We say good-bye to Billings, Montana, and turn south toward Red Lodge, Montana. Today is our first post-convention Volksmarch; we will have one more sanctioned, post-convention walk tomorrow in Cody, Wyoming.
Driving through tiny towns on our way to Red Lodge, we notice a particular type of art: rusty, metal, big sculptures. One sculpture looks like a monster, others we drove by quickly so we didn't get a good look. The one sculpture that stood out the most to Susan and I was a very old rusty car filled with a rusty metal family with kids. It was great. We did not turn around to go back and get a photo. We know another couple who did get a photo, maybe they will share it with me. (Yes, the did share their photos! Thank you.)
Upon entering Red Lodge, we turned off the main street as we entered town and drove to the high school to begin our walk. My first impression at the town's entry round-about was that their sculpture of Chief Plenty Coups was top notch. I wondered what else this little town had in store.
|Photo Credit: Mike Schwencke|
|Photo Credit: Mike Schwencke|
After registering for the walk, we set off from the high school along Rock Creek, a lovely mountain stream that was flowing at high volume due to snowmelt from the Rockies; such lovely music to my ears.
|View from Red Lodge High School stadium|
|Me with the Rock River racing by|
|Rock River raging through town - running high!|
As we walked, there was a commotion up ahead. By the time I looked up from my walk instructions, all I saw was someone rolling across the street. Then the person just laid there in the middle of the lane. There was a small orange motorbike (similar to a Vespa) on the ground at the corner. The man was wearing a helmet.
Volksmarchers jumped into action as there was a checkpoint at that intersection. I told Susan to call 911 as she had her phone handy.
From what we could piece together from what the man told us, as he was laying on the ground waiting for EMTs to arrive, he was making a right-hand turn to go buy pastries. He said he was stupid, because he was trying to beat out some cars that were coming. His motorbike hit a patch of gravel on the side of the intersection and his bike skidded out from under him.
Volksmarchers detoured traffic around where he was laying in the road. A gentleman we didn't know knelt down on the road beside him, held his head stable, and asked him questions to make sure he was aware of what had happened, knew his name and phone number, etc. From the questions the man was asking him, it sounded like he was an EMT or doctor or someone with first aid training.
A few minutes later, the police and EMTs showed up. The police blocked the road with their cruiser and detoured traffic. No one moved the man yet, as he may have had neck trauma or broken ribs (his left side was badly bruised and scraped). At that point, we continued our walk.
The next portion got our lungs pumping fresh, clean mountain air as we took "Main Street to the Mountains Rock Fork Trail" 180 ft. up to Bull Lake "Bench" overlooking town. (I mistakenly thought it was a mesa or a plateau, but it wasn't. The mesa alliteration sounded good in today's title.) Our walk circled the bench and we passed a small airport, "ditches," and the rodeo grounds.
|Darren and Susan at start of 180 ft. climb to top|
|View of Red Lodge from the trail going up|
|Spectacular scenery and a small airport|
|A "ditch" - as in irrigation ditch|
|Another view of the ditch|
|Don't know names|
|Mike, Darren, Susan M., Kathy|
|A group coming up the hill|
|And a group returning|
|More climbing up|
|Hiking poles come in handy|
|Darren and Mike|
|Our walk encircled most of the |
|Goat's Beard or Yellow Salsify|
|Goat's Beard with Butterfly|
OK, so maybe I should have made a separate blog with wildflowers. Sorry about that.
|Not wildlfowers, but poppies in a yard|
Today's blog is too long; I'm going to do 3 parts. See you in a few minutes.
To be continued in Part 2.