Once again my 50 state journey brought me back to Montana. Dave Bell the million state guru found this small event halfway between Missoula and Spokane. Fist impressions were Big Sky and rivers rushing everywhere. Air so clean you wanted whipped cream on top. Save that though for the huckleberry shake.
For my one tourist day I went to through Paradise
To get to Flathead Lake. The river was the Clark Ford joining the Flathead and the race followed the St. Regis.
I enjoyed the historical museum in Polson and a highlight of the trip was the dam now owned by the tribes that was breathtaking.
After the waterfall pic I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the Mission Mountains with a peek of East Glacier. All of this wonder less than 75 miles from St Regis which is about and hour from Missoula. Wow.
There was lots of pre race adrenaline about moose and bear encounters. The spray was very heat and the thought of lugging it for 10 hours led me to adopt the Shoo Shoo philosophy with a dose of denial.
Special thanks to Trail who volunteered at the expo and drop bags, Melanie our bus driver who stayed with us in the middle of the trail at the start with a warm bus and Tyler who organized and marked the trail.
The village had taken over the race 50 miles to 12 k were offered from the trail radio station of of Missoula.
The first half which included a trestle and a tunnel passed quickly with rookie racer Debbie. Her daughter won the 50, her son did his first 50 and she made a big leap from the half many years ago to the 34.5 miler. What a family ! Grandpa Kevin got Nanny duty. Who had the most tiring day ?
At the halfway mark I was ping the FL cheer squad and the absence of course marshals found me entering the interstate.
I thought I need dirt and rocks get back to your M and M fantasy at the bottom of the hill.
The trail became like a rocky creek bottom so the shuffle turn to a delicate tip toe and anticipation of the finish line.
I did see a moose leg and partial antler on the trail and went faster because I was sure it was from a Sasquatch or a grizzly attack.
Have you ever seen such clean water ? My running mate Debbie who is from the mountains near Ronan said Montana’s population is finally over a million. For a place that take 12 hours to drive across.
The post race feast and glow was great and I must give big accolades to Val who enjoyed the 30 k and was out on the course cheering and doing support. Special thanks to Dave who did not keep us waiting til 9 pm and came in a bit over 10 hours. Wicked fast.
We found a new BFF waitress Nancy at O’Aces for dinner . Great food and the beef in a Montana is really special. Must be the sky, fresh air and the water.
Takeaways ? Montana is magnificent, give it more than a weekend with a super long run. Perhaps since so many tribes were put into one area here the Native influences is stronger. I enjoyed reading the native language and learned from Trail and Debbie about the different tribes and the treaty theory and reality.
State 42 check with some extra miles beyond 26 because the trail starts and stops on nature’s plan.
Thanks for following
Next up is a WA-OR double week preceding July 4.
Here is a quote provided by Lewis Hunt who has Montana roots.
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. Norman McLean
Thanks for following, your air will be fresher and the sky a little bigger today.
Love to all,