Ed and Marilyn, summer trip 2005 travel blog

Abby Wicki

Abby and Amy

Ed with his new pup, Amy

Montana wild sunflowers

Montana Lewis and Clark Trail location

Montana near Lewis and Clark trail

Scene seen often in Montana

Ranch land sold for housing development

Tuesday, 6th Sept.

Thanks for the anniversary greetings, Kurt and Denise!

We just read our phone messages over the border from Canada into Montana. It was nice to talk to you, boys, and Jeanne. It seemed as though we had been out of touch for a long time. At one point in Canada, we had no cell phone, no TV, no radio, no internet, and the owner of the store said he only received a newspaper about every 3 days! Thanks Jacque and Todd for the great card on the computer!

Wed., 7th Sept.

On the road again! We just left a campground at the south end of Flathead Lake in the town of Polson just south of Kalispell, Montana. Free wireless internet so I stayed up last night to add photos and update the travel journal. I think I forgot to mention that I added photos to the journal as far back as Homer, Alaska, in case you would like to look at them. Our halibut photos are there as well as Resurrection Bay.

We had an interesting day yesterday, to say the least. Dad/Ed has been wanting a French Brittany Spaniel since he has gotten to know Barry's friend, Brian's dog. He is a great little dog and has such good bird hunting instincts. Brian brings him up to his cabin close to Barry's house on Schoodic Lake in Maine. Dad recommended that Brian get a French Brittany and helped Brian train him when he was first introduced to live birds and the gun. He has also hunted with him and is quite impressed with the breed and how well it works on birds.

Dad/Ed has been in touch with a breeder in Kalispell. We stopped at their home yesterday just to look at their dogs! WELL, we left there after a few hours, with deposits on two female pups and arrangements to have them shipped by plane next week! One is for Pete and Heather Wicki and one is for us. Pete and Ed had made plans to do this some time ago. Dad/Ed will do all the training on Pete's dog for bird hunting and hopefully she will be ready in December when the Cat Hollow Rod & Gun club guys do pheasant and chukar hunts in the winter months after deer season on Rick Rogers' Clark Farm.

The pups are 12 weeks old, real cute of course, and seem extremely intelligent and personable. The woman (husband and wife breeder couple) has worked with them already with such things as "not jumping up". They sit in front of her for their little piece of biscuit.

This will be interesting, working with a new breed. We had a Brittany named Tammy from 1963 to 1966. She was one of the best bird hunting dogs one could ever ask for. The pups' names, for the time being at least, are Amy and Abby. The breed is AKC registered, but cannot be shown in the breed ring. For some strange reason, AKC does not treat the breed separately from the American Brittany in the show ring. And due to the fact that their noses are black, and the American Brittany's noses are tan, they are not accepted in the ring. Not that we would plan to participate in the show circuit, anyway - just a point of interest.

We have our first problem of the trip. The automatic electric starter for the gas portion of the camper refrigerator keeps sparking after the gas is lit. Fortunately, the AC and DC portions unable us to keep the refrigerator cold, while traveling (DC or 12 volt) and at a campground with 110 volt AC electricity. We will see about repair when we are back home so as not to loose a lot of time locating a RV repair dealership now. Glad it happened now and not when we were dry camping, or it would have been necessary to have a new one installed at an RV dealership.

This afternoon we stopped in Big Timber, Montana for Dad/Ed to visit Shiloh Rifle Mfg. Co, Inc. The company builds the 1874 Sharps rifle and he would like to order one some day. I noticed an antique and collectables shop near-by, so I went there while he was in the rifle manufacturing company. It was packed with "stuff", mostly not antiques, but was interesting.

Montana is quite dry and brown but pretty in a way, with the rolling hills. Sage brush covers much of the grasslands. Wheat is grown in many areas, and cattle and horses graze on pasture that doesn't look very nourishing. The cattle and horses however, look healthy and hearty. Some ranchers, close to rivers, irrigate their fields of wheat and hay. Large bales of hay and straw sit in the fields. When the sun hits the wheat fields just right, they appear gold and very pretty. We have been seeing many Antelope in the fields.

Myrna and Butch went from where we parted company a bit west of Prince George B.C. down to Washington state but during that drive decided also to forego their plans to drive along the coast of Wash and Oregon and on thru California to see redwoods. They turned East and called the couple we met in a campground in Fairbanks, Ak. who had invited us to go ATV riding with them from their property in northern Idaho. They should have been ATV riding today thru some wild country that the individual showed us on a map. We will call them tomorrow while we are driving and hear how they made out.

Dad/Ed has his work cut out for him when he gets home. He is busily planning his chores as he drives, such as building a new drive thru gate to keep the pups in the fenced back yard, cutting and splitting wood for the winter, finishing up with some outside house renovations and training two pups! He also has to finish the restoration of Bill's 1917 Old Town Otca canoe. And of course, hunting season is coming up soon. Neither of us won a moose hunting lottery in NH or Maine this year.

9:30 PM now. We are in DeerPark Campground, off Rte. 90 in Buffalo, Wyoming. Shortly after we arrived, the campground held an "ice cream social" at the office porch. I fixed us a very quick (and meager) supper and we attended the social, as I needed an ice cream fix. We talked to a retired couple who recently sold their house in California (they were tired of the heat), and have been traveling in their large motor home with 2 dogs and towing a car. They set out to find a new place to live. Sounds so free spirited. They thought of states like Texas or Arkansas, but after being around here for a few weeks, they have decided on Wyoming. They already have a lot chosen and have talked to a builder. They rid themselves of much household goods and put the rest in storage. It is not as is they don't have family in California - they have 4 children. They figured that if the kids want to see them, they can come to Wyoming! We are wondering if they realize what the winter will be like - it is snowy and windy here! It is fun hearing what people do in their lives. Well, I must go get the laundry out of the drier and send these journal writings and photos.

Goodnight. M

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