Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Kolden Report: Montana Back Roads, Part Eleven, November 27, 2013

Hello, kids!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support and encouragement.  How lucky can a girl get!

December 7th is the bazaar at the high school gym Wolf Point.  I am working on new pieces for the event and would love to see you!  This year I'll be offering a limited number of 2014 calendars.  I had hoped to complete a new book in time but that isn't going to happen.  "The best laid plans of mice and men...."
 I'd love to see you at the bazaar so stop and visit if you get the chance and be sure to sign up to win!  As always, the bazaar is going to be full of "shopportunities" and local artist Lance Johnson is even rumored to be there, although I have yet to confirm this. 

Now, back to the report.  This edition covers Gibson Dam.  Enjoy!


High water mark is just that.  A mark!

The bigger picture.

How it came to be.

How it once was.

Aptly named:  Sun River Canyon.

Winter taunting.

"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
the song of the birds for mirth,
one is nearer gods heart in a garden,
than anywhere on earth."                                   - seen high above Gibson Reservoir.



A tiny bit of concrete went into that dam!

Why are the shorelines "shapely"?

Deco edge.

Ragged and jagged.

Up next:     The view below!

"Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy:  true fulfillment."  - Tony Robbins


The Kolden Report: Montana Back Roads, Part Twelve, Thanksgiving, November 28, 2013

Hello, kids!

 I am reminiscing about holiday gatherings of the past and one particular memory floated to the forefront.  In years past, when my eldest nephews and nieces were younger than ten, they wanted to put on a show before Thanksgiving dinner.  Being one to accommodate the creative urges of small children, I agreed to be the emcee for their show.  Since there were two families of children involved, they wanted a bit of practice before putting on their show, which was a lively and hip activity of the day.....break dancing!  When all was ready, I announced the events that were about to unfold and cued the music after which much physical activity ensued....Gram's kitchen full of small children break dancing to a beat.  Wish I had recorded the event, especially since most of those tiny children now have children of their own. 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!    I wish you all peace and the joy of loved ones today, as you create the memories of tomorrow.

And now, back to Gibson Dam.

The river below, at fall levels.

The did good work in 1929 but WHAT is USR?

An iron handle in stone but for what purpose?  To anchor something?

There's always ONE in every crowd.

Make your mark.


A bit bigger picture.

Both barrels.

The biggest picture.

Fall fronds.

It's the simple things.

Proof that change IS beautiful.

Sap silk.  (I saw no spider, just silk.)

Up next:  Sleeping with one eye open!

"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.  Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.  If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."-Tecumseh


Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Kolden Report: Inspiring Others, November 24th, 2013

Hello, kids!

You never know where or when inspiration will strike but when it strikes's just there.  I'm sure you can tell when the photographer in me is particularly inspired or when the writer in me is feeling verbose. Tonight,  I am proud to share with you a poem written by Stuart Braune, inspired by The Kolden Report.  Enjoy!

The Mountain Can Kill You
(or send its ambassador, the bear, to do the job)

You know the mountain can kill you
The animals know this and live on the edge
Senses wide open facing a frigid wind.
In the bitter blowing winter we say
“This god forsaken place” - yes
The god of comfort forsakes you
The god of security forsakes you
The god of your fabulous plans for that self-involved dream life forsakes you
Your compass drops from your pocket
Birds scatter your supplies.
Ego climbs with frost-bitten fingers
Loses its grip and falls from a frozen cliff
In death blood-ice expands to crack open this tight little heart
It is said ”Become as a mountain”
Raw and exposed
In full view
Stone-cold (and majestically beautiful)
Open to the vast and unobstructed sky.

-Stuart Braune

The Kolden Report: Montana Back Roads, Part Ten, November 24, 2013

     Hello, kids!

Today is my Dad's birthday, he turns 82.   It is also my Grandpa Bruce's birthday although he has passed this earth.   Happy, Happy Birthday Dad and Grandpa Bruce!

 Dad taught me how to gap a spark plug, saddle and ride a horse, change oil, operate an HD5 Caterpillar, castrate bulls (and sometimes cats but that is another story), seed grain, drive truck, summer fallow, plow and disc, fence, swathe, irrigate - you name it.....he taught me how to do it.  I was supposed to be his second boy but arrived his third girl.  He took it in  stride and taught me anyway. 

When I was 11, Dad decided it was time I learn to run  machinery and he put me on a tractor, raking hay.  No further instructions were given and he went about his business.  When darkness fell, the field was not yet complete.  Unsure of what to do and not wanting to disappoint Dad, I kept raking hay in the summer moonlight.  Headlights soon appeared and Dad informed me that if the tractor doesn't  have headlights, you come home at dark!  Lesson learned.

Dad also passed on some of the most important life lessons I've ever learned.  I still remember the day I was driving the yellow Ford pickup down the Indian Highway (which was then just dirt and gravel) and Dad launched into a lesson.  "The color of your skin isn't what makes you a bad (or good) person.  It's what's inside you.  If you are a liar, a cheat, a thief, a murderer.....those things make you bad, not the color of your skin."

For everything that you so patiently   taught me Dad, thanks!  And here's to many more  years on the planet....

If you'd like to wish Dad a Happy Birthday, he can be reached at 928-927-5301 or 928-916-3686.
 Or, send him  a note:
Dewey Forsness
Box 794
Quartzsite, AZ  85346

Grandpa Bruce taught me the Morse code, how to carve a rubber stamp out of an eraser, how to spin wool into yarn, how to use a wood lathe and how to build a miniature spinning wheel, how to clean a swimming pool and keep it's pH correct... among other things.  Thanks for your lessons,  my Grandpa with the blue eyebrows and brilliant brain!  Even though you have passed this earth, I think of you often with fond remembrance, especially today - your birthday.

And now, back to the report!

Where the plains meet the mountains.   (And the Sun River slices through.)

Sun River Valley.

Sun river

Fall foliage.  (Notice the drop in elevation?  This is what makes rafting rivers SO exhilarating.)

Damn dam.

A closer look.

Bridge "review".

Deer peer.

Shades of fall.

"Bite" gone?

Big winter.

Up next:  Gibson Dam. 

"Thinking:  the talking of the soul with itself. "  - Plato


Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Kolden Report: Montana Back Roads, Part Nine, November 19, 2013

Hi, kids!

I have a few panoramic shots from previous reports.  Better late than never!

Wild and scenic.  Sunrise along the Upper Missouri River Breaks with the Little Rockies in the distance.

The White Cliffs outside of Square Butte, Montana.


Now, back to the mountains!

Rough and rugged.  Imagine homesteading this country, traveling on foot or horseback.  In the winter!

We came across this fenced area but could not figure out why it was there.  The fence is too short to be a hay pen.  Perhaps it's some study on the impact of wild life on native grasses?

I'm not sure if I love these images more for the memories they evoked or for the memories created?

Big Mamma.

I want to see what the mist obscures.

Textures really pop in black and white.

Aspen grove called for color.

Promise of blue skies.

The long way home.

Frozen rain.

I had to laugh at meeting the GFG food truck out here!

Parting view. 

In light of the zealous response to my past exploits, here are a few more:  An older, city guy from back East hired on the crew, name of "Buffalo".  One cold and wet winter day, we were all crowded around the fire, drying our wet boots and gloves (propped on sticks)  while cooking our cans of Campbell's soup near the fire.  All the sudden we heard the high pitched squeal of "contents under pressure" and those of us who knew better, quickly turned our heads just as Buffalo's can of soup exploded.  The sheer force of the projectile noodles blew all of our gloves over and everyone roared with laughter except Buffalo, as he sat there with noodles dripping from his hair and beard.  

And then there was Jungle Jim, Vietnam vet with a strange sense of humor.   Jim was very talented and would while away his down time flint  napping points to salt the ground with..hoping to fool the others into thinking they had found an ancient artifact.  That was all well and fine although I quickly learned NEVER to call Jim's attention to an insect of any kind.  Once, after pointing out a gorgeous, fluffy caterpillar...I watched in horror as Jim popped it in his mouth,  ATE IT and laughed.  The war had touched Jim.   After being held captive, he was warped at best.   I tried my best to get along with him but it was useless.  Such was the day when a coworker and I crawled into the crew van at the end of a long day  to find a snake coiled around the steering column, head on the horn.    The snake was dead and Jim was FILLED with mirth at Lisa's screams.  But, Jim's plan was not yet complete.  He grabbed the snake, bit off the head and SPIT it at us.  To me, that was going TOO FAR.  I wonder if he ever found peace?  I sure hope so. 

A good hearted soul  known far and wide in the oil patch was "Uncle Piss".  He said he got the name because he had rusty eyelets on his yellow tennis shoes from a ride he took in a harness, attached to  the end of a helicopter's long line!    Friends of Peter Giagiari (Uncle Piss) claimed that his wealthy family back East paid him to stay away!   One night in Augusta, after a naked sleepwalking Peter had too much to drink, he was found attempting to cover himself with only his hands after having gotten locked out of his rooming house.    The oil patch was not without it's share of characters, to say the least. 

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.” - Denis Waitley