We started out from Butte at 5300 feet on a winding uphill road over a mountain pass that took us up another 1000 feet. The road was steep with hairpin switchbacks but the car performed very well. The ‘A’ took the pass in second gear all the way. Beautiful views rewarded us at the top.
Just west of Livingston we stopped at a tourist attraction called Grizzley Encounter. A couple has built facilities that house 5 rescue grizzlies with a large zoo-like observation area. The bears come out 2 at a time (they don’t all get along) to play and forage for hidden fruits and nuts and we tourists watch and take photos. One playful female gave us quite a show. After first testing the water temp with her back foot, she took a swim and then ran circles around the yard like a puppy. She teased her big oaf of a male companion trying to get him to play but he was having fun straddling a huge log with his hind quarters and rocking it back and forth like a teeter-totter (see the pictures). One of the bears the couple had raised from a young cub. He is used in films. The others, they rescued from poor captivity situations.
After Grizzly Encounter, we attempted to bypass a section of the freeway on a cut off road we saw in the gazetteer. The road kept getting narrower and steeper as we drove up the mountain. Finally, just a few yards short of the crest, we hit a section that was so steep that our ‘A ‘could go no further. Just not enough power. And when we stopped the car even slid backwards a bit on the gravel. Yikes. There was no room to turn around and no going backwards for fear of an un-controled slide. Larry and Linda’s roadster is lighter and geared lower so they did not have a problem with the steep grade. Merv suggested that the three of us give him a push to try to get him going again. Fortunately that worked. The road ended as the driveway of a huge house on the very top of a mountain so we had to go back down that steep gravel slope. I can’t imagine how they managed to get big trucks up there to build that thing. Were we ever glad to get back to the tar.
We enjoyed our stay at our motel in Livingston. Its nice to park right outside of your room. Every time we would go outside, there would be people curious about the cars. Poor Larry, still sick with his cold and tired after a hard day of driving, was not sick or tired enough to stop chatting with people. He and Merv stayed out til after 9:00pm chatting with a couple who, on their evening drive in their Model T, happened to see our Model A’s in the motel parking lot.