Big Sky Country
Today we headed out to Kremlin, Montana, to visit our friends Ed and Judy Fallo. Kremlin is located on the north side of US Highway No. 2, the northern most east-west route across Montana known as The Hi-Line. At the last census the town had a population of 126. Most of the towns on the Hi-Line are built on the north side of US-2 between the highway and the railroad. This part of the state is also referred to as the Big Sky Country because there are virtually no trees and you can see nothing but wheat and sky in all directions. Ed and Judy live two miles north of Kremlin. I took a picture from the railroad tracks in town and you can see their house two miles away in the group of trees on the left of the road.
Ed pastors the Baptist church in Gildford, Montana, 10 miles west of Kremlin.
Rattlesnake in Residence
Rattlesnake no longer in Residence
Eddie was showing me some of his uncompleted projects when we ran into an uninvited guest in his shop. A local rattle snake had moved in and we were unable to persuade him to leave and it didn’t seem like a very good idea to let him move into and among the stored wood and such so we had to hunt him down. He turned out to be four feet long and had 9 rattles on his tail.
Rattlesnake hunting is not my favorite past time, but looking at old cars, now that’s another story.
Fallo homestead two miles down on left.
Across the street from park headquarters
We decided to head to the north end of the park today and found quite a bit of thermal activity. We thought that most of the thermal activity was in the south around Old Faithful. The south end has most of the larger geysers. We found a few geysers in the north. When they erupt they only shoot up several feet as opposed to those in the south which go several hundred feet into the air.
In the picture of park headquarters the red roofed buildings on the right are the original headquarters buildings which are still in use. (Click on picture for larger view, then you can click on any portion of the larger view to zoom in).
There is quite a variety of wildlife in the park and it is wherever you find it. When anyone spots some wildlife they immediately stop (hugh traffic jam) so that anyone coming has ample time to admire it.
We even found some pelicans that live in the park and hunt fish on the rivers.
The park is also the natural habitat for the trumpeter swan. We saw a couple but I was never in a position to get a picture.
The park warns you time and again the danger of approaching wildlife like bison (they don’t call them buffalo anymore, the proper term is bison). While we were in the park some lady got too close and the bison attacked her and managed to throw her into the air before someone could distract it.
We came upon a huge traffic jam looking at a herd of bison in a field and we decided to turn into a heavily wooded picnic area on the edge of the field to get a better look. We didn’t know that part of the herd were already in the parking area. I have seen bison in the zoo before but when they are suddenly standing next to my car in the wild they are very very large. Linda kept saying to get closer but all I could think about was if one of them ran into the car it would fire every airbag in it and we would spend the rest of the day trying to figure out how to get out of the car.
Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 and is the first national park in the world. It is also situated over an active volcano as there is much geothermal activity in the park in the form of geysers and numerous hot pools. The park is very large and is actually larger than the states of Rhode Island or Delaware. There is geothermal activity in many areas of the park but the most active geysers are in the southern portion which is where we spent our first day.