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  •  The Great Around-the-USA Adventure

    Montana - Big Sky Country

    9 Jun 08: Well, to our dismay, it's time to leave Glacier NP and resume our travels. Our only regret was that we were not here a week or two later, after the Going-To-The-Sun Road was open, so we could have seen the deep interior of the park, including the glaciers and mountain goats.

    For pictures and comments of all the campgrounds we visited, click on "Campground Reviews" in Top Menu or on the links in the journal.

     You can see from this view of our campsite at Johnson's CG in Saint Mary that it wasn't easy to leave such a beautiful spot. mt094 
     mt096  Heading up the hill out of town, we found ourselves stopping at every turnout for yet another picture.
     Near the top of the pass, we paused for this last look into the park. We had driven up along Saint Mary Lake each of the past two days.  mt104
     mt111  As we headed down into Browning, we passed out onto the plains, with the mountain range paralleling our route off to our right.
     The mountains provide a backdrop all along this stretch of Highway 89. mt126 
     mt132  After lunch it got a little cloudier, and we encountered several very small-scale rain showers along the way.
     Our destination for the day was the FAMCAMP at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls. On our way from town out to the base, we drove the River Road along the Missouri River. This is where the Lewis and Clark Voyage of Discovery spent nearly a month portaging over the five falls and rapids in this short stretch of the river in June of 1805. This is Black Eagle Falls and Dam. mt143 
     mt146  A short distance downstream is Rainbow Falls and Dam.
     11 Jun 08; Yesterday morning it was up to about 60 degrees and I washed the LD. Guess I shoulda waited - this morning we woke to find about 4" of fresh wet snow around and on us, with a temperature of 33. kgfa17 
     mt148  12 Jun 08: Decided we had better get rolling again, despite the cold, windy, wet weather. We stopped at the AF base gas station to fill up and picked up a few groceries at the commissary. Noon found us in Mocassin MT, where we stopped by the roadside for lunch. While we were there, these antelope sauntered across the road, almost getting hit by a big tractor-trailer rig. The rain was still pelting us and the wind was rocking us as we ate.
     Here's some evidence of the strength of the wind today - just a mile or two past our lunch stop we passed this trailer which the wind had flipped over.  mt149
     mt151  Judith Gap, at elevation 4600', is the site of a large wind farm, with 90 large wind generators. At last the rain was letting up.
     Some more of America's Wide Open Spaces. The mountain peaks shrouded in those clouds were covered with snow.  mt152

    Our destination today was Harlowton, MT. Just a block from the campground was this Milwaukee RR electric locomotive display. E57B was built in 1915 by General Electric, and made its last run on 15 June 1974. It used to pull trains 440 miles over the mountains from Harlowton to Avery, ID.

    Around the corner was Chief Joseph Park, where we camped for the night.

    Friday the 13th, Jun 08: Resumed our trek southeastward through Montana. Off to our right, we could still see the snow-covered mountains off to the west.   mt154

     We ended up on the dreaded interstate to get from Billings to Little Bighorn Battlefield. As always, we're amazed by the vastness of the countryside.

    Liz took this picture - she said she expected to see the TeleTubbies come bouncing over the hills.

     Afternoon found us at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Click here for a few more pictures.  custer07

    14 Jun 08: Flag Day - a trip like this has sure made us realize what a varied and fantastic country in which we are fortunate to live.

    Today marked our last day in Montana, and was a high-mileage day for us: 210 miles!

     In southeastern MT we saw lots of sheep. mt178 

    While we were stopped for lunch in Alzada, this pronghorn circled around the parking lot we were in and then headed across the highway. Despite the traffic, he made it.

    Next state - Wyoming. Click here to follow us.