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Many thanks to Ginny Traeger and her family for showing Blackie a great time while in the wild west.
Here is the diary of the covered wagon trip Blackie went on with the Traegers just like the old wild west days.

September 3, 1998

Blackie arrived at Kalispell, MT at 12:45pm.   He was delivered direct to the door by our friendly mail delivery lady. Just in the nick of time! We had to leave for the wagon train within the hour and we were worried he wouldn't arrive in time.
We traveled as far as Malta, MT the first night Blackie got a “bear’s eye view” of Glacier National Park and the major burn going on in the Essex area.   Forest fires are so devestating! The plumes of smoke covered most of the state.

We had Zip the cat beanie to escort to his new borne. Zip is a gift for my mother-in-law.  This Zip is a Canadian beanie. They have an extra tush tag.

We saw lots of hawks, an owl, some bison, and an otter today. Time for rest and to continue the journey tommorrow.

September 4, 1998

Happy Birthday, Doug! My husband is 52 today. After breakfast, we travel onwards to
Brocton and the Traeger ranch. We arrive about 11am.  After lunch, we head over to the starting point. The wagons, stock, and campers are already there. We bring the coolers, our tent, and Blackie. We all crawl into sleeping bags in the tent for a good night's rest. Early up tommorrow!

 September 5, 1998

Breakfast of pancakes, sausage and juice and its time to hitch the team, saddle the horses and ride off into the badlands.


Blackie spent most of the day riding Whistler with me. Whistler is a tall buckskin gelding Quarter Horse who belongs to my father-in-law. Blackie also got to have several visits in the various wagons with most of the children on the ride. At noon stop, we feasted on barbeque beef sandwiches, pickles, cole slaw, and apples.

Only saw one rattlesnake today Lots of buzzards circling over an area just off of the trail.

Supper was steak, corn on the cob, and roll. Live music and dancing on the prarrie sod completed he evening.

September 6, 1998
Morning dawned bright and early to find everyone eager to get out on the trail again.
Breakfast of pancakes, sausage, ard juice and we are off again
Today Blackie and I rode in Dad's wagon. We helped oversee the dispensing of drinks and driving the team. Our team is a pair of matched strawberry roans. Both mares, one with a matching foal at her side Pixie, the foal, was well broke to lead after participating in two wagon trains.

Lunch stop is a ham sandwich, baked beans, pickles, tomatoes, cole slaw and a cookie.
Choice of chocolate, chocolate chip or peanut butter We chose chocolate chip!
T'oday we saw a tiny toad bopping near a muddy cow trail. We travel some rugged terrain today. Some of the teams need the help of saddle horses to boost them over the steep bill with lariets. Our team was the only one to make the rough climb unassisted--to the cheers of the waiting horseback riders!
Supper was pork chops, rice, cole slaw, fruit salad, roll and tomatoes. Another round of  live music and dancing and its off to bed.
September 7, 1998

After breakfast its time to break camp and haul stock, wagons, campers and assorted stuff home again. Another fun trail ride complete!

There were 18 wagons and 490 people on this event. Oh, yes, and one tired dusty bear-- Blackie!  He won his spurs! An official cowpoke! We saw lots of mule deer today.

September 8, 1998

 After a pancake breakfast, we're off to Williston, North Dakota.  A day of shopping for  beanie babies, attic treasures, and to find a cowboy hat and North Dakota pin for Blackie.
 Lorrine, my mother-in law, decided on Chocolate the Moose and I got a Gilbert, and attice treasure bear. We finally found Blackie a cowboy hat at a craft store. After getting all the bits and pices to put it together, of course. we come across the perfect siver belly hat! We never did find a ND pin. Guess a key chain and postcards of the state will have to do for
 now Lorraine will look again next time they are in Williston.
We got back to the ranch about 8p. to dine on a bucket of KFC chicken. Off to bed, long day tommorrow.  Heading home, back across the state.  We saw more buffalo today.

 Spetember 9, 1998

We left the ranch around 9am to head for home. About one mile down the road, we saw a couple of antelope. Lots of hawks spotted too.  Got a piece of scorio for Blackie to take home. This material is what they surface the long country roads with in this area.  Red and sharp, it is slippery surface.

We stopped in Hawe, MT at an antique shop and Doug bought a stationary engine. As we were already hauling an old CoOp tractor home there was plenty of room on die trailer for the 11/2 horse John Deere engine.

We notice the fire camp still had activity but as it was dark, we couldn't see well enough to tell if there was much smoke. Hopefully, the blaze was under control now. We arrived home at 11p.

Blackie leaves tomorrow to visit his next host family.