A calm but chilly morning in Galetta, Ontario.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta (Ottawa), Ontario.

Where are they going next? We have flights booked to London, England in October.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Bike ride in Great Falls, Montana

We left our overnight spot in the Lewis and Clark National Forest at 6:30am. It's now light out by 5:30am, so we like to get our driving done while there is no wind and hardly anybody on the roads.

From the time we got on the highway, it was downhill pretty much the whole way. In fact, there was one section where I didn't touch the gas pedal for over 20 miles (33 kms)! Amazing. Sure, at one point we were down to 35 mph, but with nobody on the roads there was no need to speed up.

We stopped at an overlook near Sluice Boxes State Park and had some breakfast.

Sluice Boxes State Park.

From the overlook, we saw a hiking trail that goes into the canyon, so after breakfast we drove down to the parking area and went for a walk. The trail is 7 miles long but it crosses the river at times and the water is too high right now, so we only managed to do about a mile and a half. Not bad to stretch the legs, but it would have been nice to do more.

Interesting cave, but it would have been difficult to get to.

A tree growing in the middle of the river.


American yellow warbler.

Belt Creek.

When we got back to the parking area we noticed the sign that says we were supposed to pay! Montana State Parks are not as friendly towards out of state residents and we were supposed to pay a parking fee. We likely wouldn't have gone if we had seen that first.

We carried on to the city of Great Falls (pop 59,000).


The town of Belt.

The prairies.

After the town of Belt, the landscape changed dramatically. We thought we were back in Saskatchewan! Which is not surprising because we are not that far away from Saskatchewan. In fact, the Canadian border is only about 120 miles (200 kms) from here.


As we entered Great Falls.

I had read on iOverlander about a free parking spot by the river that is right in town beside some tennis courts. We made it there, and it'll do for a night but it's not ideal. Better than Walmart though. I forgot to take a picture!

However the best part of it is that it is located right by the Missouri River Bike Trail system, and that was the main reason we came here.

So, we had some lunch and then hopped on the bikes.

This is the view opposite where we are parked!

Interesting art.


That's a lot of nuts!


The Missouri River.


Lewis and Clark with their native guide Sacagawea.

Looking back towards Great Falls

Pelican.

Interesting cliffs.

The remains of a silver smelter.

Ruth and the Missouri River.



Crooked Falls.

We turned around and headed back at this point. It was hot. The temperature was 91F (33C). Fortunately we had lots of water with us, and we drank most of it. 

We ended up doing 15 miles (25 kms) and were gone for 2 hours. Nice bike ride!

Didn't sleep the best last night. Too many noises... you can sure tell you're in the city with the number of sirens! We had planned on hanging around another day to see the town itself, but there are high winds coming that aren't supposed to settle down until Tuesday. We would have done one more day here, but we really don't want three more days here... so we are setting off towards Missoula before the winds pick up.

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8 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the "ride". Thanks. Carry on!

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  2. I've read several books on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Almost ironic the tragedies they encountered along the way only to get to the coast and see Russian ships sailing up and down and people dressed in Euro clothing. Kind of like being shipwrecked on a deserted island and upon rescue finding out there was a city on the other side.

    Beautiful yellow warbler.

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    Replies
    1. I have read one book about the Lewis and Clark expedition and I enjoyed it. I can't for the life of me imagine what they went through though, we will just never have any idea what it would have been like. In the book I read it made no mention about the Russian ships but I can just imagine what they must have felt when they saw them.

      That was such a bright and pretty bird.

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  3. Enjoy Missoula - we visit several times a year (from Colorado), as our grandson (and his parents) live there. Lots of interesting hiking opportunities! And for something different, the Smokejumper Center gives an interesting tour if they are open these days.

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    Replies
    1. We will do our best to, but the weather isn't going to be very favourable for getting out and about for the next few days but we will give it our best shot.

      The Smokejumper Center sounds really interesting but I am not sure that they are open at this time. I sent of a message to ask though. Thank you for the suggestion.

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  4. Thank you for the snapshot of the Great Falls area. My best friend for the past 50 years lives in Calgary and I live in Michigan. I have been considering moving to Montana to be closer to her and Great Falls was one of my considerations.

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome. We enjoyed our day there but unfortunately missed seeing the historic downtown area which I think would have been interesting to see but we wanted to hit the road before the high winds picked up. It seems like a nice sized city with lots of outdoor activities and beautiful walking/cycling paths throughout the city.

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