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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Horses and Dinosaur Feces on the Belleview Road

Old homestead on the Belleview Road, Teton County.

The Belleview Road runs from the front range to the town of Choteau (show-toe), Montana. It passes the famous "Egg Mountain" in the Two Medicine formation where curious egg shaped fossils were eventually proven to be actual dinosaur eggs in the nests!

Along the road right of way, there is an area with a rather large number of coprolites or fossilised dinosaur dung.

The brown blobs are the dino leavings

Here's more on coprolites.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

U.S.Astronomical Station at Boundary Bay
Waterton Lake Alberta - Montana

The MV International glides through the Canada / United States boundary on Waterton Lake.

In August of 1874 the U.S. Northern Boundary commission, in the joint effort to demarcate the 49th parallel, reached the final station which would connect via traverse to the station on the continental divide established in 1861. Just a few hundred feet from the bronze monument below (aluminum painted for visibility), the zenith telescope was set up to determine latitude by observing pairs of stars.

The present bronze monument, set in 1909, is thought to have been placed on the exact center of the original rock cairn, but the site has no evidence of rocks scattered about as observed at other "original" monuments. The old 20th century boat dock just south of the swath may well have consumed them.

The 1874 Astronomical Station and nearby triangulation station consist of a collection of rocks on the forest floor, turned often by the bears looking for insects. Evidence of old timber cuttings were found about the site on the ground as well as disturbed earth.

The trail along the west shore of Waterton Lake generally follows the site of the old native trail until reaching the great hill above Bertha Bay. Here the hill & cliffs created an obstacle which could only be passed at a certain point. The modern trail probably coincides with the ancient here, as some pictographs and ochre may be viewed overhead from the trail.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rierdon Gulch and Hill
Lewis & Clark N.F.

Long, strike faulted limestone ranges dominate the front ranges where the mountains abruptly meet and occasionally override the plains.

We climbed to about 8,300' for this vista looking NW into the interior ranges.

This view looks directly N and shows the steeply tipped strata of the mountains up near Choteau Mountain above Jones Gulch.

Looking S from the site reveals the limestone cliffs meeting the prairie.

Looking east, the backside of Ear Mountain is about 2 miles distant across a vast cirque and just a few hundred feet higher. The top of Ear is very broad and flat, strata tipping down to the S.

Phil's getting some shots

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cracker Lake
Glacier National Park

Carol, Ted & Donna on the trail to Cracker lake

Unbelievably, I had never been to Cracker Lake, the scene of late 19th century mining speculation & partial development. I had viewed this bright blue lake from the summits above, yet had never actually been to the shore.

The weather was mixed showers and wind.

Photos on this post by Phil Kehres.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blackleaf Canyon
Volcano Reef

Blackleaf Canyon

Blackleaf Canyon is one of the entrances through the Rocky Mountain front. The mtns are steep faulted limestone slabs over riding the praire and running north - south for many miles.

We climbed "Volcano Reef" north of the canyon, which is neither volcanic, nor a reef. There are areas where the rock contains identifiable marine fossils which gave early farmers the idea that it was a reef, instead of the fault blocks.

This is the first range, so the view to the east overlooks the prarie, traditional home of the blackfeet & piegan. The west view looks up Mt Frazier and into the Sawtooths.

Old Man of the Hills 8,225'

The cliffs south of Blackleaf Canyon

Ancient gathered rocks, perhaps a very old vision quest site, looking east toward Mt. Frazier 8,315'.

Looking east over the praire from the site

Taking photos looking out over the praire

Sunday, July 10, 2011

International Boundary Monument Visit
July 6, 2011

We've been very busy. This photo was taken on a trip to view a monument placed around 1903 on the International Boundary. I had observed this site from a distance some years ago during benchmark recovery. The alpine meadow looked so inviting through the binoculars, it deserved a closer examination.

The monument is the 3 part bronze with an interior turnbuckle, & all packed to the site by horse. It is in very good condition, one of the best I've examined.

The hike was beautiful and without difficulty until reaching the north facing slopes which were covered with steep cornices and drifts.

Note: I have decided to redact monument numbers for security reasons.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Homeland Security views this blog

The Department of Homeland Security has taken the time to look at this, presumably due to it's content RE: the International Boundary.

If material is found that may be objectionable, please contact me via the email address on my profile & I will remove it.