The drive to northwest Montana last Tuesday was gorgeous. Fluffy white clouds sailed across a blue sky above snow capped mountains. Deep blue pine forests in the distance were covered with patches of snow that make them look like acid bleached denim. Rivers, full with spring rain and snow melt, ran aquamarine except where side streams poured in brown water.

Eureka Historic Village store and church.

After driving nearly 400 miles, I arrived in Troy in time to relax and have a sandwich before making my “Sidesaddles and Geysers” presentation to a small but lively audience for the public library. Then I drove 20 miles to Libby for the night.

In the morning, I met Brian Sherry of WVRZ community radio and he took me to the community station’s makeshift studio where we chatted about early travel to Yellowstone Park and my work as an author. (I’ll see if I can post a link to the interview later.)

Then I drove 70 miles through stunning mountain scenery to Eureka. In the afternoon, Scott Baney, a descendent of Tobacco Valley pioneers, guided me through the Eureka Historic Villiage—a collection of historic buildings including a store, chuch, school, and a hand-hewn cabin built by Scott’s ancestors. I had a great time reminiscing over the antique farm machinery with Scott.

Eureka auther Darris Flanagan arrived and showed the inside of the buildings where the local historical society has created displays. My favorite was on logging, an activity that I don’t know well.

In the evening, I presented “Sidesaddles and Geysers” to a lively audience at the Lincoln County High School Auditorium under the auspices of the Sunburst Foundation. Scott and Darris were in the audience.

On Thursday, I decided to take the scenic route back to Bozeman. I traveled mostly on two-lane roads past Seeley and Swan Lakes.  I arrived home about 5 p.m. after driving nearly 900 miles in three days.  It was great fun.

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