DAILY UPDATES.... This page will have updates from my trip, I'll try and post something everyday. If you have any comments or ideas please send me an email.

APRIL 6 - 12    APRIL 13 - 19    APRIL 20 - 26     APRIL 27 - MAY 3     MAY 4 - 20       MAY 21 - 27      MAY 28 - JUNE 5

JUNE 6 - 15      JUNE 16 - 30      JULY 1 - 8      JULY 9 - 16

 

April 27, 2005
I'm off to Montana - and yes, it's snowing this morning, really snowing!

I was in a bar last night chatting with a biker guy who told me all about his run-in's with the law: MT Highway Patrol, local police, Indian Tribal Police (they sound a lot like Honolulu PD) and of course the FBI - every biker has to have some sort of dealings with the Fed's! As you might expect it was hard to tell fact from fiction, even so, I thought it would be best to keep my professional life from 1992 to 1997 to myself.

Then we discussed welding, followed by motorcycles (I thought that would have been talked about earlier), which naturally led into conversation about women - which segued into him telling me that I could find a bar offering "adult entertainment" only 400 miles away in Havre (HAV-ver), MT - gota love bikers!

I stopped at the Wild West Diner to have lunch and on my way out I ran into three guys who were part of a group that is reenacting the Lewis & Clark expedition. What a bunch of characters, after talking with them for a while they invited me to come down to their camp on the Missouri River. I took a few pictures of the guys at their camp and then went to back into town for the community BBQ at the Town Hall. 

Check out the pictures page for more pictures.

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Out of 448 people, at least one has a sense of humor

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Trenton, ND

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Lewis & Clark guys

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The Hangar Bar & Grill


April 28, 2005
It looks like I'm now in ranch country as opposed to farm country - meat and potatoes are the specialty - Johnnie Cafe serves the best hot roast beef sandwich w/ mashed potatoes and gravy I've ever had - it's worth the trip.

On the way out of Glasgow I stopped in Vandalia, the smallest town I could find on the map. I'm not sure you can even call this place a town - I'd say less than 10 people live there - see for yourself  on the pictures page.

The next place I had to stop was Harlem, MT. I ran into a Deputy Sheriff while I was there and we talked about Harlem (and it's sister city in NYC), the crime rate in this lovely town and some other cop stuff.

Quote of the Day: "There are about 500 people living in Harlem and about 400 of them are criminals." ..... A Deputy Sheriff in Blaine County, Montana

I was moving pretty fast out of Harlem on Rt. 2 when I had the pleasure of meeting another one of Blaine County deputies, however this meeting, on the shoulder of the road was unplanned. When the deputy got up to my car window he just leaned in and said with a George Bush smirk, "Oh, you're the guy from NYC, may partner just told me about you on the radio." I said I'd try to keep the speed down and he said, "Don't worry about it," I replied with a quick, "Thank you and have a great day." Who ever said cops aren't nice people!

Don't forget the  pictures page !

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It really is big sky country

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Johnnie Cafe, Glasgow, MT

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Vandalia, MT


April 29, 2005
I'm going to go on the record and say Montana is the friendliest state in the nation, I can say that with some authority as I have now been to every state in the nation. The people here don't even care that I'm from NJ - I was stopped on the side of the road taking pictures and two different people stopped to ask if I needed help. 
 
I was getting bored on Route 2, so I tried my luck at another small town, this time it was Whitlash, MT - they have a post office, about 5 houses and a couple farms. I didn't get a chance to Google the town, but I'll bet the population is under 40. 

Whitlash also happens to be 6 miles form the Canadian border, so after stopping in town I rolled into Canada and drove about 20 miles west where and re-entered the USA - I figured it would be easier than driving 35 miles back on a dirt road - I was wrong!

US Customs officers seem to think it's very suspicious to leave the USA at a tiny border crossing and then 2 hours later re-enter the USA 20 miles west. Having a Hawaii drivers license and a car registered in NJ probably didn't help either - so I was stuck at the border for 45 minutes while the "man" questioned me and searched my car. I always thought they were trying to keep the bad people from other countries out, not harass the nice people like me :)

After the man gave me my freedom,  I headed toward Cut Bank, MT. The snow and temperature (28 degrees) sent me looking for a hotel and nice steak dinner.

The Glacier Gateway Inn is great place - it has the feel of a bed and breakfast and the inn keeper gave me a good price too.

The Shenandoah Restaurant is where I stopped for dinner. Salty Snead, of the band "Wrathaheart," is the chef and he cooks up a great steak. After the place closed I sat at the bar and talked with Salty, he traveled with his band for 17 years but his mother bought the restaurant and is wife doesn't like all the traveling, so now Salty is the main man in the kitchen!

 

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That's a house back there!

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Whitlash, MT  59545
More cows than people!

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A tiny border crossing

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Cut Bank, MT

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More trains....

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Salty the Chef


April 30, 2005
I finally made it into the Rocky Mountains, I was starting to get tired of rolling hills and flat land. The smell of pine trees, woods fires and cold air is a great.

As I got near Glacier National Park I made a stop at the Izaak Walton Inn which is located about 100 yards from the train tracks. It's a real nice place with a railroad museum, a restaurant that overlooks the tracks and caboose cars that you can rent instead of a hotel room. The only drawback is that huge freight trains come through about every 1/2 hour.

Next stop was Glacier National Park, this place is beautiful. I was only able to see  a small part of the park as most of it is closed due to all the snow still in the mountains. I snapped a few pictures, but as the sun went down I headed back on to the road.

Now close your eyes for a minute and imagine what a "Canyon Critter" would look like - I spent a few hours drinking beers with them at a bar called Packers (just outside West Glacier, MT). These people are unique - the men have lot's of tattoos, dirty, I mean dirty jeans jackets, ratty long beards, hats (baseball or cowboy), cheap ass no-name cigarettes and they were all shit-faced drunk. The ladies (well, that's a stretch) were dressed nearly the same as the men, and they too were drinking and smoking and acting in a somewhat "carefree" manner that might be interpreted as promisquese (I hope I spelled that correctly). Not that any of this makes 'em bad people - I just want to create a visual pictures of these characters.

I don't think they have too many dentists in this part of the woods!

The bartender also asked me what I was "doing here," I told her I was thirsty and thought the place had some charm and character. We talked for a while but she highly recommended that I go to White Fish, MT, she said it would probably be more my style - she was right.

I left Packers in one piece and headed to White Fish, this is a great town, lots of bars and fun people, although it seems like half of them are Canadians.

About week ago I bought a cushion thing to sleep on - its very comfortable. It's so comfortable that I slept in the parking lot till noon! And now I'm at the McDonalds using their bathroom, electricity and Montana hospitality.

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More trains, again.....

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Izaak Walton Inn

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You can sleep in these

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Glacier National Park


May 1, 2005
I just hit the 5,000 mile mark on my trip and I still haven't reached Seattle!

Hamilton, NJ and Libby, MT have an unhappy relationship. For many years (ending in the 1990's) tons of asbestos-filled vermiculite ore that was mined in Libby, MT was sent to Hamilton, NJ for processing and distribution (if you want more information Google - Asbestos Libby Montana).

With that in mind, I had to stop in Libby to check out the place and chat with the local folks. I was amazed at how many people wanted to talk about the plight of Libby, and even more amazed that most of them had no real concerns about the health issues caused by asbestos exposure. Most were more concerned with the loss of jobs, and the questionable real estate and political shenanigans going on in town rather then their health. One woman told me about the great flowers and vegetables she been growing and eating for over 30+ years - all of which was grown in asbestos contaminated soil.

After Libby I headed into the sunset for Idaho, I was looking for a bite to eat and a cold beer. I happened to come across the NorthWoods Tavern. This place had the most banged up, backward-ass, obnoxious and drunken people I've ever seen in my life. However, their was one regular guy in the bar who actually had a job and was the self-appointed peace keeper for the evening - he didn't do very well keeping the peace - but he didn't try real hard either!

I sat down at the bar and watched as two drunken fools argued (eventually turning into a drunken pushing match) about a masonry job that was 4 1/2 inches off the mark.

I also had the pleasure of hearing a woman (and her sidekick) sing along to the juke box all night, her own special version of karaoke.

As the night progressed people started exchanging stories about how long they had been in jail. The two guys next to had done 3 and 5 years respectively - I chose to tell the guys I was just a photographer and regrettably hadn't done any time. I didn't think any of my stories from may days in NYC would have been appropriate at that late and drunken hour.

As for dinner, the bartender was so kind that she cooked me up a Red Baron frozen pizza - it was the large size, and only 5 bucs! And, beer was only $1.50 a can - can't beat that with a stick.

It was a fun night!

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10 miles from Libby, MT

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Libby, MT

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The mine access road -
Libby, MT

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North Woods Tavern
Naples, ID

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Entertainment at the North Woods Tavern - Naples, ID

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Tyrone says "hi" at the North Woods Tavern - Naples, ID


May 2, 2005
I finally made it to Washington State! I've been sitting at the Pizza Factory in Newport, WA for the past few hours eating lunch, updating my website and recharging my computer. If you're ever in WA stop in and get some lunch, the food's good and they let you stay here for hours.....

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Idaho

May 3, 2005
I spent half the day checking put Spokane, just a regular city with stores, malls, traffic and a giant Radio Flyer wagon/slide.

On the way to the Grand Coulee Dam I had to be reminded to slow down. I finally made it to Grand Coulee and just as I suspected - the dam is big and the town is small.

Just outside of Grand Coulee, Electric City, WA has a Windmill Garden filled with a variety of hand made windmills in all shapes, sizes and colors. 

Other than that it was a pretty boring day.....

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Radio Flyer - Spokane, WA

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Grand Coulee Dam

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Windmill Garden

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Windmill Garden