Tuesday, May 14, 2013

View From The Bridge 5/15/13

VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

How proud we were of the 10 graduating students who received scholarships on Tuesday the 7th.  One young man, Roland Springer, will leave June 6th for basic training.  I will keep in touch with his Mom, Stacey, as to his whereabouts.  I will also look forward to framing his picture and hanging it with the other service members at the Sunrise Bluffs.

I was not able to pick up my copy of The River Press until Thursday morning.  It was a day-brightener to read on the front page at the top, FBHS ranked third best high school in the state.  Awesome.  The statistics are amazing.  Our little Class C School competed with Class AA schools.  The same day the levy was approved which was not a surprise.  I will have to check but I cannot remember a vote that was not approved.  Many people in Fort Benton know the value of education and the value of a good education.  The monies are well spent because we have the cream of the crop in our kids.  They are our future and in today’s world, that means a lot.  GO SENIORS!

As promised, here is the second installment of “Best of the World, Our 20 Must-See Places for 2013.”

Even bison are back, thanks to the American Prairie Reserve, a group stitching together three million acres of public and private land for wildlife.

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 simplifies birdsong, a flutter of leaf, the melody of wind, your own heartbeat.

It is not an easy country.  You’ll 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.”

I, quite often, find myself in the right place at the right time.  Last Thursday I rode our cart to the Pharmacy to pick up my prescription.  I was on the business side of Front Street.  I saw a group of small children visiting the Shep Memorial Statue.  I headed over to see who they were.  A teacher said that they were Kindergarten and 1st Graders from Highwood.  They had already been to the Interpretive Center, had to visit Shep, then have lunch, and would finish their visit at the Chouteau County Library.

I asked if they had taken any pictures, thinking they could give them to The River Press.  She said they did not and I asked if she wanted me to call The Press.  She said that they had to hurry on to lunch but they would be at the Library afterward. 

As I proceeded on toward the Old Firehouse, a woman came toward me with a large notebook in her hands.  I thought that she was with the schoolchildren.  She was not, but she said that she did have a story.  She had just come from the Lewis and Clark Statue.  She saw two geese in the Missouri with their 17 goslings.  I then called Bethany and Tim to report that story.  It will be interesting to see which one of them were able to take a photo and if it was printed in the paper. 

How the time is flying.  The Museum’s and the Old Fort will be open.  It will be 6 weeks and 2 days until Summer Celebration.  Lists were sent around at G.F.W.C. Woman’s Club meeting for volunteers to work the Pie Auction, Art on the Levee, and the Information Table. The Friends of the Library are planning to have another book sale on Friday the28th of June.  They have a completely new collection of good books for sale.  Many old books are being packed up to be sent away.  They need help so if you have a couple of hours to spare…volunteer.

By chance, I found out that the Lion’s Club was making a trip to the Lions Campground (formerly Kiwanis Campground,) to do some tidying up.  We were invited to join them for some burgers and beans at 4:00 p.m.  The Campground is located in the Shonkins about a 30-minute drive from Fort Benton.  If you have never taken advantage of this area, you are missing tranquility, restful moments, the smell of mountain growth, and time away from land phones, cell phones, and computers.  It is a haven way beyond my description.

I know that, after you read this, you will immediately go to your vehicles, and drive up there.  Oh, you might take a few drinks and some snacks with you.  There are not any convenience stores on the way.

So, back to the Lions.   There is a kind of main area when you drive in and that is where the work was concentrated.  Branches were gathered and put in a pile.  There were some dead branches cut from the surrounding trees.  Actually, the Lions said that the grounds were in good shape considering nothing had been done in several or more years.

There is a fire pit and can be easily doused with water from the nearby creek.  There is a picnic table; however, I suggest you take other seating.  It would be very helpful to take a trash bag and take it home with you to dispose of.  Only leave your footprints when you leave and it will be great for the ones who come after you.

There are also other areas to picnic however, what I call the main one has an outhouse. I am sure your kids will enjoy that part of the wilderness. Think green!
As I said, the Lions would sleep well that night after working hard and being outdoors all day.  Those of us who use the campgrounds appreciate what you are doing and what you have accomplished.  GO LIONS.

On the way home, I pulled over to the side of the road to pick yellow Sweet Peas.  I did not have a container in which to put them.  I wet a paper towel with N/A beer and wrapped it around the bouquet.  They survived beautifully.