Sunday, September 27, 2009

Missoula Autumn

Click on photo to open large view

Autumn often arrives early in Montana, with September daytime temperatures pleasant, but evenings turning chilly. This view is looking west along 39th Street, on the south side of town.

The end of summer brings the autumn colors which provide enjoyment while anticipating the cold and snow to soon follow.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Wild Turkeys - Birds Not Bourbon

We camped in a location that is also inhabited by wild turkeys. Here is a flock (also called a "rafter") of turkeys that were on the hiking trail that circled the campground.

Click on photos to open large size views.)
Frankly, I am surprised that my wife hasn't given this one a name yet.
Later, as you can see, they decided to check out our site for food too.
At one point I was feeding them hundreds of chokecherries after noticing that they were jumping up and trying to reach the lowest branches, but most of the good stuff was too high for them to reach. So long as I didn't make any sudden moves, they seemed more interested in eating than avoiding me. They were within two or three feet of me, "gobbling" on ripe chokecherries.

Of course, wild turkeys can fly quite well; I've seen them roost forty feet up in a ponderosa pine. Chokecherry bushes can't support their weight.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Little Leader of our Pack

This is our little Dalton Terrier, CheyAnna, now 16 months old. She joined us just about a year ago, won our hearts immediately, and is now completely integrated into our extended family of dogs and cats.

Below she "poses" in the driver's seat of the motor home, which she reluctantly gives up to me when it is time to go.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Exploring Abandoned Railroad Tunnel

During our recent weekend outing at the Beavertail Hill area, we discovered an abandoned railroad tunnel right next to the one that is currently in use. In the photo below the abandoned railroad tunnel is on the left. The tracks have been removed and locals evidently still drive their pickup trucks through here. Notice the new tunnel on the right is much wider. Both tunnels are over 900 feet in length.

We felt "sorta" brave, so decided to enter the old tunnel and walk through to the other side. Clicking on the photo below will open a MUCH larger view.We had no idea what kind of critters might have taken up residence in this tunnel. We made quite a bit of noise so they would be able to get out the other end before we got to them. It was REALLY dark, and pretty darn scary too. There were small openings along one side of the tunnel, I guess where a railroad worker could take refuge if a train came through (in the old days).
We took some comfort in the fact that we had two dogs with us and if anything "alive" was in there they would have alerted us. (I think)
At any rate, we made it through to the other side and the trip back was much more relaxed since we knew it was now empty of all wildlife critters. I think the photo above is pretty dramatic.
(Click on photos to open large size views.)

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tipi Camp Site Beavertail Hill Montana

(Click on photo to open large size view.)
This is the view from our campsite. These tipis are for rent to camp in for $25 per night. They are usually unoccupied. We arrived late on Friday night and since no one was in the tipi site we received permission to park the motor home at this space.

Beavertail Hill State Campground is located 30 miles east of Missoula, Montana, on Interstate 90. It is just 1/4 mile off the highway. There is also a big pond that is stocked with fish each years.

Beautiful weather and the perfect time of year.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Missoula Montana Photo from Waterworks Hill

This is a view from the "North Hills" area of Missoula, Montana, just north of Interstate 90. There is a well-used hiking path too.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

The snow-covered mountain is Morman Peak, with Lolo Peak adjacent and mostly hidden, which is actually the taller of the two mountains.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sliderock Fire Lookout, Fort Missoula, Montana

(Click on photo to open large size view.)
Yes, you can climb up to the top and have a look inside. And the view of the outdoor museum grounds and surrounding area is quite spectacular.
(Click on photos to open large size view.)

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dinosaur Sculpture of Metal

This metal sculpture of a dinosaur includes horse shoes for neck vertebra which is pretty original, I think. You might also notice a human skeleton is in the dinosaur's "hands."

(Click on photo to open large size view.)
Located in a person's yard near Missoula, Montana. Wonder what kind of neighbor he is?

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Bannack Montana Ghost Town Livery Stable

(Click on photo to open large size view.)
One of our favorite weekenders is a trip to Bannack, Montana, an historic ghost town that also served as a Territorial Capital during the 1800s. Above is the Livery Stable with tourist (me). Below is an interior view.
(Click on photo to open large size view.)

Bannack Days is a local celebration that features gold panning, parade, shootouts, pony rides, etc. , and a good time for all. The hyperlink takes you to the Bannack State Park website. There is a campground within a short walking distance too.

Here is a link to the official Montana Visitor information site: And this links directly to the Bannack State Park page.

Bannack with an "a" is the name of the town. Bannock, with an "o" refers to the indian tribe, which is part of the Shoshone, and now pretty much reside at the Fort Hall Reservation in Southeast Idaho.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fire-fighting Helicopter with Water Bucket

Evidently there is a wildfire up in the Miller Creek Canyon area south of Missoula at the present time, 10 am, Sept 2, with this helicopter picking up water from the Bitterroot River approximately every ten minutes. I am located about five miles south of the Buckhouse Bridge.

If your click on this photo, you can clearly see the pilot at the controls. Shutter speed 1/250 almost stopped the blades. F5.6 aperture.
(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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