22 May 2011

Libby Dam, Amish Auction, Kootenai Falls

Saturday I decided to take a little field trip. There was to be an Amish auction in Libby so I thought I would take the opportunity to check out several things.

I have already written about Record Lows at Lake Koocanusa but I hadn't been all the way down to Libby Dam to see how things looked. Things looked pretty amazing. I stopped at the dam and took these pictures. Quite extraordinary.

Libby Dam, Montana

Lake Koocanusa, Montana - So low it's other worldly.

From the dam it was off to the Amish auction. Koty had a good time greeting lots of people but I didn't see anything I wanted to hang around and bid on. I did, however, find this little collapsible step stool that I thought was quite the value U$D 15.00.

Collapsible Step Stool

Stool in the open postion

After we left the auction our next destination was Kootenai Falls. I thought they might be interesting to see with the water running so high. On the way to the falls I saw this pretty view of the Cabinet Mountains and couldn't resist  taking a photo.

Cabinet Mountains

Well, the Kootenai Falls were interesting. They practically didn't exist. The river is flowing so full the fall drops are practically eliminated. Never seen anything quite like it. You'd need to see them at normal pool to get how extraordinary these photos are.

Kootenai Falls with the falls nearly flattened.

Kootenai Falls but without the falls!
 After the falls we headed over to a trail on the north side of the river that always seems to offer lovely wildlife sightings. We were not disappointed. Actually, before we went over to the river trail I stopped in at the Libby Cafe and had a "Montana Burger" and fries. Needed to get my strength up for the hike. :) It was pretty good and certainly way more food than I should have consumed. I still have an appetite like a truck driver. No offense truck drivers. That was just an expression I heard when I was a kid and it stuck.

Big Horn Sheep Ewes high in the cliffs overlooking the trail.

Nesting pair of Canada Geese

Big Horn Ewe flying through the bush.

This last picture is of the Kootenai River flowing bank to bank.

Kootenai River, Montana May 21, 2011

Living in Montana is a privilege.

©Kinsey Barnard

14 May 2011

I Support Ron Paul For President

I just sent this e-mail to everyone I know and respect. And, I would like any readers who's address I don't have to read it also because I think it is very important.  If you don't know Ron Paul I urge you to get acquainted with what he stands for.

"Ron Paul is officially running for president in 2012. I believe he is the only hope for we the people have to take back our country from the money grubbers and power elite. I believe Ron Paul is a man of great integrity, one who has not been seduced by the Beltway to abandon his principals.

I have never in my life actively supported a presidential candidate but I believe we are about to meet our Waterloo if we don't change the direction in which this country is headed. I can no longer sit idly by. If you love this country and believe in our right to freedom, which is the envy of the world, you will join me in supporting Ron Paul.

Don't fall victim to the fatuous rhetoric that a vote for Paul will be wasted. That is exactly what the entrenched politicians want you to believe. We the people have the power to reclaim our country if we will rise up together and take it back.

I've just done something else I've never done before. This morning I made a generous donation to Ron Paul's election campaign. I hope you will to. If you are not familiar with Ron Paul and what he stands for please take the time to educate yourself. I believe you will come to the same conclusion that I have.

Here is the link to his campaign site where you can learn more and make donations. http://www.ronpaul2012.com/

Boys and girls, this is OUR country. Don't you think it's time we take it back?"

09 May 2011

Lake Koocanusa at Record Lows

The first thing one might think when reading that headline is that there is a shortage of water around here. That would be far from the case this year. The lake has been drained to record low levels because the mountains are just loaded with snow. Most drainages in the area are 200%+ for snowpack and it's been so cold there has yet to be much melt. I've also heard this has been the longest winter on record. I don't know if that's true but I can say it's been a doozie!

Yesterday, I decided to go down to the lake and take a closer look at the lake.

The Canadian Rockies. This photo was taken right through the windshield as I made my way down the mountain. Unfortunately, they were shrouded by clouds which is quite common.

For those who may not know Lake Koocanusa, which is not really a lake but a man made reservoir, is located in the Tobacco Valley in northwest Montana. It was created by the construction of the Libby Dam completed in 1972. It runs some ninety miles right into British Columbia. The damn dam blocked the Kootenai River, the third largest tributary to the Columbia. Old timers still pine for the days it was once just a beautiful river valley. The goofy name comes from Koo - for the Kootenai, can - for Canada and usa - for USA. My image "Kootenai Spirits" is my small homage to the Kootenai Indians that once roamed these lands. It is a photo of the rock walls that were blasted out to make the lake. Your can read the story of the photo at EVERY IMAGE HAS A STORY.

I first stopped in at the campground at Rexford. And, wow, I was impressed.

This is the boat launch. No launching this day. You can see a couple of vehicles driving down to the bluff to look in the distant drink.

This is what the folks in those vehicles would be looking down on.

A few years back, 2007 I think, I took a photo of what I thought was the lowest I would ever see the resevoir. I called it "HEAVENLY EYE". Ha, I was sure wrong about that! The point in the photo above is the same as the one seen in Heavenly Eye but from a different angle. Still I think you can see the extraordinary difference. Here's the story from EVERY IMAGE HAS A STORY.

This is looking across the lake at Douglas Hill campground. If you look closely up in the left hand corner you'll see an RV. Unfortunately, I didn't see it myself until I downloaded the image but it gives you some perspective. Anybody, wanting to reach the water these days will have to use climbing gear to get to it!

Next I went over to Mariners Haven a private boat launch. Not any launching going on here either.

I walked right out to the end and it was kinda scary. It just dropped off into a huge canyon.

Another beached launch. Not surprisingly, there were no boats on the lake for Mother's day. 

Lake Koocanusa, Montana

The water is just beginning to run and it's running out of every creek and crevice.
We haven't seen much melt yet and the snow has continued to pile up all spring. According to the weather channel we are headed into the high seventies this week. If they're right, the amount of water that will come tumbling out of these mountains is going to be epic. I'm glad I'm up on the side of a mountain because I'm afraid some low-landers are in for some excitement.

©Kinsey Barnard