Sunday, August 28, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
A Week of Wire Wrapping At Keyhole
The past week had been idyllic. Each morning I launch the canoe and paddle along Cottonwood bay casting for a few small mouth along the rocks. I actually caught a couple and I don't know who was more surprised, me or the bass. I released them so they could grow up and maybe bite my line next year.
I first made a simple copper ring as we use copper and brass while we are trying something new. Gold filled wire has risen to eighty dollars an ounce and sterling to almost fifty dollars. At those rates we won't be doing much else then copper and brass, but that's another story.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Montana Moss Agates
We were at the Matthews Recreation area outside of Miles City, Montana, looking for Montana Moss Agates and not having any luck. See the usual method is to wade the shallow Yellowstone river but it is still too high and the rocks are mostly underwater, too much water to see the agates.
Deciding to find another place we drove to the Kinsley Bridge and I had to stop for some photos. The bridge looks like it was made a long time ago and is a four span single lane bridge. The one lane is sheet metal planks covering a wood base and it looks like it hasn't been repaired since Custer made his fatal trip to Little Big Horn.
Taking some images I watched as several cars drove across the bridge and as I walked back along the river rock road I found some rock that was pretty close to agate. As I neared the truck Renita got out, bent over and picked up a beauitiful Montana Moss Agate from the road. Goodness gracious the girl sure can spot rocks from the passenger seat!
Now the road looked to be river rock that had been dredged from the river and before long I found my first Montana Moss Agate. Road picking is actually a pretty good technique when all else fails. We ended up picking up quite a few specimens and the day was a success,(well every day is a success when we don't work and finding beautiful rocks is a bonus).
We ate lunch along the Yellowstone river and then hunted along the road finding more agate. We decided we were tired and it was time to visit the Pirgoue State Park, a place known for where you can wade across to the island and hunt moss agates.
His specialty is Montana Moss Agates and he has about as fine a collection of cabochons as we have ever seen. Ray showed us some of his other collections and our mouths drooled as he proudly held up his huge mammoth molar!
Going into his back yard he showed us his two piles of moss agate rough and we bought some to go along with the rough we had found,(We keep found separate from bought). We arrived back home, our fifth wheel, with twenty more pounds of rock for the road! A fine day along the Yellowstone! Clear skies.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Walking Among the Petrified Cypress, Theodore Roosevelt National Park
I thought of how my brother in law Gary makes furniture from old logs, recovered from the beach of Louisianna after storms, logs that had been buried in mud but not yet pertrified. I knew the forest was millions of years old and it made everything seem timeless.
I remembered Huttons Uniformity Of Process, that everthing really is the same through geologic history and this was such a great example.We shared the petrified forest with a few other visitors but we were alone for most of the hike and that's so rare in a National Park.
Sitting down for lunch I thought of my Geology summer field camp and this was so much like the months I spent mapping while I had been hiking Wyoming. I wanted to take a short cut to the north unit of the petrified forest, but as was said in the Lord of The Rings, short cuts can make long delays, and we didn't have that much water.
It was a fine day and we decided not to hike the trail to the northern forest but to save it for another visit. Driving back we passed new oil wells, evidence of the North Dakota boom and again I said a silent thank you to Teddy Roosevelt for saving such a place from future oilmen. Clear Skies
Cottonwood Campground, Theodore Roosevelt National Park
The air was still but it wasn't silent, it was filled with the sound of cicadas humming their siren call from the tops of massive cottonwoods. The cottonwoods along with junipers filled the campground along the Little Missouri River’s valley floor. No police sirens, no cars driving along filled city streets rushing to work. Just the sound of cicadas from treetops….
Later a storm front roared in, again the only sound of its arrival the cottonwoods swaying in the breeze. The sky took on a green that I have only seen a few times before and a massive wall cloud appeared in a break in the trees and we saw cumulus mammaltis clouds filling the sky! To hear the sky change from the hum of cicadas to the winds roar of a massive storm.
After the storm passed we got into our truck and drove to an open spot, all the while Renita continued to watch the radar on her smart phone as I gazed around the sky, our camera in hand. We never did see any circulation but we watched cloud to cloud and cloud to ground bolts of lightening dance across the sky.
To think we had seen the grandest shows in only a few hours. It’s a small wonder why we love the west and I really feel that Teddy Roosevelt felt the same way we do. He may have even watched as a storm swept across this valley and surely he had heard the cicadas sing from the tree tops of his Elkhorn ranch. What a great man to have saved so many wild places.
I don’t really know what I expected, coming here to his national park, I expected to see some beauty but not to be so moved. Tomorrow we will explore more and we already has discovered another unexpected treasure, North Dakota magic. Clear skies
Saturday, August 6, 2011
As you hike the short trail the roar of the falls gets louder but you don't get a glimpse through the foliage until you reach the gorge. The falls splits into two ribbons of water as it cascades over a fifty foot drop. There the water makes a short trip to Fall Lake. As we reached the stream, below the falls, I spotted four otters playing in the water, but they quickly headed downstream to the lake, too quickly for me to take an image. Red head ducks were paddling around, well being ducks, and they ignored the people enjoying the falls.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
A Family Reunion at Fall Lake, Ely, Minnesota
The drive was pretty easy from Wyoming to Minneapolis, but as we got north the roads deteriorated and Highway 169 was as bad as any Louisiana road. We arrived at Fall Lake to discover that our extension for our counter top had broken and was hanging from the other metal hinge. A few trees had to be cut down to drive into our campsite, we are staying at Phils Mother in Laws land, but there was enough room to park our fifth wheel along side the garage.
Of course I had to unload the canoe and so our days have been filled with visiting, canoeing, swimming, and basically just enjoying the beautiful lake and its surroundings. The fishing is great but the catching is slow and we haven't added any fish to a planned fish fry, but cornbread tastes good as fish when you don't have any fish!
This is our second time, this year, in Minnesota and we have driven more this year then any other, but the drives have been to family outings and so we have been truly blessed. From here we are heading back to Wyoming and the Escapee Rally, but we are going to avoid South Dakota and the nightmare of the Sturgis so it looks like we will cross North Dakota. Clear skies.
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