By: joealaska , 5:02 PM GMT on August 26, 2014

The ride to Cut Bank was uneventful, which is a good thing. A direct route was not available. I drove along Flathead Lake for the first time, on the west side. My favorite road RT 93. Into Columbia Falls, then east on RT 2. Past Glacier Park (did that many years ago, will have to wait for a second visit for now). There were huge mountains all around, yet the road was not so much up and down. Suddenly we popped out of the trees in the high desert of Montana.

Coming into Cut Bank I was wondering if I made a good decision to stay a week. Especially driving through town into the RV Park. But it is all good. Mike the owner was great during his welcome routine. He made it clear he wanted me, and all of the guests, to have a good time.

The park is located up on a bluff (it is already windy here) overlooking Cut Bank Creek. The creek has cut a mini-canyon behind the RV park, and the river is about 50 feet below. It is more a river than a creek. Wild life includes marmots and the occasional mountain lion, especially right above the river on the banks. Guess where Dutchie has been hanging out? Marmots and lions are not good with kitties.

The camp sits above an overnight camp site of Lewis and Clark in 1806. Maybe 10 miles west of here there is a sign talking about CAMP DISAPPOINTMENT, named by Lewis and Clark due to that being the farthest north they would travel. Weather was a factor, with winter moving in. They also were looking for the headwaters of certain rivers, which would expand the area of the Louisiana Purchase. They were hoping they could expand northward, but the headwaters were to the west at that point.

Below the bluff I am on is RT 2 as it comes into town from the west. Not really a noise factor. Across RT 2 is a train trestle that goes over the river valley, rising a couple hundred feet or so. Many trains come though. I can still hear them, but they are much quieter than THOMPSON FALLS. The bluff is covered with odd rocks. I was told they are simply sandstone weathering away with wind and rain. A couple hundred feet from where I sit is a statue of Jesus and a cross that welcome people coming into town. The Blackfeet Indian Reservation borders the west edge of town.

One golf course is in sight from where I sit. Another is about 20 miles southwest, along I-15. Heading out to check out the general area.

Had a great sunset last night, as I have the perfect view for that.

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22. WunderAlertBot
4:18 PM GMT on September 01, 2014
joealaska has created a new entry.
Member Since: February 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 23278
21. lotis2
8:42 AM GMT on August 31, 2014

Is that someone's home, on the hill, overlooking the train tracks?

Sorry beell, I kinda liked the song.
Member Since: June 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 134
20. osdianna
6:34 PM GMT on August 30, 2014
Over an inch of rain fell overnight here in Ocean Shores! That is way more than I was expecting...and I won't have to water for a while. The temp was around 58 degrees. At 11:15am it is still lightly raining...and a lot of campers have wet tents to contend with. Fortunately, most PNW folks know enough to have that extra piece of rain tarp (or whatever it is called) on top of the tent to prevent water getting in...even if it is just a blue tarp.

The forecast is for scattered showers throughout the day, then some cloudiness Sunday and Monday. Meanwhile, some of this moisture may be headed your way, Joe.

I watched the latest video, and especially loved the first part of it where Dutchie comes running out to see what you are doing. I can see why she hangs out at the overlook's the only place she can hide and observe. The view from up there is pretty amazing too, including the train trestle.
Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 693
19. joealaska
5:45 PM GMT on August 30, 2014

Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 920 Comments: 955
18. beell
5:27 PM GMT on August 30, 2014
I couldn't help it. It was right next to your "Back Roads" video on YouTube.

Probably the worst Country & Western song I have ever heard.

Cut Bank, Montana-Hank Williams Jr
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 158 Comments: 18959
17. dotmom
3:34 AM GMT on August 30, 2014
Ylee: We are staying in the AC a lot. Thank God for air conditioning.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1535
16. DHaupt
3:09 AM GMT on August 30, 2014
We frequently see our hottest weather in September and even October. The Great Oakland Hills Firestorm broke out on a very hot, windy day, October 19, 1991. It was also a very dry time of the year. Since then, the eucalyptus trees, dry pines and brush that made the fire almost impossible to control have nearly all been removed, especially the eucalyptus.

We just hope this weird, below average temp, high cloudy weather can hold until rain comes. Sometimes we will get an early rain after mid-September -- that doesn't mean the hot weather is over with, however.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1233
15. joealaska
4:58 PM GMT on August 29, 2014

Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 920 Comments: 955
14. Ylee
2:26 PM GMT on August 29, 2014
Quoting 2. dotmom:

Can't believe this summer is over. The heat has been terrible the last 10 days.

Someone didn't tell Ma Nature yet; looks like 100+ heat indices for the next week or so! Hope you and JoeKy stay in the A/C!

Quoting 6. insideuk:

Having said that the noise coming from Red Rover as she braved the stone track was almost as loud, and effectively tantamount to girly screaming. Though that could have been the driver. Hard to tell for certain.

Maybe it was the marmots.... ;' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 119 Comments: 20728
13. insideuk
12:20 PM GMT on August 29, 2014
More drilling plans, but not with any Christmas tree shaped drill platforms Dave...

A piece in Alaska Daily News yesterday said that the Kulluk was damaged beyond repair by the grounding and Shell has announced that it could not be put back into service.

And to think they were making it sound like she just needed a few new windows and a stronger microwave oven housing...

The new, new plan (as opposed to the old new one from last November) is to use two drill rigs in the Chukchi Sea, and that each rig will act as back up (in the event of a spill) to each other.

One of those rigs is the infamous permit violating Noble Discoverer. The other is the Polar Pioneer, which was previously planned to be called upon only as a back up plan to any problem on the Kulluk. Both would be drilling simultaneously. In the same remote area. In the same wild weather. With all the same drifting ice pack dangers. Both at the same time.

Greenpeace, in a statement issued Thursday, said Shell’s new plan was unlikely to be better than the previous version.

“Shell clearly hasn't learned anything from its last Alaskan misadventure, which would have been funny had it not put lives, local communities, and a delicate ecosystem in grave peril. Shell is putting the pieces in place for next summer so it will at least appear competent to the administration, but anyone who has been paying attention knows that Shell is simply hoping the public and the U.S. government will confuse their commitment for competency,” John Deans, Greenpeace’s Arctic campaign specialist, said in the statement.

“The Dutch oil giant has bungled its way through its Arctic operations and squandered nearly $6 billion so far -- and all they have to show for it is a containment dome crushed like a beer can, a grounded drill rig, and a PR disaster. Even with all of the money they've spent, Shell hasn't been able to prove they can operate in the Arctic," Deans said.

I read a cuppla months ago that Shell was signing up native Alaskan communities as 'partners' to the new drill plans. In return for investment and co-operation now they get a share of any future oil profits...

...and presumably much less ability to criticize and complain when they cock it all up grandly?

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1706
12. DHaupt
10:00 AM GMT on August 29, 2014
Never say die! Don't give up the ship! Shell Oil's mottos.

Kulluk Lives!

Shell is back applying for permits to send Bathtub Toy and Rubber Ducky back to the Arctic once again. Click the above link.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1233
11. JaniceR
8:11 PM GMT on August 28, 2014
Because I don't know how else to share this, try cutting and pasting to your browser. This group is incredible. -johnny-cashs-ring-of-fire-and-its-mind-blowing/

It will give you goose bumps. Enjoy.

Member Since: July 22, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 18
10. dotmom
5:27 PM GMT on August 28, 2014
Joe, how about some church photos from these small towns???

Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1535
9. joealaska
5:12 PM GMT on August 28, 2014
Dutchie is fine, paw seems OK.

As some of you know, I also post photos on Facebook. I try not to post the same pictures, but occasionally I do. On WU I try to keep with the weather theme more, on Facebook it is often not that case. If you would like to join me on Facebook, send me an email on WU and we will make it work.
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 920 Comments: 955
8. lotis2
2:10 PM GMT on August 28, 2014

My daughter needs to visit there. She is part Blackfoot on her dad's side.

How is Dutchie's little paw doing?

Member Since: June 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 134
7. dotmom
11:59 AM GMT on August 28, 2014
JaniceR, that is Walter White "bobbling" along with Joe on his journey. He seems to be doing rather well... Bryan C. certainly had a big night at the Emmy's on Monday. UK, you need to get some sort of revolving closet for "your stuff" and just keep it handy for whatever the weather provides. Let's hope the central heating is good for at least another year. Sounds like a project if it fails. Move?
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1535
6. insideuk
11:13 AM GMT on August 28, 2014
WOW that train was loud! Listening to its approach you half expect it to come steaming past just a few feet away. Then again, for all I know you could have parked the tow dolly across the tracks...

Having said that the noise coming from Red Rover as she braved the stone track was almost as loud, and effectively tantamount to girly screaming. Though that could have been the driver. Hard to tell for certain.

Next week fish storm Hurricane Cristobel will apparently journey it's way up and over, away to the north of, the British Isles. In so doing it will NOT dump mahoosive amounts of rain on us but will instead drag very warm weather up from the continent and give us a week of summer again. Which I will have to reacclimatise myself to since we have been in near autumnal conditions since the start of August. Parts of the country have even recorded frosts.... in August. More importantly I have already gone to the bother of getting my winter clothes and shoes out and switching seasons - now Cristobel has forced me into a dithering half way house with both open toe sandals and winter boots fighting it out for attention.

The central heating has been on, and off, and on again. Through choice rather than breakage, though it ticks loudly a lot - it's been doing that for 2 winters already, kind of like Jack Bauer is approaching the utility room on a mission (if you watch 24 you will know the sound). The boiler needs replacing but there is always the temptation to hang on to the cash (near £4000/ $6500) and try and get through another winter. They are supposed to have a 12 to 14 year lifespan on average, and this one is celebrating 15 years of burning money in the form of natural gas in November. Changing it seems like a big job, as they have gone and changed all the safety rules and now the flues have to sit higher and pipe work set up differently. It's not bent right. They may need to rip tanks out, maybe rip a new one in...I'm wondering if the entire house won't need redecorating once they have messed about with changing it.

In Spain, where my skinny men on bicycles are currently tripping over each other, the temperatures are hitting 40c/104f and they are getting dehydrated whilst consuming 12 litres (21 pints) of water each in a 5 hour race. They are melting. If Cristobel drags anything like that kind of heat northwards I won't be happy. But on the plus side the old boiler can rest easy.

Meantime my knitwear remains in a state of flux.

I'll bet joe has played golf there...

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1706
5. JaniceR
11:06 AM GMT on August 28, 2014
Is that a Walter White bobblehead taped to the dashboard? Best show ever, can't wait for "Better call Saul" debuting in February.
Member Since: July 22, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 18
4. joealaska
7:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2014

Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 920 Comments: 955
3. insideuk
10:14 AM GMT on August 27, 2014
Did owner Mikes welcome include instructions on survival tactics? Marmots and lions are sure footed creatures, but even they listened attentively when Mike spoke.

That statue of Jesus could be all that is holding parts of the town to the hillside. The wing has long gone and they are left putting faith in the prayer. One hefty cut into the bank and suddenly Leggs transforms into a makeshift kayak. I'd keep both the seatbelt and the GO PRO camera on at all times if I were you. And possibly invest in a zip lock bag for the cell phone.

The sandals can be left out on the step. I'll get my Google Maps Peg Man to kick them into touch later...

Looking at the houses close to the edge (4th St SW) there are clearly some folks thinking the view is worth the risk, some plots have been cleared but I spied a property that appears to have one corner dangling on stilts. I wonder if the owners book themselves into the local motel whenever really heavy weather is forecast? There are people on the east coast of England living like that – personally I'd rather sleep on that 200ft train trestle.

Though that wouldn't be necessary. There is a cute penguin at the Glacier Gateway Inn that could easily give shelter to 40 people in its feet. Just past the gas station/ casino on RT 2 heading east out of town. Every town should have one.

Marmots like playing with GO PRO cameras if you leave them lying around outside...

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Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1706
2. dotmom
12:04 AM GMT on August 27, 2014
Don't let Dutchie out with the wild animals around. That little peanut can't outsmart some of those bigger foes. Glad you are settled in for a bit. Can't believe this summer is over. The heat has been terrible the last 10 days.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1535
1. miyuki
10:14 PM GMT on August 26, 2014
Joe, glad you talked some sense into Dutchie. How is her paw?
Beautiful pictures of the park, thanks for sharing!
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 79

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About joealaska

After moving back to the lower 48, I have bought an RV and have been living on the road.

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