Today's Wonder of the World is...a Mancation on the Missouri River.
Don't you love this photo of my Ben's bony, size 14 feet? The pic was taken as my very own Lewis and Clark spent a week canoeing down the Missouri River, eating Beanie Weenies, and reliving the Corps of Discovery, as the famed explorers called their adventures.
And to think that it all started from a footnote in a book!
Back in 1997, Stephen Ambrose's book Undaunted Courage turned my mild mannered husband into a raging Lewis and Clark evangelist. "I must see this for myself," he said, and showed me Ambrose's footnote on page 228.
It is today as Lewis saw it. The White Cliffs can be seen only from small boat or canoe. Put in at Fort Benton and take out three or four days later at Judith Landing. Missouri River Outfitters at Fort Benton, Montana, rents canoes or provides a guided tour by pontoon boat. Of all the historic and /or scenic sights we have visited in the world, this is number one. We (his family) have made the trip ten times.
"That's nice, honey," I said. "Maybe you can use some of those frequent flier miles and make the trip one of these days."
Little did I know that he was a man obsessed.
A few months later, he packed up his tent and vanished into the wilderness with his crazy friend Butch. I was six months pregnant with Sam at the time, but I didn't worry too much. After all, he was with Butch, the original Marlboro Man. The man who flies a World War II biplane for fun, who's flown water bombers into forest fires, who worked for years spraying coca plants in South America while people were shooting at him. Butch is there, I'd repeat to myself. Everything will be fine.
But this time Butch and Todd were taking my middle baby Ben.
And then Butch canceled!
I worried just a little.
Okay, I worried a lot.
They were going to be out of cell phone coverage, just the two of them, in complete wilderness.
Well, almost. To their surprise, park rangers had installed port-a-potties at various spots along the river route since Todd's last trip. They wouldn't have to dig holes after all. Aw, too bad, guys.
They had a fabulous time together.
Ben learned how to canoe without turning the boat over.
And how to pull over and set up camp.
They did about twenty miles a day and spent the rest of the time eating, sleeping, reading, and enjoying whatever fun presented itself. One day an extroverted bunny rabbit presented itself, and Ben got in touch with his inner four year old, hopping after it, making it his friend. A few hours later after Ben and Todd had zipped themselves in the tent for the night, Ben heard the bunny rabbit being attacked and eaten by a wolverine. Perhaps extroversion is not a good quality in a bunny rabbit.
Ah, the wonders of nature.
No hasenpfeffer for them. But they did enjoy some blueberry cheesecake, a goodbye gift from Sam.
They also enjoyed breathtaking sunrises.
And lots and lots of cows.
And even a surprise rope swing, in the middle of nowhere!
Doesn't my man look happy?
Scruffy, but very happy.
Who wouldn't be happy in such a beautiful place?
Have a wonder-full Monday, y'all!
And tell me, does the wilderness call your name, or do you prefer the wilds of the Holiday Inn?