Story and photos by Pamela D. Bussi, Explorebigsky.com Contributor
The CASA Park-2-Park Ride is a
400-mile, five-day road bike from
Glacier to Yellowstone National
Park. Helena residents Rick and Ellen
Bush created the ride seven years
ago as a fundraiser and awareness
event for the nonprofit Montana
CASA (Court Appointed Special
CASA serves 15 smaller Montana
nonprofits that speak up for the
more than 1,000 neglected and
abused children caught up in the
state’s legal system. Ellen Bush is the
program’s executive director.
This year’s ride started Sept. 12 with
53 cyclists and a 12-person support
crew, at St. Mary, the west entrance
of GNP. The five-day, fully supported
ride bisected the state north
From St. Mary, the ride went
through Dupuyer, Great Falls,
White Sulphur Springs, Livingston,
and ended in Gardiner, the north entrance
to Yellowstone National Park.
Harvest in northern Montana was
still in full swing, and ranch land
and cattle stretched as far as the eye
could see. Highlights along the way
included lunch in Choteau, White
Sulphur Springs, and lunch in Ringling,
where the Ringling Circus family
wintered. Just outside of Clyde
Park, further south in the Shields
Valley, cyclists found themselves
amidst a herd of moving cattle.
Riders came from all over the U.S.,
representing 11 states. Montana
riders came from Whitefish, Helena
and Great Falls.
Riders who raised at least $800 in
donations wore CASA jerseys, blazing
down the roads in a combination of red
and black. Several riders collected well
over $2,000. Each rider paid $495 to
ride and raised at least $300 in pledges.
The event sponsors helped provide
the base funding to cover major costs.
CASA met its $65,000 fundraising goal
through the ride this year.
CASA of Montana asks “What
would you do without family? What
if you were all alone?” The feature
documentary, From Place to Place,
tells the story of children who grow
up in America’s foster care system.
These are the kids that CASA works
to support. casagal.org
Pamela D. Bussi is a writer and photojournalist
of nouns – people, places
and things. She enjoys the outdoors,
stories of people, and events that bring
people together. Pamelabussi.com.