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Thread: Fort Peck

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  1. #1
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    Default Fort Peck

    Pedaling along rt.2 in Montana one morning we came to a sign that said Fort Peck two miles.Having ridden 25 miles so far that morning we decided to take a break,maybe get a coffee and a doughnut.

    Pulling into town our progress was haulted by one of the many freight trains that crisscross Montana daily.A beat up multi-colored pickup truck,with hay chaff and baling twine in the body was sitting at the crossing wainting for the train to go through.The driver was a women in her early seventies,her hair was in large rollers,she was tanned and weathered from years of farming.I rode my bike up along side the pickup and asked her if there was a store in town.Evidently the noise from the train had prevented her from hearing me pull up,so when I spoke it jump her into the air.Once she recovered from the scare she said"as soon as this train passes you'll see the store right in front of you."Where are you going " she asks,and I tell her Maine.When you are in the west and you tell people you are going to Maine on a bicycle,you always get that same look of awe."Did you say Maine"as thou she may have heared me wrong.

    When the train passed we saw the store she was talking about,as she had said it was right in front of us.There also was a small city park next to it.The plan was to get a coffee and a snack,go sit in the park,rest a little refuel and head out for another 25 miles.Which would take us to dinner time.As we came out of the store,the woman in the pick up was waiting for us."Have you ever heard of the Fort Peck Dam " she asks.Hell we had never even heard of Fort Peck until a couple of minutes ago.She explains that the Fort Peck Dam is the largest earth filled dam in the world and that it backs up water for miles on the Missouri river."You need to see our dam before you leave town"our new friend tells us."Where is it"I inquire."Nine miles down this road over her" she points.

    Well now its time for me to explain some simple facts of bicycling to her.We are headed east is the first point I make.The second point is that she is pointing west.The third point is that nine miles to the dam and nine miles back is eighteen miles.I tell her that we would like to see her dam and that I'm sure it is impessive,but we just don"t have the time to spare going nine miles out of our way.What she saids next is why I'm writing this article.

    "Nine miles out of a life time is a very short distance."These words have remained with me the pass three years and I'm sure they always will.What a wise old lady she was.We didn't go see the dam that day and it bother us the rest of the trip.The fact that we were in to much of a hurry to get home that we couldn't stop to things of interest says a lot of us as a people.

    The following year Cheryl and myself repeated my bike trip,only in a car this time.When we got to Fort Peck Montana,we went to see the dam and it is impressive.My lady friend was no where to be seen.I which she would have been,because I would have told her she taught me a lot that day.

    So as you go through your days think about Nine miles out of a life time is a very short distance.

  2. #2
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    Vic - a valuable lesson! In March our church Pastor gave a sermon about "marbles", which changed my life and with what happened in May when my husband was taken sick - a good thing. Later I believe it was Hiram who shared the same story with me when he and I were chatting.

    It is little stories like these which can be read by others, shared or repeated by others that may make a huge difference in someone's life. Or develope for them a pivotal decision.

    May I have your permission to share your personal story with my pastor? Powerful words - powerful thoughts! Thank you for sharing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollora View Post
    Vic - a valuable lesson! In March our church Pastor gave a sermon about "marbles", which changed my life and with what happened in May when my husband was taken sick - a good thing. Later I believe it was Hiram who shared the same story with me when he and I were chatting.

    It is little stories like these which can be read by others, shared or repeated by others that may make a huge difference in someone's life. Or develope for them a pivotal decision.

    May I have your permission to share your personal story with my pastor? Powerful words - powerful thoughts! Thank you for sharing.
    Feel free to share this with as many people as you want.I think this was why she told me this story.It was suppose to be passed on.

  4. #4
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    This is something that I always find myself saying (not in the same words though) when geocaching! Sometimes I get into the finds and forget to look at whats around the cache and not just "in the cache" Thanks for the story vic.
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  5. #5
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    Default this summer

    I have travelled some 7000 miles this summer. Found some 300 or so caches, in alot of places I have never been before. Spending as much time exploring as I did looking for the caches, is why I geocache. You may not get the chance to go back again. Thanks for sharing.
    Why not live life like it is your last day....instead of pretending to be a member of the Peter Pan Club and believing you will be around forever.

  6. #6
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    Default Lessons learned

    This doesn't have much to do with geocaching but:

    When my wife mentioned Vicbiker's experience, I told her a story that happened to me when I was sixteen years old....45 years ago. I had taken a job driving a truck during potato harvest for an old farmer for $25 a day. This was my first time working for him although I had been driving trucks in the field since I was 13. We were to start harvest on Monday but I received a call from another farmer on Saturday offering me $30 a day. Now $5 was a lot of money at that time considering for two bits I could go to the movie and buy a bag of popcorn and still have two cents left over. I called my "old" farmer and told him I had a better offer. He just said, "We made a deal and I'll expect to see you Monday morning," and hung up. As much as the money meant to me, I couldn't leave him without a driver so I showed up Monday morning thinking about all the money I was missing out on. As the three weeks of harvest moved on, I began to like the old farmer and apparently he liked me too as he invited me to the farmhouse at lunch time to enjoy many of his wife's delicious desserts. The last week of harvest he asked me if I would work for him "putting up" potatoes during the winter and return the following fall to drive for him. I agreed. The last Saturday of harvest as was customary, he handed out envelopes to the pickers with their week's earnings. He handed me an envelope with my final week's pay. Then he handed me another envelope. When I opened it, I found an amount equivalent to $5 a day for every day I had worked for him.

  7. #7
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    Frank - you are right - just trust ........what a story! Sort of like the marble story, that made me resign from a job I loved but knew I needed to leave!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollora View Post
    Frank - you are right - just trust ........what a story! Sort of like the marble story, that made me resign from a job I loved but knew I needed to leave!
    Lois I'm in the dark,what is the marble story?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicbiker View Post
    Lois I'm in the dark,what is the marble story?
    You haven't heard the marble story?? If I find it before Hollara does, I'll post it for ya.
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  10. #10
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    Reading this thread has done my soul good . . . and the comments have reminded me of a few life-altering experiences that I have had in life. I think most everyone at one time has a point in their life where something happens that causes you to pause for a bit and reconsider your life, your goals, your expectations.

    I have had more than a few of these moments in life and figured I might as well share them with you folks.

    ----

    The first life altering experience I had came out of an off-hand comment made by a veteran firefighter years and years ago. This firefighter was talking about how family and friends should always be a person's first priority since, "When you're on your deathbed, those folks at your side in those last moments probably will not be your co-workers."

    That off-hand comment really sunk in with me and made me take a serious look at the various organizations I was involved with and I came to the realization that family and friends are truly the most important thing. At a funeral service the person giving an eulogy never talks about how much money a person made, how famous they were or how beautiful they were . . . all these things are fleeting . . . in fact, all eulogies touch on the truly important and lasting legacy . . . how our life has touched others and affected them.

    As a result of that comment I began to focus more on family and friends and less on "getting ahead" in life and work . . . to tell the truth when I die (and I'm kinda hoping it may not be right away) I would love to have people say that I was a man who loved and was loved.


    --------

    Perhaps an even more eye-opening experience occurred a few years ago, actually it was two events spaced a year and a month apart . . . one September my father-in-law died and the very next year my younger sister died in a car crash.

    No other event has made me stop and take stock in my life. For the first time in my life I realized that while we can make plans for the future, the fact of the matter is, our days are all numbered and we never know what the coming day, much less tomorrow will bring. Our lives can be altered in a minute and oftentimes there is nothing we can do to change how our lives have been re-directed.

    Due to these deaths I try to live in the present . . . I plan for the future (hey I'm still optimistic), remember the past . . . but realize that things can change so quickly. This new life's philosophy has made me appreciate life on a daily basis since it is so fragile and can slip away so quickly and unexpectedly.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

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