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

Archive for June, 2011

Quality Entertainers Such as Bill Rossiter Perform Throughout Summer at Bannack

posted: June 29th, 2011 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  Bannack, Montana, provides more than just quality camping and insights into the state’s first territorial capitol.  Periodically throughout the summer, the park provides programs that are entertaining and educational.

This past Saturday night Bill Rossiter provided a program entitled Lincoln and Liberty: Songs of the Civil War.  Bill is an excellent entertainer and is a man I have known for approximately 30 years, and it seemed too good to be true that Bill’s performance should coincide with our stay.


Candles-2 BillRossiter-5


Back dropped by an exceedingly well preserved historic town decorated with period accoutrements, Bill Rossiter performs songs from the times.

Bill is from Kalispell and served as an English instructor at Flathead Valley Community College. Prior to his career as a teacher he traveled the country as a musician and actually continued working as a musician while teaching.

Now retired from college his entertainment is provided through the Montana Council for the Humanities – and for well over an hour he played songs from the Civil War era, many of them written by veterans of the war.  Currently his work for the humanities keeps him busy and this past year travels took him throughout most of the Northwest where he played over 50 gigs.

Bannack will be offering many other programs throughout the summer and if they are half as good as Rossiter’s program then they should not be missed.  Bannack’s well preserved ghost town (see previous post) and its wonderfully decorated cabins add yet further to the atmosphere.


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THIS TIME THREE YEARS AGO:

*Departing Knife River — Reluctantly

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




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Bannack, Montana’s First Capitol and One of the State’s Best Camprounds

posted: June 28th, 2011 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Bannack provides some of the state’s best camping and is the spot we’re calling home for the next night or two.  The settlement was founded on July 28, 1862, when John White and other members of the “Pikes Peakers” discovered gold in Grasshopper Creek, a small flow of water we’re now watching carefully to make sure we don’t get flooded out.

Bannack2

Gold was first discovered in Montana on Grasshopper Creek, which gave rise to Bannack


Many historic preservationists believe Bannack is one of the West’s best preserved old ghost town.  It was Montana’s first Territorial Capitol.


THE LONG DROP

Little changes here and the old structures I’ve enjoyed photographing over the years still remain, appearing quite functional. Throughout, old wagons stand ready to transport gold, while buildings appear inhabitable. The old jail, Montana’s first, appears ready to accommodate thieves, drunks and murderers, while up on a prominent hill, in plain site, is a lone gallows, and it, too, appears quite functional. There, as every high school student learns in courses on Montana History, Sheriff Henry Plummer took the long drop.

Plummer arrived in Bannack in 1863, and because he was glib and persuasive, he became sheriff. What was not known by the town’s citizens is their sheriff may well have been the leader of an outlaw gang.


Gallows-1 JohnPhillip-5 OldWagon-4


Janie, who has been misbehaving, hikes to same gallows from which Henry Plummer made the “Long Drop;”  John Phillip presents lessons on gold panning; old wagon adds sense of timelessness to Bannack.


But eventually a man about to be hung pointed a finger at Henry Plummer prompting the Vigilantes to gather and meditate heavily. Helping in their thinking was lots of liquor and they soon concluded Plummer was guilty. Though their sheriff begged and pleaded—even offered to tell where $100,000 of gold was buried—the group ignored him. Story has it that Plummer’s final words were, “Just give me a good drop.”

From here, we’re heading to visit a good friend who guides on the Big Hole River.  However, the Big Hole is in flood stage so our fishing may have to wait. We’ve learned to simply take what comes.


——————————-

 

THIS TIME THREE YEARS AGO:

*Traveling the ALCAN


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




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In a Field Where Camas Grows

posted: June 27th, 2011 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: In a flowering field of camas, prairie smoke and bistort, tipi poles stand today like skeletons all reminiscent now of a great tragedy – of a particularly ugly time in America’s history.


tipCamus-10

Camas now grows in a meadow where Nez Perce Indians once camped, attempting to maintain their freedom; symbolized by tipi poles.

 


The skeletons remind the sympathetic that on an August morning in 1887, before the sun had even risen, approximately 170 soldiers, led by Colonel John Gibbon, fired into a sleeping camp of approximately 800 Nez Perce Indians. About two thirds of the group were women and children and the only crime they had committed was that they did not want to be forced onto a reservation in Idaho.

BROKEN TREATY

They believed that the treaty of 1863 with the American government, guaranteeing the tribe that the land known as the Wallowa would forever be theirs. Settlers, however, discovered gold in the Walla Walla Valley and the Nez Perce were ordered onto the Lapwai Reservation.


Camus-6 tipi PrarieSmoke


Camas closeup, tipi poles, prairie smoke — all stand in a field where a band of Nez Perce Indians fled from soliders. The Nez Perce hoped to retain freedom and not be forced onto a reservation.  They had been guaranteed the right to remain in their homeland by a treaty of 1863 — but settlers discovered gold.


Many went, but five bands of Non-Treaty Nez Perce refused, and when hostilities broke out in Idaho near the reservation, the five bands were forced to flee.  Leaders such as Chief Joseph and Chief Looking Glass hoped that once they reached Montana they would be safe. They thought they might find a home with the Crow People and so they embarked on a great journey.  And now they were in western Montana, believing themselves to be relatively safe.  Here, along the meandering North Fork of the Big Hole River, all sandwiched between the Beaverhead, Pintlar and Pioneer mountains, they cut lodge poles and erected their tipis (also correct tepee). They hunted and dug the bulbs of camas and bistort, favorite foods they knew from previous hunting excursions to be abundant along the North Fork. Though they posted sentries, the Nez Perce believed the pursuing Army troops were far behind.

MISDIRECTED FORCE

Today, as we walk along the peacefully meandering river, the site of misdirected forces, we read the words of Yellow Wolf from a Park Service brochure.  Yellow Wolf said he returned after the onslaught and began his search for survivors, looking in a maternity lodge that had been occupied by a pregnant woman.  The tipi was silent and inside Yellow Wolf found the woman lying dead in her blankets. In her arms she held her newborn baby, its head smashed by a gun breech or by the heel of a boot.

Immediately after the initial attack the Nez Perce desperately sought cover, running into willow thickets, even submerging themselves in the river, but Chief White Bird’s voice carried over the screams of horror, rifle fire and even canon fire. “Why are we retreating,” he shouted.


DSC_0333

Cannon pointed at village which at the time of attack was a peaceful sleeping village

 

And so began an incredible turn about.  Before long, soldiers fell and soon the tide began to turn on what was to have been a slaughter; and as we walked the fields, our hopes and cheers went out for the Nez Perce. Brave warriors had turned the tide, but unfortunately the tribe had to flee once again, for they knew reinforcements might soon join Colonel Gibbon.

The plight of the Nez Perce is one of the greatest stories of the human spirit for freedom, and later this summer, Janie and I will again meet the tribe. In fact, we plan to meet them twice as our travels will take us through the state, for we are fortunate to have yet another book to work on. As we gather material for our Montana book, we’ll also be covering many other aspects of this state which I began calling home back in the ‘60s.  But the plight of the Nez Perce has always been a subject of great interest, and as we walked the fields of camas, bistort, prairie smoke and all the other features of enduring beauty, its story of pathos continues to stand in stark contrast with the grandeur of this great state.


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THIS TIME TWO YEARS AGO:

*Airstream Helps Many Age Gracefully

ADDS FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON AUGMENT OUR TRAVELS:


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