Thursday, August 23, 2018

Did you think we disappeared?  Well, we have not.  You know, a 'bad penny' always returns!  I have two Blogs started and can't seem to get them finished, so I am just going to jump right into the Third one and see if I can finish this one!  We have been getting calls and emails about the fires out here so we thought we would show a little of that along with what we consider a 'normal' day..........  If we ever had a day we would consider 'normal'.........

Yesterday, Debbie started the day with some Computer Work and I started the day working on getting the workshop in the garage arranged.   We start every day with 'good intentions' but they seem to fall apart quickly........

Oh, maybe I should say we moved into our new house the last of July.  Boxes everywhere!  Of course if you have not moved for some time, you may not remember how this all works.  Debbie and I moved lots of stuff for a week, putting it away as we brought it over and then we were blessed with some good friends helping us move the heavy stuff and the rest of the boxes that we just have setting around............  WE LOVE OUR NEW HOME!!!   WE LOVE MONTANA!!!

Jennifer and Allen came out in July, just before we moved, but got to see the house 99% finished.  I have that Blog started, hope to finish it soon...............  Lynn and Mark from Martinsville, IN, came out to Glacier for a few days and we got to have dinner with them a couple of nights and catch up on things.........  Greg, (Debbie's Son) came up from San Diego for a week and we have been enjoying his company and getting to show him the Park, through the Smoke!......... We have plans to see friends from Phoenix, AZ and Indianapolis, IN, yet this Month.  Laurie (from Cloverdale, IN) is coming out for a week the first part of September.  She came out for Snowshoeing and Cross County Skiing last February. So we are having some company, but NEVER ENOUGH.  So if you need an escape, think about Montana!!!

Ok, enough of the mushy stuff...........  After we got our day started, we went over to the Majestic Valley Arena and watched some Reining classes.  The horses and riders were very interesting to watch.

After watching the horses for a while we headed to Lowe's at Kalispell to pick up a Tool that I had ordered and on home for Dinner (Dinner is an important part of my day).  After Dinner we decided to take Greg (who had been working all day, (he works from home))  up to Glacier National Park to see the damage the Howe Ridge Fire is doing to the Park.  The Howe Ridge Fire had burned over 11,100 acres a few days ago, but now has burned only about 10,000 acres.  So, I guess there are about a thousand acres 'un-burned'.  Hummmm, how do you figure that?  Can something, 'un-burn'?  What would something look like that was 'un-burned'?  Anyway the smoke had been pretty bad at home for a week or so but the Winds have changed to the south and taking the smoke north away from us.

It was late in the evening so my snapshots of the Howe Ridge Fire are low in contrast, but hopefully you will get the idea of what it is like.  This is one of two CL-215T Super Scoopers that are fighting the fire.

This CL-215T is flying at about 100 mile per hour low over the water of Lake McDonald and Scooping up about 1,600 gallons in 12 seconds and dumping on 'hot spots' of the Howe Ridge Fire.  The smoke behind the Airplane is coming up from an area burning about a mile from the Going to the Sun Road.

The closest Airplane is lifting off 'full' and the one behind is going down to fill up.  These two planes are making the complete circle in a matter of minutes.  Many drops were done today slowing down the progress of the Howe Ridge Fire.

Heading for the Drop Zone, just over a couple of  minutes away.  The smoke in front of the plane is on Middle Howe Ridge.

We headed up the Camas Road to get closer to the Drop Zone to see them drop the water on the fire.

First, number 217 came over then seconds later, number 216 came in lower.

Number 216 was almost at 'tree-top' level...........  1,600 gallons of water in each plane headed for the Drop Zone.  They empty their tanks in just a second or two.

While we were there, which was not long, we watched them drop water several times, noticing that there was a significant difference in the amount of smoke coming up from behind these trees in the foreground 3,200 gallons of water dropped in a couple of seconds.............  That is a lot of water all at once!  Fighting the Howe Ridge Fire on multiple fronts is difficult.  But they are making a lot of headway and the weather this weekend is calling for Rain, which will also help get it under control.

Watching all this Smoke, knowing there was Fire, we decided to go get Ice Cream and cool off, even though the temperature was only about 66 degrees...........  It never gets too cold for Ice Cream.......

After some Ice Cream, Debbie asked Greg if he would like to see Hungry Horse Reservoir and where our electricity comes from.  He thought that would be a great idea, so we headed home by way of the Reservoir.  

At 564 feet in height, the dam was the third largest and second highest concrete dam in the world at the time of its completion in 1953.  The dam's spillway is the highest morning glory structure in the world.  The turbines generate about a Billion Kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.

The Hungry Horse Reservoir backs up water for about 30 miles.  Although it is not very wide, it is very deep and contains a lot of water.  We drove several miles up the West side and watched an Osprey family for a few minutes then returned to the dam. ( Yes, there were young in the nest)

Looking downstream from the dam is the South Fork of the Flathead River with the Power Station.

Well, it is getting dark, so we are heading back home.  Finishing a great day in Montana!  We have 365 Great Days each year in Montana!  Except on Leap Years when we are allowed to have One Mediocre Day those years!

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