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Sunday, June 3, 2012


The STEAK HOUSE once again...worth a visit for superb cuisine...

SPIA's overnight parking spot...left there while walked at first light this morning the final 10 miles toward the city of Libby, Montana.

Nearing Libby, I encountered a young lady accompanied by two automobiles...she was in the process of running from Libby, Montana to the city of Kalispell, Montana, a distance of about 90 miles...

More about Kelda below.

Please say HELLO to Kelda Latham Bennett.

Kelda, about 35 years old, is RUNNING from Libby to Kalispell, Montana...raising $$ for the SPECIAL OLYMPICS. At this point, Kelda had completed 20 miles...only 70 more to go.

Historical Note: My Son, Olen, who graduated from the Kennedy Foundation Schools, was a competitor in the Special Olympics, competing in swimming. Olen just retired as a machinist for the US Navy Trident Submarine Base on Hood Canal, Washington.

Kelda had a part-time State Police escort this morning. I must say I was quite emotional when Kelda and I were photographed together by her Hubby...forgot to ask him to take a pic with my camera. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the folks I meet, I forget important details.

Leaving Kelda to her challenge, drove SPIA into Libby, where we parked while I walked my second leg of the day...18 miles toward the town of Troy, Montana...only 14 miles from the Idaho border.

Libby, Montana.

US 2 heading West (behind the camera) out of Libby, Montana.
We are in the center of the Rocky Mountains. The river in the foreground is the Kootenai River, which at this point flows West and North into Idaho and Canada. More about water from Montana later.

US 2 looking West. The Kootenai River is 100 yards to the right of the roadway, with the BNSF Railroad tracks close on the river bank.

A number of alpine streams tumble off the nearby steep mountains. The water is crystal clear as it flows under Highway US 2 and on into the Kootenai River.

"Tour" season is upon us. Two ladies and a gent were in this group...their bikes loaded down with packs...looking all the world prepared for a long trip.

They were upon me so quickly, had no time to set up my camera for a proper shot.

Solid Rock Wall has been breached to build Highway US 2. Falling rocks are a constant hazard. At this point, a reinforced fence is installed to attempt to keep the rocks off the roadway.

The three modes of transportation:

The Kootenai River
The BNSF Railroad
The Highway US 2

Many homes line the far (North) bank of the swiftly flowing Kootenai River...they sit only 5 - 10 feet above the water level.

Highway US 2 has an extraordinary number of traffic deaths...marked by the white crosses along the roadway. This week, many were remembered with colorful wreaths and flowers...

...observing Memorial Day.

Highway US 2 winds it's way through the distant gorge...yes, I walked this roadway this morning...once both ways.

Closeup look at the shear rock cliff bordering US 2.

Returning to Libby, met yet another biker.

From Libby, drove SPIA the 18 miles to the small town of Troy, where we have taken a parking spot at the SILVER SPUR Restaurant and Casino, where SPIA will stay the night.

Troy, Montana...the last village on US 2 before crossing into Idaho...only 14 miles distant.

The SILVER SPUR Restaurant and Casino.

This map shows our route from Kalispell, Montana, to Spokane, Washington State.

Please click click to enlarge. We are tonight at Troy, on the right hand slope of the steep rise.

Spokane is approximately 150 miles from Troy. From Spokane, we must cross 100 miles of desert...the "Columbia Basin", where I spent most of my adolescent years before joining the US Air Force in 1952.

In the morning, SPIA stays at the SILVER SPUR while I walk toward the Idaho border and back. We will then drive to the town of Moyie, Idaho which will become our "base" for walking BACK to the Montana border, 16 miles distant, in the afternoon. If I hurry, we might just reach Bonners Ferry, Idaho by tomorrow evening.

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