Should the North Fork have a July 4 parade?

| May 20, 2020 7:10 AM

The coronavirus seems to go on and on, disrupting normal routine even though there are no North Fork victims and only a few in Flathead County. Even so, lots of things are changed and most of us continue to be at least somewhat careful. But not everyone.

Despite what I consider lousy weather for floating, there are more and more floaters. I even saw one couple launching at the Border at 5 p.m. They were starting a three-day float and camping trip. Their plan was to just pull out and camp when they wanted. Isn’t that easy if you follow all the rules. They were not aware that camping was not allowed on the Park side even though Glacier Park says they are trying to keep recreationists spread out. Most landowners on the river likewise are not fond of campers on their property although I suppose floaters could camp on any of the islands if they don’t mind a rock mattress to sleep on. I warned the couple that their first real camp site would be Wurtz airstrip (now Forest Service owned) or Ford Ranger station and wished them good luck and a fun trip.

That evening at 8:30 I checked Ford camp area and they were not there. Now a week has passed so I guess they made their trip OK. I am not envious since an hour after I left them, the wind came up and it rained, hard. Some folks will do anything to avoid staying home.

Same thing with the folks at Ford Station. There were 15 vehicles of young folks all with Flathead County plates camped out and not really practicing social distancing. They were prepared and warm and dry when it rained. Most of all, they were having fun.

North Fork residents are mostly being more careful. Visiting is done outside with about a dozen feet of spacing. Hall cleanup was done on schedule last Saturday but chairman Irv Heitz spread out volunteers throughout the day so there was no threat of spreading anything—handshakes, hugs, and sharing food has been postponed.

Biggest topic I heard was the Fourth of July Parade. Some residents feel strongly that it should be canceled, others don’t care one way or the other and I have not heard anyone strongly wanting to hold it. Problem is it has always been pretty much an impromptu event. I have never heard of anyone actually being in charge. Just various locals showing up and doing their thing and assuming someone will order the Porta Potties. I do know the flyover has been canceled so we will see what happens—or doesn’t happen.

General membership meetings may need to be canceled or moved outdoors. Game night tables can probably be spaced out to maintaining proper distancing and we can assume there will be no spin the bottle this year.

However it goes, I’ll bet we will remember this summer.

What do you think?

Larry Wilson’s North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.