Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Montana's Chief Joseph Highway

The 47-mile long Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, shown on maps as Wyoming 296, links the town of Cody, WY. with the Beartooth Highway and the Northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The route crosses the Shoshone National Forest through the Absaroka Mountains to the Clarks Fork Valley and is considered one of the most scenic roads in America. 

The highway is named after the Native American chief of the Nez Perce who, following the Battle of the Big Hole in Idaho in 1877, brilliantly led his tribe of 900 warriors, old men, women and children through Yellowstone, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana as they fled from the U.S. Cavalry who were trying to force the tribe onto a reservation. They were desperately trying to cross over into Canada where they would be safe.

Sunlight Creek in the valley below.
On an 1,800 mile journey through mountains and across plains, constantly on the move while fleeing from numerous detachments of Army Cavalry with warriors fighting a rear-guard action almost the entire way, Chief Joseph and his tribe outsmarted and outmaneuvered the army troops. The surviving 431 Indians were finally stopped just 30 miles from the border. After a 6-day battle, Chief Joseph, unwilling to leave his sick and injured behind, surrendered and made his famous speech - "Hear me, my chiefs, I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
At the top of Dead Indian Pass.

Chief Joseph had to leave behind a seriously wounded
warrior at the top of this pass as U.S. Army troops were
closing in. The Indian was found by the army and killed.
The pass is known as Dead Indian Pass and this marker
is at the summit.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The County Fair

The County Fair
by Laurie Dawson

The county fair is a bright balloon
Carried on a string,
An ice cream cone and popcorn stand,
A many-splendored thing.

The county fair is a hundred things
All to see and do . . .
A daring act, a flower show.
It's cotton candy, too.

The county fair is the midway,
A kewpie doll for a prize . . .
A shooting match, a thrilling ride
For every age and size.

The county fair is blue ribbon day
For every canning mom
Whose jar is judged the best of all,
Such gay ones to choose from.

The county fair is the farmer's day
With prize steers in the rings;
The best crops, the fowls, the pets
The county fair's many things.