America’s Pets More Important Than Medicine?

Running The Congressional Budget Office estimates cost for The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is about 2-3 times what Americans spend on pets each year. Please don’t call me a dog basher for thinking my neighbor having medical care is worth at least 3 times what Americans spend on animals.

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Independence Day Salute 2013

In honor of American freedom here are a couple pictures of me with old glory. Each picture contains a link to a local website.

Flag # 1 Overlook Park, Great Falls, Montana
This is home of the visitors center, offering many brochures about the Electric City.

They Call Him Oggie

I ran across Oggie in a parking lot. He was going in as I was leaving. As is my usual practice when I see someone driving an old car I asked to shoot a few pictures. Also, as is a family tradition, I didn’t turn loose of him without knowing a good part of his life story.

He is from Montana, spent his career in Nevada, and is glad to be home.  His mother bought this 66 Corvette new from Tomchek Chevrolet in Townsend, Montana. He inherited it from her.

Sparky’s Garage

I can’t speak for the food here, the Automotive memorabilia hanging on the outside of the building is fantastic.These pictures were taken on an early morning fitness walk, before most retail places are open.

Sparky’s Garage is located at the intersection where the US HWY 89 entered the south end of town before Interstate 15 was complete. In the 60’s there was a Standard Oil truck stop at the location. There was a Tastee Freeze just up the street.

Our family usually stopped for lunch in Dillon when we traveled to Utah for visits with my grandparents. Once there was a V W bus of hippies panhandling at the Tastee Freeze. They said they were on the way to a music festival in New York. My dad was skeptical of the bus making it that far. I often wonder if they begged enough gas and food to get there. Everybody who lived the sixties tries to make some connection to Woodstock. I choose to believe I talked to people who were headed there when I was ten.

Scenic Lookout on Mansfield Heritage Route

The stretch of Interstate 15 between Butte and Great Falls is known as Mike and Maureen Mansfield Heritage Highway. Mike Mansfield was a long serving statesman from the State of Montana. When John F. Kennedy traveled to Great Falls in 1963 he had dinner at Mansfield’s childhood home. It was a modest house in an old part of town. The president coming to dinner at the Mansfield’s caused quite a stir in town. The president’s speech at Memorial stadium was an experience a five year old would never forget, though I could not tell you any content.

These pictures are all taken from the Scenic Overlook between exit 244 and 247, accessible from the southbound lane only. Both exits are easy off-on if you are traveling north but would like to stop here. There is a casual staircase to climb to the platform with the best view, but the steel Hardy bridge on the recreation road can be seen from the parking area.

Gracie’s, a Trading Place

I took an early morning walk in Dillon. This place was just too interesting to not take a closer look. It is for sale if you are looking to become the American Picker of Montana. Of interest on the chalk board is a 1975 Chrysler claimed to have eight thousand miles on it for ten thousand dollars. The store was not open, and I was not carrying that much cash so I did not investigate.

Beaverslide Haystack

The unique haystack is made by these devices known as a beaverslide.  Originally known as the Beaverhead County Hayslide, the name was shortened later. They were invented in the early 1900’s by ranchers in the Big Hole area. As the haystack is not portable once constructed the beaverslide is moved to make another stack. Also this lack of portability makes it only useful for feeding your own livestock, not selling hay to others. A few ranches around Montana still use horses to operate them, more practical as fuel prices rise.

The model behind glass is in the Beaverhead County Musuem.

Elk Herd In The Plains Below The Pintler Wilderness

This elk herd is grazing on a ranch south of Jackson. I counted about 50 head or so. The bulls were about 200 yards further away than the cows and calves.

The haze in the air is caused by forest fire burning in Nevada and Idaho.  The Pintler Wilderness encompasses the mountains in the distance.

Papa T’s Family Dining, DIllon, Montana

Papa T’s is part of an evolution I see in America. Most bars are transforming into an atmosphere similar to the British pubs. Food prepared to the liking of the locals, and portions to please the Montana appetite.

Where else can I play the original asteroid game for a quarter? The games don’t appear to be restored, just well kept.