After a very anxious 10 days waiting of my next check (because I had to buy a new tire)… I AM finally leaving Missoula today. I have severe allergic conjunctivitis in both eyes and I believe it is from something in the air in Missoula. Came out of the doctor’s office yesterday (7/20/10), and was frightened by a bear. I thought I was seeing things… as my eyes were so bad…
All kidding aside, I ran to the van with an ice pack on my eye and grabbed my camera, because I think he is so wonderful. The artist is Julie Pederson-Atkins of Billings, MT. I like her other art too.
My bargain of the month. $20 marked down to $10. A twin cotton bedspread which I think will be very comfy on hot nights (that have a way of chilling down later, but not too much). I love the bag too… I got a twin size, though Wal-Mart still had queen and double. I think the twin will fit the van better the the color will sure brighten things up.
7/21/10 - This morning my eyes were stuck shut… so am picking up the meds, seeing the Physical Therapist one more time for my shoulder and hitting the road. I need fresh air.
I then headed toward Lovell, WY… and Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area at Horseshoe Bend. Will probably take me a couple days to get there since I am leaving Missoula in late afternoon. Will be going through Deer Lodge, near Anaconda, thru Butte, Bozeman, Livingston, Laurel and then south on Rt. 310 crossing into Wyoming. I’m sure I’ll be stopping along the way to see stuff and most likely won’t get to Horseshoe Bend for at least two days.
|BigHorn Canyon NRA, Horseshoe Bend|
I left Missoula and only drove a couple hours before I began feeling sleepy. The physical therapy was grueling… and I was in pain. So much pain. I had a very good physical therapist… and she took a lot of time to explain to me what was happening to my arm. This situation I find myself in… evidentially, didn’t begin because of the last surgery or even the one before that. She showed me that the muscles in my right shoulder and arm are rather seriously atrophied. Long ago… maybe 18 years ago… I was sitting on one of those plastic lawn chairs, leaning back like one shouldn’t do… and a back leg broke off. I landed mainly on my right elbow… and my tail bone. The impact was so severe that it knocked me out. It was really scary waking up after that.
A Hard Lesson Learned: At the time I had no health insurance. Then a number of years later, I was visiting my sister in Florida, sitting on another one of those dammed chairs, (no leaning back this time) when a back leg broke again and again, I landed on my right elbow. Still no health insurance. Well, what I learned today… it that it doesn’t take weeks of having your arm in a sling (like after surgery) for the muscles to begin to atrophy… only a day or so. She showed me one exercise in the mirror… and I was shocked to see, even though my right arm is my dominant arm, my right shoulder it a whole lot smaller than my left. Wow! Who knew! I was just totally flabbergasted. So, the darned arm was already compromised before the van accident in 2006. This wonderful therapist even told me today, to call her if I ever had any questions. I have two sheets of exercises. She showed me how to modify them for my van-living style and you betcha I’m going to stick to it with a vengeance. It has been a very educational and rewarding day. They were even kind enough to copy everything in my very new file there… so that I can carry it with me in case I need to see someone in another state along the way. And the upshot of those two days of therapy and my one day of working out in-between is that I’m sore and tired. Tonight’s rest out on the range where I can smell the ranch and the cattle nearby will be restorative.
The lesson??? NEVER turn down physical therapy if you doctors suggest you have it. I thought my problems were from wearing a sling for a few weeks… but it only takes a couple days for muscles to begin to atrophy. Keep moving folks. Get out of that chair (you know who I am talking to!)
I put on a frozen lasagna in the RoadPro Oven… and headed East. Got as far as Deer Lodge, saw a sign for the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, and decided to stop for the night. One reason was, in another lifetime when I was a living history museum manager, I knew the then manager of the Grant-Kohrs Ranch.
I was there on 7/21/10 for the night:
He no longer working there, still I thought I would enjoy the visit. Admission is free. A horse-drawn wagon ride tour is only $5.00. So, I’ll head over there first thing in the morning.
The second reason I stopped for the night is that the air seems clean and fresh here after a few rain showers, but looking ahead to the East, I can see the thick vale of smoke from the MT forest fires. I don’t want to push on and then have to sleep in that air. This is a good place to stop. I’ve pulled over on a side street between McDonald’s and a restaurant. The ranch was very near. I heard thunder overhead and oh, my, how I can sleep with rain on my roof.
The wife of the rancher had a screened in port built for her plants… and it was right off the dining room. The dining room was full of fresh plants.
As a former park interpreter, I always find it interesting to see new interpretive techniques. There were uneven pavement in places and they were marked with animal foot prints… to draw peoples attention to the path. Reproduction teepees
And there are Rustic Rental Cabins that the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest rents out to the public under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. They are historic representations of once-operating, fully staffed remote ranger stations, guard stations and mining camps.
While I was in the neighborhood, I also saw:
Old Prison Museum, 1106 Main St., 406-846-3111. Site of the Montana Territorial Prison. Kohrs served on the board of prison commissioners in the mid-1870's.
Those are little bird houses that prisoners had made and mounted on the roof of the theater.
The theater, built by prisoners. A collection of weapons made by prisoners. Our tour guide for the Prison Tour was actually a former guard at the prison.
Another interesting site there was the Automobile Museum which also had an automobile museum. If you are really into old cars, this is a must see. See next page.
So, enough site-seeing, on Eastward… for South Dakota and North Dakota Paddles.