Am I the only one who finds grain elevators monumental? Probably. I am fascinated with them, the little personal ones on the edges of a field, the huge Anheuser Busch barley facility south of here. Who knew America drank that much beer? Someone I met up here told me there are only 3 kernels of barley per beer–could that be true?
Last summer during the great Montana voyage, we camped one night in the Choteau city park next to this elevator. Not many choices, what with half the forest on fire and sketchy information about how much of our final destination, Glacier NP, was burning. Ash rained down, and this elevator did not stop loading grain until long after I finally fell asleep. (It’s funny that the fires so dominated our trip last year and I really didn’t write about it, probably because it was so distressing to be smoked out of so many locations and dwelling on it didn’t help.)
It’s quiet this week at all the elevators I’ve passed. Hard late weather ruined some of the winter wheat crop, and I don’t even know when that would be harvested if it were doing well. The farmers have replanted with spring wheat, and got good rains to get it going. Or so they said on the radio. The calves are gamboling on green grass for the first time in many years, people tell me, because the drought has been going on for 8, 12 or 17 years. Not this year. It looks like Ireland, it’s so green. Wonder what it will be like in a month. Green or golden fields, the farmers and ranchers will take it, so long as it’s not on fire again. America needs those grain elevators filled this year, thats for sure. I just want to collect them all, like grain elevator trading cards.
P.S. Bridespotting score: 100% of both brides married in Choteau this weekend.