Friday, August 2, 2013

Gates of the Mountains

When we left Canyon Ferry Lake, we headed north on I 15 and stopped to take the boat tour at Gates of the Mountains.  We were assured that there was plenty of room for RV parking and there was.  My parents had taken this boat tour about 35 years ago and every time I go to Montana, my father asks me if  I'm going to Gates of the Mountains.  Well, I finally made it! 

The boat tour is very reasonably priced and our boat captain was knowledgeable and entertaining.  Ron and I were among the first to board and I quickly headed for the front seat right behind the open door for pictures.  (Funny thing - I don't remember whose blog it was, but recently I read that somebody else had done the same thing.)

Pretty cool, huh?

When Lewis and Clark came through this section of the Missouri River in 1805, Meriwether Lewis wrote, "from the singular appearance of the place I called it the gates of the rocky mountains."
We saw the monster in the rock

Some pictographs

And bald eagles, which enabled me to snap the worst picture ever of one of the magnificent birds.

The story behind the name is that because of the close canyon walls and all the bends in the river, there is an appearance of the walls opening as you approach.  Our captain demonstrated this phenomenon when we turned around at our halfway point.   Unfortunately this put the view out the side window causing my video to rival, no, surpass, the eagle picture in lack of quality.

But all was not lost.  I noticed that the same gate-opening illusion happened other times.  (When I mentioned this to my brilliant sister Diana, she observed that maybe that's why it's the Gates of the Mountains, as in plural.)


  1. Having a great time vicariously following your travels. Sure looks like a wander that I should take once again one of these years.

  2. Isnt it cool to have such a smart
    Thats a great way to explore the mountains!!

  3. I wonder if Lewis and Clark enjoyed the boat ride as much as you did? I'm sure they didn't have much competition for the front seats... :cD

  4. What a lovely boat ride; I like the illusion of the gates opening through the mountains.