to share our enthusiasm with our kids so that they appreciate what is around them and where they come from.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I'm hoping there will be some serious yarn time going on around here in these parts. I've only got two sleeves and a hood left on Em's sweater. I probably would be further along if I had not noticed yesterday evening that I screwed up on the right front side and never changed needle sizes after I completed the ribbing. But really it is a good thing that I noticed you know. So after having the side half done, I ripped it all out and started over and then stayed up late last night knitting and purling away just to get that side finished. I was dragging this morning let me tell you.

So have fun, keep smiling and hope for the love of pete that I don't screw up again on the sweater! LOL!!!!

Toodles Noodles!

1 comment:

  1. Late I know about late. I can't lie i usually skim through long post but not yours, I read every word.
    Words can't explain how much I enjoy them and how much I admire you and glenn for sharing these exploration trips with your kids. I did similar trips with an aunt and uncle and those are my best childhood memories.
    Love the quote. The pics are fabulous, I may have to make that trip. Tom and I are traverlers.

    toodles koodles to you got to get my butt in bed or I won't get up for my crochet group