A Trip Across the USA
Jon Vermilye's Photo Page

Trip Index

May 13 - Continued

Well, it took a bit longer than expected to get us up & running, but we did make it to the National Bison Range. Although Don & Anne had to leave the Sleep Inn this morning, they now have a room for the rest of the week at the Brook Street Inn just up the road. Much better than camping out - last night it hit 23 degrees.

We stopped at the Information center at the National Bison Range to pay our $4.00 fee for driving through - actually, we bought a Golden Eagle Hologram to add to our National Parks Pass to turn it into a Golden Eagle Passport. That gives us entrance into many more places than just the National Parks. Within the Bison Range the roads are gravel, with many switchbacks, 10% grades & narrow. The good thing is they are one way (except for the rangers that drive their trucks the wrong way...)

Don & Anne followed us - they now have a CB in their rental car so we could talk back & forth. The buffalo are not as close to the road as they are in Yellowstone, but there seem to be more of them. We also saw some mule deer, many birds & elk. I got some good shots of the elk since they were right on the road, but as Don was slowly pulling up to take some pictures, a ranger truck came flying down the road the wrong way & chased the elk away. Sorry Don!

The Mission Range
A Collection of
Part of the Herd
Elk Do Laugh!
And Chew

All of us are a bit wiped out, Anne more than the rest of us, so we called it a night a bit early.

May 14 - Missoula Continued

Awoke to a beautiful day - Blue skies, much warmer, particularly in the sun. We stopped by for Don & Anne, Brian & Karin's to join them & Brian's parents, went to Dennys for brunch, then shopping for tomorrow's graduation picnic. Went to "The Good Store", a not-for-profit mostly natural foods grocery store. Quite the place - lots of whole grains, fresh spices, organic produce, and such. The largest natural food store I've ever seen. After that it was back to Brian & Karin's to meet the Guido's & make a run to the Campus Book Store. Very busy with parents & students making last minute (and for graduates, last period) purchases of mementos of The University of Montana stuff. I now have a hat & new tee shirt.

Back to Brian & Karin's to join Brian's parents & as they arrived from Colorado, the Dougherty's. We all decided Pizza would be best for dinner. Everyone is planning to get to graduation early in the morning since parking is tight. So, another early night.

May 15 - Graduation

Graduation Day! It has been a long time coming - when you add a 2 year break to do the Peace Corps, it seems like forever to get the degree. We arrived early, no problem parking, but at 8:00AM the audience was already streaming in for a 9:30 ceremony. We found seats - a lesson - NEVER sit in the front row in an upper tier in an arena. There was about 6" of leg room in front of my knees, and the railing between them & a 12' drop was only a bit more than knee high. We seemed to be in the best path to reach the entire end of the section, and everyone that went by banged into my knees.

Other than that & a bit-to-long speech by the university president, the first ceremony was OK. Yes, the first. Immediately after the full ceremony, each school or college had their own ceremony. These were much more informal, at least for the college of Forestry & Conservation, and far more enjoyable. They even managed to graduate the easter bunny!

Anyhow, photos are below.

The Main Event
Brian Gets Hooded
Karin gets Hooded
Brian & Karin With Bertha - Don't ask about the Horns!
Brian & Pam
Jon, Carol & Karin
Graduation Party
Bert, Pam, Brian, Karin, Carol & Jon
Graduation Party

After the graduation party, it was back to more mundane things - laundry, and starting to repack the car. It's a big mistake to spend almost a week in one motel room. Somehow, almost everything manages to make its way out of the car & into the room. To top it off, the car doesn't seem to empty at all. We now need to get all this stuff back into the van in a reasonable order that will work for one day stops, hopefully in campgrounds. Our plan is to head out tomorrow morning with Don & Anne Guido. The route will be up US 93 & 200 into Idaho, eventually going into Washington State on Route 20. How far we get depends on how early we can get our act together.

Well, I hope to upload this section tomorrow when we stop to say goodbye to Brian & Karin. Till next time...


This page is maintained by: vermilye@oswego.edu
Last Update: March 25, 2012