Before any road trip, I search RoadsideAmerica.com for interesting sights along the way. Our route from Jackson Hole to Seattle had two bordello museums that did not interest me. Instead my wife and I would make sure we drove by the world’s largest Madonna statue. Think Catholic, not music.
From I-90, the statue looked like a white speck on a mountain. We took a slight detour up I-15 to get a better look. The clouds behind the statue made it difficult to see. I waited a bit until a small break in the clouds lined up with the statue. If we had a lot more time, we might have considered taking the ride up the hill to get a closer look.
We pressed onward to Missoula, where we spent the night in a hotel. The next morning we drove 40 miles to see the historic St. Ignatius Mission on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The walls inside the church are covered with murals painted around 1900 by Brother Joseph Carignano, the mission cook.
The local Native American culture is well represented. A small tipi covers the tabernacle. At the back of the church hangs a painting of “Christ as an Indian Chief” by Sam and Olive Wiprud. It got us talking and would probably make a good discussion topic for a religious art class.