Bill Remembers

On the Bitterroot Trail today, from Missoula to Hamilton, we made friends.

L to R: Steve, Camillia, Pony

Steve used to work for the local parks department, doing everything from cleaning toilets to building playgrounds. Familiar story: he loved his job but not the politics. Steve got choked up at times as he told Jeffrey about his family. His first wife thrived under his care through years of serious illness. She went, he said, to a better place. Now he and his second wife are raising their delightful granddaughter—a joy to do, but not easy for retirees. Steve’s big heart is open to people fleeing persecution. He wishes our government would look out for them, and for the rest of us, instead of playing dangerous power and money games. You gotta love this guy.

Carol is a good neighbor who cleans up after her dog. She told us that many Hmong refugees (rescued from southeast Asia prior to the Refugee Act of 1980) settled in this area. Carol spoke of how hard they work, and offered the example of a deaf woman who sells beautifully presented produce at an outdoor market. Carol has no patience for those who denigrate refugees.
Almost our entire route today was on pavement closed to motor traffic.
L to R: Bitterroot River, RR tracks, fence, bike path, guardrail, US 12 / US 93.
Alpaca, sheep, goats.
Bill, a master of dry humor, was biking with his ”first wife”. He stopped to talk cycling and human rights; he advocates both. After he read the “January 6” quote on our fairing, Bill spoke of listening to FDR with his family gathered around a big Zenith radio with a purple dial. Bill may have heard FDR make that very speech! We would have talked longer but Bill had to catch up with his wife. (On January 6, 1941, Bill was 5 years old.)
Bill’s wife pedaled on while Bill and I talked. Out of sight in Montana can mean far, far away.
Giant Lincoln Logs!
This is the view from our motel’s back yard. The motel clerk recommended a nearby restaurant, and if Jeffrey walked there, warned in all seriousness to beware of the moose. She said the moose hasn’t attacked anyone. Yet.

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