"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Friday, July 8, 2011

Muddy Missouri and Memory Markers

While traveling through Montana, we were aware of flooded flatlands and wet patches near the shoulder of the road that didn't seem to belong there.

We talked to some local Montanians (is that correct??) and learned that there had been an excessive amount of rain and all the local waterways were muddy, rushing and overflowing their banks.
Look close above the roadway and see the mt. peaks that I love so much.

I never realized that the mighty Missouri River begins in Montana but it does, flowing
until it meets the Mississippi River in St Louis.
We crossed that same swollen Missouri River countless times as it meandered south and east and we drove north. It looked rather onimous in several places.
And now the report of major flooding and devastation from this same river is in the news.

Montana also has a sobering program of placing white crosses to mark the location of a roadside casualty. Occasionally 3 crosses shared a post. Shudder.

Once in awhile the simple crosses were adorned by grieving friends or family.
I am unable to drive by such markers, whether simple or decorated, without pausing
and reflecting on the casual way we drive on these roads and how swiftly a life can be ended or changed by a momentary lack of attention or concentration.
Maybe every state should adopt such a program.

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