Roundup Reunion Day 1 – 09/14

Extremely full day today, with programs that far exceeded expectations. Today was “Idaho Day.” The morning session included lectures by three very interesting people.

First up was a former minister, one Mike Bullard, a former minister who wrote a biography of a woman in his congregation. He decided to write about her when a selection of surprising dignitaries packed his church for her funeral. The woman was Louise Shadduck, who was responsible for bringing the Roundup to Idaho in 1965. He gave each of us a copy of the book, “Lioness of Idaho.” He was the kind of speaker that could almost make you want to go to church if he was there!

Then a terrific guy from Idaho Fish and Game. Unfortunately I didn’t get his name. But he brought a slide show and a discussion of his work as a wildlife biologist working on the restoration of grizzly bear and woodland caribou populations in the northwest. He had great tales of the grizzly and promise for their restoration. Not so much the woodland caribou, of which there are only about 1900 left and none of them resident in the U.S., all in British Columbia.

Then the best of the morning. “Solar Freaking Roadways.” Scott Brusaw has invented a solar panel which can work as a road surface. It’s printable and filled with LEDs, can be used everywhere. I’d planned to blow this off as we are already getting solar, but when they put up the graphic I remembered that I had contributed to this guy’s Indiegogo campaign a while back. Dynamite to meet someone I had backed and to hear how the project is developing first hand. Best way to find out is to check out his website and find out what’s doing. It’s incredible stuff!

The afternoon had a novel self-help presentation by Anne Katherine called “Your Life as a Screenplay.” She described and challenged us to a new way of journaling using the template of a screenplay.

And best of all (maybe) we went to the top of the mountain on the chairlift. And it snowed, and it rained, and it blowed, and it was cold and wet and exciting. And the last batch of us got stuck on the chairlift in the cold rain and snow-ow-ow, when the power went off. A very wet and chilly half hour, but what an adventure. We are all still nutty in our 60’s. A great discovery. Here’s a link to the pictures of the mountain:



Roundup is Here – Sunday, 09/13

We drove from Glacier this morning along into Idaho, through beautiful country and rolling peaks. After a very cold start at Apgar Campground, we made our way west and arrived at Schweitzer Mountain Resort about 2:00 pm local time.

I note that we are running on Pacific Time right now. I remember when we came here in 1965, I had looked at the map and determined that Idaho panhandle was in Pacific time zone. We all set our watches to that time. What I didn’t know is that (apparently) Idaho did not adopt daylight savings time in the panhandle so for the first day or so, we ran generally an hour behind the rest of the local world, and were late for everything!

The resort is at the end of a ten-mile road up a big mountain north of Lake Pend Oreille. Tiwsty, curvy, lots of switch-backs. An all-in-all exciting drive.  On arrival, the resort looks like a ski resort: Swiss Family Modern. But the rooms are stunning. Holly and I have a small suit. Bedroom with huge bed; sitting room with sofa, stuffed chair, television, dining table and four chairs, and a FIREPLACE; full kitchen with stove, fridge, microwave, toaster oven, dishes for a huge crowd. Many plush towels in the bathroom. The staff are nicer than nice. The views of the lake are divine.

We started our program with dinner and singing grace. We started with a candle ceremony, welcoming the four directions of Roundups coming to the center here. Then a program that included a recorded message from GSUSA CEO, Anna Marie Chavez, and a performance by the White Glove Singers. That performance included an hysterical rendition of the history of Girl Scouting, starting with Daisy Low’s first Girl Scout troop. Pix not so good because the light was really low. Hope you get the idea.

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On the Road West – Saturday, 9/12

We went to Glacier Park today.  Long lovely drive along the Going to the Sun Road.  I took a lot of pictures.  We’re camped in the Park for the night at Apgar Campground.  No hookups, so running on power and the hotspot from my phone.  Here’s one picture from the Continental Divide.  I’ll post a link to the whole photo album tomorrow, after we get settled in Sandpoint and have power and WiFi.

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More pictures from Glacier can be seen here:

On the Road West – Friday, 9/11

I was passenger across the long width of Montana today, on the 14th anniversary of the World Trade Center bombings. I still remember vividly that day, and the endless landscapes of big sky, straight roads and rolling hills did nothing to distract me from remembering the measure of that day. I was absent from much of the trip, revisiting some of my thoughts from 2001 and the years since.

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Tonight we are camped in what might as well be a KOA right next to I-15 in Great Falls, Montana. Noisy and lumpy. We have a neighbor who rode in on this great motorcycle.


On the Road West – Thursday, 9/10

Across the rest of North Dakota.

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We are tired from lots of driving and when we hit to badlands in western North Dakota and eastern Montana, we decided on a short day and picked out a campground at Makoshika State Park just across the Montana border. This is dino country and interesting.

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We got the best campsite ever – at the top of the bluffs looking out over mudstone deposits from the Cretaceous and before. Too bad we didn’t have time to stay here another day. . .

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And we even had a campfire and sang Girl Scout songs. Mm-mm, I’d like to linger, Mm-mm, a little longer, Mm-mm, a little longer here with you. . .

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On the Road West – Wednesday, 9/9

Across Minnesota and half way across North Dakota. Lots of flat. Lots of flat. Lots of fields of corn, soy, sunflowers and something else with yellow flowers – canola maybe?

Camped in a municipal park near Bismark. Pretty.

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Holly still hasn’t found her glasses. Linda locked her keys in the car. A bright light of the evening was the cute guy from AAA who came to open up Linda’s car.

On the Road West – Tuesday, 9/8


A long day again. Looks like all our days will be long ones. It’s a long way from Utica to Idaho, no matter how you book it.

Up at 6:00 am, tearing camp down in the dark. Gee it’s not summer anymore, is it? Getting to the boat launch by 7:15. We are taking the Badger Ferry across Lake Michigan ad saving 12 hours driving time circumnavigating the lake. The Badger is a big ship, not the biggest ferry I’ve been on, but big.

The crew are loading all manner of vehicles into the ship, including cars, trucks, semis and one amazing wind turbine tower. The thing was HUGE carried on four caissons, each having 12 wheels, most of which were able to operate independently one another. I stood at the rail in the upper deck with a dozen other folks to watch the crew BACK this monster onto the boat. It was an amazing dance. Everyone cheered when the giant was safely tucked into the belly of the boat.


Here is the full album on Dropbox:

The crew continued to load vehicles and when the final items came aboard, and the loading done, the crew chief got on the PA to his crew: “Great job, Folks. Great job!” I nearly cried. How often does the boss so thank his crew for doing their jobs? They did a great job and it was touching to heard them thanked for it.


I worked up a timeline for getting to Idaho by Sunday and realistically we need to book miles the next three days, if we want to see Glacier and get to the reunion. We picked up Linda today (she will follow in her van and camp with us) at the ferry landing in Wisconsin. By the time we got the car off the boat it was nearly 1:00 pm and we needed to eat and get acquainted. All agreed that to make the time we need, we had to travel all the way across Wisconsin today and well into Minnesota. Holly misplaced her glasses this morning and not being able to see was making her uncomfortable. I hope we find her glasses.

I drove a fair amount of the seven-or-so-hour route across beautiful Wisconsin. Michigan was bland and flat. Wisconsin is lush and green and not quite so flat. We passed mile upon mile of lovely picturesque farms. Just as one would imagine a farm: farmhouse, silo, matched barns, cows. And it is so green. Hardly feels like fall, except that we drove through St. Paul and Minneapolis in the twilight and proceeded north to St. Cloud where we are camped in full dark.

So we finished the day as we had started it, in the dark, setting up camp.