Flume South of Town
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9475) 2 years ago
Found this old photo so figured I would share it. Was taken about 1983 or 1984 (?) with my Canon AE-1 Program back when I was in high school. I used my cell phone to take a picture of the print, so not very good quality. But, if you ever were out there, it should bring back some memories.

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Posted by Oddjob (+172) 2 years ago
On hot summer days and nights, after enough beer to be ten feet tall and bullet-proof, somebody always brought up "shooting the flumes".

I remember those railroad ties whipping by like fan blades, about 6" from the end of my nose on many occasions. Even more freaky on a dark night when you couldn't see them.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+2985) 2 years ago
Remember that I'm a urban commando, be nice.

What is a flume?
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Posted by cubby (+2385) 2 years ago
Man I hit my head on those suckers a couple times. But what a rush it was. Some things that the young people will never experience is a shame.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+13914) 2 years ago
Reply to Tucker Bolton (#368564)
Tucker Bolton wrote:
Remember that I'm a urban commando, be nice.

What is a flume?


The past actions of a combat pilot. "He flume across the DMZ".
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9475) 2 years ago
Reply to Tucker Bolton (#368564)
Tucker Bolton wrote:
Remember that I'm a urban commando, be nice.

What is a flume?

A chute with water going through it?

Dictionary says "an inclined channel for conveying water" or "an artificial channel or trough for conducting water".

In this case, the raised T and Y irrigation ditch going over Log Creek, at about the 9 mile marker south of town.

Seems like we always called it "the flumes" though. As in, "hey, let's go shoot the flumes".

Which would entail jumping in one end, float/shoot through it while trying not to have your face hit the overhead ties, and if you were daring enough -- shoot out the end and attempt to grab a rope dangling in the churning water there in order to save yourself. If that seemed too dangerous, then grab one of the ties before the end and pull yourself up through -- which could also be a task with the current and water rushing over you. The difficulty depended upon how full the ditch was.

Also, bonus points for jumping off the dirt embankment into the ditch right before the flume's entrance.

Fun times.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9475) 2 years ago
This is what the exit looked like:

Last Chance by Larry Antram, on Flickr
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Posted by David Schott (+13414) 2 years ago
Not the flume south of Miles City but similar:

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Posted by Bridgier (+8191) 2 years ago
Somebody must have died out there or something in the 10 years between Larry and Dave's salad days and mine, because I don't recall 'the flume' being something that people did. Jumping off of Paragon was a big thing for a while, but not the flume.
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Posted by David Schott (+13414) 2 years ago
I have it in my head that someone did drown at the flumes in the early 1980s, but I don't recall for sure. It seems like he got entangled in the rope at the end of the flume.

"Shu" stated on the "You know you are from Miles City, when:" thread that a person nearly drowned at the flumes but was saved. Maybe that is the same incident I am thinking of.
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Posted by Oddjob (+172) 2 years ago
Yeah, there were fatalities. It happened then and it happens now. It's a risk one takes by being born.

Back in the day, we played "war" with BB guns; we shot off cherry bombs and M-80's without adult supervision on the 4th of July. We messed around with "torpedoes" that were lifted out of a caboose (some of you know what they are). "We "hopped freights" and played on or fished from the railroad bridge on the way to the pumping plant. Some of us even walked across the Yellowstone on the ice in winter.

When we got older we hunted with pistols, rifles and shotguns and drank beer on road trips, in cars without seat belts. We got drunk and drove 130 mph on bias-ply tires to "shoot the flumes".

2-lane highway....

In retrospect; was it stupid?

Well, I suppose so, but it sure as hell was fun.

And some of us survived it all.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8191) 2 years ago
oh ffs. I was just trying to figure out why there was a distinct drop off in fluming activity between 1983 and 1993, not make a statement about the grand pussification of american youth.
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1199) 2 years ago
Can you still slide down 12 mile dam? I wore the back pockets off a few cutoffs doing that.
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Posted by wpnelson (+14) 2 years ago
Back in the day as they call it we used to make pipe bombs using gun powder and fire cracker fuses to set them off on the dikes of the Tongue River just north of the railroad bridge west of town. Damn lucky we are still alive.
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Posted by Wayne White (+257) 2 years ago
Where the chute ends and the water flows out into the ditch, you could swim all the way under the flume from side to side if you stayed low enough. If you didn't stay low enough in was down the ditch.

We did some crazy ass things, 1965 was the year I was there.
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Posted by Oddjob (+172) 2 years ago
Reply to Bridgier (#368579)
Bridgier wrote:
oh ffs. I was just trying to figure out why there was a distinct drop off in fluming activity between 1983 and 1993, not make a statement about the grand pussification of american youth.


I never saw a guard at the flume. If nobody was fluming between 1983 and 1993 it probably had more to do with pussification than it did a sudden epidemic of common sense.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8191) 2 years ago
Sure. That was my point.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9475) 2 years ago
I think perhaps the owner of the land that had to be crossed to get to it, cut off access in the mid or later 1980's. But I'm not sure.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9475) 2 years ago
Although, Google Maps (from Sept. 2008) shows this:


https://goo.gl/maps/qDBVT36fosL2

Where the turnout still appears to be there. Although I can't read the sign. It might say "No Trespassing" or something similar.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9475) 2 years ago
You can also see the whole area in satellite view.


So who knows. Not the safest or wisest of activities anyway.
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Posted by moos (+60) 2 years ago
Im pretty sure john brewer almost died from drowning while shooting the flumes back in 1986, Wasnt long after the whole thing was closed off, posted no trespassing and patroled by county sheriff office til cold weather came.
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Posted by cubby (+2385) 2 years ago
My friends and I did it in 94-96 many times
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Posted by John Uden (+211) 2 years ago
In 64 and 65 we use to go out there once in a while and it seemed like the more beer you drank the more fun it was. Then we use to jump off a cliff that was, or so it seemed, about 20 feet above the ditch and once again the more beer the more appealing it seemed. If my memory serves me right it seems like it was near 12 mile dam. And yes regardless what I ended up doing I did push certain buttons frequently but never got caught which may have changed my life to who knows what end.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6171) 2 years ago
I graduated in 1980 but I have no memory of this. Perhaps I only associated with the 'cats' in high school.
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1911) 2 years ago
Like smoking punk wood, it was a testosterone thing. I knew it existed but I was never that stupid.
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Posted by rhshilling (+83) 2 years ago
How many flumes were there? We never had anything like this back East. I did a Google map search and followed the canal clear back to 12 Mile Dam. It appears there are two of the old ones like you have shown and then there are two newer open top ones.
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