Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Great Falls, Montana 2013

I left the lake at 5:45, stopped at the KOA Camping Resort and emptied the holding tanks.
Most of my driving today was on Interstate 15. Forty miles south of Great Falls the highway snakes through a beautiful canyon. I crossed the Missouri River five times in five miles in the canyon. I found out that the Great Falls Moose Lodge is not in Great Falls. My GPS lead me to a neighborhood with small homes. A construction worker informed me that the lodge is in Black Eagle, a town across the river. When I put the correct town in the GPS I had no problem finding my destination. The street address was correct.
When I arrived at the lodge I noticed that Nancy, Maynard, Dan, Karen and Diana are here too.
After setting up the motorhome I left for the C.M. Russel Museum Complex. It is closed on Mondays. So I drove to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center. This is a fantastic place. Their displays are outstanding.
One diorama shows members of the Corps of Discovery moving a dugout canoe up a hill. The corps spent a month in the Great Falls area to portage their canoes and supplies around the four waterfalls. They had to travel 18 miles on land. Their original estimate was half a day. Indians had told them that there was a waterfall on the Missouri River.

President Jefferson told Meriwether Lewis to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean. Of course there is none. 

Sacagawea gets a lot of credit for the success of the mission. Indian tribes were less hostile when they saw an Indian woman with a small baby in the group of white men. Of course there was York who was black and the Indians felt his skin to check whether the color was painted on. 

The falls are behind dams and very small now.

I also stopped at Giant Springs State Park. 

There is one of the shortest rivers. 

The second dam is not bigger than the first. 

The river is tame now since it has been slowed down with dams. 

Diana, Karen and Dan left this morning. Maynard, Nancy and I are left.
I visited this morning the Great Falls Visitor Center. It is located on a hill above the city. Lewis and Clark and York watch over the river and valley.

From there I drove to Ulm. I know another Ulm. I have a feeling some of the founders of this town came from Ulm on the Danube in Germany. My daughter Claudia was born in Neu Ulm, a city on the other side of the river.

 Near Ulm is the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park.

There is a museum where one can learn how the Indians hunted bison by driving them over the cliffs. Bison have bad eye sight and did not know what was coming. 

Other hunters were at the bottom of the cliff making sure that no bison escaped. They were afraid that any bison which got away would tell other bison to stay away from this grazing area. 

A group of children were at the jump site. 

The cliff is rather high and I believe no bison would walk away.

In the afternoon I went to the C.M. Russell Museum . This is a large museum. It has five galleries. A lot of Russell’s paintings are in a museum in Fort Worth, Texas. I went sometimes on a business trip to Fort Worth and enjoyed those paintings there.
I was not allowed to take pictures at the C.M. Russell Museum.

Russell’s studio was in a log cabin.

He and his wife moved from the country to the city and had this house built in 1900.

After a little rest I drove to The Great Falls of the Missouri at Ryan Dam. 

The falls do not get enough water right now and the view is not that great. Pictures show how it looked before the dam was built. 

There is a beautiful day use area on Ryan Island. A shaky bridge crosses one arm of the
Missouri River.

Nancy and Maynard left this morning. Last night the three of us had talked to Jeff and Benny in the lodge and asked them how to get out of town. There are construction delays on I-15.
This morning I checked out by car what they told us. On the way I saw a Walmart and I did some shopping. This store had the same bread I had found in another Walmart a few months ago. I bought a loaf. When I got back to the motorhome I decided to go back and buy the last loaf of bread they had. I also bought Lithium batteries for my camera. The alkaline batteries do not last very long.
Then I went to a RV supply store and bought four baggage door latches. Since they are made of plastic and are outside of the motorhome they do not last very long. They get brittle and break. The new latches have a different hole pattern, which meant I had to drill one new hole for each latch.
After this job was done I did some computer work and was informed by McAfee, my virus protection program, that my subscription is expired. So I went back to Walmart and bought a new disk.
In the afternoon I took another drive along the river and stopped at the Montana Veterans Memorial Park. It is a beautiful but sober place.

The lodge is open at 5:00 PM. At 2:00 PM I saw Jeff enter the lodge. I asked him whether I could come in with my computer. He told me I would be alone since he was in the basement cooking for Bingo Night. This was fine with me. I loaded the new McAfee program on the computer, and then downloaded more stuff from the company. It is never a clear cut operation. I got it done thoug
Late evening I opened one of the drawers next to the bed. The drawer would not come out. Both side rail brackets in the back are broken. If I would have known earlier I could have bought new rails and brackets. Now the drawer has to stay on the floor until I get to a Home Depot store. I will be leaving early tomorrow morning to join the WINs again.
At 7:00 PM it got really dark and it rained for 30 minutes. This was very welcome because it cooled off the air. I think the temperature was 90 degrees F. today
I enjoyed my stay in Great Falls. The people at the Moose Lodge were super nice.

1 comment:

Donna Huffer said...

Say HI to Jeff the Moose Lodge manager. We stayed there last year and also two years ago. That is my home lodge. We flew back to Ohio 2 years ago when my granddaughter got married and left our rv there. Also Jeff's triplet grandchildren were born while we were there.