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- like many small Montana towns - started on ranch
land. On the Buffalo Trail at the point of entrance
to the Sims Ranch, a suitable gate was to be
erected. Mr. Sims told his foreman to build the
gate. After placing what he felt was the right
structure, Mr. Sims said, "What are those sticks
there for?" The foreman replied, "To brace the
gate." Sims said, "Tear it out and put in a gate
that don't need to be propped." The foreman went
back for two huge posts. It took four work horses to
pull each post. The posts were then placed at the
entrance gate. Mr. Sims looked at it and said,
"There now, that's a gate!" Those posts have been
there since about 1900. One is now a corner post and
has gone through fire, floods, and ice jams... and
is still standing. They removed one when a bridge
was built, but it proved to be such a tremendous
chore that they just went around the one that is
still standing. The town of Ryegate was originally
part of Sim's hay field. When the railroad purchased
the right of way they had to set aside a town site
every so many miles and name it. They set aside a
siding for the railroad and a town site. Sims had a
large field of rye there, so they named it Ryegate.
In a brochure advertising Ryegate, published in 1914
it said: "The Great Musselshell Valley, of which
Ryegate is a part has been well known for forty
years. It being along about the year 1871 that the
cattle men began to use its rich grazing lands for
the special winter quarters of their stock. Ryegate
is a truly western town. This is a new town in a new
county and has hardly passed the 4 year mark. It is
situated on the main line of the Chicago Milwaukee
and St. Paul Railroad, being nearly centered between
Miles City and Butte." Today, about 270 people
live in Ryegate.
- - - -
DAY 11 - THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2008 - - - -
degrees, partly cloudy
3,652 Feet (437' More Than Yesterday)
Total Distance Traveled:
Thoughts For Today:
Today the tendon
in my left foot felt the best that it has since day two when
I injured it. This was a 40-mile day to Ryegate and along the
way I received some very nice surprises of encouragement.
First, Steve Kosnar and
his little daughter Eileen drove up to Highway 12 from
Billings to find me on the road. It was so encouraging to
see Eileen holding a handmade sign reading "Go Paul!". I
took a break off the road and talked with them for awhile.
Steve also supplied me with a Powerbar, an apple and a
banana. Thanks Steve! It was very nice of them to take the
time to drive 50 miles north of Billings to wish me well. I
truly appreciate it.
The wind was a factor once again today. The first 15 miles
of the day were pretty nice, and then I re-entered prairie
country. The trees disappeared and once again the wind was
in my face. It made for a bit of difficulty, but I managed.
When I was about 14 miles from Ryegate I saw a school bus
turn off about a quarter mile from me. It parked and a bunch
of kids started getting out. I figured that it had to be
students from Ryegate School, who are participating as a
team in P.A.C.E. Trek 2008. I was right! They began running
toward me down the edge of Highway 12, which had me a bit
concerned since there are many cars and trucks traveling
that road at 70 miles per hour. It was so great to see the
kids and we took a group picture together. Then, we ran
about 200 yards back to the bus and I said goodbye until
tomorrow morning, when I'll be speaking at their school and
answering their questions about P.A.C.E. Trek and other
things. So, I'll be getting a later than usual start on the
David Bruner met me at Ryegate Park and took me to his home
where I met his wife, Patti. They are absolutely wonderful
people. Dave teaches at Ryegate School and Pattie works at
the local bank. Patti made a
fantastic dinner and I was able to get some laundry done. We
chatted awhile and then I began my nightly ice treatment to
my feet and legs. Now I'm pretty tired and am going to get
some sleep. My left foot felt really good today and I
managed to run about 25% of today's distance. I'm trying to
slowly increase the percentage of daily running without
overstraining the tendon. The weather cooperated today and I
had a few clouds and a temperature around 64 degrees.
Tomorrow will be a 29 mile day to Harlowton - which will
mark the halfway point of this trek across Montana.
Hopefully the weather, and wind, will cooperate!
want to share with you some
very nice comments I've received lately from team leaders:
What a great experience and way to motivate kids to run.
They are eager to participate, and look forward to your
We run on the track. We play sharks and chase each other.
The kids are having a great time... I'm now walking and
jogging 3 miles a day and doing water aerobics twice a week
and have lost 10 lbs over the past 2½
weeks. This is good for me.
Good job... What a trek! Our kids here in California don't
get to see plains or prairie, so those pictures have helped
us to explain that landform to them. Thanks!
We are having so much fun! The kids are so excited each day
to walk! A parent told me today that "this is what education
is all about." Keep on going!
This is a great motivator. Keep it up Paul.
We are really enjoying this project, the weather is great
and everyone is running our homemade half mile loop at
What a wonderful project! We set up a half mile running loop
around our school and kids are running like crazy! Every
team is really having a lot of fun. We are from a small town
and it is fun to see the kids jogging in the evenings around
Hope your day is going well. We had some very ambitious
students that walked over the weekend... We looked at you
pictures from the weekend and listened to you audio files
Keep up the good work. We are really trying to keep up.
Our 2nd graders are very motivated to run and fascinated
with your website which they visit daily!
Can't imagine pushing a baby stroller in snow with a strong
headwind. You rock!
We believe in you, Paul; you're going to make it; be safe;
thanks for letting us join you; and we hope your foot heals
well. Think of the VeggieTale song "Keep Walkin'".
Montana "Did You Know?"...
Montana covers a land area of more than 147,000 square
miles, making Montana the fourth largest state in the
nation. In area, it can accommodate Virginia, Maryland,
Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York, and still have room for
the District of Columbia. Yet, Montana's population is just
under 1 million, making it the sixth least-populated
state in the U.S.A..
Americans "Did You Know?"...
At one time or another, these tribes have lived in the state
of Montana: Assiniboine, Bannock, Blackfeet, Cheyenne,
Chippewa, Crow, Flathead, Gros Ventre, Kalispel, Kiowa,
Kootenai, Nez Perce, Shoshone, Sioux.
Fitness "Did You Know?"...
Lack of exercise is the primary cause of obesity among kids
ages 11 to 15. Instead of being active, kids are spending
more time playing computer games and watching television.
One quarter of U.S. children spend 4 hours or more watching
Thanks for stopping by this milepost
update. Run back here tomorrow!
Keeping on PACE,
Along The Way...
brought me through
Montana. Lavina was founded just 40 miles north
of the Northern Pacific railhead in Billings by
one of the Territory's best known pioneers, T.C.
Power. In earlier years, T.C. Power was well
established in Fort Benton when rush to the gold
mines increased river trade on the Upper
Missouri. T.C. Power knew with the coming of the
railroad there would be a stage line to answer
the demand for a direct over-land route to
connect the railroad with his holdings in Fort
Benton, so in May of 1882 he organized the
Billings - Benton Stage Company. It was the
first north-south line to carry mail on coaches.
About midway on the stage line there was the
river that cut its age-old course through the
trees and tall grass meadows of the wide
Musselshell Valley. T.C. Power chose an ideal
site for a station, and said "With Clate
Warner and other hired help, we put up stage
stables, mess house, bunk house for the men to
sleep in, a store, and of course my saloon. That
was the biggest business of them all." Even
though he was appointed as the first postmaster,
he made the rounds of the stage line every
month... but none of the stations pleased him as
much as the one on the south bank of the
Musselshell River. The stage stop became a hub
of activity. However, surveyors chose a new town
site a mile downstream in the wide bend of the
Musselshell that had
the old Indian campground. A few months later,
on February 16, 1908, the first passenger train
steamed past the old stage stop and pulled up to
the depot in what was now New Lavina.
Paul's Current Position In Montana