Friday, December 04, 2009

Noli Me Tangere

I had the honor of serving in this regiment. I was a Sergeant in charge of a 106 MM Recoiless Rifle. That is the badge of the Second Infantry Regiment. I still have this badge. As I write this I am wearing it. I have stories about those days I like to tell on occasion. That was some weapon! Like! You know! The jeep would seem to come off the ground when you fired it. Anti tank weapon, of course! Primarily.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Freda's Bar

It's easy to make things happen. What's hard is making them turn out the way you'd wish. Once the first shot is fired there is no telling what will pass. It will certainly be interesting, however.

As soon as we got back from our outing I was getting ready, shower, shave, and so forth, for another evening out. It was about seven when I headed out for the Dew Drop Inn. That place being about as dead as a doornail I went to town and lighted at the West Glacier Bar also known as Freda's. It was not busy at that hour but I had no trouble finding people to talk to. Everyone in sight was younger than me by far. I ordered a scotch and soda. Arthur, the bartender, was friendly. There were only a couple of people at the bar. Arthur was in his 30s I guess and said he had bartended all over the world. He specifically mentioned Okinawa and Sudan, but that is about all the details I got from him. He charged me $2.50 for the drink. I told him that was a good deal. I was looking around, checking people and things out, getting my game going. I read the labels on the tap beer pulls. One of them was organic. I laughed at this and asked if they had any in-organic beer. The guy to my right chuckled and said all beer was organic as far as he was concerned. I laughed and toasted him with here's to in-organic beer! He responded to my toast it was all star dust anyhow, no kidding, which gained him a rousing affirmative from me.

Right away I noticed that there was more going on on the front porch of the bar than inside so after this little exchange I moved to the bench just outside the door. The porch was small with the bench being just outside the door on the left. It might hold three people comfortably. There was a guy sitting there on the end away from the door. I took the position next to the door which pleased me because there were two very lovely young ladies sitting on the other side of the door on the floor of the porch. They were facing each other and speaking in some European language, I could not quite make it out. I knew it wasn't German, Spanish, French, or Dutch. About this time my companion on the bench started talking on the phone. I didn't know what he was speaking either. After he got off the phone I asked him if it was Czech. He said no, Russian. Introducing myself I said, well, welcome to my country. He smiled and said he was American. I said he sounded fluent in his Russian. He said he had been an interpreter for the U.S. Army, had gone to their language school. His name was Kurt and we discussed European and Russian geo-politics for a moment. About this time I also struck up a conversation with another patron. Her name slips my mind but she was from New Zealand. You can see her standing in the door in this picture.

During this small stretch of time I met several people. One young fellow was from San Angelo, Texas where I went to high school. His family were ranchers, had a 2300 acre spread out there. He and I talked about the drought plaguing Texas at the time and how it was causing people in the cattle business to sell off their herds. The couple in the foreground with the girl leaning against the post were early arrivals. I was sitting on the bench with Kurt when they showed up. He shook hands with all the guys in our little group and she got hugs from everyone, so I knew everybody here knew everybody else, just about. I was one of the few outsiders. Turns out all these people were either employees of the park service, the businesses hereabouts, or tourists that were staying for weeks or months instead of days like me. It was a most interesting group of people. Just a bunch of well to do twenty somethings enjoying the good times that go with being young and attractive and far away from home.

The lady from New Zealand. I asked her to sit and Kurt and I made room for her between us. Turns out she was a chemical engineer and ran her own company. She had about seven employees and was traveling on holiday with some neutered guy. I met him and shaking hands was like grabbing hold of a dead fish. Yuck! Someone told me, probably Kurt, that he thought he might be gay which prompted me to ask New Zealand girl whether she liked men. This question was put at the end of the evening, of course, and she didn't like it, so that ended our contact. Meanwhile we had talked at length about pest problems in NZ from rabbits to deer, and how to deal with them. You see there are no natural predators there so when the King of England brought some deer so he would have something to hunt he created a huge problem for subsequent generations since, I guess, hunting is now not politically correct there.

After a bit I turned to the two girls sitting on the floor on the other side of the door and asked them what language they were speaking. It was Norwegian. As we exchanged names, Tina Marie and Heidi, I slid to the floor beside them. They asked New Zealand lady to join us but she went inside the bar. Tina Marie and Heidi were working on their masters thesis with the park service on some kind of exchange program but were having trouble with their "supervisor". Improper touching. They were considering quitting which I encouraged them not to do. Tina Marie had, she proclaimed loudly, hitchhiked all over south America. Both girls were quite drunk but just in the best of moods imaginable. Just before I sat down another guy had joined them. He introduced himself as Sean but he left within a few minutes. I think I scared him off. Or, he wanted to play this field himself without competition. I talked to these most delightful girls for an hour or so. It was the highlight of my trip. I have seldom run across people like these. Eventually, drunk as a skunk, I invited myself to take them back to their place. We all three climbed on the K bike, Heidi on the luggage rack, Tina Marie right between us. Of course I got some pictures. New Zealand girlfriend took these.

There was some trepidation on their part, and mine too, about the safety of this operation. They asked me if it was safe. I said, well, let's sit on the bike and see how it feels, OK? It felt fine and no sooner had we maneuvered out of the parking area onto the highway than Tina Marie tightened her arms around me and yelled at the top of her considerable lungs "Pedal-to-the-Metal". I obliged, leaning as far forward as I could to compensate for Heidi being so far back on the bike. I was afraid of doing a "wheely" under that condition but both wheels gratefully stayed on the ground. This is a very powerful bike and they got the ride of their life. I rapidly overshot the turn and had to cross a bridge and make turnaround at which point Tina Marie louder than the first time, gripping me for all she was worth, shouted "PEDAL-TO-THE-METAL", in her Norwegian accent. I don't know whether Heidi chimed in or not it was so loud, but I could hear both of them screaming, hooting, hollering with peals of laughter and joy. What a ride it was turning out to be. This time I made the turn, and the drama was repeated. All of this was in sight and ear-shot of Freda's, so we were putting on a show for the patrons which I am sure they enjoyed. I gave the engine full throttle and it screamed louder than all of us together as I redlined the tachometer at 8,000 RPM. Very quickly, way too soon for me, I could have done this all night, we came to their driveway. I couldn't get invited in because there were other people there, they said. Would I come see them tomorrow in another town to which their duties would take them? No, but I have much enjoyed being friends with you for this all too brief period, I told them. We embraced, kissed, exchanged email addresses, and spoke of the profound meaning of life. I used the Star of David meme for this, me sitting on the bike, them huddled close in the gloaming night to see the diagram I made on a matchbook using the bikes fuel tank for a table. Tina Marie Nagel. Heidi. I will love you forever. I am your knight in shining armour and whenever I sit astride my steed of steel my mind goes to your hearts and pulls them back into orbit around mine.

Going to the Sun Highway

Monday August 18, 2009
The three of us headed out about nine a.m. The trip lasted all day seeing us back at the camp about four p.m. and included lunch of hamburgers in Babbs, MT. The Going to the Sun road is 50 miles long and stretches from West Glacier to St. Mary, Montana reaching an elevation of just under 7000 feet at Logan's pass. This is Lake McDonald being one of the first attractions on the route. The video above is McDonald falls and is just at the East end of the lake. Pat took this picture and the video.

Pat was really taken with the pretty rocks. This is her picture too. Gary and I were skipping rocks across the lake meanwhile but we got no pictures of that.

The fee per vehicle to take this ride is $25. Pretty steep, I thought, but it was very crowded. Too crowded in my opinion; not that they should raise the fee more. I think they should not charge fees at all. It is public land after all.

I took these two pictures the first being a glaciated valley and the second is what is left of some old glaciers. You can click on these images of mine to get a much larger view.

Monday, August 31, 2009

West Glacier, Montana

On August 16, Sunday, we went for morning worship to the St. John's Lutheran Church in Great Falls. It was only about a mile from the RV park and we chose it because it was the first church we saw. It was rather a small sanctuary and it was full. The pastor, Steve Nelson, gave a sermon on this the 11th Sunday after Pentecost on the theme "To eat and drink what gives wisdom and God's life." There was communion and it seemed to me everyone partook. We were uplifted by this fitting break from our daily routines to give a little back to our heavenly father.

Monday morning, not too bright and early, we packed up the house, as Gary likes to call it, and headed out, with me following on the bike, for the 192 mile trip to West Glacier. The rains that had plagued us off and on for the past few days had cleared out and the weather was simply perfect with mild temperatures and clear blue skies as far as the eye could see across the Montana prairies. The mountains to the West were in the near distance, just far enough away to take on a greyish tinge. We stayed parallel to these till we got even, more or less, with West Glacier, then we headed West. Along the way we stopped at a rest area that as it turns out was the same one Gary and I stopped at on our trip to Alaska a few years ago. That brought back some memories. It was from here that Gary decided to take me up on the offer to trade jobs. He would ride the bike for awhile and I would drive his rig. Pat took the video above of him on my bike.

We saw some buffalo on the way.

We set up the RV in the West Glacier camp ground just a mile from the entrance to the park itself. Here is a picture of Gary and Pat.

And this is the view out the back picture window.

I went to get some gas for the bike as soon as we set up. It was about five p.m. The gas station was back in West Glacier, which, I should say is a postage stamp of a town. A restaurant, a general store, a bar, a gas station. That's about it. It has one intersection on highway 2, you turn left on the Going to the Sun Highway, and blink your eyes, and you are through the town. This afternoon there were a lot of people hanging around and I took the opportunity to talk to some of them. I spotted the West Glacier Bar for later reference. It was across the street from the gas station. Afterwards I went for a ride back towards the RV park and on past a mile or so. One guy at the campground had said there was a bar out that way a little and I wanted to check it out.

The Dew Drop Inn, said to be the place you could take in some local color, had a fruit stand on the same property right out on the highway. I went there first and sampled and bought some cherries and huckleberry syrup. The cherries were the best I ever had and the propriotor, he gave his name as huckleberry, was friendly enough. I asked him abou the Dew Drop and he said it was the only bar he would frequent, but he didn't drink, and he avoided my questions as to how lively it got in the evenings. At this time there was no one there, so I didn't go in since it was too early anyhow. I checked it out at seven p.m. and there was still no one there so I went back to the West Glacier bar.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Iron Pine Club

I was up early Saturday. It was August 15. Nice thing about not getting wasted in bars is you can live a normal life the next day. That is why I observe strict limits on my alcohol intake. A gibbous moon was hanging in the Eastern sky, dogged by a giant planet. It was fairly clear but later the clouds rolled in again and it rained. But, hey! It's Saturday. I am on vacation and there are lots of opportunities to pursue. I wanted to make something new happen and I knew how to do it.

I was putting on some socks the other day and it happens that when I undid the pair from their little stuff bundle they were both wrong-side out. This never happens and it made me think. How many times did I have to perform this operation to get an unexpected result? A great many. What if I accelerated the process, spent all day every day folding and unfolding? What kind of population of socks would I have to look at to find an anomaly? It is like growing maize you see. Drive down a country road and look at the maize fields. Millions of plants, all uniform. Except every now and then, maybe one in 500,000, you will see a mutant. These can be much taller than their peers; that's one way to identify them. My mission on this trip has been to create such a population of events that something unexpected will happen. After all why seed the heavens with 100 billion galaxies if you weren't looking for the unexpected? This principle runs through it all. So, that's why I went so far out of my way to engage people. Sometimes I don't do this being satisfied to be a rock, an island. The song says a rock feels no pain, an island never cries. Well, of course they do, though it might just be as a potentiality. It is still there. I had this conversation in the car with Gary and Pat on our way up to Fort Benton yesterday and from their reaction I am sure that I needed to just shut up and keep my own counsel close to myself, so to speak, where it is appreciated. Smile. So, with that in mind, when evening came, though I was a little tired, I mounted my iron steed and set out yet again for parts unknown in down-town Great Falls, Montana.

I rode around a bit after getting there. It was somewhat cold at 7:30 P.M., but there were a few people around. I pulled up next to a guy crossing the street and asked him whether there might be a decent bar in the neighbourhood. He directed me over a block and back towards the river a couple more to the Iron Pine Club.

As I was parking the bike, speaking of the unexpected, my son called to check up on me and to remind me that his baby was due in two days. We talked for a few minutes while I went inside and took off my riding coat and helmet. Then, I went to the bar and took a seat next to a couple of guys. The bar was not at all busy and wouldn't be anything like the experience I had the previous evening at the Sip and Dip.

These two guys were talking about being stopped by police and how to resist when they wanted to search the vehicle. Since I have some experience, from the law enforcement side, of this kind of scenario it was easy to join the conversation. The guy on my immediate left and I quickly settled that issue and launched into a far ranging discussion of topics from battle space monitored by satellite communications to the readiness of our nuclear deterrent. There are a lot of missiles in silos in Montana and his job had to do with their readiness. He was Air Force, and about to get out and go back to his home in one of the Carolinas. I really liked him, and he me. He said he'd never met anyone like me before. Couldn't believe that I knew so much about almost everything. Wouldn't let me go, so I had one extra drink. Off on the subject of women, he is married, he wanted to hook me up with a Shanna or Holley who worked in a "massage" parlour a couple of blocks away. Gave me their phone number, told me how to get to the place, and even tried to call them himself, but got a voice mail, of which I was glad. I didn't want to hurt his feelings but no way I was going to use a hooker. There are better ways to get something unexpected, if you take my meaning. Anyhow, he said I'd be in like flint if I would just tell them Scott sent me. This was an interesting counterpoint to what had gone before to say the least. I didn't elicit this offering. It just sprang up. I guess it was an instance of necessity being the mother of invention. You figure it out. At any rate, in a very few days, I would truly strike pure gold. But so sadly, alas, a fortelling, I could not stake a claim, though I tried. I tried hard....

Some of my exchange with Scott needed illustration and I kept the napkin with our doodles on it as a keepsake. It has the Star of David on it. We talked about religion. It has a "battle space" on it with a satellite high overhead. It has the gibbous moon being dogged by a star, because he didn't know what dogging the moon meant. It has the name of the massage parlor, the girls names, the phone numbers, and a bunch of other stuff, front and back. When it came time for me to really go he gave me a pass to Glacier National Park he said he wouldn't be needing, and when I went to shake his hand he pulled me into an embrace. It felt right. Two human beings, a random encounter, souls mixed, we part feeling like we somehow in the space of time it takes to drink two or three scotch and sodas, probably twice that many for Scott, came as two people and left as one. Sad I will never see him again. He was really hungry for the kind of exchange we had and I felt very good about having opened my heart and soul to him. A question springs to mind. What IS going on here? I do see a pattern emerging, but I daren't touch to heavily for fear it will dissolve.

Once again, on my way out, I took some pictures. The one at the top is the bartender. His name is Kyle Vogel. He didn't know that Vogel meant bird in German. I looked at him real hard and asked him who he looked like that I might know, an actor, I said. He said Leonardo DiCaprio. I said, yes! That's it, you really do. He smiled real proud. I told him I didn't particularly care for the guy but that he was a decent actor. He agreed he didn't like him much either. I said that I'd bet the girls hung off him like ornaments. He laughed, then I shook his hand as the picture was taken. I think he overheard a lot of Scott's conversation with me and I regret as I write this not having brought him into the discussion.

This picture is of the guy who was concerned about getting his car searched. I took it because of the ear thing, which he pulled out and reinserted for me. Cute.

And this is his sister. She is married, but nice and friendly and didn't flinch a bit when I kissed her as her brother took the picture. I got her email and sent her a copy, but she hasn't written me back. Sad but expected. But, hey! I am just planting seeds here. The surprise will have to come later. The population is not nearly big enough yet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sip and Dip Tavern

Well, it's been a long day. Time to unwind. I asked around back at camp where a good local watering hole could be found. The camp host marked a spot on the map for me. It was down-town, in the O'Haire Motor Inn. The Sip and Dip.

The main bar faces two large glass windows which look in on the Inn's swimming pool. I am told one or two swimmers will appear in awhile wearing some kind of mermaid costume. I want pictures.

There is a guy and his wife to my right. I pick up conversation with them. They are from South Carolina. He used to live here and says, no kidding, that he has seen people, guests of the hotel, have sex right there in front of the crowd in the bar. It seems that, at that time at least, people in the pool didn't know they were being watched. I guess they didn't notice the large glass panels in the wall of the pool. Anyhow, I take this with a grain of salt, but he was dead serious and I even heard him repeat it to a couple of other people that came and went. One of these was a guy in coveralls fresh in from his job. He walked up to the bar next to me and asked in a very Southern accent whether this was the world famous Sip and Dip club. I announced it was and momentarily passed him off to my expert friend on the right. Turns out this new fellow was from Louisiana and was living up here working as a welder for awhile.

The bar got very crowded. It was loud and the air buzzed with conversations. Only one mermaid showed up. It wasn't a disappointment. The real show was on the floor of the bar.

That is Beckie. I heard some guy address her as a he. I wasn't similarly confused. She has a very sweet, high pitched voice. I got her to sign a book of matches for a souvenir for me. She wrote, "Best Wishes, Beckie". I asked her about the guy that misjudged her gender and she said it happens once in awhile but that it doesn't bother her. I'll bet this fellow was embarassed when he heard her speak. I said she did look like she could hurt me and she laughed and the other bartender who overheard this exchange said she was a sweetheart and wouldn't harm a fly.

This is what was pushing me from behind. I got friendly with these belly dancers as I was leaving. I'd had my allotted three scotches at about $3.00 each, and no cover either. You gotta love that, for less than $20 I had this great evening. Anyhow belly dancers and I kidded around a few minutes, especially me and the one on my right arm. I teased her mercilessly about how her boobs were about to pop out. She lapped it up. Real hungry. Ended up she did a little belly dance for me. We had a great laugh.

And this fine lady plays the piano while at the same time with her feet she plays an organ. She is 80 years old.

When I arrived at the Sip and Dip it had been raining. And it was probably in the 50s with a North wind. Leaving it was still wet, but barely drizzling. I had a lot of fun at the club in spite of the somewhat inclement weather for a biker. But the best fun was showing these pictures to my brother the next morning.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fort Benton, Montana

Friday morning, August 14, we drove a few miles north to Montana's birthplace, Fort Benton.

Here is what the river looks like just down stream from the fort. I saw paintings of Indians standing on bluffs overlooking the river at a similar place taking shots at steamboats passing by.

This is the Grand Union Hotel. It was built in 1882 and restored in 1999. I sure wanted to stay here but that will have to wait till the next trip.

This is the lobby.

This picture hangs next to the desk. It is Chief Plenty Coups. He was named chief of the Mountain Crow at age 28. At this time I had met Emily, the desk clerk, and my quip to her was that the haircut was still popular.

This is the hotel bar. That is Emily. She told me the original bar has been removed to a bar in Missoula, Montana.

Emily is Emily Bley pronounced Bligh. She said she had a famous last name but couldn't tell me who the original Bligh was. I recall a certain Capt. Bligh, but couldn't relate the history to her. Emily signed her name to a hotel business card for me. She was very nice and since the hotel was anything but busy gave me a walking tour of the ground floor. On a personal note she told me, and my brother and his wife, who had been shopping across the street at a kiosk run by some local Hetterites, about a proposal of marriage she received from a sixteen year old from this "clan". She was of an age with the boy and was manning a stall her dad had set up selling wares from his operation, I don't recall what exactly. The Hetterites are like the Amish. They wear distinctive dress and the like. So, he walks up to her booth and asks if he could please see her father. She asked why and he said he would like to ask for her hand in marriage. When she refused him the interview with her father the boy went away but came back a little later with his father, to strengthen his suit. I noted that this is exactly how such a transacton would have taken place in the 1700s.

Here is a frontal shot of the original (restored) Ft. Benton. Note the rifle slits.

I wish this had come out better.

The bull stands almost six feet at the shoulders and would have weighed about 2200 pounds. This grouping was originally gathered by the great conservationist William T. Hornady and were originally displayed in the Smithsonian in 1887 when it was feared the great bison would soon be extinct. We saw bison on this trip, grazing alongside the road near Glacier Nat'l Park.

A grizzly. Seems intent on something.

This is what he is concerned about, but not too much, I expect.

We visited a couple of old churches.

Our trip ended with a ride across the Missouri river on a ferry. We took the back roads back to Great Falls passing section after section of wheat stubble with an occasional uncut field in between.

No mention of Fort Benton, Montana would be complete without bringing in the story of the world famous dog, Shep. A Sheepherder's body was shipped back East for burial back in August, 1936. His dog witnessed this and every train arrival for five years till Shep himself was killed by a train saw him watching and waiting for the return of his master. It is a profoundly sad story, of course. Though I had heard of Shep, I didn't realise I was at the source of the story till I got there. An old guy I met on the bridge there over the Missouri river, now for walking only, made reference to it. His name is Gail, funny name for a man, he agreed (I asked him if it was spelled Gayle because one of my best high-school friends carried that name). Gail used to be superintendent of schools in Fort Benton. I wanted to share this sentimental and profound testament to love, to awakening spiritual awareness. It speaks volumes that a dog would display sentiments that we arrogate exclusively to ourselves as humans. And obviously, if you are inclined to such musings, it fills in a blank space in that template we might all be trying to grasp that could it be seen clearly would carry the meaning and purpose of life itself.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Great Falls Montana

I was glad to finally end my ride and my brother and his wife feted me with leftover chicken casserole which set very well as I had been living off snack food all day. This is the Malstrom Air Force Base RV park and would serve as home for the next few days. I didn't do anything the first evening, just relaxed and enjoyed visiting with my family.

These are the great falls for which the city is named. I imagine this rages wildly with snow melt if seen at the right time of year. They do have it damned up here and they use the surplus runoff to generate electricity at this damn.

This tells how in 1805 Lewis and Clark made a portage around these falls.

We visited this Veteran's Memorial nearby. It was a beautiful place.

I was taken with this statue. The doves being released reminded me of a funeral service I participated in a while back in which white doves were released by the next of kin of a serviceman killed in Iraq. He is holding several dog tags in his right hand that you can't see in this picture. I found this very touching.

Cheyenne to Great Falls

It is now Thursday, August 13. Yesterday it was in the 90s. Last night and this morning it was much cooler. I put on my heavy coat for this ride and before the day was out I was fully suited up for wet and cold weather. The dry Texas summer was far behind me and it felt real good to plunge heedlessly without a care into the infinite asphalt and steel ribbon before me, the road north to Great Falls, Montana. That is 682 miles.

I-25 was just outside my door so it was a fast getaway out of Cheyenne. The bike screamed at the distance and it melted in submission to the dauntless intrepidity of this bike and rider. I was the can-do kid this morning, ready for whatever this day had to offer up. It was bright and sunny all the way north through Wyoming. I shed the coat about 10 a.m. Not far after I took this picture I was passing through Hardin, Montana. The Battle of Little Big Horn, also known as, Custer's Last Stand, took place near here. You can see the grave markers from the highway. I stopped at a nearby rest area and when I came out of the rest room an Indian man of an age with me had laid out his display of Indian jewelry on the grass. I picked out a nice necklace. He was Navajo and we talked for a minute about his work and about my travels. He was a real nice man and I liked him. I thought his work pretty nice. I picked this up for fifteen dollars. When I got home Kristi was quite taken with it. She is very parsimonious about handing me compliments, but I got one for my good taste for this selection.

Here I am at the border.

Click on this to view larger image and note the stickers people have climbed up here to apply. You can see this sign has been shot up a little with a rifle and a shotgun. A couple of the rounds seemed to have come in from a great angle indicating the shooter was probably way off to the east somewhere.

When I got to Billings I left the interstate to take a hundred mile shorter route to Great Falls through Lewiston. After Lewiston there was a construction zone, the worst one of the trip. There was a lot of deep very loose gravel and an occasional fist sized or larger rock. Not fun at all to ride through. It was about this time that it clouded over and I ran smack into a cold front. So, it's in the upper 40s, it's raining, the wind is blowing, the road is slick and muddy, and, on top of all that, it is like rush hour traffic in Dallas on this two lane road. Am I having fun yet? But, you know, if you want fine highways you have to take the occasional construction zone. We are blessed to have these paths. Like any other path, I intend to see where it leads.

This picture's subject is the green fields. That yellowish field on the right is winter wheat, still not ready for harvest, though by and large most of the wheat fields I saw had been harvested.

I just wanted to get this picture of the clouds rolling in. That is a pretty big mountain in the distance, it's peaks shrouded in the cloud layer. It is really a lot darker than it seems from this rendition. It was serious gloaming out that afternoon.

This is the view west where I stopped to put on my cold/wet weather gear. It started raining almost immediately and continued till, well, for the next few days, off and on. I got my left hand in the frame here. That is not a pink cloud bank, or at least that is not how I recall it.

The photo does not do this justice. Click to enlarge. That inner rainbow actually went across the whole sky, horizon to horizon.