Saturday, June 13, 2009

DAY 13: Is The Dam Breaking????????

Saturday, June 13 - Hungry Horse, Montana

My morning started at about 1:30 am may recall, yesterday was not one of our better days......all I wanted to do was go to sleep so today could come quicker.  Well, it did!  At about 1:30 am, I awake to, what I know as, a tornado siren.  A very very very very loud tornado siren bouncing off the sides of the mountain.  I sit straight up in bed trying to remember where I am and why I'm hearing a tornado siren in Montana.  They don't have tornado's here, do they?  As I sat there trying to make sense of what I was hearing, many thoughts were racing through my mind.  Here's just a few:  

1)  Tornado - We are camping inbetween two large mountains.  There is no way a tornado could occur here even if it wanted to.  Ruled out Tornado.
2)  Fire - I looked out all windows, smelled outside, looked for light in the sky; nothing.  Ruled out Fire.
3)  Bomb - I really didn't know what signs to look for in the event we were being bombed.  We don't have satellite reception, no cable and very limited PBS Tv to check on this so, I ruled out Bombing from a foreign country due to lack of information.
4)  Dam Break - Ahhhhhh....this was much more believable.  I saw a billboard on the way in last night that said Hungry Horse had the largest and bestest dam on this side of Montana...and I knew it was just up the road a couple miles.     I didn't rule out Dam Break.....

So, I did what any good computer geek would do and pulled out my trustee internet card.  Checked out everything I could on the Hungry Horse Dam and learned it would take out many cities if it were to break.  Yikes.  And we were only a couple miles from the dam......By this time, I could hear helicopter(s) and what sounded like a heavy duty tractor close by.  It's now been 30 minutes that the very very very very loud alarm bouncing off the sides of the mountain has been going off and I'm freaking out.  Chuck is sleeping peacefully......The neighbors appear to be sleeping peacefully.  I refuse to go outside as the neighbors told me there had been two bears in the park the night before.  These are the same neighbors who pulled out their lawn chairs from their tiny little trailer and parked themselves within 15' of us as we pulled in last night and watched as Chuck and I talked to each other between gritted teeth.  They got themselves a beer or two and sat back and smiled as Chuck and I argued over whether to put the jacks down or not and whether to pull the slides out prior to lowering the jacks, etc.  There's a lot of steps, folks, to this camping thing.   You don't just park the rig and plug in.  The first thing the neighbors said to us was, "You call that camping?"    Anyway, I digress; back to the Dam Break Alarm.  It finally quit around 2:15 am and I figured if we were going to be swept away we would have already been swept away.  I sordof ruled out Dam Break.....

The next morning, I was at the office waiting for them to open to find out what the heck that was.  Turns out, its a small town and they have a volunteer police, fire and ambulance department.  Everything in town is volunteer. So when they have an emergency such as a car wreck, heart attack, broken finger nail, they sound the alarms.  Oh ya, no dam break; someone probably just fell out of bed.  Errrrrrrr.......

So I must say, early morning alarm aside, today was a much better day than yesterday.  Got the Trike washed (I've never seen it so dirty); tried to cross over Glacier National Park, but lo and behold, the road was closed due to 70' of snow.  Yes, you heard me right.  70 FEET of SNOW at the top.  It's JUNE!!!  How can this be???  We came here to travel the well known road called "The Road to the Sun", but all we got was "The Road That Was Closed".  Errrrrrrr..... But that's okay; we decided to check out the dam that didn't break.  Way cool!!!

Tomorrow Chuck wants to go to Wal-Mart.........


Anonymous said...

I feel like I am on the trip with you and Chuck!! Thanks

Chuck Hamilton

Anonymous said...

I love Murphy's outfits. Stay warm and careful Ellen

Anonymous said...

Hope you and Chuck are doing well.

Regarding Glacier's Road to the Sun, last year it didn't open until the 2nd week in July. Road closure, due to snow, is a very common occurrence in Glacier.

They usually post all road conditions on their website. Did you check their website?


Anonymous said...

And travel with you two, I would!! Your escapades are hilarious!!!! If only Murphy could talk!!! Your pictures are beautiful!!!!!

My brother has lived in Salt Lake City since the late 70's - for his PhD. degree then work.
So he gets to experience all the wonderful outdoor things and beautiful areas. He always said his perfect life would be 6 mos in Austin and 6 mos in Durango, CO. Well, they bought a beautiful condo in Austin late last year and they are not far from retiring so I think he is putting those plans in order!!!!!

Y'all have lots of fun on this trip! Hug Chuck for me and give Murphy a treat and tell him I love his "coat". My chihuahuas all had cool sweaters and Bella had "boots"!!!! They were soooo Colorado chic!!!!! A reminder of cold weather!!! last full year in Steamboat was 2003. The last snow was the end of June....the "first" snow of winter was Labor Day, the first of Sept.!!!!!!

Travel safe!!
Love, Glenda

Darcy said...

Hey! I've been catching up on your blog - such adventures and funny writing. Good job Liz! Had to comment on this one because Bozeman is where I was born and lived the first few years of my life. And Butte is pronounced Byut, not butt. hahaha! You're lucky we're friends - hope you didn't say that in front of other Montana-natives. I guess not, since you're still standing. Envious that you're now in CO! If you went through Denver on Hwy 25, you went right past my parents' house. I was just there 2 weeks ago. Gotta tell me next time you're heading to CO. Love and miss you both! Darcy