|Springtime in Montana (Courtesy of Emily Heffner)|
“When it’s springtime in Montana,
And the gentle breezes blow,
About seventy miles per hour
And it’s fifty-two below”
|Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Exhibit|
Andrea and family call Montana and Idaho home. Her dad, returned from the war, attended the University of Montana on the GI Bill, and received his degree in Forestry that led the family on a path of living on ranger stations located throughout Montana and Idaho. Their life, surrounded by nature’s beauty, was idyllic in so many ways. Isolated as they were, the family relied on life’s simple pleasures as well as one another’s company. The result is closeness and warmth that is so comforting as they come together to honor the life of their father. Children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren now gather once again in this most beautiful of settings as they prepare for their last goodbyes.
|Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation|
Springtime in Montana
|Lewis and Clark Country|
Traveling from all parts of the country and venturing into Montana in the spring offers not only beautiful landscapes but unpredictability in weather conditions. Beautiful and sunny one day and snowing the next makes traveling an adventure. We stayed in Missoula, Montana longer than anticipated as it was snowing on Lolo Pass and we did not want to tackle this in our RV. Delaying our departure was not only prudent but it gave us a little extra time to visit some of Missoula’s sights. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a “must see” and it is free. It is rich with interactive exhibits that the kids will love and it offers insight into elk habitat, preservation steps, and has a great nature trail.
Highway 12, built along the route that the Lewis and Clark Expedition followed and designated as the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, connects Montana and Idaho by way of Lolo Pass that traverses the Bitterroot Range. This is perhaps one of the most scenic highways (if you call a narrow, twisty two lane road a highway) available in the Northwest. Not completed until 1962, Andrea’s dad was assistant ranger at Powell Ranger Station before its completion. This offered the family a pristine view of this very remote landscape. Even today, with the highway completed, it remains pristin
Arriving in Orofino, we set up camp at Clearwater Crossing RV Park with a stunning view of the river out our back window. It was here that Andrea graduated from high school and then attended the University of Idaho where we both graduated. Her dad was very active in the Orofino community, named Citizen of the Year while he lived here, and has a small park named after him. It is fun to be back in familiar surroundings.