Thursday, July 03, 2014

Bozeman Wedding Bells

No, we are staying in out camper!
Wouldn’t you know it, the first 4th of July that is going to be hot and we are on our way to attend a wedding in Bozeman, Montana.  It’s the wedding for the son of Linda’s long-time teaching partner, Barbara Crow.  Michael, the son, was also one of Linda’s students and we have known the family forever.  Attending the wedding brings us east to Bozeman and thus adds a new part of the country for Linda and Kobi to visit.  I have been in the area several times, but it was always in a fly-by-night visit.

Kobi went fishing in the Clarkfork.
We left our place after making arrangements with the housewatch people.  Linda said that we hit the road at exactly 10:06 AM and I believe her!  We put the cruise control on just below 60 mph and let the truck carry us through Missoula to our camp spot on the Clark Fork River near Clinton.  We pulled off at Beaver Tail Hill State Park and hoped to get a spot for the night.

The campground had a few spots still available so we took one of the pull-throughs.  This is a nice little campground with access to the river so Kobi really enjoyed taking swims whenever we felt he needed a walk.  Only drawbacks I could see in the place was the fact that it was about 500 yards off the train tracks and 600 off the interstate.  Noise wasn’t super bad but there were quite a few trains during the night.

The morning pack-up was uneventful and we hit the road about 9:45 AM.  We drove past Butte and over the Continental Divide dropping down into the Gallatin Valley arriving in Bozeman at the Sunrise Campground.  The place is scrunched in between the railroad tracks and I-90, so once again we will be hearing the sounds of the Iron Horse (not the bar) all night long.
Home for the 4th of July.
We got settled in and cleaned up so we took a drive and got the lay of Bozeman.  It looks like any other college town and of course there are a lot of people moving about. Huge black clouds closed in on the valley and we ended up having a big rain storm with thunder and lightning. Koby was not a bit happy, so once again we eased up on our no dogs in the camper policy. He was quite happy all night.

July 4th - We got up early and got ready for the day. Our plans included a visit to the Museum of the Rocky's, some mid-day rest and then attend the wedding party barbecue in the evening. We drove to the museum and were there when the doors opened.

This is a very interesting place. We visited an exhibit called Geckos - Tails to Toepads. We found that Geckos are among the most adaptable lizards and more than 1,100 species live in habitats ranging from balmy tropical beaches and lush rain-forests to frigid mountains and parched deserts. In this exhibit we got to see live Geckos representing more than 18 distinct species. I took a ton of photos but once you see one Gecko...

No wonder you have a toothache! 
After that we visited the Siebel Dinosaur Complex which is world-renowned as a dinosaur research facility. This area houses one of the largest and most important collections of dinosaur fossils in the world.
The museum houses the most T.rex specimens anywhere in the world and has exhibits on Triceratops, the Catherine B.rex specimen, and many other one-of-a-kind dinosaur finds. We enjoyed reading the information and watching the various videos. It is well worth a visit just for this exhibit.

More of my friends pictures below,
can I interest you in saving some money?
Another part of the museum is the Taylor Planetarium where we watched a program called: Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the Edge of the Universe. I quote from there flyer: "Deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica, scientists are detecting and using tiny and elusive particles called neutrinos to explore the insides of stars and galaxies. These ghostly neutrinos give us an exclusive look into exploding stars and black holes. You’ll get stunning views of the most remote locations on Earth to the unexplored regions of the cosmos on a journey you will never forget."
Yeah, I'm a little bit jealous but he is bigger.

It was a very enjoyable program and both Linda and I agree that we did not understand much of what was said in the presentation, but the planetarium pictures and graphics were way cool!

Finally we visited the Tinsley House, a Living History Farm that was relocated to Museum of the Rockies. We visited with costumed interpreters that were baking in a wood-burning stove, and forging iron in the blacksmith’s shop. We got lucky and were there to watch a young interpreter squish a bumble bee on the hardwood floor in the upstairs of the house. It made an incredibly loud crunching sound as he stepped on it with his big boots.

The little old fellow in the blacksmith's shop was a real talker. I think he took a shining to us because we came from "Coeur d'Alene, once the match and toothpick capital of the United States." We broke away from him when another family came in, after about a fifteen minute history lesson on everything from Lewis and Clark to the forging mistakes of ironwork.
Marcy would be proud of you!
Hummm, it's close to nap time, I wonder...

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