January 19, 2007

East Gallatin River

On my own one morning I go to the same recreation area where last July we swam and I saw yellow-headed blackbirds, yellow warblers, and muskrats. This time I flush a pheasant from a hayfield on the other side of the East Gallatin River (a Missouri tributary) and a sharp-tailed grouse from a riverside thicket. I saw lots of pheasants and grouse on my Great Plains bike trip and know them after a few wingbeats.

Jim Bridger, mountain man extraordinaire, named this river the Cherry, probably after chokecherries on its bank. Though that name is lost, the Bridger mountain range rises in the north to Sacajawea Peak's 9,665 feet. The Lewis and Clark expedition camped a few miles from here on July 14, 1806 as Clark's party crossed to the Yellowstone River toward a rendezvous with Lewis.


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