July 8, 2024 Live from the road

North Fork - Saco

Reported by Preetidutta Thorpe 58.0 mi

Just as we were leaving the hotel John introduced himself and showed such encouragement and support for the Peace Run. He has served his country and is all for peace.

Early start for the runners today as the temperature is heading for 91 degrees. Running through the flat, peaceful Montana countryside is superb. It sure is "Big Sky Montana".

Out of nowhere was a pink church

Hastakamala knocks at the door. Alas, nobody home

We called Mayor Wayne Woodall of the town of Saco and he happily welcomed the team at the town office. It was great to meet Mayor Wayne and his team.

Historic photos of the town football team

Situated in the heart of Montana's Milk River Valley, Saco is a small town of 279 residents. The town began as a simple railway station to service the future tracks that would come through the area. Establishing the town proved challenging with the harsh conditions of Northern Montana's winters. The community persevered and Saco became known for its wheat, oat, barley and potato crops.

We stopped in at Great Plains Dinosaur Museum which was a fantastic experience. Greeted by the lovely Emma who gave us a tour of the relics found in the Montana area! We had never seen anything like it. Real dinosaur skeletons!

Emma kindly pointed us in the direction of a kids club in town to visit.

We showed up at Malta Kids Club and introduced ourselves to Gina at the front desk. She and Program Director Sonia Young were thrilled to have us share our story with the children.

We played the guessing game. Here Hastakamala is jumping like a kangaroo.

We taught them the song with actions....

...made some very nice wishes for peace...

...shared some great smiles...

...sincerely hoped for peace in the world...

...and passed the torch from hand to hand, joining 7 million other peace-lovers to hope, pray and dream of a peaceful world.

Finally we all got to run with the torch. Even the teachers ran in the heat!

Our sincere thank you to Malta Kids Club and the fantastic staff for welcoming us so enthusiastically.

Some history of the area our team ran to and stayed at: Sleeping Buffalo is a nearby wind-swept ridge overlooking the Cree Crossing on the Milk River and was the original resting place of this ancient weather-worn effigy. There the boulder sat as the leader of a herd of reclining buffalo envisioned in an outcrop of granite. Incised markings made in the distant past define its horns, eyes, backbone, and ribs. Since late prehistoric times, native peoples of the Northern Plains have revered the Sleeping Buffalo's spiritual power. Oral traditions reveal that it was well known to the CreeChippewaSiouxAssiniboine, and Gros Ventre as well as the more distant BlackfeetCrow, and Northern Cheyenne. Stories passed from generation to generation tell how the "herd" fooled more than one buffalo-hunting party. While each tribe has its own culture and beliefs, native peoples share a worldview intertwining the sacred and secular. A Chippewa-Cree elder explained, "These rocks are sacred, just like our old people." In 1932, the Sleeping Buffalo was separated from its ridgetop companions. Relocated to the City Park in Malta, Montana, the Sleeping Buffalo was said to have been restless; stories are told of its changing position and nighttime bellowing. Moved to this site in 1967 from old Highway 2, the Sleeping Buffalo was later rejoined by the larger "Medicine Rock" in 1987, also collected near Cree Crossing. These timeless objects continue to figure prominently in traditional ceremonies. They provide a link to ancestral peoples of the high plains and the long ago time when, as one elder put it, "The power of the prairie was the buffalo."

Meanwhile our other women's team were pitching the tents at The Sleeping Buffalo Springs campground. We thoroughly enjoyed the cold plunge pool and the mineral pools! Perfect after a long day of running.

And the men's team made a fabulous meal for us all.

We met a super-awesome family here. The two boys, C.J. and Noah kept us entertained for hours. Later that night they gifted the Peace Run two drawings of encouragement and held our peace torch.

Maybe they will be peace-runners one day!

Local frog saying good night, ready for another amazing day in Montana.

Torch carried by
Devendra Cheatham (United States), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Hastakamala Diaz (Australia), Homagni Baptista (Australia), Mahasatya Janczak (Poland), Nayaja Perugini (Italy), Oliveria Lopez (Mexico), Pransukh Marks (United States), Preetidutta Thorpe (New Zealand), Rupasi Young (United States).  
Hastakamala Diaz, Homagni Baptista, Preetidutta Thorpe
The torch has travelled 58.0 mi from North Fork to Saco.

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