Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mixing Business and Pleasure in Montana

So this week I took some time off so my wife and I could go visit our daughter who found herself living in Western Montana.  Why would anyone leave Michigan?  Well that's another story.  (Our other daughter lives in California, but that's another story too.  Is it something I said???)  Anyway, no matter where you go in this vast country, you're never too far from some Liquid research.  So after several hours of scenic driving yesterday, we arrived at the Montana State University (MSU) experiment station near Conrad where there are some fertilizer test plots.  I reported on my last visit here in July.  Here we are walking out to the equipment barn.  That's my wife Cathy following the group out, anxious to see whatever it is I do for a living.
Here is Area Manager Jeremiah Gulick from nearby Fairfield with research technician Robin and Dr. Olga Walsh of MSU.  There is ongoing discussion about the research drill here and how it is set up for fertilizer application. 
Jeremiah actually built the liquid tubes for this drill.  But as always, there are still some things to make it better.  We want to put the fertilizer in the seed furrow compared to beside the seed furrow as it was set up.  So this will be done for future plots.  I guess the "CAUTION" on the drill platform refers to the cat who really wants to help.
After that we went out to look at the winter wheat plots that were just planted.  I'm still trying to convince my wife how important my job is. 
Jeremiah and Robin probe for seed.  The soil is dry and crumbly at the surface, so a good rain would be needed for uniform emergence. 
After that it was time to head back West to the mountains.  Here is where the plains give rise to the Rocky Mountains.  Spectacular scenery, both the plains and the mountains. 
One of the top items on my list of things to do was to see Glacier National Park.  But that was not to be as explained by the small sign.  (Insert expletives here.)  I wonder if they had those signs already printed before the actual shutdown?  It helps to be prepared I guess.

 So I guess that will have to wait until a future visit, provided the country is back in business by then.