Monday, July 30, 2012

Lewis and Clark, a Cave in the Dark

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is located about an hours drive from Bozeman in southeastern Jefferson County, Montana. The major feature of the park is its large namesake cavern.

Despite the name, Lewis and Clark never actually discovered the cave, however, their travels with their famouse guide, Sacajawea, brought them very close.  The picture above is from the mouth of the cave and from here you can see the river along which the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled.

It was about 102 degrees outside on the day we visited, but inside the cave is a constant, cool 55 degree setting all year round.  The native americans used to call this mountain, the smoking mountain, because in the winter time you cansee the warm air coming out of the cave as you would see your warm breath coming out of your mouth.

The cavern was discovered in 1892 by local ranchers Tom Williams and Bert Pannel, but it was first developed for tours by Dan A. Morrison around 1900 and he called it Limespur Cave.

The site was first officially established as "Lewis and Clark Cavern National Monument" on May 11, 1908, but was not fully surveyed and declared until May 16, 1911 by President Taft as 160 acres (0.65 km2).

 The caverns are also notable in that much of the work done to make the cave system accessible to tourists was performed by the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps.

These bars for example, work of the CCC.

The cavern was disbanded as a national monument on August 24, 1937, and transferred to the state of Montana. The site was formally dedicated as a state park in 1941; Montana's first state park.

This place rocks

 The following blurb (like most of my information) comes from Wikipedia.  It's factual content may very well vary based on the knowledge of the author.  Take it with a grain of salt.. I am pretty sure Lewis's first name was Meriwether....not Methermari....

Methermari Lewis and Clark Caverns was dissolved by slightly acidic groundwater in tilted beds of the Madison Limestone of Mississippian age.

Most of the cave was probably excavated during the ice ages, a time of much greater water supply than today.

This limestone was formed by calcium rich organisms that died in a sea that was present around 325 and 365 million years ago.

Layer upon layer of organisms stacked on each other and compacted to form this rock group.

Reddish sandstone, known as the Amsden, laid down in the Pennsylvanian age was uplifted to current heights during the Laramide Orogeny around 70 million years ago.
This uplift constructed joints in the Madison Limestone that would later become caves, such as the Lewis and Clark Caverns.

Wikipedia defines caves as: a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. specifies a cave as a hollow in the earth, especially one opening more or less horizontally into a hill, mountain, etc. They do not say anything about it having to be big enough for a human to enter.

Ok, cave experts stalactite or stalagmite?  

Stalactite.  Hold on tight!

Stalagmite...might bite you in the butt.

Teh stalactite is above, and hangs downward like an icicle; the stalagmite is below and sticks up.

They didn't mention anything about having to sit, scoot, and crawl throught the cave!

a big stalagmite

1 mile high, but still about 600feet underground.....that doesn't happen every day.

This room of the cave was my favorite....It's amazing what some pink and purple lights can do!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

When there's something weird... in your neighborhood....Who ya gonna call?....Call the sheriff!

A good way to learn about a town is to research the content of their police blotters.  What is the standard of crime around here you may wonder?  Murder? Burglary? Hate crimes?  You will just have to read the following police reports from the book "We Don't Make This Stuff Up: The Very Best of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle Police Reports" to find out....


Enjoy the pictures.

This is Boscoe, our landlord's cat.  He likes to hang out with us,  Trevor in particular...because he pets him. 

"Deputies cited a man for disorderly conduct when he dumped a significant amount of snow in a neighbor's driveway after a dispute over plowing techiniques."

Montana vending machine:  everything your little western heart bait, camouflage beer coozies, and snacks.

"A caller reported seeing two young men drive a vehicle into a snow bank at the corner of Dickerson Street and South Grand Avenue.  After crashing the car they got out of the car, made obscene gestures at it and ran off."

"A woman got stuck in a car wash when built-up ice  caused the door to freeze shut."

"Officers repsonding to  a report of a person sitting on a picnic table covered with snow on North Seventh Avenue around 5am found only a pile of clothes."

crazy caterpillar

"A 69 year old man was cited and released for theft after eating a handful of pistachips in a grocery store without paying for them."

Our next door neighbors have a lama farm.

"A man said someone stole his socks."

This is the copy machine at Trevor's work.

"A woman ho had reported her social security card stolen found it in "the safe place where she hid it."

Big Sky indeed

"A woman called to report that her dog brought home a baby deer and she ddin't know what to dow ith it."

God Bless America... and this bacon, egg, cheese, ham and mushrooms bison burger.  Yes, I ate the whole thing.

"A report of possible domestic violence in a Fallom street home turned out to be the resdients moving a washing machine."

A home on the range.

"A woman called police hoping they could help her find her husband , who had likely joined the circus."

"A wife wanted to know if her husband's mistress living in her and her husband's house constituted trespassing."

Dandelion weeds grow as big as softballs out here.

"A man said his ex-wife flipped him off as they passed each other in traffic.  A deputy warned the woman."

'"Two women were reportedly feeding beer to horses on North Blck Ave. "

We do not feed Boscoe beer.

"A husband reported his wife had gone missing from their hotel room.  Her clothes were there but she was no where to be found. The intoxicated wife was eventually located in an empty room across the hall."

storm's a comin'

"A caller from a local ski resort said they have been having an 'issue' with a female streaker."

Couldn't find Trevor in the house.....

"A woman asked if police could talk with a juvenile about hte "problems with a life of crime."

"A parent had questions about hwat could be done about her son receiving messages "using the F word" as part of a live computer game."

Go to school Boscoe.

"A parent called about her children, who were refusing to go to school."

Boscoe is too lazy for school.

"A mother wanted to know how to get her 18 year old daughter out of her house"

He will never leave.

"A neighbor reported that he heard a child screaming from the home next door.  He said it happens often.  A 10 year old girl was screaming because she did not like what her mother had made her for dinner."

sassy cat

"A mother reported that her daughter was throwing plates"

This is the street we live on.

"An elderly woman seen on the corner of a busy intersection in her bathrobe was fine and just taking her daily walk."
Sunset from the backyard

"Two male teens reportedly carrying a body near a playground were actually hauling a dummy they made in art class."

The fairgrounds

"Someone broke into a garage on Tracy Avenue during the night, possibly through a window.  They broke the hot tub timer and put 5 cases of beer in the fridge."

"Someone broke into a man's home on Black Avenue and spread blackberry jam into the carpet.  He suspected it might have been an ex-roommate."

This is our neighbor's house who reported seeing a pair of mountain lions on his front yard a few days ago.

"A caller said someone dumped 30lbs of spaghetti and sauce all over his vehicle."

Montana wild flowers

"A man who came to a house to do a communications survey later returned uninvited to sit next to the pool and smoke.

Who needs seat belts?

"A man on Clarkston Rd, north of Three Forks, frequently mows his lawn with no clothes on."
Can you pick out which one is the wildlife biologist?

"A elderly man routinely yells over his fence at children playing in their own yard."

"A woman who had been seeing mice footrpints on the porch the pst several days suspected someone was placing the mice there."

"A caller wanted to help an officer fight crime."

"A man on Bronco Drive who had posted his own 5mph sign for kids in the area threw something at a woman's car after he witnessed her going 20mph, which is the actual posted speed limit.  The woman called police to let them know about the man creating his own, personal speed limit signs."

"A caller reported that her neighbor on Jackrabbit Lane was sitting on his porch in his pajamas staring at her with binoculars.  He kept repeating "How does it feel to get it back by stripping my liberty and my peace?!"

Mmm mmm hot dog flavored chips!