The following refers to day fifteen of our journey: Saturday, July 4th.
Hunter had fixed our air mattress the day before, and I'm happy to report that it held up during the night! Praises! We packed up camp and headed south. On our way out, we stopped to check out this car that had obviously hit a large animal; probably a deer.
It was no surprise that the car was registered to an Albertian...we have discovered that those folks are frightening on the road. They fly by at the craziest speeds, and they have no problem passing on a double yellow. I'm truly surprised we did not see more of these cars on the side of the road. As for cops? Yeah, we didn't see 'em. I'm not sure they even exist in Canada...Hunter saw maybe five on our entire trip. We saw more cops in our first 30 minutes back in the States than we did the entire time we were in Canada! Crazy.
We traveled no more than ten minutes before spotting another black bear; needless to say, I was happy to leave that campground behind! Holy cow, there have been far too many scary furry creatures in this region.
We drove for several hours when Hunter spotted something worth checking out. It was Fort Steele Heritage Town, and they had a steam train ride! Woohoo! No vacation is complete without a train ride, at least if you're with Hunter. :)
The ride took us around to a view of the Kootenai River. The river is gorgeous, and this particular spot was especially impressive. The river is two colors because the St. Mary River joins the Kootenai at this point. As a result, the river looks striped! I thought it was pretty cool.
The train ride itself was pretty short, but fun.
After this worthy diversion, we headed to the border. I thought it was quite fitting to return to the States on Independence Day. :) We crossed the border into Montana, and reached Eureka shortly thereafter. I called my mama to let her know where I was, and she was pretty excited...she grew up in this area. She asked me to find her house, and I told her I really didn't think I'd be able to. I was 11 years old the last time I'd been there...that was more than a few years ago! So, I didn't hold much hope.
Well, we found the main street that leads to the former Lifferth house and decided to give it a shot. Hunter drove slowly and I scanned the side roads to see if anything looked familiar. After driving for several minutes we encountered a road that looked promising. We took our chances...and sure enough, it was the right one! We pulled up in front of the house and almost immediately my eyes welled up. I'm not super-emotional (thanks to the wonders of Prozac) so I could not believe how overcome I was. This little spot in the woods holds so many cherished memories, particularly of my Grandpa who passed away in 1995.
I tried to compose myself while Hunter took a shot of the house. I really wanted to show Hunter around and share some of my memories with him, but we weren't sure if anyone was home and I really did not want to impose. Especially because we had been camping, and I didn't want to scare anyone...lol. Man, I would give anything to have one more Lifferth reunion there in the North Forty, with my Grandpa. I sure wish Hunter could have known him; I think they have a lot in common. :)
We headed back down the road, and eventually drove by Dickie Lake...another spot that is close to my heart. I was just opening my mouth to tell Hunter about the turtles we used to find here, when wouldn't you know it...we saw a turtle in the road!
Hunter stopped to help him off the road so he wouldn't get squished...and the poor guy was trying to run for his life! Unfortunately, he was running back toward the middle of the road so Hunter had to herd him in the other direction. Finally he got the right idea and headed for safety.
We continued driving and eventually stopped in Polson for dinner. Polson sits on the south end of Flathead Lake, and we found a restaurant that overlooked this gorgeous body of water.
It was beautiful; we love this lake. After dinner, we went down to the shore so Hunter could take Old Yeller for a spin.
It was a beautiful evening.