My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Visit to F.D. Roosevelt State Park

November 17, 2017

It wasn't until I was looking for my blog on to show the pictures of F. D. Roosevelt State Park to a visiting friend, that I realized I hadn't written one.  Some weekends I get to go on no adventures, other weekends, I go on two or three.  And I am still catching up on blogs from this summer and early fall. So I'm even more confused than ever.

But one of my early adventures here was to visit this park, since it is only fourteen miles away.  It is on Pine Mountain and at 9,049 acres, is Georgia's largest park. It has forty-two miles of hiking trails.

I loved the climbing, winding road as I left Highway 27 to reach the park.  The first road  I came to led Dowdell's Knob.  I made the turn and shortly was at the Knob.  There I found a statue of President Roosevelt sitting on his car seat.  He loved to come to this location to look over the valley, contemplate live, and even have a picnic.  The grill he used has been cemented up but is still there.

Much of the time I drove the winding, hilly road through a tunnel of trees

The parking area of Dowdell's Knob

I joined President Roosevelt on Dowdell's Knob where he loved to look over  the valley below

I moved closer to the edge and zoomed in to see more of the valley

I took a short hike here on my way home - this area closes really early - and found a site where a plane had crashed. I hope to get in many longer hikes while I'm here. 

This plaque designated the spot and told the story 

Another view into the valley below Dowdell's Knob

Fall was in full flush

These trees edged the large parking lot by the closed swimming pool

The Civilian Conservation Corp built many of the structures in the park.  I'm not sure if they built this overpass.  It reminded of those in Arcadia National Park.

The underpass

Because I turned to look at the underpass, I missed the Visitor Center until after I had seen most of the park.  The road loops around back to the overpass.  But I finally got there and spent time enjoying both the inside and the grounds and sneaking a peak at one of the cottages that were also  built by the CCC.

The imposing Visitor Center was built by the CCC - it is mostly a gift shop

This is the back of one of the cabins for rent  just beyond the visitor center - it had a fantastic view

This clump of leaves caught my eye

This bolder was chipped, showing colors underneath

The view behind the visitor center

This statue was in memory of the CCC builders

One of the camping areas was along a little lake. A road led around to the other side of it where I found more cabins, a little store and canoe rental, and pretty views.

The canoes and a view to another cabin area

Looking back at the campground along the lake. 

This is an interesting little park, both for its history and for the hiking. It also has a swimming pool built by the CCC, but it will not be open while I'm here.

Happy New Year.  Hope you have your plans in place to make sure this year is the best ever.

I'll be celebrating with friends in South Carolina when this posts. So I'm rushing to get scores of purple martin houses clean and ready to their tenants, get packed and work in a visit to a chiropractor before leaving.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Camping at Thain Creek

August 4- 6, 2017

I had really enjoyed  my visit to Great Falls, several years ago when I tacked it on as a snap decision while visiting Helena  on a one day trip from the National Bison Range. I drove and played over a very long day.  See that story here.  I wanted to experience more of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. so I decided to put another weekend visit on my bucket list. and started researching a place to camp, because I was about five hours away.

Someone rhapsodized about the relatively tiny area of the Highwood Mountains, a island range that is in the middle of a prairie, east of Great Falls,  and which is managed by the Lewis and Clark Forest. There is one official campground there Thain Creek, as well as lots of dispersed camping nearby.  The advice was golden and the trip from Great Falls to the Campground was lovely and involved lots of stops, even when I was on my third or fourth drive through.

So come and enjoy it with me.

The roads in this area are among the worst I've seen with this high a speed.  It wasn't until I was driving south this fall through Wyoming, that I found their equal.  It may have been the first time I've not been in danger of getting a speeding ticket in my life.

Montana reluctently added speed limits in 1974 . Their history is a source of amusement from a live free or die state. 

At this time of year, the cows are all grazing on public lands, while the ranchers raise hay to fee the cows over the winter

I looked like it was a good year, in spite of the drought, but I'm not sure what a normal year looks like.

Love the shapes and textures

I'm heading towards those 'mountains"

Getting closer and finding the trees starting to grow

And finding rocky outcroppings

Oh, this place

Came across a fast flowing stream

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Rocky outcropping

Just gotta have this view 

And macro views enchant as well

Hay still growing in the foreground with a delicious view behind

Think the speed limit is still at least 70mph here

Oh the anticipation!

These ranchers have got to feel blessed

A small sign of civilization

One of a few glimpses of a ranch

I arrived at Thain Campground to find it full.  But I found a stream side dispersed camp site less than a mile away and which had access to a outhouse at the foot of a hiking trail.  I was late putting up my tent and decided I would take pictures later.  The next morning it was sprinkling, then I came home after dark then, next morning, forgot and rushed to pack up and leave. But I'd give it 5 stars for a easy place to camp off by yourself.

And of course the point of  journey was to be set up to visit Great Falls. Still coming up. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Visit to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

The above quote impressed my as an excellent requirement for any great presidency. I found it while visiting the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.

I decided to take my bike to REI in Atlanta, Georgia  to get it operational.  While there I decided to visit the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. I arrived at the museum grounds about 10:00 AM. and was immediately drawn into exploring the grounds, starting with a circular rose garden.  Then I saw more and more views I wanted to photograph.  Finally I saw what looked like some kind of festival, off to the front of the actual museum.  I found it was a farmer's market and enjoyed strolling through it. One of the most interesting things I found was a black man selling hibiscus flower jelly. He gave me a sample and I loved it.  But I'm not eating sugar, so didn't buy a jar. (I drink hibiscus tea to keep my blood pressure within bounds and now am loving making kumbuichi made from a mix of it and green tea.)

I parked near the library, library so I had seen all the grounds by the time I finally went toward the museum. I was impressed with how well it blended into the landscape and how unassuming it looked. It reminded me of President Carter himself, especially as I have known him since he was president.

The largest view of the circular rose garden I could capture. The grounds are open beyond the hours of operation. 

Roses were still blooming in our warm fall

A view across the grounds to the back of the museum

The view of downtown Atlanta from the grounds

The farmer's market

A long view to the museum itself, which is built to seem smaller than it is

Inside the museum, I was impressed with how Jimmy Carter's life was displayed. I watched an interesting movie about him and then saw a few other clips.  He praised Rosalynn's prowess as a hula dancer while they were stationed in Hawaii.  He said she was the top American dancer.   I enjoyed the pictures of his inauguration.  And I enjoyed seeing some of the gifts he had received. His oval office is also reproduced here and that was a nice touch.  

The picture of the walk of the new president

I had forgotten how young daughter, Amie, was

The Carter Oval Office

I loved the peanut mugs for the peanut farmer

This picture of a cat was done in silk embroidery

One of President Carter's biggest successes was the Camp David Accord, where the presidents of Israel and Egypt agreed to sign a peace agreement.  President Carter spent 13 grueling days going back and forth between the two presidents getting agreements, line by line. The two presidents never met face to face while the negotiations were going on. The display made it all so much more meaningful. I didn't label the pictures so you will have to look up the details if this interests you.

The last section of displays was about the Carter Center and the work it has done to end diseases around the world.  I was trained as a medical microbiologist, so this was all very interesting to me.

There was a big section on the Guinea worm, which people get from drinking unfiltered water. The foundation designed a filter to go in the jugs and keep the microscopic crustacean hosts from getting into people.  The worm can grow to yards long and finally starts to come out a hole in the skin.  It causes excoriating pain and keeps people from working or going to school.  There were informational posters on other diseases the Center has helped to cure.

All that brown is one Guinea worm which has to be taken out of a person's body  over several weeks

This is the filter bag to screen out the crustacean host

Happy Holidays!

 I plan on a quiet Christmas and will spend some time packing for a long New Year's weekend with a friend. And another friend is spending two days and a night with me as this goes out.