At last - a bear...

Trip Start Jun 15, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
KOA Great Falls

Flag of United States  , Montana
Monday, August 19, 2013

I was driving down a small winding forest road, 86 to Bozeman, when all of a sudden app. 100 yards ahead of me on the road I saw a grizzly bear.  I stopped immediately.  The bear saw me too and slowly sauntered off the road.  Based on my in-depth study of bear behaviour I knew that the bear was not likely to attack me (I had the top and windows down), so I drove slowly forward to where it had been.  It was now app. 10 yards from the road down in the underbrush.  I quickly got my camera out and took a photo.  The bear continued moving away and was quickly gone.
Shortly after I spotted a Gallatine National Forest campground and decided to camp there - instead of going all the way down to the Bozeman KOA on I-90.  It was a very nice and quiet location with plenty of firewood.  I decided to spend two days there (Friday to Sunday).  
While in Billings I had experienced strange problems with my pc (see my previous blog).  Even after repair at Rimrock I had some problems, so I decided to go back to the company and talk to Lindsay.  She looked at my installed programs and removed some installed the day before.  The lesson I learned is to disregard warnings like 'Your files are corrupt. Click here' or 'Your internet browser is obsolete. Click here'.  They are ads, said Lindsay, and indeed they are.  There is a subscript with small letters:  'Ad not on this site' and when you click you will download programs that will create more problems, so that you are inclined to purchase the advertiser's program that purportedly will solve your problems.  Do not do it.
At the Billings KOA I spoke with my nice neighbours, Maria and Ricardo.  They are from Sacremento, CA, and were headed to Minnesota.  He is now retired but worked on 'the black box for the space shuttle' for 28 years.  They ride a 'trike' - a motorcycle with three instead of two wheels.  It's more safe, said Maria, and also you can carry more luggage with you.  They have five adult children - four boys and a girl.  Good luck to them.
Yesterday I took a hard look at my future travel plans.  My intent now is to drove up to Highway 2 and continue west to the Pacific - stopping for at day or two at Glacier National Park - and then head down along the coast on 101 to San Francisco.  From there I will go east to Salt Lake City - along the Pony Express Trail - and then southeast to New Mexico.  I have never been to Utah, and New Mexico was sheer delight, when Rita and I were there in May.              
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Jack Van Ballegooijen on

If you haven't yet seen the Big Sur coastal area of California south of San Francisco along CA Hwy 1, it's a great drive in a convertible. Also, you're not far away from Yosemite which is a bit south and east of San Francisco. Perhaps you've already considered visiting Livermore National Laboratory which is also just east of San Francisco. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Edward Teller (of the Manhattan Project) there many years ago. We lost him about 10 years ago. Anyhow, you'll be in great high energy particle phyics country with a large linear accelerator at the Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, and the Circular Accelerator at Livermore. Good hunting.

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