Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

How Our Rural Community Responded to the Presence of Two Escaped Criminals

┬ęBert Gildart: Two criminals escaped as parolees from an Oregon prison were apprehended the other day just north of Bigfork, Montana. They were less than a mile from our home near Creston. Both were hardened criminals and one had committed murder.


For those of you who follow this blog, that’s old news, but some of the interesting facts learned after their apprehension are not. How the community–and particularly how some of the neighbors in our small community responded–is a commentary in itself. And so, I’m going to deviate here from my usual themes of travel writing and photography and from RV travel. Still, there’ s moose photo waiting just below–taken in Yellowstone National Park–just above Mammoth Terrace. It suggests the potential that still exists.

From all reports, one of the escapees had been housed in this rural community by a single lady, who was apparently romantically involved with the man. He’d been there for over a month and had even worked locally as a plumber. But apparently something went sour in their relationship, for that night she (she’s now under arrest, too) and another lady friend were beaten by the escaped convicts and their home trashed.


Somehow one of the women managed to call the sheriff’s office, which brought in a SWAT team. The men shot at the SWAT team, which responded by shutting down our rural road. No one could come or go without a search. Then, because authorities were uncertain were the men had gone, they used a provision in the Amber Alert and closed down the grade school in Creston.

Fifteen miles away, my granddaughter’s school was also affected. Though they didn’t shut down her school, all children were made to follow a drill, meaning authorities directed youngsters to rooms they believed to be secure.


More than anything else, what was particularly interesting is to learn about the way in which neighbors responded. Everyone we talked checked to make sure their guns were loaded, and here in this rural community, where so many hunt, everyone had them–and seemed ready to use them. One lady, whom we knows well, loaded a rifle and went out to her barn, apparently scared, but more scared of the idea of having a potential killer loose on her property. Her husband was away on a business trip.

End of rut for moose, heralding the end of fall

End of rut for moose, heralding the end of fall

Though she and other neighbors were ready to use their weapons if they had to, as it turned out, no one had to.

One of the criminals, wearing only his underwear, approached a private citizen sitting in his car (not sure why and no one seems to know) and asked for a ride. The citizen responded by taking the criminal down and then holding him until men from the sheriff’s department could respond.

The other criminal was captured along the Flathead River, again very close to our home.


So all is well that ends well and this drama certainly had a satisfactory ending. And now, least anyone thinks this blog is straying too far from the theme of travel writing and photography and from RV travel in general, I want to post a moose photo, one from Yellowstone National Park, certainly one of my favorite places to venture in the fall.

There’s lots of great photo opportunities left there, ones that you shouldn’t miss.

Comments are closed.