Day 94 – Bozeman Trail of Tears

My cousins did a great job of cutting the evening short last night! I was in bed early and cozy checking email and updating Facebook/blog. Up early, I was greeted with a cooked breakfast and enough sandwiches for an Elephant! Ready to go, my cousin Chase drove me back towards Livingston this morning.

 

The drive was beautiful this morning! I couldn’t believe how things have changed in the Bozeman area. And what I mean by changed, is how much frigging $$$ has come to the area over the ast 20 years. New businesses, housing developments and course, small castles that have been built on former farm/ranch land. I don’t know if this is good or not? I do see that Bozeman now refers to itself as a cosmopolitan center. I don’t think that is coming from original Bozeman natives.

A good example of the tiny little homes that are being built in the area.

 Today’s walk crosses across Jackson Creek, Bridger Canyon and along side the mountains towards Belgrade. Immediately from the start of the day, it was a day filled with sensory overload. Before dawn it was nice and cool, and the perfect time to surprise unsuspecting animals. I must have almost stumbled over at least a dozen little Bambi sleeping close to the side of the road.

For the first half of the day, my scenery was nothing but the Bridger snow-capped mountains. I can’t tell you how lucky I felt to be there, at that very moment! Everything was just perfect and I knew it would be a moment I would never forget. Many of you have asked about my “soul-searching” or if I was finding what I was looking for. Well, sorry to disappoint, but I didn’t need to walk across the country for that. 🙂 On this day, and in the midst of such overwhelming beauty, one couldn’t help but to think though…

Thinking of little Aleesha Wubben and her drive to Children’s Hospital today. Thinking of the miles I have walked and the paths I have crossed. Thinking of what life has in store for me when I cross the finish line on September 10th. Thinking of how lucky I am to have such wonderful family and friends. All a bit overwhelming, I can’t deny that I didn’t get a bit teary eyed while walking today. Tears of happiness and sadness I guess.

Note to self: Hey Nancy-Boy; while you are doing all that thinking, give yourself a swift gut-punch and a real reason to get all teary-eyed. Not your fault though, it’s in your genes (click here)

Towards the end of the mountains I was greeted by Mike with the local NBC station. Mike must have spent an hour filming me walk through the mountains. About every 20 minutes he would zoom by in his little TV vehicle and then surprise me around the corner. After the action footage, Mike conducted his interview. While he was interviewing me, I did my best to find out about Mike too. Turns out that Mike went to college in Fort Collins, CO (CSU), the same as some of my cousins. As Mikes gets further in his career, he hopes to get back to stations near his home in Colorado some day. Good luck Mike and thanks for the time today!

About 5-minutes after Mike left, Dan from the local CBS station stopped by to do his interview. Either Dan has more experience or he was in a hurry. Whatever it was, Dan was able to get everything done in about 20 minutes or less. While working in Bozeman, Dan hopes to use his experience here to eventually create PBS documentaries. Good Luck Dan!

(Sadly, Dan’s interview was not shown on the Bozeman news that evening)

This isn't Dan! This is Coyote, a guy on (he said) permanent vacation, hitch-hiking around the country, currently going to a Rainbow gathering.

Five miles before finishing today’s walk, a truck approached sneakily from behind. It was my Uncle Chase and Aunt Kathy tracking me down. They had driven down from Lake Ennis to spend the evening with the family and visit their crazy nephew. After a brief chat, they drove on and we met up later when I arrived at the house.

Before even making it to their driveway, my cousin Annie and her friend Darcy drove/walked the final stretch of the way. Like the night before, all the cousins came to Amy & Chase’s (little Chase) home for dinner. We sat outside on the porch, eating, drinking iced tea and just hanging out. That is, until the 5pm news when everybody ran to see me on the TV. I can’t begin to tell you how weird that was. First, watching myself is just weird. But when all your family is watching, it’s just down right embarrassing. 🙂

After dinner and dessert, I couldn’t make it much past 8:30 this evening. I had to call it early for the evening and prepare to start walking from their home in the morning. Tomorrow destination is the town of Three Forks, MT. It will be a completely different day, as I will be walking without my Runabout. I hope I don’t fall over without having the handle-bars to lean on…

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