Dearborn Missouri Rivers Confluence

Mid-morning on the south side of the Missouri. The Dearborn River runs from the Bob Marshal wilderness to spill into the Mighty Mo just past the railroad bridge on the right side of the first picture. There is a Yurt in the Y formed by the rivers. A semi-permanent tent on steroids type structure. They are gaining popularity due to ease of assembly and durability.

Department of Transportation was inspecting the bridge. The orange inspection vehicle hanging precariously high  above the water.

There were a lot of Mackenzie boats and float tubes with fly fisherman on the water. One of the chase vehicles was this Suburban with light weight trailer made for hauling a boat the fisherman can carry to and from the water.

Advertisements

JJ’s Bakery Great Falls

Image

My Lunch at JJ'sJJ’s Bakery is just up the street from the civic center in Great Falls.

Maybe I am biased because I used to work with his dad, but I like the food and atmosphere here.

Notice the cookie half gone. Life is uncertain, eat desert first.

Evening at the Kantorowicz Ranch

I stopped to watch an elk herd grazing on the Kantorowicz Ranch. The ranch has been absorbed by a big ranch in the neighborhood since old man Kantorowicz can’t operate it, but in my mind it will always belong to that cantankerous old man.

These pictures are from the recreation road. The elk like to graze just as it gets dark and are in the shadow of the trees opposite the hayfield from me.

The first two pictures are as the sun was setting and a storm rolling in. Being a gearhead, I had to get the Honda in one of them.

The last photo is proof that I had dawdled too long. It is after dark in a rainstorm. It may not look dark you say. I say the photos look different during a lightning strike. Yes, I was huddled under the Interstate bridge shooting away.

Leny’s Repair

Leny’s Repair and Service is a shop like the early years of hot rodding.

There is a spray booth with a ’61 Impala. A ’64 Impala sits on the hoist. A metal lathe is along a side wall. There is a magazine rack with Cars, Rod and Custom, Hot Rod and Hemming’s Motor News. Engines stand, waiting to power someones pride and joy. A pair of Goodyear Drag Slicks mounted on Magnesium wheels in a corner.

Not only is there cool stuff here, the place itself is cool. The window sign, sink stand, neon lights all say we are building something out of the ordinary here.

Horsepower Roundup 2012

One Owner 57 Bonneville

Cars are often advertised as one owner. It brings visions of a pampered vehicle looking like it just rolled out of the dealer lot. If the car is from the 1950’s most likely the truth is the original owner’s estate left it to the guy who sold it to the dealer, who sold it to the guy, that bought it on a speculation, when the economy was flying high, and he just sees it as another investment that went bad.

This is not one of those cars and it is not likely to be for sale any time soon. The man wiping the rain from it and driving it is the man who, as a young husband, purchased this ’57 Bonneville Convertible for his bride. Man and car appear to have plenty of traveling ahead.

2012 Helena Horsepower Roundup Photos

Sunrise – Hauser Lake

An early morning walk on the road leading to Hauser Dam starts the day.

I saw more deer than people along the way.

I am not much of a fisherman, can’t even catch them on camera. They were jumping.

Walk over. No down to the business of the day I have dreaded. You can’t put a value on life, but when you split with a spouse you must put a value on the things in your life. It is going to be a long day. Can I just take another walk?

Additional Pictures

What Time Is It?

I am a marathoner. That means I like to run, and/or, walk 26.2 miles. While I do this someone, whom I have paid money to, provides me with water, snacks, toilets, and encouragement. All the while they keep track of the time it takes me to cover twenty-six miles, three hundred eighty-five yards.

Being a marathoner requires obsessive behavior. Preparing yourself, mind and body, takes an inordinate amount of dedication.  Obsessing about the time it takes to cover this distance stops your conscious mind from realizing, this torture would have gotten a murder conviction overturned for cruel and unusual punishment. This time obsession is so common organizers feel compelled to offer badges of honor predicting finish times. Runners multiply predicted pace by 26.2 miles and pin these on shirts to show the spectators how well they know their bodies.

The Nashville Country Music Marathon starts a bit later in the day than most. I recognized an opportunity to practice another pastime of mine, sarcasm.  The world record is just over two hours. Four and a half hours is a good goal for a first timer with a training plan. Many walkers and slow joggers take between six and seven hours, my category. I pinned on a 3:30 badge and strutted to the start line.

Nashville is a scenic race through the old mansion district. I had a great run and felt good throughout. I asked the nuns at the convent to pray for me climbing the hill, not revealing my Mormon upbringing. At about mile eight I passed one of the Kenyan runners. I went by like he was standing still. Poor little bugger was standing still, on the curb with a broken ankle. The course follows a path along the river. After a walk in the park, around a lake it ends up at the football stadium.

John Bingham is a tireless spokesman for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team in Training. He is also a race announcer. I approached the finish line, in just under seven hours elapsed time.

He asked “What happened to 3:30?”

I responded, “What time is it?”

John said, “uhh, it’s about 3:12 PM.”

My simple reply was “I’m early.”

In the parking lot one of John’s coworkers told me John laughed so hard he nearly fell off the announcer’s stand. I’m pretty sure that young man had been sent to verify my ignorance.

The Elk Tracker

Carl and I have hunted together since before we both shaved every day.
I shave every day. Carl, here and there. Nearly 29 years of military service hath wrought habits I will not likely shake.

When he asked if I wanted to go along on a preseason scouting trip to this elk hunting grounds I couldn’t have been happier. This is not a hunt, more a shakedown run for new gear. Break in new boots by walking a few miles. The new backpack fits alright with stops for adjustment of buckles and straps. Shooting is limited to my camera. Carl tolerates my blog related hobby.

I understand his eccentricities and he understands mine. Our friendship  has seen more ups and downs in our lives than the hills we walk. We’ve had vehicles, marriages, children, and jobs. All open for discussion without judgement or pretense.

Does he know why I always get my elk the last day of the season? We just don’t need to put that into words.

Worldwide Community of Independent Thinkers

I had heard the term blog and even read a few news stories about average people with a passion turning it into an internet phenomenon. I signed up with WordPress and went on line with a few posts. As other bloggers liked my posts and I looked at theirs it occurred to me there are common themes.

Independent thought is the main prerequisite. Each blogger has a unique perspective on the world. Blogs are about what they see, do or think.

Passion for improving the world is the next criteria. Observe, create, travel, cure, teach, inform, describe, discuss, collaborate, connect. Just like life, agreement is not universal on what is improvement. Putting ones thoughts, pictures, or art online may make the world better.

Thank you bloggers for welcoming me to the world wide community of independent thinkers. I will contribute as I can about my passions: Car shows, people, Montana, hiking, marathons, LLS cancer fundraising, and my life experiences.

Gran Torino – Thanks Mr Eastwood

Gran Torino at blast from the past car show 2012. Bill took the photo. Scott admiring the laser stripe.

Ford Motor Company built the Gran Torino at the end of the muscle car era. Ralph Nader, insurance companies and environmental regulations were changing the automotive industry. Gone were the ground pounding, high compression, two-four barrel carburetor, big blocks of the sixties. The 1972-1976 model years had the looks of the factory hot rods, but not the performance. They were fast for their day,but smog equipped meant less power. The classic car market for these cars had always been weak.

Clint Eastwood appeals to “the guy” in every man. His character is misunderstood by everyone but the movie audience. He communicates poorly with friends and family. Bad guys shake at the sight of him. Now Clint Eastwood makes a movie titled Gran Torino. He owns a Gran Torino in the movie. As I watched the movie I thought the value of those cars is going up right now. Thank you Mr. Eastwood.

Pictured is a 1972 Gran Torino at the Blast From the Past car show in Helena, Montana. The value of the car has increased considerably according to the owner. A benefit I had not anticipated was parts availability. Any restoration relies on the availability of model specific pieces. The Gran Torino Sport had an optional laser stripe on the side with a fading color scheme that is very hard to recreate in a paint shop. The desirable option had been out of production for years. Since the movie Gran Torino, the demand is high enough for graphics companies to reproduce the laser stripe. Cars that may not have been restored to their full glory are back thanks to the power of the media. I love America.