We took a tour of the Denver Art Museum on Friday afternoon. The Charles M. Russell exhibit was up and I was eager to see his work in person. Also, we were on a hunt of sorts. We wanted to find the answer to a lingering question; a few years back while we were traveling in Montana we stayed at a guest ranch. While out riding we saw something interesting carved on a rock face. Since that day we’ve been looking for a connection with the carving and the art of Charlie Russell.
The second day we were on the ranch, John Doubier, his Australian sheep dog, Eric and I headed out for a ride. A Blackfoot Indian, the ranch had been owned by his father and had been handed down to him. Part of the Blackfoot reservation it was a vast and open space with the entrance to Glacier Park off to the west. Breathtaking scenery surrounded us. We were in the area before our Lewis and Clark trip down the Missoui river and took this side trip before we were to meet up with our friends. I’m so glad we found his brochure at the truck stop on the way to Great Falls.
We rode up in the foothills on his spotted ranch bred Arabian/cross horses. Sure-footed and hearty the horses quickly arrived up to the top of the mesa. We dismounted and climbed the rest the way up on foot. To the east we surveyed the area we had hiked over the day before. The ranch is rich in dinosaur bones, most specifically T-Rex. John told us the famous T-Rex Sue was found the next ranch to the east. I was quite excited to have the opportunity to see the area where John said he finds dinosaur bones all the time. We were escorted to the dinosaur area since Grizzly bears live in the area and he carried a rifle in case we needed it. It was exciting to find broken fragments of dinosaur eggs along with fragments from a smaller dinosaur skeleton. Up on the top of the rock area John wanted to show us something. He pointed out the familiar skull and initials of CMR carved on the verticle rock face above us. It was an exciting moment. We vowed to find a painting or drawing that referenced this spot.