Day 252 – In Flathead Indian Country, August 25, 2011
Relative to yesterday, we had a slow day, including a slow
start. I was blessed with a marvelous
migraine and had to take Petey to the vet for a puncture wound. Once we finally got going, we took Highway 93
south along the western shore of Flathead Lake, which is lovely, but not very
conducive to dog activities, so we made our first stop at its southern tip in
Polson. I had lunch at Pop’s Grill, one
of a few choices in the small town. The
owners and staff were quite friendly.
After lunch, Petey and I took a stroll through town and down
to a park on the lake’s edge before returning to VANilla. The highway took us to Ninepipe National
Wildlife Refuge and National Bison Range, but given it was mid-afternoon, I
opted not to stop. It was a reasonably hot
day and wildlife viewing in the middle of the afternoon generally isn’t great.
I eventually made it to St. Ignatius Mission. Jesuit missionaries, known to Indians as
black robes, came to the area in the 1840s.
St. Ignatius Mission was established in 1854. The mission included a school, a sawmill, a
printing press, a flour mill, hospital, farm, and a red brick church. Inside the church, some 50 murals and frescos
adorn the walls and ceiling. They were
painted by Brother Joseph Carignano, the mission cook, in his spare time. With no formal training, he completed the
paintings in 13 months…truly remarkable. People surely can make time for what’s important to them.
From St. Ignatius, we continued south to Missoula for the