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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Poised For Missoula


7/16/12, Bonner, MT- Iím currently 3 miles east of the MT-200/I-90 Junction, on MT-200. This was a relatively short, but nice day on the road. My goal for the day was to get close to the City of Missoula, such that I could have time to pick up a few things in town and still have time to get all the way across. 

It was a nice morning. I was hitched up and on the road by 7 AM.  My host, Brad, his wife and his father were all on hand to wish me off. As I travel throughout America, I rarely pass up an opportunity to stay at a farm or ranch.  Iím always warmly received, the hospitality is great and the food is fantastic.

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After Rancher Brad Hall fed his little girl, she got this look of adulation in her big brown eyes and walked with him (and his bottle) in the morning sun.

The Hall Family homesteaded this property in the late 1800ís.  The first home was a cabin that was lived in for 20 years until the ranch house was built.  The Hallís raise beef and grow hay.

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Beautifully restored, the house was built around 1908.

Not long into the morningís journey, the road joined up with the Blackfoot River.  This beautiful river is very popular with trout fisherman.  Like the Madison River, along which I traveled a few weeks ago, the Blackfoot is considered a superb trout stream.

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Doc and Bob, enjoying the scenery as they walked along.

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The view out the side window as we crossed one of the bridges across the Blackfoot River.

After lunch, I started looking around for a place to spend the night.  About 3 miles short of the small town of Bonner, I found just the place. On a bench overlooking the river was some excellent grazing.  Itís too far down to the river and too steep, so the horses will have to make do with water from the wagon stores.  But, other than that, the place is just right!

Iím now 10 miles from the center of Missoula, so Iím poised to get my stuff and get out of town in one day.  Tomorrow, I have to pick up a new spare tire for the trailer, grain and some groceries.

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Both the lads and I like to camp with some good scenery. The river is located just down a bluff on the left side of the picture.

As we arrived at the campsite, there was a herd of 6 Bighorn Sheep 150 yards up the road. Unfortunately, I was trying to move horses when I saw them and the sound of the wagon and heel chains scared them off.  By the time I got the camera out, all I could see was retreating white butts.

This afternoon and evening I had several visitors, including Tom, a Photographer for the Missoula Paper and Kim a reporter.  The story is suppose to run in tomorrowís paper.  I also had visits from my friends, the Hallís and the family of Kim, the reporter.

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This is Tom, a photographer for the Missoula paper.  With that Jimmie Olson (of Superman fame) pose, he might pass for the Man of Steelís sidekick.

All in all, itís been a very relaxing and peaceful evening, camped here on our grassy bench, above the beautiful Blackfoot River.

Tomorrow, the lads don their city hats as they navigate urban terrain and get petted by a hundred kids.  With all the snacks and pets, I tell you, ĎBeing a wagon horse is a rough lifeí!