Unexpected Finds in Arlee, Montana

{Dates of Visit: July 19-21, 2014}

Not all of our stops are deserving of their own post. I mean, sometimes we only stop for an over-nighter and never leave the RV, let alone the campground. There are plenty of times we simply *unplug* from sight-seeing and hiking, opting instead to *plug in* to the boob-tube and just sit. But sometimes, even though we only stop for a night or two, a place does deserve it's own post for one reason or another.

Jocko Hollow Campground in Arlee, Montana, is one such place. It's a tiny little campground with just 8 RV sites and an area for tent campers. But the grounds are beautiful and the Jocko River flows right through it all. The owners are friendly and the attention to detail was a nice surprise (see the flower box on our picnic table). With so few sites, some of them being on tight turns, you might want to call before attempting to squeeze in. There's also a low overpass to navigate...and even though we knew we would fit there was a little pucker factor when I saw this...

The entire Jocko Hollow Valley is gorgeous and is home to the National Bison Range (and just 16 miles from the campground). From the Fish & Wildlife Service website:
President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Bison Range on May 23, 1908 when he signed legislation authorizing funds to purchase suitable land for the conservation of bison. It was the first time that Congress appropriated tax dollars to buy land specifically to conserve wildlife. The overall mission of the National Bison Range is to maintain a representative herd of bison, under reasonably natural conditions, to ensure the preservation of the species for continued public enjoyment.
But the real highlight of our short stay was this:

The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas, or Ewam, is found nestled in the Flathead Reservation just north of Arlee. The garden was constructed to resemble the Tibetan Eight-Spoke Dharma Wheel and houses 1,000 Buddhas and 1,000 Stupas. It is truly a sight to behold.

Down the road we stopped in at the historic St. Ignatius Mission, also located on the Flathead Reservation. Built in the early 1890's the church is home to 58 original paintings by Brother Joseph Carignano. And while neither of us are practicing Catholics we love checking out the architecture, history and art found in many of these churches.

Salish Lord and Mother in Native American form.
I can't really tell you anything about Missoula, the closest city to Arlee, except that we went there to do laundry. Perhaps we missed out on seeing some great things or eating at some remarkable restaurants? There is some risk of "missing out" when you travel fast...or travel at all. But we've learned (mostly) to embrace the experiences we do have rather than lamenting over those we didn't.

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