Friday, June 4, 2010

To East Glacier

No oatmeal this morning, but rather an eggy breakfast at Snow Slip Inn, and only 6 more mile to the top. The Continental Divide at Marias Pass = 5236 feet, the lowest pass in the Rocky Mountains. We would learn later (from Jo, our Warmshowers host) that this pass is the most profitable for BNSF Railroad. 32 trains/day pass through. We are so excited that this ends big mountain climbing until we get to the Adirondacks on the east coast. To celebrate we went to Brownie's Cafe/Bakery/Hostel and had big warm iced cinnamon rolls.

Sam and Jo are our Warmshowers hosts in E Glacier. We pitched our tent in their backyard, took showers, started a load of laundry, and visited with Jo as we enjoyed bowls of homemade Italian wedding soup. E Glacier is part of the Blackfeet Reservation and Dick asked Jo if there were any overlapping jurisdictions. Amazingly there are 7 entities: tribal police, county sheriff, state police, park police, border patrol, BIA, FBI. Who gets called when a crime is committed? It all depends on who did what to whom and where.

After Sam got home from work -- he's a ranger at Glacier National Park -- we went to Browning High School for a Blackfeet gathering. It was sponsored by the Womens Donor Network. After the Blackfeet drummers/singers offered a prayer (no picture taken, it would have been rude), there was a buffet. For the first time, we ate buffalo in a meatloaf. It was delicious!

After dinner, the entertainment began. Blackfeet Jack Gladstone (on the left), known as Montana's troubadour, performed. My favorite song was "Repent, You Fossil Fuel Sinner."

Next was a short speech by Winona LaDuke, a hero to many Indian people. She was the lead plaintiff in a suit recently settled against the Dept of Interior for mismanagement of funds held in trust. She was also a VP candidate for Ralph Nader and the Green Party in 1996 and 2000.

The finale was Amy and Emily, the Indigo Girls. Although I'd never heard of them before today, they have had several very popular songs.

Jo and Sam, our Warmshowers hosts. What a great couple! So knowledgeable about their community, Blackfeet culture, the park and wildlife. We really appreciated their generosity and kindness. Although our day had already been very special, it wasn't over yet.

We went into Glacier National Park. This is Middle Two Medicine Lake. It was cold and very windy as we posed in front of Sinopah, the mountain in the background. Painted Tepee is to the left. Jo told us the story of how these and other mountains in the area got their names according to Blackfeet legends. It's still fairly light out at 9:30 pm.
Next was Running Eagle Falls. The flash reflected off the mist in the air, but I still like this picture. On the right side of the waterfall, you can see water spilling from a cave. Later in the summer the water coming over the top will stop and only come from the cave.

What a fun-filled day. I think this is the first time on this bicycle tour when we've gone to bed after it's dark outside. Once again, thank you so much Jo and Sam.

Miles completed = 903


  1. Arlete and Dick, I have been following your progress. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Winona LaDuke--our paths have crossed twice in a little over a year--once at a meeting in SD and recently sat next to her on a plane from Fargo to Minneapolis. She lives on a Minnesota reservation close to where the Probstfield/Dobervich cabin is.

    You're getting close to me--would love to meet up with you at some point as you cross ND. I'll read daily now and follow your trip.

    Cathy Scheibe--Markie D's cousin!

  2. We would love to meet up with you in somewhere in ND. Let's keep in touch. We're taking a little detour right now into Canada but will drop back down near Minot in 2-3 weeks. ~A