Hello from Billings Montana! Our night crew has just set out to resume our walk along Highway 3. We enjoyed a relaxing weekend and we met some amazing people. We enjoyed a meal of home cooked spaghetti on Friday night as an entire group at Ilene and Paul Hendershot’s home. Ther daughter Nicole walked the northern walk two summers ago, so it was neat to hear stories from a parent’s prospective. Our 12 group members then split up among 4 gracious host families who offered us more delicious food, engaging conversation, comfortable beds, and delightful, much needed showers. We also enjoyed the warm welcome we received at each of the six local parishes we visited this weekend. It’s so encourageing to meet such a large community of energet, supportive, and faithful Montana locals.
We were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of the rest of the Fisher family who drove from Sacramento,CA to surprise Barbara and Brad. They joined us as we prayed outside of Planned Parenthood and attended a few of the masses with us.
This past week of walking led us through beautiful and diverse countryside. Highway 12 begins in the small town of Townsend and follows a winding mountain stream through Helena National Forest. As the land flattened, we walked past privately owned farms and ranches and we were amazed by the gorgeous snowcapped mountains that lined the horizon. Scott, Amy, and Miriam were horrified to see the rattle snake that slithered between their legs! Aside from that scare,we’re starting to believe Curtis, our Montana native, when he claims this part of the country to be “God’s Country”.
We took Wednesday off for a change of pace and took advantage of the natural hot spring pools at the White Sulphur Spring Hotel. After limbering up in the warm water we were introduced to the game “Ninja”. We all happened to be concealing our secret Ninja identities, so we’re prepared to battle the Southern and Central walkers upon our arrival in Washington D.C.
Each day we seem to be blessed with some sort of unexpected support. This past week we encountered numerous strangers who were moved/curious enough to stop and offer us help. A man in Townsend took our picture out of his car wind, a Hooderite family offered us fresh radishes, Digger O’Dale of Martensdale bought sub sandwiches for our whole crew, and many other drivers circled around to offer us water and monetary donations. We are so encouraged by the generous and enthusiastic support of so many strangers, not to mention the affirmative waves and honks of oncoming traffic.
We look forward to another week of walking as we continue to head east toward South Dakota. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
Miriam Copenhaver & Margaret Liederbach
Northern Walk ’10