On The Run This was taken at Camp Nine just outside of Babb, Montana on the Blackfeet Nation. It was 22 below one January day when I went to investigate Camp Nine. I had recently learned that this was a place to see the St. Mary’s diversion canal that my Great Grandfather HH Nelson had been involved with. He owned 100 mules and hired others to use slip scraps to remove the dirt for the canal. He also was one of the men who actually traveled to DC to get the funding for this project. At the time when the project after many years of complications got the funding in 1909, was the largest expenditure congress had approved up to that point in American history.
This image is one view from camp nine. Behind me are irrigation flumes that carry water from the St. Mary’s a canal that begin at Babb, that needed to cross the St. Mary River. These dual flumes of gravity fed water are carried across the river over a vehicle bridge in big pipes and then dumped into another section of the canal which travels approximately 24 more miles before dumping into the Milk River. From here the Milk River carries that diverted water into Canada and then back into Montana above the town of Havre, Montana. At Havre is the first Reservoir and the water continues on down the Milk irrigating the dry prairie into productive farm land. In the background is Chief Mountain the Blackfeet’s spiritual mountain.
The foal has what is called a Medicine Hat, a mostly solid white paint horse with only markings on the head.
“The mythology of the Medicine Hat horse is steeped in Native American tradition and legend. A Medicine Hat horse is believed to have a magical ability to protect its rider from injury or death in battle, and were thought to have special abilities to warn their riders of danger and to find wild game hiding in forests or canyons. The mainly white coats were often decorated with other magical symbols, believed to increase the horse’s powers. Tribes would try and steal the Medicine Hat horse of another tribe, believing that in doing so they would have the horse’s good luck, and steal the good luck of the other tribe. A Medicine Hat horse was closely guarded by a tribe, and was a central part of a very complicated belief system the horse was much more than a ‘good luck charm’. “ https://www.ponybox.com/news_details.php?id=1126