Cal Cumin

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The Yellowstone River: much to hear for those who listen

Yellowstone River

The Yellowstone River speaks to those who listen, but most people don’t hear her whispers. It’s an old adage that in order to experience miracles, one has to be open to them. Her voice is such a phenomenon—quiet, elegant, pervasive, primal and spiritual. (more…) Continue Reading →

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A precious outing, even with a bum leg

Cliffs

If it weren’t for a pinched nerve making my right leg unreliable, I probably would be wearing a silly grin, one of just pure happiness that I get when I’m doing something I really enjoy. Today it’s returning to a small pine and sandstone canyon to get some photographs needed for an article I wanted to complete. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Up Alkali Creek: Good-bye to a special place

Alkali

The artist stepped back to study the imprint of her hands on the grainy sandstone surface above her head. She was satisfied and added nothing else. The red berry dye reflected her slender hands well. As she had lifted her fingers, she trailed them slightly upward, elongating each finger—reflecting the radiation outward of her personal power. She thought the simplicity elegant. Continue Reading →

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Before it’s too late, a paean to a remnant of pine and rimrock

Just north

There’s a place north of the Heights—maybe the latter is called North Billings now—that is the last bastion of prairie rimrocks and pines, an outlander piece of land. About a half mile west of the Roundup Road, the area has remained off-track, probably because of its location in the middle of someone’s active horse pasture. I’ve always thought it would be a great place for a homesite if other homes could be kept away, and even dreamed of purchasing it somehow and placing it in a non-development conservation easement—except for my house, of course. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Young’s Point a landmark of history, geography

Point

Not many people can look from their home and point to historic locales along the Yellowstone River. Friends of mine bought a house just above Park City and nestled along the river. Their southern view is dominated by the several-hundred-foot-high rocky outcropping of Young’s Point. This area historically and geologically marked—coming from the west—the beginning of the broad and fertile valley of the lower Yellowstone River. Here begin the foothills that extend west to the Crazy Mountains, the Beartooth Range and the Yellowstone National Park uplift. Continue Reading →

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3-war warrior had varied Air Force career

Robert Laliberté drops bombs in heavy flak over a Japanese-held island.

The tattered plastic box had an Army post office box number from Vietnam that didn’t exist anymore. Inside was a tape recording of an F-100 Super Saber pilot flying out of Bien Hoa (pronounced Ben Waah) Air Base in that country; it was a way of keeping the pilot’s wife and family current with his combat tour activities. It was Jan. 13, 1970, the pilot with the call sign “Bobcat 2” was Air Force Col. Robert Laliberté (La-liber-tay), and this was his third war. Continue Reading →

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Book review: Novel explores dusty, winding road

“The Fifth Parallel, A Love Story Set in Africa,” by Michelle Foltz, 282 pages, 2015, Amazon Books, $14.99. The author is an orthopedic surgeon who with her husband lives near Columbus, Mont., but spends most of her time volunteering her skills in places like Afghanistan. She is also the author of “A Leg to Stand On” (about orthopedics) and co-editor of the textbook “Global Orthopedics: Caring for Musculoskeletal Conditions and Injuries in Austere Settings. (more…) Continue Reading →

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