Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mesas, Mountains, Meals, and Meeteetse, Part 1 - Sat., June 10, 2017

Hi, ho, hi, ho, it's off to the mountains we go, leave behind the plains and see new thangs, hi, ho, hi, ho. Pardon me slaughtering the song, but it segues into the next portion of our vacation.

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.)

Photo Credit: Mike Schwencke
Photo Credit: Mike Schwencke
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.

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
Our walk instructions made mention of a house that had two trailers with large silver tubes. We saw them (see photos below). These are traps to catch and relocate bears. Yes, boys and girls, ladies and gents, we are officially in bear territory.
Bear traps
Bear traps
According to our walk instructions, we were in an area to see wild turkeys and a resident moose; however, they weren't out for us this morning.

Rock River raging through town - running high!
We walked a short distance through neighborhoods, then came out on Broadway, their main street. Downtown was still a few blocks ahead of us.

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

Just "WOW"
Volksmarchers on the trail...

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
Below is a cutie patootie travel trailer called "Strawberry Bunkhouse." Maybe one of you out there knows who owns this.

Our walk encircled most of the mesa plateau bench.
How do you like the stunning scenery so far? Isn't it delicious? In addition to the scenery, it is spring in the high country and there are wildflowers aplenty.

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
Anyway, after we circled the bench, we took the same trail back, criss-crossed in a neighborhood and then made our way to Broadway. Broadway is where all the cute shops, restaurants, and Carnegie Library are located.

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. 

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