Saturday, August 20, 2016

More Montana

When we left our spot below Libby Dam, we wanted to return to US 2 and continue east.  To accomplish this, we could drive 12 miles west on a nice 'red' road or take a 'blue' one which was more direct.  The map legend said the blue roads were paved, so we thought, "How bad could it be?"

It was nicely paved, although without a center line and only about 1 1/2 lanes wide, but we happily followed the pretty Fisher River for the first 2/3 of the drive.

But, oh, that last third.  We knew we were in trouble when the sign warned us about the narrow (narrower), twisty road ahead, but they didn't say anything about the steep drop-offs.

As always, Ron was amazing and, luckily, we didn't meet any vehicles coming towards us.  However, I don't recommend this route.   LOL

After a quick overnight in Kalispell, we headed south on MT 83 past lots of pretty lakes.  I don't remember which one this is.

The mountains just west of Helena seem to be the division between the lush green of western Montana and the drier plains of the east.

We stayed in one of the many Bureau of Reclamation campgrounds on Canyon Ferry Reservoir, east of Helena.  When we arrived, it was so windy, we had waves on the lake.

From reading their blog, we knew that Sandie and Jim were also in the area and invited ourselves to join them and Sharon and John for a fun meal.  Always great to get together with fellow RVers and bloggers.

Just north of Helena is the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness, where you can take a very reasonably priced boat tour.  We did it three years ago (blog post here), but I feel it's worth another mention as a 'must do' activity.

After Canyon Ferry, we continued east on US 12.

We stopped at a city park in tiny Harlowton where we were joined by some four-legged friends.

Proving my theory that every town has something worth seeing, Harlowton has the last of the original 84 engines built by General Electric for the Milwaukee Road's 656-mile electrified railroad. The railroad ran from 1915 to 1974 when this engine was stopped at the Harlowton roundhouse.

They also have a lovely veterans war memorial with the names of all the Wheatland County veterans and gorgeous plaques memorializing each major war.

We drove into Billings along the cliffs north of town.

Luckily we had toured the Billings area in 2013, because it was hot, Hot, HOT.  (For our previous trip to Pictograph Cave and Pompey's Pillar, click here.)  We waited out the heat wave at the Moose Lodge, where we paid the outrageous amount of $25 a night for very poor electricity.

But we got our city fix (groceries, restaurants, laundry, gas for $2.02 at Costco) and found Riverfront Park along the Yellowstone River.  The gulls certainly enjoy it there.

Next stop, Bighorn Canyon NRA.


  1. Glad you two came along with Jim and Sandie as it was a pleasure to meet you both... safe travels!

  2. ...that road looks like a nightmare I've had where it keeps shrinking and your deer buds, and all the water...HOT in MT? Where is a body to go to escape the heat anymore? Iceland maybe-

  3. Nice four-legged friends you've got there.

  4. Ron has all kinds of talents, bet he could even drive your motorhome successfully the Indy 500! :cD

  5. Did you ever live in Lake City Florida? You take great pictures and I love reading about your adventures.