Not too many miles up the road from Missoula sits the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas, a large circle of stupas and Buddhas to do a walking meditation around. PJ had come across it in one of the tourist guides she picked up somewhere as we were roaming around town. Since it was on our route, we decided to stop in and have some quiet time on our way to Trout Creek.
There is a circular path that surrounds the garden with eight spokes radiating to the large Bhudda that sits in the center. We slowly walked the perimeter stopping at the prayer wheel, mandalas, and statues depicting various Buddhist themes. Large rocks were inscribed with sayings and sutras.
At the crest of a small rise, they had erected a tent like structure created entirely from streamers of prayer flags. PJ sat inside while I meditated with a circle of large statues overlooking a beautiful valley below. It was hours well spent to start a day of travel on the right foot.
We wove our way through valleys and passes. The landscape varied from yellow prairie plains to pine covered mountains. As we neared the turn off for the 200, we were pulled into a boat inspection station so that the paddle boards could be looked over for invasive mussels. Seems they are making their way west from the Great Lakes.
Where have these things been?
The final stretch from the National Bison Range to our destination at Trout Creek featured some of the most stunning landscape as we followed the banks of the Columbia River. There were signs warning to be alert to the bighorn sheep that frequent the area and it wasn’t long before we spotted some scrambling around on the steep, rocky slopes on the north side of the river. We entered the Kootenai National Forest and drove until we reached Thompson Falls where we made a grocery stop at the Harvest Supermarket.
Our campground for the night was only twenty minutes further along. We are one of only two campers in the park for tonight. No problem getting our choice of sites. Cali likes it because she can run free and there are deer to sniff at. Super quiet and private. Easy, fun driving today.
Wooo! what a ride!