Thursday, September 15, 2011


View over Grand Forks valley

Smokey sunset, Grand Forks

Above Grand Forks

Am I doing this right?

Posing for me

The full moon through hydro poles

We’ve been on the road for five days since the last post and covered 2033 kms (1270 miles) which is making pretty good time for us.  We stayed in Grand Forks, BC the first night.  When the RV park owner heard I was interested in photography, he offered to take me up the mountain after supper.  I said sure!  When he came to get me, I asked if there would be much chance of wildlife, he said, oh, maybe some grouse.  I decided to take my long lens just in case.  First off we saw a bear but too far for good photos.  While up top, I took some pictures over the town but it was rather smoky so not too good.  Then as I was heading over to try some shots of the full moon, a bighorn sheep popped into view.  I went back to the truck for my 100-400 lens and the sheep posed nicely for me when I got back.  He even allowed me to change the lens between cameras so I could take advantage of the higher ISO of my big camera.
We crossed the border at Cascade on Monday morning and it was very smooth.  The lady was pleasant and had hardly any questions.  We made it to St Regis, MT that night and although WiFi was promised, no one was getting on that night.  Next morning it worked well.  We think the lady had the firewall setting too high as she told me how she was paranoid about people downloading the wrong things.
On Tuesday we deviated from the plan (see, sometimes I actually plan ahead) and went to Dillon, MT which was quite away off course.  I had heard about the Bannack ghost town recently and wanted to go there.  I set Aileen up in the campground , unloaded the scooter and rack and went off to the State Park which has protected Bannack  since 1954.  I have to say it was one talked about place that delivered!  I spent several  hours in the town and was the last person there by an hour .  The park guy had no problem with my staying late and in fact chatted along with me a couple times.  I shot mostly HDR in colour and black & white.  I hadn’t shot in camera black & white before and was very impressed with my results.  I took 688 shots at Bannack but only about 150 different subjects since for the majority I took 6 shots for each subject doing HDR for colour and b&w.  I changed between colour and b&w each time so used lots of time up.  I was impressed that my camera battery was still nearly half charged after 688 shots which included lots of peeking (checking to see how the shots looked).  Everything was done on the tripod too.
Yesterday we made it to Billings, MT where we were to visit friends Ken and Char.  Well, we’d had an email a couple days ago that Char had suffered a heart attack and had a stint put in.  She had been home a day already when we saw her last night but she was not resting like she should.  Ken, who is 82, came back to town from planting wheat to take us to the Golden Corral for supper.  He came back to the motor home which was almost next door at Walmart and visited longer.  He will be hauling fertilizer with his Kenworth for the next while from Billings out to Hysham, about 86 miles away, then will probably haul grain or hay.   He had both knees replaced last year and they are working out very well he said.  He crawls around mechanicing and in and out of machinery all the time.
We got an early start this morning and did our biggest day putting on 462 kms getting to Casper, Wyoming.  That’s a pretty big day for us as we don’t push the speed.  We try to keep it about 100 kph or just over 60 mph.  There are a lot of hills along most of our route and we have gained over 4000 feet of elevation with another 2000 to come in the next two days.  We had several days of really warm weather but just about froze yesterday with the high less than 10C (50F).  We are back to low 20’sC (70’sF) today.

1 comment:

  1. John, you are having a string of serendipities! A campground guy offering to take you out for photos, a big horn sheep posing for you. Model Ts at Bannack. You must be living a charmed life --- can we ride with you for a while?