Author Topic: Great Falls Montana - Beware  (Read 393 times)

Online ksp313

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Great Falls Montana - Beware
« on: October 14, 2017, 03:44:14 PM »
If your travels ever find you in Great Falls be advised that when you get off the main thoroughfares, which have traditional traffic signals and signage, the smaller streets and residential areas have none. 4 way intersections with no stop signs are common. After a few close calls and wanting to survive our trip, we stopped to eat and asked our waiter about this. He said it'd been that way a long time and was simply local custom that drivers approaching such intersections give right of way to anybody who arrived at the intersection before them, if drivers arrived about the same time, right of way goes to the vehicle on the right. Good to know!  We were there in 2001, maybe things have changed since then.

By the way, if you approach Great Falls from the south on the Interstate you'll see a sign for the turn off to Ulm Pishkun. Not speaking Blackfoot, I didn't know it was an Indian term for "bloody kettle", or I'd probably have turned off to see it. Turns out Ulm Pishkun was Montana's largest buffalo jump, a nearly mile long cliff over which the local Indians had stampedd buffalo for hundreds of years. During WW2 the government began an excavation of the site, finding 13 vertical feet of bones/bone meal at the base of the jump. A park ranger at the Lewis & Clark Center in Great Falls explained the Indian tactics. Mounted riders would slowly herd a herd of Buffalo to an area near the cliffs. Then a brave brave would don a buffalo cape with horns, and goad the herd into a charge towards the cliffs, ducking into a safe space under the precipice as the herd, unable to stop, fell to the ground below where they were dispatched by awaiting Braves. A very efficient way to make kills at a time and place of their choosing.

There are some 300 buffalo jumps in Montana alone, perhaps thousands across the Great Plains and Canada. I can't imagine the bawling, squawling  confusion and hysteria that such an event would cause. I suspect these were timed to coincide with the coming cold and snow of winter, when a large amount of meat and hides could be processed in a relatively short amount of time. Anyhow, I wish I'd stopped. Maybe next time.

Online Monroe

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Re: Great Falls Montana - Beware
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 04:36:38 PM »
those are the kinds of roads I grew up driving on along with one way bridges. I remember a highway that was called a slab, only wide enough for one car it could almost be a game of chicken to meet a car especially on a rainy day.  Cars on your right always had the right of way , but it has been forgotten.
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