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In This Issue:

Feature: Bears Beware
The Flathead Monster
Wildlife Trivia
Recipe: Sweet Corn Bisque with Linguica Sausage & Pumpkin Seeds
Featured Montana Products
Featured Books
Free Montana Information – Vacation & Travel and Real Estate & Relocation

Bears Beware: Some Grannies Pack A Punch

By Kristin E. Hill

Black bears and grizzly bears. For as long as mankind has inhabited the west, these lurking shadows of brute force have haunted the fears of outdoor lovers and national park visitors. While most human beings’ bear encounters will occur within the confines of a safely guarded zoo, the mere thought of happening upon one of these creatures in the wild is enough to make some people avoid the wild altogether. But for the brave souls who realize that black bears and grizzly bears combined kill less than ten people annually (while mosquitoes are responsible for millions of deaths each year), the wild is a majestic place meant for exploration — and what better exploration destination than Montana’s Glacier National Park. That was the thought of one older couple who took to the backcountry, overcame their fear, and showed a bear that some grandmas pack a pretty mean punch!

It was August 1991, and Deane and Lorraine Lengkeek of Holland, Michigan thought it was a perfect day for a hike to Glacier’s popular Iceberg Lake. Although both were sixty-two years old, they were in good physical condition and were ready to tackle the strenuous five-mile trek. Marching upward behind her husband, Lorraine carried a full-size pair of binoculars around her neck and would occasionally stop to scan the beautiful mountain scenery. Unfortunately, she never saw the bears that would turn her and Deane’s once peaceful hike into a fight for life.

At approximately 3 P.M., Deane and Lorraine knew they would reach the turquoise waters of Iceberg Lake within the next half-hour. It would be an awe-inspiring reward for their hard work, and they couldn’t wait to share the pictures with their fifteen grandchildren when they returned home. Suddenly, Deane noticed a mother bear and two cubs fifty feet from the trail. Before he could utter a warning, the mother bear charged and tackled Deane. Lorraine fell to the ground and played dead, listening to her husband’s cries as the bear chomped at his right shoulder, arm, and torso. As the attack became more vicious, Lorraine had had enough. She wasn’t about to let this bear have her husband without making the bear fight her as well.

At five-foot, four inches and 130 pounds, Lorraine jumped to her feet and began slinging her binoculars at the bear. She threw five punches, landing each one squarely on the bear’s head. With the fifth punch, the angry bear changed her gaze from Deane to Lorraine. Lorraine stood her ground, locking eyes with the bear to see who would win the battle in protecting their kin. And then, with one last woof, the mother bear dropped Deane to the ground, turned away from Lorraine, and ran back to her cubs.

Once the bear left, Lorraine’s attention turned to her husband’s aid. He was losing blood quickly and desperately needed medical attention. She called for help, but her cries went unheard. Using the only supplies they had, Lorraine fashioned a tourniquet from her bra. Miraculously, a group of hikers came by at that moment and ran for help. Within no time, a park ranger was onsite, and minutes later, a helicopter from the Kalispell Regional Medical Center rescued the brave couple. After surgery and blood transfusions, Deane made a full recovery. As for Lorraine, she became an instant Montana folk legend, known as the grandmother who fought off a bear with binoculars.

To this day, Deane and Lorraine are unsure whether the bear that attacked them was a grizzly or a black bear. Wildlife biologists speculate that it was probably a black bear; most grizzlies wouldn’t stand for such a counterattack. But in any case, one thing is for sure. That bear probably won’t be attacking the next grandmother it sees. After all, Lorraine Lengkeek proves that some grandmas can be scarier than they look!

The Flathead Monster

Article from “The Ultimate Montana Atlas & Travel Encyclopedia”

If you think Scotland has a lock on lake monsters you might be surprised to find Montana has its own version of “Nessie” in Flathead Lake. The monster was first spotted in 1889 by passengers of the lake steamer US Grant who first thought it to be an approaching boat. A passenger toting a rifle fired at it. He missed, but he did scare it (whatever it was) away.

Since then scores of people have viewed the creature. Sightings were documented in the early 1900s, 1912, 1919, 1922-23, 1934, 1937, 1939 and regularly in every decade until today.

One of the more notable accounts came from a Polson couple and their four children on July 10, 1949. They reported a big fish near the Narrows. The fish appeared about 150 feet from them and had about a six foot length of its back visible. For over 30 seconds they watched it as it swam southeasterly leaving a wake 6” to 8” high as it slowly sank beneath the surface. They believed it to be a 10 to 12-foot long sturgeon. The man later became a chairman of the Montana State Fish and Game Commission.

1993 holds the record for the most sightings–nine in all. On July 13, near Woods Bay, a Seattle bank officer and a district sales manager actually managed to get some video footage of the creature. The video shows a dark shape on the surface. The sales manager swears he saw the eye’s of the monster before they were able to get the tape rolling. He described it as the head of a sturgeon, but the body of a large eel at least 12 feet long. On July 29 in the early afternoon, a vacationing Illinois policeman, his wife and three children saw “Nessie” surface about 50 yards from their boat in calm waters near Wild Horse Island. The monster appeared to be following a school of bait-sized fish. The policeman described the creature as shiny with shiny humps, about 15 to 20 feet in length, and with a bowling ball-sized head. He claimed it looked like two seals swimming.

There seems to be no consistency to where or when “Nessie” will show. The creature has appeared at all times of the year, in all parts of the lake. Sightings of the creature have been reported by all manner of people–teachers, professionals, farmers, ranchers, military officers, law enforcement officers, business people, mill workers, and tourists of all ages.

There was a time when folks thought the mystery was solved. On May 28, 1955, the late C. Leslie Griffith claimed he snagged a big sturgeon near Dayton on the western side of the lake. He finally managed to gaff it several miles down-lake near Big Arm State Park, after fighting it for nearly five hours. Not everyone believed his story. Some believe the 7-1/2 foot, 181 lb. white sturgeon was trucked in from somewhere else. The giant fish can be seen in the Polson Flathead Historical Museum today. Griffith did swear in court under oath that the fish was caught in Flathead Lake. A dispute later arose between Griffith and Big Fish Unlimited Inc. as to ownership of the fish and distribution of money from showing it. The case went all the way to the Montana Supreme Court. BFU retained ownership but had to give Griffith a cut of the proceeds.

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Montana Wildlife Trivia Q & A
From “Montana Trivia” by Janet Spencer, Riverbend Publishing

Click here to order Montana Trivia book

Q. What is the most commonly hunted big game animal in Montana?
A. Deer, with about 89,000 taken every year.

Q. What is the second most commonly hunted big game animal?
A. Elk and antelope tied, with about 20,000 each.

Q. What percentage of deer and antelope are found on privately owned land?
A. 62 percent of mule deer, 68 percent of white-tailed deer, and 75 percent of antelope.

Q. The average square mile of Montana land is estimated to contain 1.4 elk, 1.4 pronghorn antelope, 3.3 deer, and how many humans?
A. Six.

Q. Elk antlers, one of the fastest growing animal tissues known to science, can grow how much per day?
A. One inch.

From “Montana Trivia” by Janet Spencer, published by Riverbend Publishing
Click here to order
Montana Quizzes available free to any publication, contact Janet@TriviaQueen.com


Sweet Corn Bisque With Linguica Sausage & Pumpkin Seeds

by Chef Jim Chapman

Click here to order "The Yellowstone National Park Cookbook" or view other Gift Corral Books

While this Yellowstone cookbook contains an interview of a chef and several of his recipes, it also offers dishes from such well-known park personas as the wolf project leader, a park ranger, and many others. Some recipes are pulled from inherited family cookbooks, and some come with special directions for doctoring according to personal taste. Featuring an eclectic mix of represented styles and cultures, this unique cookbook guarantees you'll find something delicious to make and someone interesting to meet on every page.

Sweet Corn Bisque With Linguica Sausage & Pumpkin Seeds
By Chef Jim Chapman

His name may not be Emeril or Rachel Ray, but Chef Jim Chapman is by all accounts one of the best chefs west of the Mississippi. After completing his training at the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Chapman spent the next 25 years cooking everywhere from New England to Switzerland before accepting the title of Yellowstone’s executive chef. Not only is he in charge of every restaurant in the park, but he is also responsible for writing menus and creating recipes so that Yellowstone’s menus remain fresh. Chef Chapman’s recipes range from the exotic to down-home, but they all emphasize the use of organic and natural local products. Despite the long hours, Chef Chapman says, “It’s my dream job. I love it.”

This feel-good soup is perfect for warming your soul on those chilly fall days, and it’s a favorite at Yellowstone’s Lake Hotel.

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup butter
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 pounds whole kernel corn
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1-1/2 quarts vegetable stock
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt and white pepper to taste
5 ounces linguica sausage cut into thin half moons
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS
Melt butter and sauté onions until translucent. Add flour and make a roux. Add remaining ingredients except linguica and pumpkin seeds. Bring to a boil while whisking occasionally. Lower to simmer and cook until potatoes are very soft. Puree soup and strain. Adjust seasoning and consistency to personal preference. Finish each soup serving with 1/2 ounce linguica sausage and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

Yields 10 servings

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Featured Products

500 Piece Wildlife Puzzle
From the Hamilton Group
Click here for price and order information and to view more Gift Corral products

This 18" x 24" puzzle is a 500-piece masterpiece. With a collage featuring elk, moose, bison, rainbows, bears, and the wild Montana landscape, among other items, this piece is sure to spark the imagination, even more so if the recipient is a nature lover.


Grizzly Sugar Cookie Mix
From Let's Make Cookies
Click here for price and order information and to view more Gift Corral products

A great gift for fans of Montana, this dry cookie mix extremely easy to make and requires only the addition of 2 eggs and 1 stick of soft butter. It’s a great way to include young children in the kitchen without a mess, and for some extra fun, the set also includes a reusable bear-shaped cookie cutter for unique cookies! Good for approximately 24 months in packaging, 16oz.


Big Sky Carvers Camp Runamuck Bear Camp Figurine

By Big Sky Carvers

Click here for price and order information and to view more Gift Corral products

This classic Bearfoots scene, designed by Montana artist Jeff Fleming, depicts a group of bears descending upon a campground -- a good reminder to keep your food locked away in Yellowstone. This special 10th anniversary edition piece is approximately 8" wide, 5" deep, and 6" tall.

Featured Montana Books

We've included a few books about the state that you might enjoy. These selections are also published locally in Montana as well.

"Haunted Montana"
From Riverbend Publishing

By Karen Stevens. ISBN: 978-1-931832-87-8. Paperback, 255 pages.

Click here for price and order information and to view more Gift Corral books

Montana librarian Karen Stevens is a certified ghost hunter and she's found all kinds of ghosts in the Treasure State. Some are in houses, some in prominent buildings, and some in lonely landscapes. Some hauntings date back to the days of fur trappers and Indians; others are modern phantoms and poltergeists. Each haunted place shares three criteria: the ghostly activity is recent, the locations are historically important, and the site is open to the public. Stevens has personally investigated each haunting and interviewed eyewitnesses to the paranormal sights and sounds. She deftly describes the history behind the haunting, the specific ghostly phenomena, and even the best way to maximize your chances of encountering the Other World.

Use Haunted Montana as a travel guide to the supernatural -- or simply enjoy it as an entertaining narrative about Montana's spookiest places.

"Yellowstone Ghost Stories"
From Riverbend Publishing

By Shellie Larios. ISBN: 978-1-931832-71-7. 109 pages, paperback.

Click here for price and order information and to view more Gift Corral books

Have you seen the little lost boy who appears and disappears among the tourists watching Old Faithful geyser? Have you visited young Mattie's grave on the banks of the Firehole River and felt the ghostly presence of two star-crossed lovers?

Do you know the story of the headless bride who haunts the Old Faithful Inn? Have you heard the rusting of a 19th century dress in the halls of Mammoth Hotel -- And turned to find no one there?

Have you heard, as many have, the eerie whispers of the drowned on Yellowstone Lake?

Have you seen the restless ghost of Wahb, the great silver-tipped grizzly bear, slipping silently through Yellowstone's forests?

Is a frozen corpse still playing poker at Norris Ranger Station? And is the skeleton wrangler still saddling horses at Roosevelt Lodge?

The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia 4th Edition
by Michael and Heidi Dougherty
Click here for price and order information and to view more Gift Corral books

Special clearance price on 2nd Edition. Click here.

Even the most famous explorers relied on a knowledgeable guide. And nowhere will you find a more knowledgeable guide than The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia. It would require almost a dozen of the top guidebooks on Montana to find the information contained in this single volume—and you still wouldn’t have everything that is in this book!

114 maps — 52 maps of towns and cities — Over 2,000 Restaurants — Over 700 Motels — More than 350 public campgrounds — More than 250 private campgrounds — 96 Forest Service cabins — Over 200 guest ranches and resorts — Over 200 bed and breakfasts — Over 250 vacation homes and cabins — Over 450 outfitters and guides — 130 airports — More than 225 fishing sites — Over 160 Lewis & Clark points of interest — 71 public golf courses — Over 300 museums and historical sites — The text of over 300 historical markers — More than 25 hot springs — Over 300 hikes — Over 100 Cross-Country Ski Trails — Over 65 scenic drives and sidetrips — More than 50 ghost towns — 31 downhill and cross-country ski areas — Over 650 gas stops — More than 400 attractions — More than 1,000 photographs — Weather information for over 40 locations — Information on over 300 cities and towns — 1,000s of things to do in Montana — 1,000s of addresses and phone numbers …and more!

584 pages. 8 1/2 x 11”. Softbound.


 

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