Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's Wednesday and I'm counting down to Disneyland

Well, it has been a busy week here at Rockhoppers. I have had musicians schedule, then cancel, and new ones schedule, and switch, and the truth is I am having trouble keeping up on who is what and when. I will keep the calendar up to date though or let you know of changes that occur. I am at the point where I can't tell which direction I am heading. I need a vacation! Lucky me . . . I am heading to Disneyland come Sunday and I get three days in Fantasyland!
I have been visiting some really cool blogs lately and have updated my links for them so you can see them too. is one of my faves for websites. I love the artists work. It resembles the way I feel lately. . .
Anyway, I figured since I really am feeling uninspired I could probably tell you a story so without further delay...
Dan found the place on Google Earth, and he's putting in a picture. I think the town had an actual population of 10 people in it. But it was a town, with a grocery store, a gas station and a post office in it. It also had an old converted barn that was used for town gatherings. the town is called Whitlash, Montana.
My family spent three summers there while my dad trained hunting dogs. I have often thought they trained him to ride his horses hard and then swear up a blue streak.. That was when he was having fun! When dad first got to the campsite where he spent his first summer without us... one of his dogs ran away and headed over the border into Canada. My father followed chase with his horse and the border patrol man followed the chase in his car.... That's how dad met the border patrol man. After that (at least once a day sometimes twice) they would wave to each other as dad chased "hell bent for leather" across the Canadian border.
The place where dad obtained permission to camp was an old homestead. On the homestead stood an old mildewy house with at least three beautiful cast iron stoves and a whole room full of old books that had gotten wet and icky. We salvaged a few of them and over the years they got lost and were not found again.
There were some stories about this homestead and I guess for today I will tell a couple of them. First of all the house was built for a family that was moving there shortly after the depression. On the way to the house the husband/father passed away and the wife/mom found herself moving into a house on the prairie with 6 children and no visible means of support except for a farm that she had to maintain by herself. She was a true pioneer spirit though. There was a short story that one day she opened up the front porch door to call her children to breakfast and found a rattlesnake curled up on the front porch. She grabbed a butcher knife and cut off its head and they ate the snake for lunch! There is another story that she encountered a bobcat on the way to the chicken shed one day and because she had no weapons with her she stomped it to death. I don't know if these are true stories only that they were passed down to us from people who knew the history of the area. The story that got me the most though was how she lost two of her children. It seems one day that the youngest boy (about 12) and the girl (about 8) had gone for a walk. They wandered quite a ways from home (about two miles) and had gotten kind of confused about where they were so they went to a small hill and climbed to the top of it to find their house. Sure enough there it was. What they didn't realize was that this hill was a huge rattlesnakes den. The hill was full of these dens and when the children realized where they were the rattlesnakes began attacking. They killed the little girl but the boy was able to run away. He was bit many times but did manage to make it home and was able to tell his mom about the hill before he died. The woman's neighbors helped bury the small boy but could not get the young girl because of the snakes. They fenced off the hill and put pigs in the fence. In case you did not know it.. pigs are immune to rattlesnakes because the fangs cannot get past the pigs fat. In turn, pigs eat rattlesnakes. They cleared off the hill but at least to the day we went to Whitlash the hill was still surrounded by fencing and it carried the name of pig hill.
Well, that is all the story for today. I have other stories about Whitlash. It was quite a place and definitely full of pioneers! Even in the 70's... That is 1970's folks!

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