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Posts tagged ‘Chief Joseph’

My “Stories from the Road” for the Long Riders’ Guild

The Long Riders’ Guild asked me to submit an article for their section, “Stories from the Road.”  Here’s what I submitted:


” There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged

to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” – Nelson Mandela

by Hetty Dutra

When I was just a little girl, I ran away.  I filled my saddle bags, saddled my little red Quarter Horse, Peterbilt, and rode off.  I unsaddled my horse and set up my camp at an old deserted homestead that seemed like a long way away at the time.  I was supremely happy sitting on the saddle blankets eating a sandwich, and watching Peterbilt graze.  At dusk, my dad rode up to fetch me.  Throughout my life, I thought I was running away.  When I shared this with one of my friends, he said, “Maybe you weren’t running away, maybe you were running to something.”  That was exactly it!  My parents were nice and they loved me, but they were constantly prodding me to be the person they wanted me to be, instead of the person I was.  And I was not one to be told what to do.

The month I turned 50, my mother had just joined my father in death, my bishop decided not to ordain me, and my husband divorced me.  After two years for the BA with the Dominicans, and three year’s of study for the Master of Divinity Degree, I was convinced that God had a plan for me.  I saw the Nez Perce trail as a chance for me to bring reconciliation between the whites and both the Treaty and Non-Treaty Nez Perce.  I just didn’t get that I was the one that needed the reconciliation of the trail.  After months of planning, I left on the trail with a Nez Perce rider, a photographer, a back up vehicle and driver.  At Leadore, about 562 miles and 52 days later, I was the only one left.  The minute it was only me riding the trail, I felt the same supreme happiness I felt when I was sitting on that horse blanket as a child.

After the Big Hole Battlefield, Yellow Wolf told how those caring for injured relatives would leave camp very early, ponying the injured and traveling slowly to try not to hurt them too badly. They would sometimes come into camp quite late.  When they camped at the rifle pits near Leadore, they posted a guard.  When I was there, riding in that magic time between daylight and darkness, I caught glimpses of the Nez Perce behind me.  The people who had ridden this trail, and suffered on it, were looking after me.  I wasn’t alone, but being protected.  Riding in their hoof prints changed me forever.

The trail of the Nez Perce was a trail of loss for them and for me.  They lost everything.  I left behind cherished dreams and assumptions, a desire to control and shape my destiny, and a need to be loved, or even liked.  Also left behind was a reliance on authority and a willingness to believe in others’ superiority.  It was painful realizing my vision of the ride being for healing and solidarity, wasn’t going to come to fruition.  Instead, I had a new concept of who I was.  The trail itself informed me.  It is as if the dirt itself offers insights into those that have ridden it before, as well as insights into yourself.  It’s a double whammy:  the truth about yourself, and a deep connection with those that went before you.  I gained my true family.

On this trail I had visions and dreams.  The first dream was of a squirrel in a cage that escapes.  It’s very important for me to catch it, but I’m afraid it will bite me.  I grab it, and it is changed into a beautiful flare of light, that then disappears.  I think this should be called, “the dream of grabbing your self.”  Another dream was of a hill glittering, as if covered in mirrors.  Three days later I found the hill and gathered shards of mica that made it glitter in the sun.  The last dream was an arrow in tall grass.  I’m hoping to understand that dream next year.

I’m now 70.  Next year it will be 20 years since I last rode that trail.  Once again I’m in need of finding myself.  When I look in the mirror, I see a very old woman looking back at me, and I don’t recognize her.  She’s full of wrinkles, her hands don’t work so well, she forgets things, and she feels burdened by her life.  And, that’s ME.  I’m going back to discover who I am now, and to reclaim the supreme happiness of being myself.  Having just discovered the Long Riders’ Guild, I’m hoping life gives me time for more long rides.  I’ve a yearning to load up my horses and disappear, like smoke; something, I believe, the Long Riders understand.

Leaving from the Monument at Lake Wallowa 6/2/1994

The first thing we saw as we approached the Monument at Lake Wallowa on June 2, 1994 was Millie Fraser on her paint mare on the hill above the monument.  She, Alphonse Halfmoon, Laurel Reuben, Ed Weber, Jeanne, Elaine and a few others were present.  Alphonse spoke movingly about the trail.  His presence meant the world to me.  The ones who set out are:  Ted George, Nez Perce; Ben Smith, photographer; and myself.


May 29, 1994: The Photographer Arrives

Ben Smith arrived on May 29, 1994.  He was the photographer.  About an hour later his parents arrived and  all of them went off sight seeing.

Ben is in the middle, Ted on the left

Ben is in the middle, Ted on the left

The Nez Perce Tribe in Lapwai, Idaho has suggested Ted George ride the trail.  I immediately called Taz Connor, in the hospital, to ask him to contact Ted and encourage him to do it.  Apparently that worked!  Later on I went by Taz’s house and bought two pow wow shirts supporting the Wallowa Band Descendents.  They are beautiful.  Darlene sold them to me.  She and Taz met when they were both still teens and fell in love.  Life separated them and later Darlene married and raised a family.  After her husband died, she and Taz met again, and they have continued to be a couple ever since.  Romantic, huh?

Here’s a better picture of Ted:

Ted George

Ted George

What 2014 Will Look Like? Here’s what was happening on May 28, 1994

My moods were as unsettled as the weather.  There still was no Nez Perce rider who had agreed to go on the journey.  Alphonse Halfmoon, at the Umatilla Reservation, thought Armand Minthorn might ride with me, but nothing was sure.  Sid and I rode from the Buckhorn, on the rim of the canyon, to Cow Creek.  That’s not Dug Bar at the Snake River, but is almost as far down.  After Cow Creek, the trail goes over a big hill, and then drops down to Dug Bar, whereas the road down follows the creek and then curves around this hill.  We didn’t have time to do more than ride back up, as it takes a full day from the top to Dug Bar.  canyon view1canyon view

Posts that tell the story

A way to understand what I’ll be doing in 2014, is to hear what I did daily in 1994.  In 1994, I arrived in the Wallowas two weeks early. I had to find the route into the Snake River Gorge from the Buckhorn, and teach Ben,the photographer, and Ted, the Nez Perce rider how to tack up and down and how to ride! That wasn’t to happen, because neither arrived early enough. Sid Roberts and Star Longley were members of the Wallowa Band Descendents founded by my friend, Taz Connor.  Taz was a descendent of Ollocot – Chief Joseph’s brother.  If Taz wasn’t hospitalized at that time, he would have taken me.  Instead Sid and Star took met on a tour of the area, including visiting the cave where Chief Joseph was born.Chief Joseph's Birthplace in Oregon


Otis Halfmoon arrived bringing our mail and our permit to camp.  He asked, “What are you going to do next?”

I shrugged, “Go home.”

He said, “The Nez Perce are perfectly capable of telling their own story.”  He went on to let me know that he and others are worried that I will use my trip to reap economic benefits at the expense of the tribe.  I was heartbroken at being so misunderstood.  I could have told him I had pledged the profits, if any, to the tribe; I could have told him about the support of those who took this trail before; I could have pointed out that many tried to stop Yellow Wolf from telling McWhorter, an Anglo, his story, which is the only published Nez Perce narrative; I could have said that I had tribal permission.  Instead I told him “When you have walked this trail, you can criticize me.”

Otis left, Jim went to the battlefield.  I walked up the bluff and over to the battlefield when a truck and trailer pulled in.  It was Betty Jo who heard we did not have permission to camp, so she came to pick up the horses.  It will be much better for them at her house.  We loaded them, unhooked the truck from the trailer and followed her to her house.  We put them in her lovely pasture.

When we returned the Andersons drove up and we ate our dinner while they told us about the wonderful Council of Councils scheduled on Friday.  It was late when they left.

I slept on the couch and woke to a profound quiet on September 30th.  Jim and I each walked out to the battlefield, each going our own way and thinking our own thoughts.

On September 30, 1877 Cheyenne and Sioux scouts gave a brief chase to several Nez Perce who had been watching the back trail about 7 miles from camp.  As four hundred horsemen charged across the prairie toward the Nez Perce camp, Joseph called out, “Save the horses,” but Looking Glass and others were incredulous and cautioned against panic.  People sought cover in the creek bottom.  One or two hundred people managed to reach the horse herd.  Some fled north while others turned back to the camp.  Others did not go to the horse herd but took up positions at the top of the bluffs to the south and east of camp to face the oncoming attack.  Miles realized that the Second Cavalry was pursuing the stampeding horse herd instead of charging the camp.  A group of sixty retreating warriors stopped long enough to counter charge, which forced the troops to dismount and allowed women and children to gain a lead.

Led by Toohoolhoolzote, five or six warriors took refuge on a rocky bluff overlooking the creek, but all were soon killed.  Three companies of the Seventh had charged the southern edge of the camp and had taken a murderous shower of bullets.  Those still mounted had managed to reach portions of the bluff found the descent too steep to negotiate.

Company K inclined to the eastern edge of the bluffs and Companies A and D followed.  In one hour of fighting nearly half the men in the three companies were either killed or wounded.  Miles decided to try a head-on attack:  a simultaneous charge from both south and east.  Twenty-three soldiers lay dead and over forty wounded.  Twenty-two Nez Perce dead and about forty wounded.  Tohoolhoolzote, Ollokot and Lean Elk were all dead.

Miles decided to besiege them.  Canada was close by and Miles had some fear of Sitting Bull coming to aid the Nez Perce.  In order to prevent escape and try to keep messengers from reaching Sitting Bull, Miles ordered pickets to surround the camp.  He asked Howard to move forward with caution and rapidity.

Snow fell.  The Nez Perce scooped out rifle pits and shelters for the women and children.  Some Nez Perce slipped away during the snowy night.  As many as 34 Nez Perce may have died at the hands of Assiniboine and Gros Ventre after escaping the soldiers.  Some Nez Perce received help from the Crees.  A priest recorded that Seeskoomkee, the man with no feet and only one hand made it to the Cree village and later lived among the Sioux.

Looking Glass was killed in the morning.  A truce flag went up.  Tom Hill, yes, our Tom Hill is a descendent, was sent to Mile’s camp and soon returned saying the colonel wanted to talk with Joseph.  The only original headmen still alive were White Bird, Joseph and Hishuis Kute.  They all feared they would be hung if taken alive.  Joseph’s clothes were filled with bullet holes.  He was inclined to surrender, but did not have control of the entire camp.  Miles demanded an unconditional surrender.  Joseph refused because they were destitute and had little or no food and needed weapons for hunting.  After several trips back and forth, Miles ordered Joseph arrested.  Lieutenant Jerome was seized as retaliation.  The two hostages were exchanged.  It was a standoff.

By October fifth, it was clear that Sitting Bull was not coming.  The Nez Perce were cold, wet and hungry.  The cannon had destroyed a shelter burying four women, a boy and a year-old girl alive.  General Howard arrived on the fourth and by mid-afternoon Captain John returned with Joseph’s message, which ended with the now famous words, “Hear me, my chiefs.  I am tired; my heart is sick and sad.  From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.”

The Nez Perce believed they would return to the reservation in Idaho.  There is no record of either the final parley or surrender terms.  Joseph surrendered his weapon and others did likewise.  White Bird did not surrender and that night he and some followers fled to Canada.  Yellow Wolf also slipped away.

Those that surrendered later eventually had to watch in horror as the horses, their beautiful saddles and other gear were all destroyed and they were shipped to Oklahoma, where many died.  Many years later, survivors were allowed to go to reservations, but not to the Nez Perce reservation.  So it was that Joseph died on the Coleville reservation and that Alphonse lives on the Umatilla reservation.  None of them were ever allowed to return to their own country.

Pica, Guy, Hetty, Little Pica & Marie at Betty Jo's
Pica, Guy, Hetty, Little Pica & Marie at Betty Jo’s

Later we checked the horses and had breakfast with Betty Jo.  We all went into town to the Blaine Museum to see the program on the Nez Perce.  It was very moving.  At the end, the curtains did not open enough to show the tipis on the far right.  I thought it was because they had realized they were not historically correct, since they had had no teepee poles since the Big Hole, but no, the mechanism was just not working correctly.

I went to Hays to visit Clarence Cuts the Rope and re-cover my drum.  I had seen his fabulous large paintings at the tribal center, and had marveled at his use of color and texture.

When I walked into his house, and looked around, I didn’t see my drum.  We visited and he smiled and said, “You cannot see your drum?”

“No,” I answered, “ I don’t.”

He laughed, his eyes twinkling, and jutted his chin in the direction of the TV set.  There in front of it was a beautifully painted drum with Chief Joseph as the main subject.  The rim of the Missouri Breaks on both sides of him and there were my 4 horses and I depicted between Chief Joseph’s braids!  It was in his beautiful colorist style, and I was completely awed by it.  I had expected him to color in the four stylized horses, but he had made me a drum to be truly proud of having.  I had only a Chief Joseph patterned Pendleton blanket for him.  We walked up to the Sun Dance site and then on up the mountain.  We sat on rocks in silence looking at the round, flat valley surrounded by rocks, like a crater, and the aspens whose leaves were as bright as sunlight.

The Drum Clarence Cuts the Rope Painted for Hetty
drum close up
Close up of the drum

Jim left, and I attended the ceremonies at the battlefield, as well as the one where the tribes smoked the Peace Pipe.  The speeches by both men and women were very moving.  It truly did seem like a new beginning.

Ceremony at the Surrender Site
Ceremony at the Surrender Site

Later Betty Jo and I attended the Pow Wow.  I had gifts that I had brought for those that helped me.  For some I had blankets, for most I had signed copies of CHILDREN OF GRACE by Bruce Hampton.

After so long on the trail, I was unaware of my appearance.  My trail-worn clothing, very short hair, and my icky water-proof Aussie hat with my feathers in it, must have appeared out of place.  I was approached by one of the organizers of the Pow Wow to find out why I was wearing the Eagle feathers, since women are not allowed to wear them.  I explained that they were not mine, but were loaned to me for the journey, and what that journey was.  Later he gave a synopsis of what I said to the group and allowed me to present my presents.  I arranged to dance and Horace Axtell and his wife came to me, and she gave me a beautiful shawl to wear when dancing.  Another friend from Lapwai gave me a scarf and pin to wear.  I was sure there were those who disapproved of what I had done and of my appearance at the Pow Wow, too, but if they did, they did not voice it to me , for which I was grateful.  Andy Anderson, his wife, Betty Jo and I were the only white people there.  Later several shy girls came and brought me a bag with smoked camas roots in it.

Horace & Hetty Dancing at the Pow Wow
Horace & Hetty Dancing at the Pow Wow

All this I treasured in my heart and treasure still.

Did it change my life?  In some ways, it did not, in other ways, completely.  The moose, as a symbol, was not what I wanted, or want now, for myself, but I have lived more and more that way.  In my heart I know I am a solitary wanderer, but I do keep hoping to have company in that wandering.  What changed was my happiness with myself.  I learned to like myself and trust myself, and my instincts.   I’m never happier than when I am on the trail, and the only time I felt truly supported in my whole life was on the Nez Perce Trail when those who walked before took care of me.

Chapter 6: East to Yellowstone

A Different Phase of the Journey

The next few days Melissa and I rode out early, to escape the heat.  We made our way through the little fine rocks that were under our feet instead of dirt.  Mountains, more like our California hills, framed the valley on both sides.

Suki was with us as we left the Rifle Pits and headed down the valley.  She was chasing critters on the side of the irrigation ditch when she let out a little yelp, and couldn’t walk.  I carried her back a little ways and locked her in the scales at a cow camp with some water.  We left a note.   We slowly gained elevation and went over Gilmore Summit.  We found some troughs, which I thought  were where we were to camp.  We unsaddled, and were attacked by flying ants.  Just then Arden came by.  We were happy to saddle up and go on to camp at the Hahn Townsite.  Bruce came checking on his daughter and Vincent Tracy brought Suki.  He was out irrigating when we were at his place.  There are no vets, so Suki will have to heal on her own.  There will be no more coming with us for her.

We thought the next day would be a scorcher.  It turned out that it wasn’t too hot, but it was boring.  It finally rained on us in the afternoon, and that really cooled it off.  We camped at Kaufman where Birch Creek makes a small pond and then rushes over rocks and under an overpass crammed with swallows.  There are no trees, but it is still great.  I did my laundry, went in the creek, which gave me goose bumps.  I napped and Melissa woke me for dinner just as Ben drove in.

“I’m not going with you,” he said. “Lots of people in Lapwai and Kamiah don’t approve of what you’re doing.”

I had mentioned to him that different people feel differently about the flight, and about what we were doing, but I did have tribal approval to do it.  I am saddened by his decision, but wonder if it is an excuse and that he always intended to return to school at this time.  I also felt badly that he listened to people on the Nez Perce reservation, which, mostly, did not represent any of the non-treaty bands.  The Nez Perce that were Christian were allowed there, and the non-Christians, which also tended to be non-treaty Nez Perce, went to other reservations.  I thought to myself that he was making a mistake, but I could not change his mind.  I actually didn’t try very hard.  Maybe it was because I was weary; maybe it was because I had the knowledge that I was being supported and aided by those that preceded me on this trail; or maybe I knew I could not change anything.

From Kaufman the canyon narrows between rim rock almost to Lone Pine where it broadens and Point Reno looms ahead.  We rounded point Reno and went North/North East down a gravel road to the ranch.  It had been a prosperous feed lot at one time, but is abandoned, except for the haying.  We watered and fed the horses and wanted to put them in the corrals, but didn’t have permission.   A mower passed us and turned into the field adjacent to the corrals and the driver had a CB and got permission for us from Lewis Newman.

Lewis stopped in our camp around 9 PM and is a handsome young man.  Melissa is usually bright and chatty, but she was very subdued around Lewis.  Lewis told us one of his High School teachers said that after a spring rain, Indian beads wash out of the rocks at Pont Reno because many of the Nez Perce were buried there.  Bodies could be placed and rocks rolled down so that the graves could not be disturbed.  When I had a chance to ask Otis Halfmoon about this, he confirmed the truth of it.

Melissa found a cold sore in the morning and it put her in a bad mood all day.  At breakfast she wasn’t speaking to us either because of, or despite, Arden’s needling.  She had trouble saddling her horse and when she went to mount the saddle slipped.  She threw her hat on the ground and stamped her feet with her hands on her hips and her lower lip stuck out.

“Next time you are having a problem, ask for help,” I said as I helped her with the cinch and then held the offside stirrup for her.  The problem might be her jeans are so tight she can’t bend her leg.  So different than when I was 14, or is it?

We headed east towards Dubois with constant outcroppings of lava, sagebrush and sand.  At lunchtime, we turned into a large place that looked like a resort.  There were picnic tables in the shade and it was a warm day.  We called and tried to find someone, unsuccessfully.  After we ate, we walked the horses to the little stream to drink, but they wouldn’t.  I put my hand in and found it was very warm.  What a surprise this country is.

About this time Melissa realized she had lost her denim shirt when we had stopped briefly at a gravel pit.  She wanted to go back to get it, but it would be easier to finish and go back in the truck, and almost as fast.  When we got in, I tacked down the horses while Arden drove her back.  Finding the shirt much improved her spirits.  We drove into Dubois and bought meatloaf for dinner and I did a lot of calling.

The last day with Melissa, it was very warm at 6 AM.  There was electricity at the ranch on which we were camped, so I got the clippers out and clipped the horses.  There didn’t seem to be a tree between the ranch and Dubois.  We stayed with Connie and Bob Barg’s, but the wheel bearing in the rig was being re-packed so Melissa and I did laundry and hung out.  There were relatives of the Bargs from Kilgore, and lots of young people, so Melissa is having a good time.  She almost forgot to go find her Dad and bring him back for dinner.

For me, I jotted down, 740 miles so far, and that made me feel very satisfied.

Beaver Creek Crossing
Beaver Creek Crossing
Beaver Creek Crossing2
Another View of the Crossing

At 5:30 AM, the sound of Bruce taking his tent down awakened me.  He said my snoring woke him up, so I guess I do snore.  Melissa and I said farewell.  A bunch of us went out to look at Buffalo Cave and the Hole in the Rock Crossing.  When the Nez Perce came through some folks hid in the cave.  We then went to the Hole in the Rock Crossing at Beaver Creek, which is in the Sheep Experiment Station.  There are only two crossings of Beaver Creek, one at Spencer and this one, and supposedly there were people at this one.  The Nez Perce, therefore, went North towards Spencer.  After a fabulous dinner Connie’s brother-in-law played the guitar and we sang songs and her father sang us an old cowboy tune.  It was wonderful fun, and beautiful outside even though it kept spitting rain at us all evening.

Deep parts of Beaver Creek
Deep parts of Beaver Creek

Connie holding baby Lana, Amanda, Angela Sleight and I rode out at 1 PM.  And so it was that a middle-aged woman, a mother, a teenager, a pre-teen and a baby hit the trail.  We stopped at Buffalo Cave and we stopped to water the horses.  It was hot, but a breeze sprang up and soon it began to sprinkle, and then to pour and then the wind drove sleet into us so hard the horses refused to walk and turned their butts to the wind.  I was the only one with a raincoat.  The rain stopped and the sun was shining wanly behind the clouds and everyone but me was drenched.  I felt guilty about not giving Connie my rain coat, but I felt I could not afford to be ill later.  We had five miles to go.  Lana fell asleep, so I ponied Connie’s horse, so she could hold her.  When we got to camp, they piled into the camper and I found a bunch of sweats and things left over from B. G. & Ted for them to wear, so they peeled off their wet clothing and changed while I tended to the horses.  Then I made my famous All-Out-of-Cans Minestrone Soup and made garlic bread, which helped warm them up, too.  Ron picked them all up, but Arden was nowhere.  The night was calm with a gray sky reflected in a pond the surface patterned with fish rings and almost-ripe choke cherries in the rim rock, where a train rushed by blowing it’s lonesome horn.  Stars shone through tattered clouds when I turned in.  A great peace settled on me and once again I felt supported by those that accompanied me.  I also thought a lot about the women on the flight and how little we know of their stories.  In-who-lise is the only one we know anything about.

From Spencer the road skirts the foothills of some deep canyons with pines.  There was a consistent climb from Dubois to Spencer and that continued to Kilgore, gaining 1,000 feet in 2 days.  The country is full of sagebrush and lava rocks cropping out of buttes, mesas and just plain rock piles.  There are opal mines in the canyons.  Rattlesnake Creek was running, so there was plentiful water for the horses on this stretch.  Before crossing a low summit, just before Idmon, I looked back at my last look at Point Reno.  A column of yellow-green butterflies, hundreds or thousands of them, were in the air and more all along of an irrigation ditch.

The Nez Perce camped just East of Idmon and Black hair had a vision of the warriors raiding General Howard’s camp for something like horses.  The next day, August 19th, General Howard was camped here when the Nez Perce raiding party struck in the middle of the night and ran off a lot of stock, which turned out to be mules.  Although the Nez Perce preferred horses, the army supplies could not move without mules, which forced General Howard to replace them before moving.  As I turned north, a storm passed swiftly over me and moved to the south, clearly visible, but not on me.

I stayed with Connie’s parents and their relatives who I had met at the Bargs’.  Eileen’s husband found a tree with carving.  It had crossed sabers, only the sabers pointed down, and below was a sun and below that five marks.   When the tree was cut, it dated to around the time of the flight.  They have it stored, but it is a mystery.

Morning brought more great food and the clacking of the Sandhill Cranes on the meadow.  They look odd until they fly, and then they are poetry.  As I rode along, the lava beds narrowed the meadow.  The aspens seem to prefer growing in the lava.  Further along I crested a low summit and the valley dropped away and widened again giving a spectacular view of lava bed ridges in front, mountains behind and Mt. Jefferson on the horizon.  The country is beautiful with creeks, a lake, pines and aspens and with everything green, but beginning to turn.

The morning after the raid, three companies of cavalry started at a controlled canter, which somehow turned into a gallop.  Although Captains Jackson and Carr were flanking Lieutenant Norwood, somehow they were separated.  When they crested a ridge they saw the Nez Perce and prepared for battle.  Meanwhile the Nez Perce flanked them.  Bugler Brooks, in what was probably his last action before being killed, signaled a retreat.  Norwood’s company fell back quickly to a clump of cottonwoods.  It is speculated that the other two companies retreated to camp.  Norwood’s men constructed 23 rifle pits, most of which are recognizable.  There is a plaque marking the spot today.  Eight soldiers were killed, but the Nez Perce left realizing the spot was too defensible.

It was hot, but beautiful and camp was at the county line at Willow Creek.  The next day was through beautiful wood and a more populated area.  Fortunately I turned off onto Stamp Meadows Road and we camped at the second major creek.  I have covered 800 miles.

While I washed clothes and dried them in the hot sun, I was keenly aware of the presence of the ones who rode before me.  There is a sadness that they are the only ones who will ever understand this journey and what it means to me.  Experiences can be created but not shared in any way except being there.  And maybe not even that is true, since Ted and Ben were with me, but their experiences must have been completely different.  So this experience of mine will not be communicable to anyone?  How sad.  How limited.  Perhaps when I die, I can join the old ones.

Getting up at 5 AM to beat the heat didn’t work, because at 6 AM it was still too dark to saddle up.  I rode Pica today and ponied Little Pica, Guy and Marie last in the string because she is the best at keeping up and we would be riding along the road, again.  I changed the cord on the saddles to be more substantial and added a baling twine loop as a second breakaway.  I also shortened the ropes between them.  I need new halter ropes desperately as the ones I made for the journey are almost worn out.

The old road to Aspen Lodge and wide shoulders to Sunset Café made travel fine.  When the road narrowed, it was still fine.  This camp is about a mile in and on a lovely big creek with young aspen groves against a hill and a wide, flat parking area.  Some conifers I don’t recognize grow along the creek.  When I jumped in the creek the cold took my breath away.  Suki is doing much better, but I still want the vet in West Yellowstone to look at her.

Going into town for dinner, meant a chance to do some calling.  Jason Chinn may be going through Yellowstone with me, but he cannot stay but a few days, and he seems not to understand where Yellowstone is he checked the airfare to Cody, Wyoming!  I kept calling George Hale, Jim Bone’s friend, who was taking me through Yellowstone, but he never answered.  Finally I called Jim and left a message.

I drove to West Yellowstone and discovered that there is no film or photos from Borge Anderson.  Ben picked up the photos and film at Leadore leaving me with no film for the segment through Yellowstone and no photos since the Big Hole.  To decide to stop was injurious enough without sabotaging me entirely.  The agreement was that I would pay all expenses and he would take pictures.  I would be able to publish the photos, crediting him for them, of course.  Taking the photos means a breakdown of such proportion, that I doubt I will ever be able to even see them.  Also Jim Bone informed me that, George Hale, who was supposed to take me through Yellowstone, moved to Gillette, Wyoming.  How could I enter Yellowstone with no packer?  I just cried and cried.  I needed a farrier, a vet, an outfitter, film, and I needed to plan the route.  I knew it would happen, but at that moment I couldn’t see how.

The early morning was cool and the sky was clear.  Marie had a cut over her eye, which was very fresh.  I put some ointment on it, but it seemed a bit deep.  It was only 12 miles to the new camp in West Yellowstone, on the South Fork of the Madison, so I expected to arrive before noon.  As I headed back to the highway, there were people sleeping everywhere, even on the snowmobile trail.  When I ran out of sleepers, the sound of the horses scared a bull moose.  There was a series of little hills and the trail turned towards Howard’s Spring, so I veered left and stayed under the power line.  When I figured I was above the pass, I took the snowmobile trail, but it seemed to curve the wrong way, so I meandered back to the power line.  When the towers ended I rode along an old road parallel to the highway.  The horses grazed and still kept a good pace.  We crossed the highway just West of the Madison Arm Road and I took a break.  We got into camp at 11:30 and I unsaddled and decided to staple Marie’s wound as it had gaped open much more.  I will need to ask the vet about removing the staple when I take Suki in.  When Arden arrived, I read the paper, washed the floor and cleaned the woodwork in the rig and took a shower.  The sunset that night was glorious.  We watered the horses and sat gazing across the meandering stream and marsh to the pines and the pass and Lion’s head.

The night had been cold and I remember one of Otis Howard’s scouts, Fisher, talking about ice in the water buckets around Aug 22.  Airfare for Jason would be $853.00 – what a shock.  I just can’t justify that and other expenses for less than 2 weeks of photos.  I was sleeping soundly when there was the noise of a car radio, and then it stopped.  I looked out and saw a flashlight by the horses.  I yelled, “Get away from the horses.”

A young male voice said, “You’re camping illegally.”

“Just get away from the horses,” I said louder, “I have a permit.”

“My friend’s dad is a ranger and we’re going to turn you in.”

“Go ahead.”  The clock said 2 AM when they left.

The morning sky had a soft radiance in the most delicate shades of purple-pink as I looked out at Lion’s Head before sunrise.  The sandhill cranes were clacking, their morning ritual.  Ben left a message to say the film went to Leadore and he went to a lot of trouble to have it sent to West Yellowstone and it should arrive before I leave.  He said to call and tell him how I’m doing.  Why would I do that?  He is the reason for half of my present difficulties.  I went to the Ralide West distributor and he helped me purchase pack-saddles, hobbles, picket pin, etc.  I now have packing gear.  He came to my camp and gave me a lesson on how to pack.  His pregnant wife was supposed to go to the hospital as tomorrow she is having a C section, but instead he came and helped me, and will take her in early in the morning!  Redwood Forge came from Billings to shoe my horses.  He told me he can put barium on them and they will last the rest of the ride.  I didn’t believe that, but their hooves cannot grow out fast enough, so I have him do that.  He is from California, hence the “redwood” part.  He did a wonderful job on my four horses and their shoes were still good at the end of the ride.

My horses have proven they can do anything, and Lord knows I have enough to be able to pack.  In addition to purchasing packing gear and getting the horses shod, I bought maps, a Whisperlite stove, fuel, water pump, pepper spray (no firearms allowed) and a warmer sleeping bag.  I also bought a drum.  I had a very upset message from Jason, which is understandable.

Rob Danno, a ranger came by.  He recognized Arden because he arrested Arden and his girlfriend Donna last year because they were both really drunk and fighting.  He said, “I hope there won’t be any problems.”

Suki never got taken to the vet.  Arden was supposed to back with the truck so I could take Suki to the vet at 8 AM, but he never showed.  I would fire him, but that might be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.  I have to have someone take the rig through Yellowstone and care for Suki while I’m gone.  She is walking around without a limp or pain, but she cannot make the mileage and I cannot take her through grizzly country for sure.  Despite his appearance, and the fact he drinks a lot, Arden has been far better back up than B. G.  He can read a map, and he usually shows up.

Two rangers came by after lunch and watched me pack and had me show them how my horses hobbled and picketed.  After all these miles, this was very easy for all of them.  I will hobble Guy and Little Pica and put Big Pica (the escape artist) on the picket pin and let Marie free as she always comes when called.  We will be entering Yellowstone tomorrow.  Yes!

Chapter 4: Lolo Hot Springs to the Big Hole

Pictures by Benjamin Smith

After little sleep for any of us, I woke the camp at 6 am and we prepared to leave. Ted dawdled, and then he announced he was going to Kamiah. There was nothing for it, so I spoke to Don Stoen, who owns Lolo Hot Springs, and put Little Pica in their corral. I arranged for transportation home for Little Pica. As Ben and I crossed the highway, he was riding Guy, I was riding Marie, and ponying Pica. Little Pica was crying for her buddies and I was tired and dispirited. Ben and I didn’t talk at all as we rode. I would miss Ted and his humor, his harmonica and his toughness. We never found the correct trail and eventually rode alongside Highway 12. The first big rig that passed, Marie came unglued. Marie got used to it, but it was scary. B.G. came by with the rig and we told her we would like to stop early, if possible. She pulled in at a turnout between the road and the creek in an area full of trees and even a small meadow. We tried to be cheerful, but it seemed flat and strained. B. G. was very sweet to us. About an hour later Ted rode in on Little Pica. We were so happy! B. G. knew all along that Ted was riding to meet us, but she kept the secret.  We celebrated with salmon, corn on the cob and Merlot.

The next five days were filled with road riding, first on down to Fort Fizzle, where we had a great camp. We could look from the picnic area directly at the hill the Nez Perce crossed to circumvent the “fort” which was a short framework of logs the Nez Perce called a “corral.”  Fort Fizzle was built in an attempt to stop the flight of the Nez Perce. General Howard ordered Captain Rawn to establish Fort Missoula in order to slow down the Nez Perce so he could catch up to them. Captain Rawn with five officers and 35 men erected the barricade and approximately 200 local volunteers joined him there. The Nez Perce arrived on July 26th.  The following day Looking Glass, White Bird and Chief Joseph met with Captain Rawn and promised not to harm anyone in the Bitterroot Valley, explaining that they only wanted to escape hostilities and live in peace in Montana.  Captain Rawn tried to drag out negotiations to keep them there, but the volunteers mostly went home. On July 28th the Nez Perce passed along side of the steep hills and continued on down the Bitterroot.

We take the same route, stopping briefly at Lee Haines’ place. He told us his grandmother was alive when the Nez Perce came through and that she and her family had gone to Fort Owens.  She said it took hours for the whole group to pass the fort. We stayed at Looking Glass camp, which was a little out of our way, but worth the extra miles.

The next morning, we got caught in a thunder shower and stopped at a restaurant. We keep trying to get off the road to no avail. We made it to Chuck Troxel’s house which overlooks the Bitterroot Mountains, etched darkly against the afterglow of sunset. B. G. and I spent much of the next day checking the route. Chuck had said he would cook elk for us.  B. G. didn’t want to eat it, so she wanted to stop at the store to buy food instead.  There was a BBQ place, so I suggested doing that. She went in and bought BBQ.  Chuck cooked us a sausage dinner and B. G. said, “Oh, Hetty got us all BBQ,” as she put the container out. I didn’t even try to explain that to Chuck. That same evening, B.G. refused to mail film unless Ben found a box and packaged it. Ben and Ted went into town and got a box and packaged it, but she still refused to mail it. If it weren’t so annoying, I would be glad that all her venom was not aimed at me.

Chuck suggested going down a smaller road, parallel to the highway. Instead of big rigs, we had dogs running out at us from yards; we had two more days of dogs or big rigs.  Route 93 finally developed shoulders so we could ride without fear.  Soon we took a fishing access and then up Rye Creek. We stopped across from an elk farm and the horses were scared when a big bull elk, with horns like a tree growing out of his head, came to the fence and sniffed them. As we continued up Rye Creek, a blue and greenish-yellow rainbow in a cloud glowed luminously with red; purple above it. The cloud with colors was visible for 20 minutes or more. We came to Larry Campbell’s.  I backed the rig in his little parking area for B. G. and was surprised at the expanse of lawn, under huge cottonwood trees, sloping to Rye Creek. We took the horses across the creek and high-lined them across a path in the shade. B. G. refused to come out because of the bugs, so we set up the screen tent, despite the bent leg from it being blown down at Lolo Hot Springs. While everyone napped, I spoke with Larry, who has a bathtub next to the creek with a big cylinder for heating water. He was going out for dinner after bathing, and mentioned there would be a lot of hot water left. When he was off, I used the tub. The water was so hot, I had to add creek water to it. The very hot, very deep water felt wonderful.

It got to be 7 pm and no one was cooking dinner. I had some cheese. Ben got up and was going to cook, so I made the rice and salad to go with the entree.

heading over 2% saddle
The trail on the way to Two Percent Saddle

We continued up Rye Creek, which has a fair amount of logging trucks using it.  We went over a pass called “Two Percent Saddle” and through  the lovely forested meadows of Shining Mountain Ranch, where llamas guard the sheep. We went through Sula State Forest to land leased by Mr. Tolliver. He had forgotten to unlock the gate to the stock pond for us, so we had no water for the horses and no safe place for them either. We waited about an hour for B.G.  She and Ben went to check for other places to stay while Ted and I continued with the horses. I was tired and it seemed to take forever to get to the post office and Sula School. Ben and B. G. found a place a lot further on and we did not ride in until 7 PM. I was exhausted. B. G. left and we rigged up a tarp to sleep under in the corral where the horses were. I was just eating my dehydrated dinner when B. G. returned. Leaving my dinner, I went out to talk to her.

“Your truck vapor locks. I won’t go over the pass until YOU get it repaired,” she said.

“Why can’t you get it repaired?” I asked, peevishly.

“It’s your truck, it’s your responsibility,” she countered.

“We have two days riding to May Creek, so you have plenty of time to get it fixed.”  We glowered at each other. Finally, I turned away and went back to finish my dinner.

I was asleep when B.G. returned and dumped off horse pellets and food for us to take to Trail Creek. The noise woke me up and I went out to speak with her to make sure everything was all right.  But when I got close to the truck, she swerved to go around me. This ducking and dodging went on awhile. Finally we talked and she agreed to take the truck in. I hoped she had packed enough stuff for us, as we are on our own to the Big Hole.

In Sula Basin

The people where we stayed were roping and we watched.  One of the sons did bronc riding and that was really fun to watch.  They invited us to join them for hot dogs , and it was midnight when we turned in.  Sula Basin is also known as Ross Hole.   Colonel Gibbon camped about where we are, on the night of August 7.  Captains John Humble and John Catlin, each with 35 volunteers joined himhere.  It was here that John Humble left saying that he had not come to “fight women and children.”

We didn’t get an early start, since we were up so late. We had a pleasant ride to Hogan’s Cabin, climbing up and over Gibbons Pass, which offered superb views of the valley. We saw a Nez Perce Trail Marker for the second time. We passed over the Continental Divide and descended along Trail Creek following the same trail as Colonel Gibbon and finally came to the cabin. Since the cabin was closed, I decided to sleep on the porch. Ben and Ted slept in the barn. In the middle of the night, I was awakened by some loud animal noise. I took the flashlight and got up and moved towards the sound. When I was close I switched on the flashlight to find that it was Pica snoring!

cabin on Trail Creek
Hogan’s Cabin on Trail Creek

We came on down Trail Creek to the highway and on to May Creek. This is a public campground on the opposite side of the road from the Big Hole Battlefield. We high-lined the horses around 1 PM, and one by one, we let them off the highline to graze, since we had no feed for them.  We napped, bathed, and washed clothes and time passed.

Around 6:30 we gathered our food supplies and took stock. We had some trail mix and one dehydrated dinner. Our neighbors, Jim Bell and Wayne gave us some dry food for Suki, a can of beef stew and some fresh fish. We ate, but I can’t say it was an enjoyable meal. B.G. arrived around 8 pm, just as the ranger talk was to begin. I backed the rig in and Ted, Ben and I went to hear Dave Jurgella, in military gear from 1877 (mostly leftover civil war uniform), talk about the battle. He says they are looking for someone like Ted to do the same from the Nez Perce perspective. Afterwards I set up my tent close to the rig and slept much better since it was warmer in the tent.

Otis Halfmoon was a ranger at the Big Hole last year, and invited me to his home to meet his wife, Diane, and one of his children. He gave me smoked camas root to taste – my first. He said powerful things about the flight and this site. I found the site deeply disturbing. I wandered the battlefield for several days, but only in short spurts. The Nez Perce believed they were safe. They had safe passage and traded all down the Bitterroot Valley and came here thinking the war was behind them. They set about cutting new tipi poles, repairing gear, hunting, and at least one woman made herself a new calico dress with fabric she bought in the Bitterroot. We know that because a merchant, who was commandeered to haul supplies for Gibbon, sold her the fabric and was horrified when he saw her dead body in a dress of that fabric on the battlefield. Many men who were at the battle were deeply disturbed by the events at the Big Hole and condemned the actions taken there.

The Nez Perce had celebrated with foot races, games and dancing the night before the attack. No sentries were posted, nor was the horse herd guarded. Around 11 pm 149 soldiers and 35 volunteers made their way to the Nez Perce camp. They left behind a small force with the howitzer, and some teamsters with supplies. About 1 am they saw campfires and the outline of tipis at the edge of the meadow below them, and they worked their way down to a bench of small lodge pole pines. At first light, Gibbon’s men moved to the bottom of the hill.  An old, half-blind man mounted his horse to check the horse herd. He crossed the Big Hole River, which is more like a creek here, and stared dimly at the shapes before him.  Four volunteers stood up and shot him.  Surprise was complete and fighting quickly became hand-to-hand. People were shot while still in their beds. Bullets fell like rain into the tipis, killing many. Some soldiers attempted to ignite the tipis, but the poles were green, although eventually some burned.  Warriors were running for their weapons and trying to fight back.  Women and children were trying to flee to safety in the river.  Although some soldiers avoided killing women and children, others bragged about how many they had killed.  Colonel Gibbon claimed that so many women and children were killed because they fought the soldiers.  His claim is unsubstantiated.  The only story of a woman shooting a soldier is one of the saddest.  Waholitis seized his gun when the first shots were fired. He ran out of the tipi and into a small depression behind a fallen log. His wife, following behind him was wounded.  Seeing her injured, he arose to get a better shot and was killed by Colonel Logan.  His wife took his gun and killed Logan before dying herself.

By 8 am the Nez Perce warriors had rallied and Gibbon’s men had retreated, digging entrenchments behind fallen trees and boulders further up the hill.  The Nez Perce occupied the camp, returning to find their dead and injured family members. The dead were buried and the camp was packed, leaving clothing, food and personal possessions scattered around the burned campsite.  Many led the wounded on horseback behind them, sometimes tied to their horses.  Around noon the Nez Perce captured the howitzer and a large supply of ammunition. They steadily withdrew from the area, completely vacating by noon of August 10th.

When I got up and put pellets in the buckets for the horses, Ted was already up and took their breakfast to them. Ted is doing well with the horses and was helping feed and water them and is just generally pitching in.  He has a wide-ranging knowledge and experience concerning many things, which shows in his very subtle humor. He is intelligent and sophisticated, but usually doesn’t demonstrate those qualities directly. So much so that he will, as a joke, sound really dumb.

We all visited the wonderful Interpretive Center. I purchased two tapes, the one of Nez Perce songs, like Ted’s, and one of an elderly woman storyteller. We also went to Deb Gale’s, where we will be staying tomorrow night. We cannot go the way the Nez Perce did, as they went right down the valley, which would be through a series of private properties. Our choices were to go down the road, or along the ridge. We opt for the road as we can at least see the whole area where they were. It is 19 miles from Wisdom to the Gales’, where we will camp.  We had the horses shod.  The farriers were slow and terrible, and the horses are all a little sore footed.  Ben left a camera at Deb Gale’s. He seems so organized and particular, but he tends not to complete things.  If he cooks, he leaves packages and remnants; he consistently leaves things behind.  Ben is intelligent and perhaps his mind moves ahead too quickly.

My needs revolved around sleep. We took an extra day off to rest, but we will do 36 miles in two days and spend 3–5 more without a day off. I expect about 7 days to Leadore, where we should rest.  We have traveled about 550 miles and I anticipate 90 miles to Leadore and 90–100 to Dubois; the half-way point.  That would mean 730 miles for halfway and 1,460 total. That is more than it is supposed to be, so I might be wrong. We want to come back to the Big Hole for a ceremony on the 6th. In order to do that, we need to hustle a bit.

After dinner tonight there was a wonderful light show with the comet hitting Jupiter.  Ted made a fire and we sat on one side so we could enjoy the fire and Jupiter.  Ben suggested riding out a 6:30 instead of 8:30 as he thinks it will be a long, hot day.  This is the person who is difficult to awaken at 6, and who slept all day.  Ted and I decline.

We rode through pines and sage, but when we came to the park boundary the gate was locked, although we had been assured it would be unlocked for us. Just then we saw a man in one of the park’s funny little four wheelers spraying weeds. He called the office, and then opened the gate for us. We descended to the siege area and the camp area. My heart felt heavy. The weather was mild with a gentle wind blowing the clouds around, but to me it seemed oppressive. We continued up the road and towards the gate, only to discover a cattle guard. We went through a wire gate into the neighbor’s and up to their gate, which had an open lock.  The shoulders from there to Wisdom were wide.  Despite the constant gusting of the wind, it was hot and the clouds of mosquitos were never dispersed by it.  It was grassy, so the horses did fine, despite being a little tender.

so much sky
So Much Sky

We arrived in Wisdom about 3:15 and set up camp. I felt desolate. From the Big Hole on, nothing was ever good again for the People. My expectation that those of us on this journey would become closer through these powerful, shared experiences had not proven to be the case. I had come to the point where I shared my thoughts and feelings with no one and the feelings were too intense for me. I felt like a good cry.

On the way to the Gale’s place I quit slowing my pace to match that of Ben and Ted, so that I was quite a bit ahead of them. I began to make up a song and sing it to myself. The first line: “There’s so much sky at the Big Hole.”  The sky does seem to go on and on forever, and it seems the only constant, despite the weather. The song is bad and my singing is worse, but it comforts me. Something had shifted, but I didn’t know what.

The Gales made us a terrific elk dinner and Dan Gard, who was working on the Nez Perce Trail Plan for the park, joined us for dinner. Over dessert, we looked at Ben’s photos, discussed the route and listened to Ted talk about his relatives and experiences.  B. G. massaged Deb and Gill’s necks and backs and they said how lucky we were that she was along. I found that ironic, as she never offers to do anything for us, and would probably extract something for it the way she extracts dish washing from Ben.


The people that I am most grateful for and to whom I dedicate the ride in 2014 are: Taz Connor, Alphonse Halfmoon, and Horace Axtel.

Taz Connor lived in the Wallowas where I visited him in 1993. He was a descendent of Ollocot, Chief Joseph’s Brother. He drove to Dug Bar with me, and planned to ride with me for half the trail. He had started a pow wow in the area of the Chief Joseph Descendents and had a lot of community support, and so couldn’t ride the whole way. He was never able to ride at all, because he fell asleep by a campfire and so badly burned his feet that he finally died from complications of that and his diabetes. His loss was a terrible blow, and I was in denial about the severity of his injuries for some time.

I met Horace Axtel in Lapwai at Tribal Council in 1993 when I asked and received permission to ride the trail. He was the religious leader of the Nez Perce. He, and his family, saw us off at Dug Bar. His wife, Andrea, cooked for us at Dug Bar and gave me a shawl to dance in at the Pow wow.  Both danced with me at the end of the ride.

Typical of non-treaty Nez Perce, Alphonse was living on the Umatilla Reservation in Pendleton, Oregon. In addition to seeing us off at the monument at Lake Wallawa, he was the one I called with questions on the trail, and he rode into the battlefield with me, for which I’m forever grateful.

So many people helped me along the trail, that I’m sure I have neglected to mention someone. I am heartily sorry if that’s the case, and hope to hear from any I omitted, and from all those who weren’t omitted. You can see how impossible it is to do anything by yourself.

This time Jack Ivers edited several chapters, set up this blog, and taught me how to do it!  Peggy Whitfield has been invaluable, not only for editing, but for having a wider vision.   Her insight and advice are beyond the scope of anything I could have imagined.

Andy Anderson:  Showed me the route through the breaks in 1993

Rosa Yearout:  Secretary of the Chief Joseph foundation: breeds Appys in Lapwai, 1993

Sharon Redthunder: At Colville Reservation in 1993

Brenda White:  Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee member 1993

Allen Pinkham and his wife were kind in Lapwai in 1994 and at the Pow Wow.  He was then the Chairman of the Chief Joseph Foundation

Wapiti River Guides:  Help from afar

Pastor Frank B. Andrews:  Nespelem 1993

Charlene Woolsey: Camped with the horses in her pasture for two weeks before the journey 1994

Linda Eoff: A cook in Wallowa

Judy & Chuck Smith : Ben, the Photographers, parents

Milley Fraser: Saw us off on her horse

Maurice Bouchard: Helped BG get around in Oregon

Horace & Andrea Axtell: Gave us a sacred send off from Dug Bar and so much more

Charles & June (Craig) Axtell: Horace and Andrea Axtell’s son and daughter in law at Dug Bar and the Pow Wow, too

Marlin Kennedy:  Got us across the Snake River on jet boat & much else – a Realtor in Grangeville

Dick & Betty Hammond: Trail boss and cook for 1965 Appaloosa Ride met on the trail in 1994

Cheryl & Amy Fulkerson: Met along the way

Ed Lawrence: Met by our backup driver

Jeff Hall: Met along the way

Craig & Carmelita Spencer: Stayed at their ranch

Jeanne & Roy Medley: Foreman at the Spencer Ranch and our hosts

Lew & Polly Hollandsworth: Joseph Plains

Bob & Mary Talbott & Clint Ross: The Hitchcock Ranch

Ryan & Beckie Sitz: Met along the way

Eva Taylor: Visited her both times we crossed the Salmon River

Ruth Oie: At the Book Shoppe in Grangeville

Nick & Vanessa Arnzen & Family: Stayed with them in Cottonwood; she gave me a buzz haircut

Gerald & Ona Lindsey: Stayed on their property

Ray & Marianne Holes: Ona Lindsey’s daughter and son-in-law

Ernie Robinson: White Bird

Julie Fowler, White Bird: River Mountain Ranch, owned by Gerald and Ona Lindsey

White Bird: Veterans at the Pipe Ceremony 6/17/1994
Pete Wilson
Gilbert Towner
J. D. Moore
Steven Reuben
J. R. Spencer
Wilfred Scott
Orrin H. Allen
Roy White
Kevin Peters

Rex & Chris Shroyer: Met along the way

Doug Brock: Horse shoer from Cottonwood who wanted Little Pica

John Richardson: Host par excellence in Stites

R. Lee & Rachel (Wapshiti) Zumwalt: Met at John Richardson’s place

Lynn Pearson Page: Reporter from Kamiah

Monty & Jan Pearson: Kamiah “Saddle Shop”

Marilyn Wheeler-Bowen: Looking Glass descendent

Jamie & Ann Hunter: Fun, helpful duo in Kamiah – moved Marie for us, too

Jerry Divine: Our guide up Rocky Canyon

Charles Raddon:  Trails Specialist at the Clearwater National Forest

William Dishman: Had a moose in his pond

Don Stoen: Owned Lolo Hot Springs and a great guy – bar none

Shane Miller: shoer

Richard & Joan Collins: From England – met at Lolo Hot Springs

Norman Steadman: Mayor of Weippe

Dave Woods: Ranger in Pierce, ID

Jim Burkehalter: Met at Musselshell Meadows

Harlan & Barb Opdahl: Tripple “O” Outfitters – Packers that took us over the Lolo

Jeremy Opdahl: Their nephew

Joel Christensen: Met on the way, from Missoula

Joe Kipphut: Ranger granting us permission to overnight at Fort Fizzle

Elaine Husby: Lunch stop on the road in Lolo, MT

Tim Eldridge:  Fire Management Missoula, MT

Cherie Hauntz: aka Ginger – at Looking Glass Camp

Eileen Fitzpatrick: Met at Looking Glass Camp

Jacque Locke: Helped us on our way

Dianne McGillis: Met when the traffic had us upset

Doug Schallenberger: Gave our horses a ride to avoid traffic

Larry Campbell: Loved his place on Rye Creek

Michael & Carleen Berard: Camped at their lovely place

John R. Myers: Went through his Shining Mountain Ranch

Dave & Kathy Spanfelner: Met at Hogans Cabin on Trail Creek

Terry & Jessie Shields: As above

Dave Jurgella: Program at the Big Hole Battlefield

Bob Booher & Terri Tarver: Met on the trail

Deb & Gil Gale: Rangers in Wisdom — who B. J. left with — great dinner at their house

Dan Gard: Historical archeologist researching the trail & visiting the Gales

Dennis Havig:  District Ranger in the Beaverhead National Forest

Sandy McFarland: NPT Ranger

Pete & Sheila: Met at Skinner Meadows

Ted George: Nez Perce Rider left near Skinner Meadows

Chuck Fleming: Stayed at his place on Bloody Dick Creek + dinner- yum!

Bonnie Mick: Met along the way

Bruce Unruh: Stayed with close to the Rifle Pits near Leadore

Melissa Unruh: His daughter – rode with me several days

Tracy Vincent: Suki savior

Michael Hernandez: Silver Dollar Bar in Leadore (have a shower)

Benjamin Smith: Photographer, left in Leadore

Lewis Newman: Stayed at their ranch at Point Reno

Mick Laird: Met in Dubois

Debra Ellison: Sage Bar in Dubois

Ron & Connie Barg: Camped there and Connie and her baby one who rode with me in storm

Ed Vadnais and the Ybarlucea family: At the Sheep Station in Dubois, site of Bugler Brookes grave

Eileen Bennett: Stayed with them in Dubois and met many family members — great biscuits!

Cheryl Raz and Dale Casper: Met on the trail

Ivan & Charlotte Skinner: Met on the trail

Claude H. Coffin: Supervisory forester in Hebgen Lake Ranger District in West Yellowstone

Sue Donkersgold: as above – I had to have permission to camp in West Yellowstone

Brett Anderson: WORLDS BEST HORSESHOER – Redwood Forge – Bozeman

David Akers: Ralide West – Fit the gear to my horses and taught me to pack – passed with rangers the next day! He was supposed to be taking his wife to the hospital for a C-Section, but they went in the morning instead. I owe him A LOT!

Steven Scull: Met at Reef Creek in the Absaroakas

John Pinegar: Ranger in Clarks Fork Ranger District in Powell, WY

Robert Dieli:  Bureau of Land Management in the Cody Resource Area

Pam Godfrey: Met along the way

Mark Snyder: Fixed gas leak in Powell, WY

Stan & Suzie Hoggatt: Historian walking Dead Indian Gulch

Thom & Lefty Klein: The Edelweiss – camped and ate and slept

Cindy Heath: Worked at the Edelweiss

Jennifer Cline: Lunch stop and apples

Melvin & Lillie Brown: We bought alfalfa from them and they brought us produce and stories

Tara & Wes Schwend: Stayed with them in Bridger

Diana Aisenbury: Did emergency backup

Darlene & Lonnie Schwend: He drove me into town. They have a guest ranch

Gary & Callie Devries: From Walnut Creek and related to my neighbors.

Doug Judkins: Met along the trail in Bridger

Morris Moerkerke: Met in Bridger

James Niccum: History teacher

Arden: leaves

Kevin Reiter: Where to ford the Yellowstone in Laurel, Mont.

Brian Kukowski: Forder of the Yellowstone

Shannon Sanford: Forder of the Yellowstone

Dr. Don & Bobbie Woerner: Don is a Forder of the Yellowstone. stayed with them for days

Leonard Lawver: Met on Buffalo Trail

Darell & Elena Petersen: Met at Safeway

Ed & Shirley Walicski: Stayed with them; Ed did back up for me; gave me a pocket knife; and found me another place to stay in Rapelje

Dan & Jane Kramer: Stayed at their place in Rapelje

Jim Bell: Saved me by coming out to drive back-up with me to the end. Made life easy for me.

Joe & Bettey Schaff: stayed with them in Ryegate

John & Diane Spazziri & family: stayed with them – dinner, showers, laundry, breakfast – GREAT!

Dick & Anita Larsen: Stayed with them in Judith Gap -granddaughter rode with me

Margaret Johnston: Postmistress of Garneill, MT

Lewis Quincy: Firefighter

John & Linda Anderson: Met in Lewistown

Jack & Joanne & Larry Sanger: Stayed with them

Loretta Kittleson: Met on the trail

Ken & Kim Cox: Met on the trail

Kathy & Bob Lahr: Let us stay at their place

Carol Poppenga: Newspaper writer

Larry & Debra Bielen: Bought jerky at their Hilger Meat Processing

Clarence Cuts The Rope: Met on the trail; he returned for talk; he painted my drum for me

Mike & Bobbe Donsbach: Stayed with them on Dog Creek

Roger Thompson: Mayor of Winifred

Bill Lee: Most of the children at Winifred’s School came to our camp, class by class!

George Econom: Met on the way

Jim Arthur: With George Econom

Sandy Ishihara & Frances B. Call: Helped me find a place to cross the Missouri river

Garry L. Casebolt: Let me stay at Spencer Cow Camp

John Curry and Dominic Bradly: Camped with them for a couple of days on tribal land

Tim L. Hall: Came to Cleveland, Mont. with Alphonse Halfmoon

Betty Jo Connor: Stayed with her for days – slept in a bed! Went to the powwow together and even into Billings and Laurel to pick up Little Pica and Marie

Jim Barnum: BLM,

Ann Davies: Met in Chinook

Vinel Baird: Met in Chinook

Patty Nissen: Met in Chinook

Gary Davis: Support from afar