Something you don't see everyday
Just got back from a weekend camping up on the spectacular Rocky Mountain Front on the Lewis and Clark National Forest north of town. But that's for another post as soon as I can sort out the digital photos,
To get to the Rocky Mountain Front from Montana's capital city, you drive north on Interstate 15 and make a left on US 287, which travels across the broad rolling benches of Northern Great Plains some twenty miles to the east of the massive limestone uplift of the Front. It's a beautiful drive we have done hundreds of times for thirty years.
This time we noticed a small convoy of matte black US Air Force humvees out of Malmstrom Air Force Base headed south as we climbed out of the Missouri River canyon. Pretty soon, there were black pick up trucks parked at every ranch or pasture turnoff on the east side of US287, with men in full battle rattle; kevlared up with helmets on and machine pistols hanging from their shoulders
Past the Flat Creek bridge, we could see what all the fuss was about. There was a huge white tractor trailer parked on a Titan missile silo with the 20 ton blast door of the silo retracted. They were pulling a nuke warhead out of the silo.
I have known that they have to do this every few years to keep the nukes on the ICBMs safely upgraded, but have never seen the switch in progress. There were several armored humvees parked across the entrance road to the silo, one of which's 50 cal turret tracked vehicles as they passed on 287. I didn't dare slow down to take a picture.
After cruising pass the silo, I had to wonder what their reaction would have been had I stopped the SMB to ask directions from them. Especially later on when our yellow labrador lunged forward as I was turning off the road to the campground and knocked the Sporty out of gear, immobilizing us instantly. Probably not a good move next to these Air Force guys.
2006 Baja Tan SMB 4X4 EB50 PH 6LPSD
Mohawk Royalex Solo 14 foot canoe (light white-water)
Mad River Kevlar Explorer 17 foot canoe (flat water)
Dagger Royalex Legend 16 foot canoe (white-water)
Maravia New Wave 13.5 foot raft (fishing and white-water)