In Big Timber I had picked up a brochure advertising the dinner train journey out of Lewiston, over a route which had three large trestle bridges. Unfortunately, when I got to Lewsiston, I was not able to mesh their schedule with mine. Still, I thought I would seek out the trestle bridges. The first one was a mere 6 miles out of town, albeit not in the direction I was heading. There was nowhere convenient or safe to get a really good photo. The other two bridges I was unable to find, as they were too far off the main roads. It disappointed me. But there were other attractions on the menu.
At the ranger's office I was told that from Judith Peak one is able to get a 360 degree view over the surrounding mountains and country side..... without having to do any hiking. About 9 miles north of town was the turn-off onto Maiden Road.
Maiden MT, which although there are still folk living there, is officially a ghost town. A mile or two up the steep road from Maiden is a track which leads to the ghost mining camp of Maiden. The camp dates back to the gold and silver mining boom of the late 19th century.. However, it is not something you can drive into, one needs to walk in. There is a locked gate over the track.
I continued on through Maiden up to Judith peak. The road beyond Maiden was a good broad gravel road. However quite some way further up, and still well short of the Peak, the gravel turned to rocks..... including some which looked quite sharp. My fear was that I may end up with a flat tyre, and since the wheels on the van are much too heavy for me to lift, I could be stranded for a while. I turned around and headed back to the highway.
This was the second time in two days that I did not reach an intended destination. I was starting to question my ability and lack of confidence. After all, I had learned that the road to Crystal Lake is travelled by vehicles much larger than mine. And on reflection, I could have easily waited out a flat tyre, should I have been unlucky to suffer one. I had ample fuel for the van, for the camp stove, as well as ample food and water with me. And someone was bound to come along that road sooner or later... there are several communication towers at the top. There was nothing scary about the road or the area. Still fear dominated my thinking. All my survival training seemed to have been lost along the highway. I continued on my way, quite disgusted with myself.
Without any further specific attractions on my list, I drove straight through Malta and on to the Canadian Border. - the northern end of US-191. On a previous visit to Malta, the sheriff had assured me that it is possible to go almost to the border, without having to cross it. Told me just to turn around where the trucks turn.
It was a good spot. I sat there for some time observing the goings-on and taking pictures. Then it dawned on me that they were probably observing me as well. [I did not take any pictures at the border in Douglas. Somehow, with all the problems along the Mexican border, it did not seem the right thing to do]
On the way back to Malta I took some photos of the large rolls of hay in the fields, in some places scattered over the field, in other places lined up or stacked. The fields looked like freshly painted canvasses.
Imagine my surprise, when on the flight from FLL to LAX the gent sitting with me gave me his copy of the Wall Street Journal - 17th Sept. -. In the Arts section an article on Minimalist Art at Dia:Beacon on the Hudson there is mention of Carl Andre's "Joint" .....consists of an uninterrupted 252 foot-long tawny column of 126 hay bales laid side-to-side bisecting Dia's south field.
Back in Malta, mission accomplished, I checked into a motel for a couple of days of doing nothing. A storm had rolled in, it was pouring rain.