Tuesday, December 18, 2012

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

May all of the readers of the View and the River Press, have the most wonderful holiday with family and friends.  How quickly these holidays roll around so enjoy every minute.

Everyone is familiar with the magazine National Geographic.  However, did you know that they also publish another magazine called National Geographic Traveler?  It is probably the most elite travel magazine out and serves a very discriminating clientele who tend to pride themselves in going to stunning places off the beaten path.

The story is titled “20 Trips in the World for 2013.”  Now, can you imagine in your wildest dreams that one of those 20 trips from “IN THE WORLD” would be the Missouri River Breaks and it all starts in FORT BENTON.

The story mentions outfitters Don Sorenson, Upper Missouri River Guides, Missouri River Canoe Company, and the Gagnon’s Grand Union Hotel.  We locals, (that is the term used for Fort Bentonites.) take all of this for granted. I would venture to guess that fewer than more people have ever traveled the Missouri. (that goes for me too.  I have only seen the Breaks from up above when there was a van ride at one time.)  That also goes for visits to our wonderful museums, the Old Fort, and the Joel Overholser Research Center.  People come from all over the world to Fort Benton as shown on the Visitors Information Center sign-in sheets.  This situation is not uncommon because I have read that very few of New York City citizens have ever been to the Empire State Building.

The article has Travel Tips that include when to go, where to stay, how to get around, where to eat or drink, and what to watch before you go.  (They suggest the DVD titled Lewis & Clark Great Journey West that was shot in original expedition locations.)  I am going to call the library in the morning to see if they have that DVD.  Should I suggest that it be shown a few evenings at the library?  I think it is a great idea.

Following are a couple of paragraphs from the article that I thought were awesome.  “For locals, this place where erosion slashes the prairie is simply “the Breaks.”  Some people explore it by canoe, often starting at Fort Benton, (make time for the frontier history museums,) and paddling for days and days.  Others keep their feet dry, but the one thing everybody can find is quiet, the kind of hush that amplifies birdsong, a flutter of leaf, the melody of wind, and your own heartbeat.”

“It’s not easy country.  You will find more cactus and prairie rattlesnakes than people.  You’ll expose yourself to weather that can peel your skin, freeze your flesh, bake you to the bone.  Bring sturdy shoes, lots of water---and an open mind.  In the Breaks, you can fill it with something good.” By Scott McMillion.

Perhaps after the National Geographic comes out, Fort Benton will no longer be the best-kept secret in Montana.  After all, we are the first best place in the last best place.

A phone call this past week informed me that there is a van service running from Havre to Great Falls.  I have sparse information and will check into it further this coming week.  The fee is only $1.00 according to my source.  You can be picked up on Highway 87 or at your home.  It would be great for doctor/dentist appointments as well as specialties shopping trips, (things you cannot find locally.)  It sounds too good to be true but since it has been running for a while, it must be.  I am supposed to get a time schedule and I will pass that on as soon as I receive it.

I did not have the space last week to write about my experience at the reception of the new loader between Carter and Tunis.  I wanted to tell you in the View from the Bridge about the view from the Catwalk 180 feet straight up.  (Again, I am joking folks.  I would just like to have crawled up there for the view.)

We met David Murray from the Tribune and I said proudly I was from the River Press.  I think he was impressed.  I did not go into any detail. There were about 8 or 10 men standing outside the office building when we arrived and I thought they were waiting for the tour.  After a few minutes of standing in the cold, someone said that there was coffee and donuts inside.  Actually, that is where all the action was.  Men were signing up for their I.D. cards and there was a lot of talk about wheat.  I only saw two other women.  As we were about to leave, someone offered to take us on a tour.  Awesome.  What an operation and it is all computer controlled. 

I had to ask the question, “Why are you building all these new facilities?”  You wheat farmers must have known the answer and I thought I knew but it was then verified.  Chouteau County is the wheat capital of the world.  It has the best wheat and foreign countries want it.  That should make our County very proud.  We will get on the MAP one way or another and let it be for the profit of our hard working farmers.

I think I have been writing long enough that you all know that I love basketball.  It is a little harder to get around these days and we missed the tournaments.  We did however; make it to the games last Friday.  It was so “at home” to get those delicious hamburgers, a cheesy nacho, cold drinks, and candy/or popcorn.  The stands were filled and everyone seemed to be enjoying him or herself.  The boy’s game was ever so close at the last few seconds.  They did a great game of catch up with the score and that makes for a great game.  Go Longhorns Girls and Boys.

I met our new reporter, Bethany Monroe, at the Recycling meeting on December the 10th.  I was a tad late and as the meeting progressed to the point that we were talking about getting it across to the public, I said that there was a new reporter at the River Press. Everyone started to laugh because she was there.  Because I was late, I missed the introduction..  So now, Bethany is here, there, and everywhere just as Tim used to be.  I saw her twice again during the week at the Senior’s dinner on Tuesday evening and at the Pie Day and Cookie sale on Friday.  I am quite sure that she likes Fort Benton very much.  Welcome Bethany.  To our readers, if your organization has an event or you know of news happening, be sure to call Bethany at the River Press.