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Saturday, May 26, 2012

POST 640: 05/26/12: CUT BANK - BROWNING, MONTANA

Please say HELLO to Clem (l.) and his wife, Wendy.

Clem and Wendy stopped me as I walked BACK into the Blackfeet Indian town of Browning, Montana. They said they had seen me walking many miles to the East and was surprised to find me walking across the Blackfeet Reservation...their home.

We chatted for a few minutes, when another vehicle pulled up and also stopped. Wendy went to talk to them as Clem and I chatted...Wendy returned with a heavy metal (may be silver) jewelery box in the form of a crucifix; with the inscription "My Prayer for You"...saying the woman some time ago read about me walking and wanted to give me a good luck gift. I accepted the box - about 2 x 3 inches and 1 inch deep, lined inside with velvet; the lid held tightly closed with a powerful magnet.

Strangely, I photographed my new gift box...and my image processing software refused to publish it...

Clem then handed me a $20.00 bill, saying it was his good luck gift to me...I graciously accepted his $$, which is safely stored in my new crucifix jewelry box.

The name of the lady gifting me the crucifix jewelry box is Pat La Plante...thank you Pat.


Today began at 5:00 am in the town of Cut Bank, Montana. As I walked BACK East on US 2 to pick up the miles driven yesterday, I snapped photographs of numerous art murals on the sides of buildings lining the main drag...US 2.

The above was on the side of Albertson's Supermarket next to SPIA's overnight parking spot.


This aircraft photograph was mounted on the side of a building fronting US 2.

The aircraft is important in my life. It is a DC-3 (Douglas Aircraft Company), originally built and first flown in 1935...many still fly today - 2012. The military designated the DC-3 as the C-47, affectionately known as the "Gooney Bird". The Gooney Bird was the aircraft to fly the "HUMP"; i.e., from India over the Himalayan Mountains bringing in supplies to the FLYING TIGERS and to Generalissimo Chang ki Shek (sp ?), resulting in eventual defeat of the invading Japanese into China. I recently visited the Chinese city, Chongqing, where the FLYING TIGERS were based...but that is another story for another day.

I have flown often in this aircraft...both in the USA and in the Orient while stationed in Korea, where I was secretary to the Commanding Officer of the 8th Fighter Bomber Wing (flying the F-86 into MIG Alley) at K-16, Suwon, Korea. My boss had a personal Gooney Bird. I often wrote my own orders - I was just barely 17 years old - to fly to Japan on his aircraft for the weekend, which he or the Adjutant always signed...giving me many weekends in Kyushu - the Southern-most island of Japan...specifically the city of Kokura. Kokura was the target city of the second atomic bomb dropped on Japan...which was actually dropped on Nagasaki, about 75 miles East of Kokura. Kokura was a major manufacturing center for Japan's World War II weapons. As the B-29, BOCKS CAR passed over Kokura, it was concealed with thick overcast, so BOCKS CAR proceeded to the first alternate, Nagasaki, which was utterly destroyed.

In 1953, I boarded a civilian bus in Kokura, which took me to Nagasaki, where I spent two memorable days. I was in Class A Uniform of the United States Air Force...and created quite a sensation as I walked the devastation of Nagasaki. A Japanese family did take me in and treated me ... well, I have written a detailed story some years ago about those two days...one day, perhaps, I will share that story.

If not for the General's Gooney Bird, none of the above would have occurred.


A photograph of the old Oil Storage / processing plant on the hilltop South of Cut Bank, Montana.



Please click click...interesting bit of history to do with Lewis & Clark...as they walked through what is now Cut Bank.


Captain Meriwether Lewis - of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.



These are painted Murals on the sides of Cut Bank buildings.


This monster was know as the MALLEY. In the late 1940's, I saw many of these huge coal-fired engines pass through my home town of Kennewick, Washington.



Not certain, but this may be a Norman Rockwell painting on the cover of the old Saturday Evening Post magazine. It could just as well be my little brother Jim and me pumping up the front tire of our only bicycle...I peddled...Jim rode on the cross bar or the handle bars.



Surprise Surprise...all of the above motorcycles are vintage Harley Davidson !!!

Click click to read the logo.




The Court House.



A sheaf of Wheat...together with Oil, the primary movers of North West Montana economy.




As I walked BACK East in the early morning hours, I reached a plateau just as the week-long overcast lifted to the West...I was astounded to see snow covered mountains stretching from North to South...I had no idea I was so close the the Rocky Mountains.

Please note the large bird !




Two freight trains meeting head on...each on their separate parallel rails, thank goodness.



The actual oil storage tanks, which I photographed from a couple miles away, using maximum magnification. My camera is set at 5 mp, so all photographs can be enlarged if desired.


Looking West into the town of Cut Bank as I returned from my early morning walk.


Was gone 4 hours, walking leg #1. Arriving back at SPIA, I did not stop; instead, I continued West on US 2 for another 5 hours before returning to Cut Bank.


"This deep gorge runs immediately to the West of the town of Cut Bank; i.e., the name ?


Looking back East to the town of Cut Bank...with the gorge in the center ground.


...over which a railroad bridge reaches out to the bluff on each side...caught the train crossing.

Please click click or enlarge...is an interesting photograph.


Climbing out of the gorge on US 2, we came upon this BLACKFEET NATION sign. The Indian Reservation runs from Cut Bank Creek all the way to the Rocky Mountains to the West and North all the way to the Canadian border.

Leg # 2 consisted of walking West on US 2 across the gorge and for 5 hours, into Blackfeet Nation territory.

Returning to SPIA, drove the 34 miles to Browning, where we are parked next to the CONOCO gas station, where we will spend the night.




Click click to enlarge.



The town of Browning, erstwhile major town of the Blackfeet Nation.




An election is about to happen in Browning. Lots of posters line the streets.



Blackfeet Community College.





Browning, Montana is only 13 miles from the town of East Glacier, the beginning of Glacier National Park. The Western overcast lifted as I walked leg # 3 BACK East out of Browning for another 3.5 hours...revealing the magnificent snow covered Rocky Mountain peaks rising precipitously out of the Grand Prairie I have walked for the past two month - all the way from the Ohio River bordering West Virginia.

Tomorrow morning, I will walk to East Glacier - and back to fetch SPIA from Browning. From East Glacier, it is 51 miles around the Southern tip of the Glacier National Park mountains, with a 5,261 foot pass to cross before reaching the small village of Essex, where we have been invited by Bill and Ginger to visit their home.




This majestic bird is an Eagle !

It flew low over my head, taking a good close look before landing on the post.

Click click to enlarge.


I caught him as he lifted from his perch...I estimate his wing span to be over 5 feet.




This is a BUCKBOARD...traditional wagon of the old West...and the subject of a song sung in a movie starring Bob Hope: ...

I DENOUNCE THE BUCKBOARD BOUNCE
AND, THE CACTUS HURTS MY TOES

etc.


Once, again, please say HELLO to Clem...Wendy doing the honors with my camera...

and so, SAM & ME is now also known and welcomed to the BLACKFEET NATION.

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