Tuesday, June 29, 2010


IMG_5975 Our son David lives in Kalispell with his wife Kelly and our granddaughter Katie. While we were working we didn’t really get to spend much time with our kids so this is a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know them so much better.

IMG_5977 David is a full time Dad and Kelly works at an aquarium shop in town.

Katie loves to be active. She’s a 9 year old perpetual motion machine. She loves to fish, hunt, shoot her bow and arrow, gymnastics, swimming, fitness team, biking and anything else she can find.

IMG_6052Pretty impressive fish don’t you think?

IMG_6054They have Saturday night races at the track outside of Kalispell so guess where everyone went. (I love that red hair – her granddad’s was a darker red when I met him.)



IMG_6026 Saw this big ball in Hungry Horse and I had to find out what it was used for. It is a 4.5 ton, 8-foot diameter ball used in 1950 for clearing operations in the Hungry Horse Reservoir. 

The ball was dragged at the end of cables by two large tractors. The height of the ball kept chains and cables free of stumps. The result was that clearing was as fast as a man could walk, men were safe from falling trees, and clearing costs were reduced.IMG_6027


IMG_6002 Jim and I drove up to Hungry Horse Dam. We lived in this area for five years and never made it up to the dam. Now we visit for less than a week and we go up there. Isn’t that how it always seems to go? IMG_6018 IMG_6005

IMG_6009Osprey nests are everywhere in this area. They have a tendency to build them on the top of power lines so the power company will build a platform   IMG_6015                                                       that attaches to the top of the power pole and move the nest up to the platform. Here at the dam the nest is high in the fire dead trees.

IMG_6021 This is the big blow hole – if the lake gets too full the water will run into this hole and enter down on the other side of the dam into the Flathead River.

There is a small town near the dam called Hungry Horse. Strange name. Great story.

Two draft horses were working in the rugged wilderness of the Flathead River’s South Fork area. They wandered away from their sleigh during the severe winter of 1900-1901. After struggling for a month in the belly-deep snow, they were finally found but were so starved and weak that considerable care and feeding were needed to nurse them back to health. Their owner talked about his hungry horses and the name was changed to Hungry Horse and given to the town and the reservoir.


IMG_5950 Kalispell was the place to see the Chevy Four Cylinder tour the week we were there. Jim, of course, was in his glory surrounded by all these beautiful old Chevy’s. IMG_5951

IMG_5952 Many of the cars were staying in our campground so Jim could get up close and personal with them. He took many, many pictures but I’m only posting a few of them to give you an idea of the beautiful cars that we saw.IMG_5958


IMG_5970 After reading about this campground on the forum we decided this is where we were going to stay for a couple of nights while we were in Kalispell.


Jan and Bill were also staying here so we got to see them and have dinner before they headed out the next morning. IMG_5941

Dinner was really good. Jim and I had the steak sandwich. Bill had an elk burger and Jan had a buffalo burger. IMG_5945

We liked this campground so much we decided to stay some extra nights. It was also very convenient to the kids – about two miles from them.

A large portion of the sites are in the trees but we were in the back, out of the trees and near a field. I prefer this because it is much quieter (further from the playground and swimming hole), you don’t have to wrestle with the trees, no sap, and lots less bird poop. This was our view.IMG_5971

The campground also has one of the nicest Laundromats I’ve ever seen. Lots of machines, all in working order. They offer a Good Sam Discount so with tax our site was about $27/night which isn’t bad for this area.


IMG_5935 We stopped in Hungry Horse for lunch and had to try a piece of Huckleberry Pie. It’s been years since we have had huckleberries. I am not really a fan of huckleberries and that hasn’t changed with time.

I am a blueberry person. But Jan and Bill loved their pie that they ordered at this restaurant. The pie was good but just not blueberry.IMG_5938

Sunday, June 27, 2010


IMG_5918 Almost immediately after leaving Browning you see some of the mountains and glaciers in Glacier National Park. IMG_5927

These mountains rise majestically out of the plains and even in the rain the scenery is spectacular. IMG_5928


Carol just sent me this picture of our campground at Hell Creek and it’s a really good view so I wanted to post it for those of you who might want to go fishing.hell creek

Saturday, June 26, 2010


IMG_5899 Several years ago Todd and I made a trip from Kalispell to Great Falls. At this spot on Highway 89 I nearly killed us. I took the corner way too fast and Todd’s side of the car actually hung out in the air over the edge of the road.IMG_5904

The pictures don’t look like it’s very steep, but believe me it is. That was probably 15 years ago and I still remember right where that spot is.IMG_5905

If you ask Todd the two things he remembers best about his childhood – one of them will be the “thrill” of looking straight down out the car window and the other is when I nearly burned his tongue off with some hot chocolate.

I’m such a wonderful mother. But he did survive.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Once again I wish we weren’t headed someplace and could just wander. I made Jim promise me that next summer we could just slow down and really explore Montana and Northern Wyoming.

IMG_5889 Choteau is one place I would like to have spent a couple of hours. We stopped at their Visitor’s Center/Rest Area to walk the girls. There we were greeted by these two wonderful dinosaurs.IMG_5891

I did learn that Egg Mountain which is 12 miles west of Choteau, has yielded more information about dinosaur biology during the Crustaceous period than any other paleontology dig in the world. Pretty impressive for such a tiny town.IMG_5893

There is also a museum there that would be really interesting but it will have to wait for next year.


Out in the middle of nowhere in Central Montana is Mosby and this fabulous rest area. You can overnight here – lots of room. But it really is out there somewhere.IMG_5861


IMG_5857 After leaving Jordan we are headed towards Kalispell, MT. It’s almost 500 miles so we will be taking two days to get there. IMG_5894

Since I am driving and towing the boat, I am following Jim in the motorhome and I decided to take a bunch of pictures of central Montana so give you an idea of how huge and beautiful this state really is.IMG_5859

I’m really hoping this might encourage more of you to visit and explore Montana.IMG_5862IMG_5874 IMG_5877

Thursday, June 24, 2010


As we entered the big town of Jordan we passed this house getting ready to head up the road. As you can see from the previous pictures, the road is not very wide (even less so in places that I didn’t take pictures). There is a lot of traffic on this road on a Sunday so I was really grateful we got to Jordan and didn’t have to deal with trying to get around this house.IMG_5855


IMG_5849 Our stay in Hell Creek was exciting weather wise. On Wednesday night Mother Nature decided to put on a thunder and lightening show for us. Haven’t seen that much lightening and rain in a long, long time. Then on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. the winds came in. 65 mph and they didn’t quit until 6:00 Friday night. We watched a lot of movies and stayed inside.

IMG_5851Then we found out that the storm had washed out the road so we stayed a couple of days longer. Which is a good thing because the road was in pretty good shape when we left. It had a chance to dry up and they had graded it after the storm.

But I was really happy to leave. Jim caught some fish but no biggies. But other than Bill’s big fish, nobody did very good. Even the guides couldn’t find the fish. So even Jim was ready to go.

I justIMG_5854 had to include a couple of pictures of the big town of Jordan, MT. There are about 400 people who live here and most of you will know Jordan from the 81 day standoff between the Federal Government and the Montana Freemen in 1996. The antigovernment contingent has been pretty quiet since then but I’m sure they are still out there. IMG_5856


IMG_5839Fork Peck Reservoir was created when the 3.8 mile dam was finished being built across the Missouri River in 1937.

The dam itself is much further north near Glasgow, MT and we were at Hell Creek in the south so a visit to the dam will have to come later. IMG_5842

Fort Peck Reservoir is 134 miles long and has 1520 miles of shoreline which is longer than the California coastline. IMG_5841

To reachbreaks5 Hell Creek you travel through the Missouri Breaks. This area is a national monument and is composed of part of the badlands which extend from Montana to North and South Dakota. Lewis and Clark passed through this area in 1805 and were the first to document the beauty of this land. breaks7