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Random thoughts and pictures from our travels in a LazyDaze motorhome.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Amber Waves of Grain


We pushed into Montana after not finding a good campsite near Williston, reaching Culberston. We parked adjacent to a small city park on an asphalt pad in a residential area. Free overnight stop with water and a dump. We walked around town, trying to keep ahead of the gnats. Very quiet overnight once the trains stopped running by 10 PM.  This image was taken as we turned south off Highway 2 to check out the Fort Peck Dam.


This the a shot of the dry side obviously as you head back east a bit before doing a climbing right turn to the top. A very nice COE campground was just ahead.


I am going to guess that these are two large generating stations. There is a very nice interpretative center just before these towers. Sorry for the pole.


After a steep climb to an overlook area, here is what you see looking back north.


You just turn around and look south to see four wheel houses. Water flows through the edge of the dam here and is controlled by vertical gates I imagine.  Construction began on the dam in 1936, putting thousands of people to work. It was the largest employer of organized labor in the country during the Great Depression when unemployment was 18%. Now we would need to add widespread crop failures, locust, and 30% bank failures to today’s situation to match that time period.


Driving the dam. This is the east end, which actually failed during construction, killing eight workers. The whole eastern quarter of the dam just swung out into the lake area, just like a gate. Its about two miles across. Comprised of pumped river bottom silt, earth and rock. There is a wall of steel pilings centered on the dam sunk nearly 200 feet into the river bottom across the entire length.


Two hundred and fifty thousand acres of water.


Nice lights…


The dam is not far from Glasgow MT. There is a weather office here. It would not be my first pick of stations. I like Montana, but not Glasgow. As you cross ND and MT, you see these old threshers sitting on hilltops or along fence rows. I think it is an underground cult movement to place them about every 100-200 miles and represents a continuing populous and anti-government movement among farmers. I caught this one a tad late.


This MT farmer is driving the right color of machine. I did see a red one, but it was sitting along the road for sale.


Almost a desktop background pic! As you head out west of Havre MT, the wheat fields double and triple in size. Oh, I almost forgot! Yesterday we killed butterflies, today we killed grasshoppers by the hundreds! They would literally fly out of the roadside and smash into the rig! We saw a couple of motorcycle guys slow WAY down due to the swarms of hoppers!

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