John & Anne Wiley

2016/09/29

Cut Bank Temptation

After great times with family in Okotoks we took off from High River and were soon winging over interesting prairie features like this dry salt pond.

2308 Prairie Salt Lick

2308 Prairie Salt Lick

We were headed SSE to avoid the hassle we’d once had clearing U.S. Customs at KGPI Kalispell near Glacier Park, MT. That’s a nice town and great airport, and maybe the CBP guy we encountered there has mellowed or been promoted. The mountain weather is notorious so rather than dodge thunderstorms in the air (and upon landing at CBP), we stayed East of the Rockies. Crossing the prairie by car or from an airliner can be tedious, but from our vantage point or just Being there on the ground it’s lovely.

2321 Prairie Vista

2321 Prairie Vista

I guess this is what people would see if there were a nearby hill to climb. Gentle undulations of ground level, and winding creeks interrupting the agricultural geometry, make it fascinating from a quarter mile up.

2326 GeoShapes

2326 GeoShapes

One of our fav old movies is 12 O’Clock High that relives memories of an abandoned WWII bomber base, so we imagined the transition of this spot from airfield to farm.

2355 RCAF Station Pearce

2355 RCAF Station Pearce

It was a training base, as I learned on the wiki, where I added a larger version of this pic you can click on to see the texture of frost-crushed concrete and the footprints of long-gone roads and buildings. Farther along was this farm with weathering barn, partly in shadow from some broken clouds like we saw off to the East earlier. Somehow the foreboding cloud shadow seems to portend the end of small farms.

2376 Farm on Shadow's Edge

2376 Farm on Shadow’s Edge

After this too-brief prairie tour we’d crossed the border and checked out the Cut Bank International Airport from high overhead, where we got this view of the town.

2408 Cut Bank, MT

2408 Cut Bank, MT

The name clearly comes from that deep cut the river has made, leaving tall banks cut on both sides. The highway (and rail line at far left) cross it on bridges, and the town is close enough to the airport that we considered walking after the quick and easy clearance by a very friendly and helpful CBP agent. We also considered taking advantage of the free room and shower apparently on offer in the terminal building.

2418 KCTB International Airport Terminal

2418 KCTB International Airport Terminal

Unlike the RCAF airport above that housed training in small to medium-sized WWII aircraft, this one heard the rumble of B-17 heavy bombers. After the war it hosted Western Airlines DC-3 flights, and is now a great place to clear CBP with less chance of adverse weather delaying the arrival from Canada. But like this post, the day was growing long and we wondered how night life in this friendly prairie town would compare with the lively Kalispell / Whitefish so near across the Rockies.

Advertisements

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: