Wednesday, May 21, 2008 -- Lolo, MT
7:30AM -- 45f this morning with partly cloudy skies, and a good chance for rain today.
We're pulling up stakes today and heading to Bozeman, a drive of about 200 miles. My brother Bill is a Professor at Montana State, and we're hoping he'll be our tour guide for a few days. It'll also be a great place to get away from the Memorial Day weekend camping crowds.
Yesterday, Tuesday, we checked out Missoula and visited the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. Established in 1877, Fort Missoula was intended to serve as a major military outpost for the region, primarily for the protection of a rapidly growing population of settlers. Being an open fort design, it never had walls or stockades.
One of the units stationed here in the late 1800's tested the use of bicycles for military operations -- with the hope that these two-wheeled machines could replace horses in some cases. In one of these tests the regiment rode from Missoula all the way to St. Louis, MO. I don't know why, but I smile when I think of a whole regiment of army troops trying to manage gear and weapons while riding bikes across the prairie. I'm sure the Indians were watching and laughing too, and probably wondering why they were loosing out to this kind of thinking.