WEEK 5 RUN-WALK-BIKE ACROSS AMERICA 2019 STARTS TOMORROW
Segment 10: Helena MT to Bozeman MT
Segment 11: Bozeman MT to Columbus MT
Segment 12: Columbus MT to Lovell WY
Attention! We unofficially entered “Big Sky Country” as we made our way into Montana at the end of last week. It’s one of the nicknames given to this state. Information is sparse on exactly why this nickname was applied, but one explanation is that it the state is so sparsely populated with so few tall buildings that the sky dominates the vistas. It is roughly divided into a plains and badlands region east of the Rocky Mountains and a western mountainous region; climate varies with elevation.
According to a Wikipedia entry, Montana contains a portion of Yellowstone National Park (3 entrances) as well as all of Glacier National Park and other federally protected and recognized sites: areas, a battlefield, a monument, and a bison range, to describe a few. “Approximately 31,300,000 acres (127,000 km2), or 35 percent of Montana's land is administered by federal or state agencies”. Wow.
The route this week will take us along or near to the Missouri, Yellowstone, and Shoshone Rivers.
The Missouri River: is the longest or the second longest in the United States depending on which rivers are included in its system (Wikipedia, Britannica). Before the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled it’s entire length, the Missouri River was “believed to be part of the Northwest Passage – a water route from the Atlantic to the Pacific “. The expedition found, however, that the mythical pathway to the Pacific coast did not exist.
The great river empties into the Mississippi River at the border of Missouri and Illinois, just north of the city of St. Louis. In this location it served as “one of the main routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century.” Fur trappers and traders first explored it in the 1700s and then pioneer families followed it westward in covered wagons in the 1800s. In addition to St. Louis MO, some of the most notable cities of the Great Plains States are found near its banks: Great Falls MT, Bismarck ND, Omaha NE, and Kansas City MO.
The Yellowstone River: Native Americans knew the Yellowstone River as the Elk River and used it for a long time before explorer William Clark and his group returned on it from their expedition in the Pacific Northwest in 1806. The river runs through the Yellowstone National Park and has three dramatic waterfalls (Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Tower Falls). The majority (96%) of the Park’s land lies in the state of Wyoming, but very small areas also lie in Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States, established March 1, 1872 by Congress to “preserve the wildlife and showcase the unique geothermic features throughout the Park.”
In the Park, beneath Yellowstone Lake exists a “super volcano causing large amounts of geothermic activity.” There are hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, and more than 300 geysers related to the volcano. The most famous and spectacular of these include Old Faithful and Steamboat Springs.
The Shoshone River: runs for 100 miles in northern Wyoming, ending when it meets the Big Horn River near Lovell, Wyoming. In late March 2016, the Shoshone River east of Yellowstone National Park, “suddenly and without warning started boiling, changed color and began to emit a sulfuric odor “ Witnesses reportedly feared for their lives at this time. The event, likely related to volcanic activity, lasted four days and led many to remember that 200 years ago the Shoshone was called the Stinking Water River.
Although the WEEK 5 route does not in reality take us near the part of Wyoming where the 2016 odorous event occurred, knowledge of the Park and the geological origins of its famous geysers makes virtual travel through the area rather exciting. We are taking a quick virtual side trip just to learn more about the area and won’t encounter any danger or foul smells!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Itinerary and Maps for the Earned Runs Summer Challenge II: Run-Walk-Bike Across America 2019 can be downloaded from the RESOURCES page. This weeks segment maps and itinerary are included below.
6/28/17 NOTE: This week seems to be all about rivers. Although the book and movie scenes of fly fishing in “A River Runs Through It” were said to take place in Montana's Blackfoot River, the filming took place in the Gallatin River, north of the Segment 10 route from Helena to Bozeman MT. This fact was discovered in the article, “18 of the Biggest National Park Scenes and Cameos” by Laura Bailey for The Wilderness Society.
According to the piece, “The film is said to have changed the fly fishing landscape in Montana, and Redford has been quoted as saying he hoped the film would inspire people to keep more western places wild. Not surprisingly, A River Runs Through It won the 1993 Academy Award for best cinematography. “
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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