Site Links







Part II

Over a year later excitement is building for my weeks vacation to Montana. This vacation is strictly a get out and hunt with an insulator swap thrown in for good measure. My mother and Yuhas showI rolled into the preshow gathering Friday evening for a BS secession.  Saturday at the Yuhas' was a time for checking out the tables of glass.  A good gathering commenced before long and the glass started changing hands.  I picked up a nice purple colored 160 Cal and an orange amber Hemingray spool.  Apparently I wasn't the only one who had my eye on those two since I got offers to buy them as I was stashing them away.  Noon came and the best show food I had eaten iLine cutn quite some time was served.  Nothing like filling up on good food before the big hunt.  After the meal and the goodbyes were said we took off heading for that place I have wanted to get back to for over a year.  We headed back to our previous spot up the same road.  Of course now that my 4WD was fixed  it wasn't needed.  The road had been graded and graveled in the bad spot where I couldn't go the last time.  We passed the spot where Ron had parked previously and that's when I was glad the 4WD was working.  The road turned into a steep deeply rutted Jeep trail with big loose rocks.  We climbed a ways and pulled off to find the line.  Unfortunately the higher you climb the further away from the line the road goes.  I head across the mountain in search of the line not realizing that I criss-crossed it a couple times in my search.  It wasn't until I found an under-arm tramp bracket that I realized where it was.  Once you are in the cut it's easy to tell but if you are not paying attention you can easily lose it.  It's getting late so we find a camping spot for the big hunt the next day.  We are up with the sun and pack last minute extras in our packs and take off.  We follow a gated road that leads in the direction of the line and come upon someones summer cabin.  No one is around so we pass on by in search of the line.  We finally find the line and ascend  what is probably the steepest part of the line looking for signs Cochrane piecesof something good.  It isn't until we are halfway up the mountain that we find the first goodies of the day.  Lying in the dirt is two of the J bolts used in the crossarms to hang the suspensions from.  Wandering around the pole site I spy a metal clamp thing.  Picking it up I'm excited to discover one of the Cochrane suspension cable Wire clampclamps.  This is closer to what I'm looking for... now one of my Cochrans will be more complete.  We continue on up the hill in search of the next pole site.  I just know that somewhere there has got to be a set of the metal caps that held the suspensions together.  Unfortunately I was to discover 5-6 of the wood dowels on my hunt with none of the wood in good enough shape to bring back and all minus the caps.  Where are the caps?  We continue on finding many pieces of purple suspension bells and I grab a few pieces for another project I'm working on.  We find a couple more suspension clamps at the next couple of pole sites.  As we get to the top of the mountain we almost stumble into the backyard of another summer home.  Sheesh!  What is this country coming to?  It seems to be getting harder and harder to find remote areas to hunt anymore even in Montana!  There are signs of life at this home so we keep in the trees but the line is becoming harder and harder to follow.  WeRailroad trussel come upon the last pole we were to find at the top of the mountain.  We searched in vain on the other side but to no avail.  There just was no sign of anything.  Talking to Ron afterward he reports that he also had trouble finding the line in that area.  He said he had to start from the other end and work his way back this direction.  We head baPole stubck down gathering up our goodies. My pack is now getting noticibly heavier and there is still a ways to go to get back to the truck.  Back on the gated road we get closer to the summer cabin when I notice that the skylight has been propped open.  Hmmm... the no trespassing signs I saw earlier from the other direction where now vivid images in my mind.  This called for a change in plans since I had no desire to find out if the occupants were the type to shoot first and ask questions later... you never know in Montana!  Plus I did not want to explain the stuff we were carrying.  We make a major detour up the mountain away from the cabin and back to the truck.  We quickly packed up and got the heck out of Dodge.  We drove back down the mountain to the bottom.  I figure it's time to do a little hunting elsewhere since it's just getting too crowded.  A large steel trussel of an abandoned RR grade looks like something that needs to be checked out.  I find a road that looks like it goes to the top of the hill at one end of the trussel.  Climbing up the road my mom notices a subbed pole in some trees.  Time for a detour, CD 164 Brookfieldthe trussel can wait!  Out across the grassy meadow are some more pole stubs.  This looks like a lead that needs to be followed.  The line heads down over the hill and into a stand of young trees.  There we find another stub pole with some crossarm parts and bCrossarm with CD 160roken Muncie pieces scattered about.  Next to the base of an older tree is a chunk of glass sticking out of the duff.  Could it be?  Reaching down I pluck it up to discover a light aqua CD 164 Brookfield in very good condition.  It was probably tossed there sometime ago and only now that the lower branches on the tree were bare was it visible.  No Cochrane but better than mud!  We continue on in search of the next pole.  The next site took some doing to find.  In fact I ended up skipping a couple of pole sites and had to back track after finding the line again.  Nothing much at the next few poles but more broken Munci parts.  The next pole site revealed a nice little crossarm with a CD 160 H.G.Co. with the tie wire still intact.  That's a keeper as I carried it down the hill to meet up with a dirt road that came up to the line.  It looks like this little gully is frequented by target shooters.  Garbage was lying all over that had been shot up.  I hike back to the truck and bring it down to the spot with the waiting crossarm.  We head off again following the line as it ascends up the mountain.  It's easier to follow now since they didn't do as good a job of cleaning up here.  Rotten crossarms are at every poDate naille site and the stubs are still standing. Rabbit hiding This rabbit thought that I couldn't see it hidden next to the crossarm.  Continuing on we find nothing until we come upon the site of the Bertha substation.  Ron reports that this was the location of some of the Cochrane station post style insulators with the larger sleeves.  There are broken pieces of mud here along with a few other hardware odds and ends.  I took the opportunity to liberate a nice looking Munci pin and an old date nail in the pole stub.  The line fades out again as we enter an area that had recently undergone reclamation to help with erosion control.  It takes awhile but we finally locate it again quite a distance further and way up on the hillside.  I come upon a little used road and find another pole lying there with the crossarm still attached.  Wow!  Check this out.  An original Cochrane corner bracket is still attached to the arm.  It can barely be seen on the right half buried in the duff.  My mom wants to do some exploring in the area so I make a long trek back to bring the truck around.Crossarm with cochrane bracket  I try to follow the line back down the hill but it eludes me so I waste no time getting back to the truck.  I drive on up the mountain and turn off on the side road and park at the pole site with the bracket.  I discovered why it was still there too.  One of the nuts was giving me a good workout to get it off.   Looking at one of the crossarm braces I notice that it is stenciled Mont. PowerDate nails Co. Corbin Mont.  That will be useful in a future display I thought.  After stowing the goodies in the truck I'm looking around when I notice wire hanging in the trees along the road.  Upon closer examination I discover that it is some of the original line wire.  I was surprised that it wasn't copper but rather a three strand twisted steel.  It has since lost its galvanized coating and is all rusty now.  I roll up 100 feet of it as big wind gusts come up and it starts raining.  After hunting on the line the past couple days I was ready to get on the road now that the weather was acting up.  I was just about ready to pull onto the main gravel road when I  wondered out loud if we should hunt the next few pole sites since the line was getting close to the road.  After hemming and hawing a bit the hunting bug bit again and we were off.  The wind gusts practicCochrane stringally blew us up the small rise when all of a sudden it calmed down as quick as it started.  We're now in a small stream gully next to the main road.  Cows had recently been in this area so I'm watching where I step.  I'm walking some distance ahead of my mom when all of a sudden I catch the glint of purple glass in thCrossarm with Munci pine downed branches of  a tree.  I walk over and start yelling "I don't believe it!" "I don't  believe it!"  My mom comes running up to see what all the commotion is about.  There protected from the cows by dead branches is a set of Cochrane bells complete with wood and metal caps!  I can hardly believe my good fortune; minutes earlier I was ready to quit the hunt until next year.  The bummer hit when I realized I had left my camera back at the truck.  Now I had to walk all the way back to get it before I could pull it out and verify the condition.  On the way back to the truck I passed a pole site I had glanced at earlier when a piece of rusted metal buried in a slight depression caught my eye.  I dig it out anCochrane hidingd discover another suspension cable clamp with a section of the original line wire still clamped in. 
Looking at the location where the Cochrane was hiding relative to where the line ran, I believe that it was placed there by someone years ago.  If it weren't for the cows eating down the vegetation I probably would not have seen it lying there amongst the dead tree branches.  I snap a couple of photos before pullingCochrane exposed it out.  Although it was missing two bells I was relieved to discover that the rest of them were in good condition.  I figured this was a good way to end the hunt.  Until next time!

[ Site Home  |  Back  |  Top  |  Contact Us  |  Links ]

Copyright 2016
© Natsulators All rights reserved