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May 16, 2007, Montana Nuggets Newsletter

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In This Issue:

• He Mapped the West
• 5 Fascinating Facts About Yellowstone Park
• On This Day... May 13, 1961
• Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia
• Hikes in Scenic Gallatin Canyon
• Featured Product from The Gift Corral — Dust and Thunder Buffalo Bust


He Mapped the West

In 2007, the Flathead Valley will join our Canadian neighbors to commemorate the life and work of David Thompson. Considered by many as the foremost land geographer of the American continent, Thompson mapped more than 1.5 million square miles in both Canada and the United States. In March 1812, he became the first white man to document Flathead Lake, then known as the Saleesh Lake. His name appears on our landscape and yet, American history books say little about this remarkable man and his achievements.

Born in Wales and educated at London’s Greycoat School, Thompson prepared for a career in the military. At age 14 he found there was little demand for new recruits so he signed on with the Hudson Bay Company and sailed for Canada. In 1786, he was selected to travel inland to the prairies and by the next year he had traveled to the Rocky Mountains where he wintered with the Piegan.

In 1788, an accident resulted in a broken leg, probably... Read Full Article


5 Fascinating Facts About Yellowstone Park

Q. When Yellowstone was made a national park in 1872, what was the park’s annual operating budget allotted by Congress?
A. No money was provided. There were so many opponents to the idea of the park that this was the only way to silence them.

Q. Yellowstone Park has had several forest fires in its recent history. How many years following a fire will a forest hit its peak level of diversity, hosting the greatest number of plant and animal species?
A. 25 years. When a mature forest burns, there will be a 30-fold increase in the number of plant species over the next 20 years; bird species will increase up to five times. By the time lodgepole pines get large enough to shade the forest floor completely-40 to 50 years after a fire—the number of species begins to drop and it continues to drop until the forest burns again.

Q. The Firehole River where it begins above Upper Geyser Basin is a cold mountain stream with a typical mid-July water temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. By the time it reaches Firehole Falls below Lower Geyser Basin—a distance of about 12 miles, as the crow flies—what is the river’s water temperature?
A. 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The river picks up heat as it passes through Upper, Midway, and Lower Geyser Basins. It’s been estimated that the heat that goes into the Firehole River could melt seven tons of ice per minute. The output of the twin features of Excelsior Geyser Crater and Prismatic Spring in the Midway Basin increases the temperature of the entire river by nearly 40 degrees.

Q. The presence of wolves in the park increases the presence of aspen. How?
A. Wolves keep the elk moving from place to place instead of staying in a single location. This prevents elk form grazing too heavily in an area with new aspen shoots.

Q. The four trillion gallons of water that pour out of Yellowstone each year would be enough to fill Lake Superior how many times?
A. Twelve times. Twelve major rivers originate in the Greater Yellowstone area, including four very large ones: the Snake River, the Missouri River, the Yellowstone River and the Green River.

From “Montana Trivia” by Janet Spencer, published by Riverbend Publishing
$10 + $2 S & H Call toll free 866-787-2363
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On This Day... May 13, 1961

Native Montanan Gary Cooper dies of cancer. The movie star was born Frank James Cooper on May 7, 1901, to English parents in Helena, Montana. His childhood was divided between a 600-acre ranch outside of Helena and Dunstable, England, where his mother insisted he and his brother go to school for a proper education. The actor was a guide in Yellowstone National Park for several summers before moving to California. He began his Hollywood career as an extra, riding in western movies. He cameoed in a few films and then got his break when he was chosen to replace the otherwise-committed lead in The Winning of Barbara Worth. Cooper acted in more than 90 films and won several Academy Awards.



Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia

Spring is here and summer is close upon us! The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia can help you plan a vacation, a weekend trip, a day hike, or even your move to Montana!

This best-selling volume offers more information than dozens of other guidebooks combined and has received rave reviews from both Montana residents and individuals from across the U.S.

Not just a reference guide to big-name attractions, this must-have book also uncovers some of the hidden treasures and historical sites that make Montana so special. Learn about scenic drives, fishing holes, mountain hikes, and museums while gaining access to hundreds of hotels, restaurants, outfitters, and much, much more.

The book also includes special extensive sections on both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks! Order your copy today, and discover all that this Treasure state has to offer!

Get it Now!



Hikes in Scenic Gallatin Canyon

Gallatin Canyon between Bozeman and West Yellowstone is a sight to behold in a car, but it’s even more breathtaking to those who take the time to explore the mountains, lakes, and forests tucked away from highway view. The following is just a sample of the many fine trails that Gallatin Canyon affords summer outdoor enthusiasts.

Golden Trout Lakes Trail 83
This is an easy to moderate 2.5 mile trail with a little climbing. The hike takes you to three picturesque alpine lakes. The first is the only one with fish. Take Hwy. 191 south into the Gallatin Canyon. Portal Creek Road is about 3 miles south of Moose Flats Campground. Turn left on Portal Creek Road and drive about 6 miles to the parking area and trailhead.

South Fork of Spanish Creek Trail
To find this trail take Hwy. 191 into the Gallatin Canyon just south of Gallatin Gateway. Immediately after you enter the Canyon, watch for Spanish Creek Road veering off to the right of the paved road. As soon as you pass through the gate just a few yards ahead, you are on media mogul Ted Turner’s property. There’s a good chance you will see anywhere from... Read Full Article



Montana Gift Corral

Looking to bring a symbol of Montana into your home? Searching for that perfect western gift or souvenir? Then don't miss the huge selection of quality-crafted items at the Montana Gift Corral. The Montana Gift Corral prides itself on offering sensational products by talented and creative artists with store locations in Bozeman and at Gallatin Field Airport. Can't make it to Montana? The Montana Gift Corral offers a full selection of their signature products online. Visitors will find handmade bath and body products, Moose Drool novelty items, whimsical bear and moose figurines, stuffed animals, wood carvings, Christmas ornaments reflecting the Montana spirit, clothing, antler art, handcrafted jewelry, gourmet foods (including Montana's famed huckleberry products!), Montana silversmith items, household décor items ranging from lamps to rustic furniture to picture frames, and much, much more!  Shop Now!

Featured Product
Mill Creek Studios Dust and Thunder – Buffalo Bust (photo below):
American artist Joe Slockbower designed this captivating piece of wildlife art. Mill Creek Studios, a company known for its images of wolves, bears and deer, produced this alabaster and resin piece. The base of the sculpture features petroglyphs of a bison and a track. A bison skull highlights the back of this piece. Amaze any wildlife lover with this fascinating sculpture. Includes authenticity coin. 11” tall. Buy This Item


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