North to Alaska-2010 travel blog

Entering Flathead Reservation Area

St. Ignatius Church

Inside St. Ignatius

Portrait of God

Portrait of the Madonna

Pronghorn in National Bison Range

Mission Range

We moved on to Missoula, MT on Friday, June 4. We are staying a on the outskirts of Missoula and have some beautiful views of snow-capped mountains and grassy hills. It is still spring here in Montana, tulips in bloom as well as lilacs. The hills are so green they look like they are covered in green velvet. We got everything set up (in the rain unfortunately) and just chilled for the night. The University of Montana is here in Missoula and some of you might remember this is where Chad received his Masters Degree. Even though Missoula is the second largest city in Montana there are only about 67,000 residents. Montana only has about one million residents in the whole state - a lot of open, wild spaces here.

Today, June 5 we took the scenic drive towards Flathead Lake. Flathead Lake is the second largest natural lake west of the Mississippi. It is fed from the melting snow from the mountains and never gets above 60 degrees - even in the summer. On the way to the Lake we visited St.Ignatius Mission. This mission was started in 1854 by Jesuit missionaries, Fr. Peter DeSmet. The church which stands there now was built in 1891 and has beautiful murals and frescoes on the walls and ceiling. They were created by Brother Joseph Carignano, a cook at the mission in his spare time - see the pictures. I have also included a picture of the Indians version of God and their version of the Madonna. We visited the National Bison Range, but only saw bison at a distance. We did see a pronghorn up close. The Mission Mountain range is visible on the drive, but it was cloudy a lot of the day so the pictures are not the best. They are still snow-covered probably from the same snow storms that left snow in the Beartooth Range.

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