River Rollin’ Rerun ’17 – Volume 1, Blog #3


River Rollin’ Rerun 2017 – Occasional Blogs From the River


Missouri River Near Helena (Gates of the Mountains)

Taken on August 11, 2017, this scene is in the “Gates of the Mountain” area of the River.  Today, it is between Upper and Lower Holter Lake, but its condition is as pristine and beautiful as when Lewis and Clark came through here.  Lewis wrote in his journal on July 19, 1805:

“this evening we entered much the most remarkable clifts that we have yet seen. these clifts rise from the waters edge on either side perpendicularly to the hight of 1200 feet. … the river appears to have forced its way through this immense body of solid rock for the distance of 5-3/4 Miles … I called it the gates of the rocky mountains.”

For quite a few pictures of the beauty of the “Gates of the Mountains” area of the River, see this collection from the 2016 visit.

Quick, Fun Week – Abbreviated Mailing

Pat is now back in Branson, having flown out of Billings, MT on Sunday morning.  We had a FUN week, and I enjoyed showing her some of the sights I saw last year.  She LOVED the ‘Gates of the Mountains’ tour (see picture above), and several other places as well.  So, I’m sitting in Rapid City, South Dakota, putting together a BRIEF version of the blog.  May even be missing an entire Wild Card section – sorry!

I have two more events out here this week, and hope to return home on Thursday.  Then we go back to Columbia (MO) for a family ‘eclipse-watching/birthday’ gathering and celebration event.  So next week may be a blog casualty, as well.

Big Favor?

Would some of you be willing to do me a 3-minute favor?   IF you’ve seen a copy of my book, and IF you liked it enough to give it a 4- or (preferably) 5-star rating [out of 5], would you be willing to go to Amazon.com and do so?   They say this really helps, so if you’re willing, I’d appreciate it.  THANKS!!

Here’s the link:  Amazon.Rollin’

IF you’ve seen the book, and didn’t like it that well, then I’d (honestly) like the feedback from you, but I release you from the request to rate it on Amazon.  🙂

And, of course, if you would like to help, but haven’t seen the book yet, it’s not too late to get your own (signed!) copy!!  Your AME 10% discount still applies!!  If you want a copy, use the Contact Form to let me know, and I’ll give you more details.

River Quote

I leave you with this quote I used in the book’s Introduction.  HAVE A GOOD WEEK!

There is only one river with a personality, a sense of humor, and a woman’s caprice; a river that goes traveling sidewise, that interferes in politics, rearranges geography, and dabbles in real estate; a river that plays hide and seek with you today and tomorrow follows you around like a pet dog with a dynamite cracker tied to his tail.  That river is the Missouri.

George Fitch


River Rollin’ Rerun 17 – Volume 1, Blog #2

River Rollin’ Rerun 2017 – Occasional Blogs From the River


Back in ‘Big Sky’ Country!

Every bit as beautiful and wide open as I had remembered – maybe more so.  Taken from the top of an exit ramp on I94 in North Dakota on 8/3/17.  Click for a closer-in view of this shot  and/or a view of the other side of the interstate.

Against The Current?

Yes, I’m physically heading upstream for most of this trip, but the analogy holds metaphorically as well.  🙂   Last year, I felt much more able to ‘go with the flow’ as I explored – a great experience in general, as well as for me personally.  This year it seems a hair more ‘hectic’ – as would be expected, of course – and I still feel like I’m occasionally ‘fighting the current’ as I work to keep everything coordinated.  (I may also be a year closer to senility than I was last year!)

I know, I know – I need to quit doing any comparison to last year!  Same locations, but totally different trip!!  And, for the most part, I’m remembering that, succeeding, and having fun. 🙂   The updates will continue, albeit haphazardly, perhaps.

Thursday night in Wolf Point, Montana, was a GREAT evening!  Attended a Chamber ‘After Hours’ event that had been well-promoted as a signing opportunity.  Sold 23 books, including 7 to a store owner, who plans to stock them. Best event so far!

Speaking of haphazardly, FYI:  As I write this, I’m within 12 hours of picking up Pat (at the Glasgow, MT airport!), who joins me for the rest of the Montana portion of the trip! [We’ll be in Fort Benton & Great Falls by the time most of you read this.] We’ve both been looking forward to this.  So, between events, traveling, and as much sightseeing and re-showing as possible, the Blog Mailing may be a causality next week, at least for a Monday arrival.

Wild Cards

Krazy Pic I’m GLAD I wasn’t helping with this, but I would have liked to have been there to see it!

Media – SDPB  Had a fun interview this past week on NPR//South Dakota Public Radio. Good interviewer!  Hear the interview and also  see some shots of the University of South Dakota campus (in Vermillion, SD) and the Al Neuharth [founder of USA today] communications center where SDPB is housed.

Jefferson River Update  Remember my great float on the Jefferson River last year?  (Recall that the Jefferson is part of the true ‘upper Missouri River’).  Tom Elpel*, my guide that day is very active in the River’s preservation – they’ve just acquired a 30-acre parcel of land on the River will serve as a walk-in fishing access site and public floater camp.  This is a great ‘get’ and wonderful for the River, but as you can guess, they still need some donations.  Learn more about this venture (and feel free to donate) at WaterlooGrove.JeffersonRiver.

To re-visit my night in Tom’s ‘castle’ (10 x 10, no electricity, outhouse), see  p. 81 in the book, or visit Castle.

Launch Update  I have finally managed to update all the information on the confirmed Invited Authors (other than Todd Parnell and myself) for the Book Launch in September. Check these out, and stay tuned!

August Birthdays  Here is a list of known subscriber birthdays in August.  [If you have an August BD, please note I have your cards (and good intentions) with me, but your card may still be late.  🙁 ]

River Quotes & Thoughts

Quote 1:  The River in this area may not be a continental divide, but it is a cultural divide – farmers on one side, ranchers on the other.     John Duffy, Ft. Pierre, SD resident, August 2016

Quote 2:  I’ve always viewed the River in this area as a connector of people.   Lori Walsh, Vermillion, SD resident, August 2017.

Comment: A neat lesson for me in pondering these two quotes this week.  How interesting that the thing that physically divides two cultures does not divide the people of those cultures!  Indeed, it helps connect them!  Where, pray tell, is the counterpart of that connector of cultures in our society these days?

Photo of the Week – July 17, 2017

The Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas

Taken on Aug 29, 2016.  This is here to commemorate that on July 26, 2017, less than a year later, I will begin my “River Rollin’ Rerun” Trip/Tour with a presentation and book signing in Atchison.

From the Rollin’ Down the River collection.

BOOKS ARE IN!! And other News.

It will be a BUSY summer and fall here at AME!!  I’m using this space for awhile to keep us updated on announcements and events, as well as any possible changes to the Summer Mailing Schedule.  Stay tuned.


1. The Books Have Arrived!  They were delivered Thursday evening at 8 PM!  (Good news is my wife Pat loves it, and if you know her, she doesn’t say that unless she means it. 🙂 ).   If you’ve already ordered a book, it should be arriving this week (as early as today!)  If you want to order a (signed) copy, you can do so at a 10% discount.  You can either go to the new website and order it directly (use the coupon code 10off), or use this ContactForm and we’ll fix you up!

2.  New Book Giveaway!  In celebration of #1 above, and to prepare for #3 below, we will run another Book Giveaway Drawing this summer.  This will be in conjunction with our Boys/Girls Club fundraising.  Details forthcoming, so watch closely.

3.  BOOK LAUNCH FESTIVITIES  Don’t miss this two-part Book-Release Party here in Branson and in Springfield.  It has been scheduled for Friday evening Sep 8 (Branson) and Saturday evening Sep 9 (Springfield).  Attend either or both event(s).   This Gala Event will be co-hosted with Todd Parnell, Springfield author (and former President of Drury College), and there will be other invited authors (and an artist) as well.  It will help benefit Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks.  See (MUCH) more information at The Great Book Release Bash

4.  RETURN TO THE RIVER ’17  I’ll be back ‘on the River’ for 3-4 weeks in late July and early August – and maybe again for 10 days in October.  I’ll be re-visiting places, sharing memories with Pat (who will join me for a week in Montana!), and definitely participating in presentations and signings for the book! (See an early version of Part I of Book Event schedule.) THIS WILL AFFECT THE WEEKLY SHARING SCHEDULE as follows:

Beginning NOW, the Mailing Schedule will be irregular through the rest of July and all of August.  The mailings may come often (weekly?) or they may be sparse (three weeks?)  And their format will be whatever works for that mailing.  It may be a ‘regular’ mailing, or it may be a report from the River (they’ll be entitled River Rollin’ Rerun 17 ). The next scheduled Mailing will be Monday, 7/31 from near Yankton, SD.  But there are no guarantees. 🙂 

If you have any questions, reply to this e-mail or use this CONTACT FORM

Wild Cards – July 17, 2017

KP1 – Nice Shot!  I have watched this roughly 496 times and I still don’t believe it!!  I GUARANTEE you’ll watch it more than once!  (The next question becomes “how many times did they have to film this before it worked?!)

KP2 – Cell Phone Side Effect 🙂  I suspect she lost her cell phone and her pride.  Do we laugh or cry?

Fun Math Professor?!  Yes, apparently such things exist!  See this prof’s elaborate and incredible ‘prank’ on his students on a recent April Fools Day. 

Ain’t It The Truth?!  A collection of two dozen fun-witty-wry-cynical observations about life & people. (Stolen/edited from FB page of subscriber David Erickson.)  It’s called Blessed are the Cracked, for They Let in the Light.  (I think my own favorites are #1 and #17.)

From The Vault: 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said  We used to do this fairly regularly, but it’s been over a year!  With no Brain Teasers this summer and no birthdays, let’s pull these out of the archives!  ENJOY some or all!

The Tale of the Middle School Assignment  I used to love doing this activity, since I could act like a middle-schooler (which I’m apparently good at.)  Last week’s column in the Springfield News Leader.


Thought for the Week

God created us in His image and likeness, and we returned the compliment.