~ GOLD CREEK TREASURE ~
1286 Gold Creek Lakes Road
Gold Creek, Montana – (*ss-650)
An Enchanted Setting along a Beautiful stretch of Boulder Strewn Stream, this Private Home has large windows and extensive Covered Decks to enjoy this Incredible Site. Skylights, a Spacious open Floor Plan with Hardwood Floors, Hickory Cabinets, Bay Windows, Family Room with Wet Bar, Vaulted Ceiling Living Room, Library, and Separate Apartment.
- 800+/- Ft. of Tumbling Trout Stream
- 3800+/- Sq. Ft. Log-Sided Home
- 4-Bedrooms, 2.5-Baths, Vaulted Ceiling Living Room
- Covered Deck on all 4 Sides
- Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Appliances
- 24′x30′ Garage with 900+/- Sq. Ft. Apartment
- Stunning Setting, Among Mature Forest, Overlooking Creek
- Very Private; Aspen, Fir, Pine, & Pristine Forest
- Amid Recreation Paradise near National Forest, Wilderness & Mountain Lakes
- Contact – *Steve Stelling (cell:406-544-9029)
I will live there one day if at all possible!
From Shelley Burke, sent on Jan. 1, 2014
Hello and Happy New Year! My name is Shelley Burke. I’m originallyfrom upstate New York but have lived in Charlotte, N.C., for over 30 years.
I traveled out west for the 1st time when I was 15. I immediately fell in love with the West and to this day it feels like home when I’m there. I’ve made several trips to various places out West and into Canada but NOTHING will EVER compare to my trip this past September to Montana/Glacier National Park.
Montana is my new love and I will live there one day if at all possible! I have thought about my trip EVERY single day since September and just can’t get it out of my mind. My mother shared the experience with me and for Christmas, she got me subscription to your magazine. I just finished reading my first one! Love it
I attached some pictures from Glacier. I’m certainly no professional but I love taking pictures and find it so relaxing. There is so much beauty in our country, but nothing like what I saw there. Have a great day! Look forward to my next magazine!
Montana is Calling
Sent by Janet Imogene Hansen Fulkerson, on Nov. 21, 2013
Dear Montana Magazine,
Please find below a poem about Montana written in 2012 by my mother, the late Imogene Z. Hansen.
She died earlier this month at age 86 in my home in the state of Indiana.
I discovered the poem below on her computer AFTER she died when I was “cleaning out” files. Imogene resided in Montana 63 years, and lived in the same house in Helena for more than 50 of those.
Poor health caused her to move here so that I could care for her as her Parkinson’s disease progressed.
Attached is a 1954 photo of Imogene and her husband Bruce Hansen, holding my sister, Susan Marie, and a truck load of furniture made by Imogene’s father in Louisville, Kentucky. The young family was on its way back to Helena, where they were living in the basement of an unfinished house while Bruce was building the house next door that became their home from 1954 to 2010.
Bruce was the son of first-generation immigrants from Denmark. His parents started in a sod house in the middle of Grant (nowhere), Mont., then moved to Butte, where his father worked in a copper mine and died of silicosis.
Bruce, one of the “greatest generation”, came back from the U.S. Navy after WWII and worked hard to build a better life for his family. Imogene had a career a teacher in the Helena school system. Together, they raised three children who share their parent’s love for the state of Montana.
Montana Is Calling
By Imogene Hansen
September 17, 2012
My heart’s in Montana; my heart is not here.
It’s in Big Sky Country so high, wide, and clear.
From the mountains and prairies that I loved to roam
Montana is calling, and I want to go home.
I miss Montana which is far, far from here
where the earth is too flat and the sky seldom clear.
I miss the Chinook winds and the miles of fresh snow
where the sun will be shining at twenty below.
I want to be back in my Helena home,
walk down Last Chance Gulch, see the Capitol dome
while the giant who sleeps guards the valley below
where I’ll lie at peace when it’s my time to go.
I’d like to watch deer eat my flowers and grass,
see antelope run through the fields as I pass,
spot a lone elk or bear that might drift into town,
gaze at glorious skies when the sun’s going down.
I long to see places where tamaracks tall
turn from beautiful green to bright gold in the fall,
where summer brings wild flowers to each mountain side
and the bitterroots bloom when spring greets the divide.
I need to smell mountain air pristine and pure,
watch mountain goats scamper on feet swift and sure,
hear bugling elk call in the crisp autumn air,
feel the soft touch of snowflakes on my face and hair.
In Montana great glories of nature are found
and in Glacier and Yellowstone Parks they abound
where the Going-to-the-Sun and the Beartooth climb high
to the top of the world where the earth meets the sky.
Montana has prairies that roll like the sea
with Canada geese flying high in a v.
It has Northern Lights dancing across the night sky
and snow geese at Freezeout Lake waiting to fly.
It has riches in minerals deep underground,
and gold on the Highline in wheat fields is found.
I long to return each time I feel it call
for truly it is the “last, best place” of all.
Exodus Into Montana
From Angelo Pecora, Seeley Lake, Montana, sent Dec. 5, 2013
It took me 61 years to finally get “West” into Montana.
I used to come every year via vintage Harley Davidson but to get here to Live, and I do mean, live, was truly a gift from God.
I’m a Native American of Italian descent but I was born in Ohio. For Christmas (one year) I got a plastic set of cowboys and Indians, more correctly a set that depicted the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
In any event in that round tube containing the figures was a very intense and informative booklet about the battle complete with historical photos. That started my love affair with the state and it never left.
I would daydream even in high school of being a mountain man since I did long line trapping and on weekends would build a winter camp and spend Friday night, all day Saturday, and walk out on Sunday and get back home.
I remember thinking I was up on the Continental Divide as I sat deep in the woods boiling my coffee, when in reality I was in northern Ohio.
Then life got in the way, although I never forgot Montana.
Starting in 1990 I started making forays here on my old scooter every summer for two to three weeks, mostly to the Yaak area.
Fast forward to 2010. My wife retired from the state of Michigan, and we decided on a move.
I was on the dock of the feed mill where I worked in Dexter, Michigan, and Kat (my wife) called.
Her exact words were, “Hey gotta be in Seeley Lake in four days, can you get off and take me?”
Why in the world do you have to be in Seeley Lake?
“I have a job interview,” Kat said.
I think I got home before she hung up the phone. She got the job.
Now I, for 60 yrs have a preconceived idea of what Montana is and you or anyone else cannot change it.
So when she said she found a place to rent we came up.
The first home we looked at was kind of a subdivision south of town. The house was too nice for me
I was disappointed
“What do ya think?” she asked and like my father on his trip to Italy I said, “it’s ok.”
Then she said, “well, there is one other place is you wanna go look.”
We drove north out of town about 6 miles, turned down a quiet road and there, on the Clearwater was our home.
Back in the timber, the river backs our place and borders it on the west.
Now every morning, coffee in hand, I walk onto the back porch, stare off into the deep timber and think, “the eagle has landed.”
Symphony of light and color: Cathedral of St. Helena
Story and photos by Gordon Sullivan
I entered through a set of huge oak doors. As I made my way down the main aisle under a spectacular Gothic canopy rising more than 40 feet above the marble floor, a remarkable beauty greeted and surrounded me.
It was the first time I visited the Cathedral of St. Helena as a professional photographer. It was an astounding sight in many ways.
To either side, marble pillars stretched heavenward while balancing delicate arches between their girths. The entire scene was bright and colorful.
Despite the hugeness and staggering dimension of it all, the cathedral exhibits elegant symmetry portraying a feeling of strong balance and artistic flow. It’s much like individual notes that drift across a sheet of music to create the genesis for a precious symphony or a solitary stroke of an artist’s brush across an empty canvas that may be the first of an ageless masterpiece.
Still, everything in sight seemed to be somehow upstaged by glowing stained-glass windows containing tiny slivers of light. Bordering the aisle, long rows of hand-carved oak pews were illuminated by the colorful spectrum flowing wavelike toward the alter. It felt as though I had entered an artistic cocoon, a special place where hundreds of converging elements united in a lasting opus, a visual symphony of light and color.
Gordon Sullivan answered some questions about his work inside the Cathedral of St. Helena. Here’s what he had to say about photographing the beautiful space:
What was your initial inspiration for A Symphony of Light and Color?
For years as I traveled Montana as an outdoor photographer and I oftentimes found myself in Helena. It was on one of these occasions that I first visited the Cathedral of St. Helena and was blown away by the remarkable beauty I found inside the church. I also first witnessed the intriguing light that seems to set everything aglow.
As the years passed, I visited often and became interested in the special patterns of light that drifted throughout the interior, light emitted by the stained glass windows. The more I watched, the more apparent it became that the stained-glass light, depending on the time of day, time of year or outside climate, was always changing and seldom remained static.
Within minutes, depending on exactly which panel of stained glass the light passed, the scene inside the cathedral shape shifted in either a very subtle or very dramatic way and each time it did, the overall ambient light was effected.
At times, the windows caused an array of color spectrums to spread throughout the interior as the sun made its way across the sky. These bands of color were very visible and interesting as they reflected off different features throughout the interior.
That was when I got the idea of trying to capture the light photographically and attempting to portray the outstanding beauty it added to everything it touched.
Very few places will you find natural light altered so intensely, so dramatically.
As long as I have been a photographer I have been a student of light and no place I know better demonstrates the quality, tone and movement of light across a scene as does the cathedral.
Tell us about the time it takes to get shots like you did.
Once I set my sights on photographing the stained glass light, I first needed to study the patterns and determine what time of day or year would best demonstrate the effect I was after. This took some time and several dry runs and more or less pointed to times when the outside light was at its greatest angle to the windows. Mid-morning and late afternoon seemed to be prime – especially for the visible bands of light falling on inside attractions like marble pillars, oak pews and high contrast walls.
Working inside the Cathedral of St. Helena requires both patience and planning, simply because a few special shots appear only during certain times during the day and in some cases vanish at a moment’s notice. Some of the shots were planned very carefully while others seemed to appear out of nowhere.
Whenever I photographed inside the cathedral, no matter what time of day, I tried to compose images that in some way suggested movement or the advancement of light across cathedral’s interior. I felt the suggestion of movement added to the whole project.
To make the project a bit more complicated it required the use of slow shutter speeds— sometimes one to five seconds per exposure. A sturdy tripod along with gadgets like an electronic shutter release, mirror lock up and even a polarizing filter were necessary. The polarizing filter helped define or brighten the muted color spectrums but also slowed exposures down considerably. Also, a lower ISO (100) setting was used to help expand overall color rendition.
I would say that for every image saved on the original digital file ten or twenty were deleted simply because they failed to suggest movement or failed to accentuate muted color passing through the stained-glass.
How much time did you spend inside the cathedral?
It’s hard to say just how much time it took to build the cathedral file simply because the task eventually became one of those photographic challenges more pleasurable than painful.
Catching the right light at the right time is actually what successful photography is all about. Some of the shots went very quickly and were a matter of straight forward composition while others took a lot more planning just to get everything right. Most of the time was spent in planning as opposed to actual shooting, but it all turned out to be very enjoyable.
Of the many, many hours spent inside the cathedral over the years, I can say with a degree of certainty that many more hours were spent studying the light, watching it drift across a wall, or fade inside a dark corner than were spent behind a camera trying to capture it.
From a photographer’s perspective, what makes St. Helena so unique?
There are any number of features that make St. Helena’s so photographically unique. There’s the outstanding structural beauty and special patterns of illumination at work inside the church, the marvelous artistic ambiance enhanced by a century of existence and there’s the fascinating human story based on remarkable artisans and religious leaders. But for me, as a professional photographer, the most outstanding feature revolves around stained-glass light and the sublime tone it casts on marble, polished brass and carved oak. It is the technical challenge this type of light presents and the pleasure of seeing each image suddenly duplicated electronically for others to see.
Do you have a favorite portion of stained glass inside the cathedral?
I guess I have two favorite portions of stained glass inside the cathedral. The first is located on the southeast corner. Here low angle, morning light is particularly interesting. The stained-glass panels featured in this section, from both the higher and lower levels, spread illumination across the interior in colorful bands. It lights up the east facing side of marble pillars and walls and sweeps nicely across the oak pews.
Another of my favorites is the stained-glass panel behind the grated back-alter and crucifix. Here a mixture of brass and stained-glass is vibrant and provides a sense of texture, depth and physical dimension. This panel however is best photographed in low light, allowing just enough illumination of accent color without getting bright enough to wash out detail. Both areas require long exposures, tight metering and a tripod.
What is the best time of day for readers who visit the cathedral to see the splendor of the stained-glass?
The best time of day to visit and witness the splendor of stained-glass light is when the sun’s outside angle is at its greatest, which means early to mid-morning or late afternoon. Morning light enters from the east and in afternoon it comes from the west. The sharper the angle, the better the reflections inside the church and the more possible it will be for the illumination to be contrasted by interior shadows. Best time of year is autumn or early winter.
Another very special “mind blowing” time to visit is the last hour before sunset when the exterior light is low, warm and angled. It is almost unbelievable what goes on inside the cathedral during a vivid sunset. The effect is quick but very impressive.
Big Sky Spotlight: Meet Clark Schreibeis
Montana wildlife carver and sculptor Clark Schreibeis won Best in World honors in the decorative life-size division at the World Fish Carving Championships in 2013. The entry was also judged Best of Show. It was Schreibeis’s fifth best in show since 1995. He also won the Master of Master’s Division in the World Taxidermy Championships held simultaneously in Springfield, Ill. He continues his quest for artistic perfection in a rural setting west of Billings.
By JIM GRANSBERY, Photo by KELVIN PINNEY
Numerous artists have sought wilderness for solitude that spawns creativity.
For Clark Schreibeis, a 1980, 600-mile canoe trip – including a 15-mile portage over Ivashak Pass in Alaska’s Brooks Range – crystallized the desires of his life. At 25, encountering a determinate crossroad, he chose a deliberate path.
That rarified atmosphere of sun, sky, mountains, waters and wildlife above the Arctic Circle guided him: “I was going to quit drinking, marry Rika and take up taxidermy.”
He successfully achieved all three.
Today, he is the world’s finest fish carver and taxidermist. His peers have made it so.
Schreibeis, 58, was born and lived in Sheridan, Wyo., until he was 12 when his family moved to Billings in 1967. His father ran a dairy. His life as a sculptor began at age 8 when he carved a whale out of a bar of Ivory soap.
“I would whittle on wood,” he said. “I remember being struck by the beauty of the wood when I carved into an old piece of juniper.”
His artistic talent percolated to the surface now and again during a number of years. Although he liked to draw, he took no art classes in high school. He did take courses in technical, mechanical and architectural drawing. After graduating from West High School, he worked construction and on the railroad.
“I ran with a rowdy crowd,” he said. “I never knew I had (artistic) talent.”
After his four-month sojourn in Alaska, “Rika said ‘come home,’ ” Schreibeis said. “I took a six-week crash course in taxidermy in Wisconsin. That was all. I hung out my shingle as a western taxidermist. I did fish and birds.”
During a world taxidermy competition in Kansas in 1985, Schreibeis was drawn to carving. In a two-hour seminar, the instructor carved a fish out of wood.
“I was totally taken,” Schreibeis said. “It was more artistic. I was done with taxidermy.”
In 1995, he won his first Best of Show at the World Fish Carving Championships, which he has taken each time he’s entered the biennial competition.
His double world win last year came as a result of commissions by admirers of his work.
Billings angler Joel Long Jr. asked Schreibeis to capture in wood his “dream fish,” a 24-inch spawning male brown trout. For his taxidermy entry, Schreibeis chose his rendition of a wolf eel caught by friend and client Jim Routson, of Missoula, while fishing for halibut off the coast of Sitka, Alaska.
The wolf eel – from the dark deep – resembles a ferocious demon. The 5-foot, 5-inch creature was for Schreibeis the ultimate challenge to recreate. Being a judge, he was unable to compete in the fish category, but he could enter the Master of Masters division, which was open to all master level judges and competitors of all species.
His expertise established, Schreibeis spends his time sculpting in wood and bronze, working on a few select taxidermy projects, judging, teaching carving classes and exploring those wild places he loves.
What is the goal of your work?
To capture the essence of the species. To produce a decorative piece, such as the brown trout, as close to real, and accurately. With the Rocky Mountain (red) juniper, to produce a sculpture such as a great blue heron that displays the beauty of the wood.
What are the best choices for wood?
For carving fish, the best is “tupelo” (swamp tree) found in the southeastern United States. The first 4- to 5 -feet from the root ball is best. The grain is harder upward from that. At several sites in eastern Montana I look for juniper. Southeast of Glendive there is some big stuff.
Where lies your creativity?
I’ve had a piece of juniper here, maybe for 10 years. I have tried to visualize what it might become. Maybe a couple of owls? It (creativity) is to release the sculpture. The work becomes more stylized, interpretive as you go. Although it is not as detailed or accurate as the brown trout, my juniper carving “shouts” great blue heron.
Where in Montana do you go to relax?
On the river.
What three words describe Montana?
Beauty. Wildlife. Family.
Jim Gransbery is a retired agricultural/political reporter of The Billings Gazette. He writes from Billings.
Beautiful Bad Lands of Makoshika State Park
In the eyes of Montana photographer Jason Savage, the vast and unique landscapes inside Makoshika State Park more than allow the land to live up to its name.
The largest state park in Montana, “Makoshika” is a variant spelling of the Lakota word meaning “bad land” or “bad earth.”
The park’s 11,531 acres – located just outside Glendive – are filled with giant formations of light colored capstone that reach toward the expansive eastern Montana skies like elegant pedestals.
Among the wild landscape lies the bones of ancient species, including Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, and artifacts left behind by ancient peoples thousands of years ago.
“To me as a photographer, it feels like a harsh landscape but it has all this beauty,” Savage said. “It’s kind of an unforgiving place, especially in the summer it’s hot, but it’s got all this fantastic landscape and wildlife. It’s pretty spectacular.”
Planning a trip to Makoshika? Ranger Tom Shoush recommends several things you’ve got to see:
- Drive the 10-mile road through the park.
“If the road system is open, I always tell people to drive to the top. That’s where the views are,” Shoush said.
- Watch out for dinosaur bones.
The bones of 10-12 species of dinosaurs have been found inside Makoshika. Most of the finds, Shoush said, are large herbivores that lived near end of the age of dinosaurs. The most significant is an entire Thescelosaur, a “very rare” and “tremendous find” Shoush said.
- Stop at the visitors’ center.
It’s home to dinosaur bones and rare artifacts left behind by ancient peoples. “A human presence in the area dated back to 10,000 to 12,000 years ago,” Shoush said.
- Stop by during the “spring green up.”
Shoush recommends visiting from Makoshika in mid-May through mid-June.
“I tell people somewhere around June 1 you have the best chance of seeing the flowers in bloom and the migratory birds have returned,” he said.
To view the entire Makoshika photo portfolio, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more about Montana all year, subscribe now.
Wild Ride: Wolf Point’s Wild Horse Stampede keeps rodeo traditions alive
By Rich Peterson, Photos by Lynn Donaldson
Wolf Point’s Wild Horse Stampede is approaching its 91st birthday but Montana’s oldest professional rodeo shows no signs of aging or wrinkles.
Thousands of rodeo fans converge on this Hi-Line town of nearly 3,000 residents each year for three days during the second week in July.
It’s a time of class and family reunions, parades, a carnival, “Catholic burgers,” street dances and, of course, the main event: The oldest Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event in the state that is known as the “granddaddy of Montana rodeos.”
“For a lot of people who come here every summer for the Stampede, it feels like home,” said Clint Long, who’s been the chairman of the event since 1984 and has attended the rodeo since childhood. “Everyone remembers coming to the Stampede when they were kids. It’s an amazing phenomenon. People want to connect with their roots again. So much is going on in a world that’s moving too fast. Roots are shallow anymore.”
To read the entire feature on the Wild Horse Stampede, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more about Montana all year, subscribe now.