North of Spokane, Washington
We met a Flathead Indian. He was a ranger working the gate on a lovely tribal park on the shore of Flathead lake.
The Flatheads have normally shaped heads. One story is that neighboring tribes shaped baby heads into points and contemptuously referred to the non-points as "flatheads". My own mother was afraid that the back of my head would be flat so she always tied me in the crib on my belly with her nylon stockings when she went to work building radar artillery fuses. I'm definitely not a flathead.
The Flathead reservation includes most of the lake and a large amount of surrounding area. Unfortunately, much of it was declared surplus and given to white farmers in a lottery. The Flatheads are patiently buying back land and now own about 2/3 of the land on the reservation.
Mrs. Phred grumbles at first about the back roads that the GPS has laid out for us on the way to Spokane. As we cruise down beautiful river valleys her mood changes. We pass a place called Paradise, Montana where I want to live.
The Jocko and Bitter Root rivers run though these valleys. Somehow Jocko is another name for Flathead. The Flatheads gave Lewis and Clark horses, which they later ate when they got hungry.
We arrive in Spokane and I see a Dermatologist to get a basal cell cancer removed from my cheek. We also get birthday cards for two of the grandchildren, four bottles of Pinot Grigio and some fingernail polish.
This morning I walked about five miles on Wild Rose Road. It was all up and down hill. I turned back at the top of a hill that claimed to be a 10% downgrade. I couldn't see the bottom. I've lost 35 pounds since February which is 15% of what I weighed when I decided it was all getting out of hand....You don't want to be the guy riding around Wal-mart in the electric cart.