Sunday, August 31, 2014


Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 49 Passing Storms High 68) 

During their winter at Fort Mandan during the winter of 1804-1805 the Mandan Indians told Lewis and Clark they would travel on what is now called the Missouri River for a ways and then come upon "great falls". Here is the Great Falls before the Ryan Dam was built and at high water time, this is from the internet. This is close to the falls as they appeared to Lewis and Clark.

Realizing that they had to portage around the falls William Clark was sent ahead to scout the best passage. What he found was four more falls, along with the Giant Springs that we blogged about yesterday, making the trip even longer. It turned out to be an 18 and 1/4 mile portage around the falls. We toured the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and they had this diorama depicting part of the journey to portage the big canoes around the falls.

The Interpretive Center is neat and deserves a visit. You walk a timeline of their journey westward. There are a lot of different films and talks throughout the day. You could spend an entire day here. We even heard the folklore about the Welsh Indians, how explorers from Wales predated Columbus and intermingled with the Indians. For our journey it is back to the falls. Here is what Great Falls and Ryan Dam looked like to us during low water.

The viewing for the dam/falls is on a island and you cross this bridge which can sway. 

For those that know Jo she was very brave and went across the bridge. Bob stopped to take a picture and Jo kept going slowly while clinging to the hand rails. When Bob finished he walked at normal speed and the bridge started swaying. Jo planted her feet, gripped the hand rails even tighter and yelled 'nobody move'. Luckily it was only Bob on the bridge at the time and he knew to pay attention. We then walked together very slowly there with no swaying for the remainder and for the return trip. Here is the shot downstream that Bob was after.

Here is what Great Falls/Ryan Dam looks like during high water, taken from the internet.

Of the four remaining falls only three are visible. The damming of the river has caused Colter Falls to be flooded. We wished we were here during high water as it would even be more impressive. Here is Crooked Falls, also known as Horseshoe Falls.

Rainbow Falls and Dam

Black Eagle Falls and Dam with Great Falls, the town, in the distance.

Great Falls was a treat to visit and learn more about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. All of these sights were within 20 miles of our park.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 55 Mostly Cloudy with a Thunderstorm High 74) 

Who knew there was so much to see in Great Falls Montana. We sure didn't until we got here. That is the beauty and grandeur of this country, you can choose a place to spend a few days because it is convenient for your trip and end up with some incredible memories.

Great Falls figured prominently in the Lewis and Clark Expedition, much more on that later. Today we will talk about Giant Springs, which is along the Missouri River. Our first glimpse of Giant Springs was along the Roe River, in 1989 named the world's shortest river at 201' by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Here is the Roe River flowing out of Giant Springs under the bridge.

The Giant Springs. 150 million gallons of water per day flow from the springs.

Up close the springs flowing over rocks.

Ducks enjoying the flow from the springs into the Missouri River.

Springs bubbling up.

Extremely clear water, yes there is water on top of the vegetation.

The springs to the Roe River.

Of Giant Springs William Clark noted (typed from his journal with all the grammar issues)

" . . . we proceeded on . . . to the largest fountain or Spring I ever saw , and Doubt if it 
is not the largest in America Known. this water boils up from under th rocks near   
the edge of the river and falls imediately into the river 8 feet and keeps it colour  
for 1/2 a mile which is emencely Clear and of a bluish Cast . . ."

~ Capt. William Clark, June 18, 1805

Also in the Giant Springs State Park is a trout hatchery. Here are the show fish that you can feed.

One of the areas with trout ready to be released. 

This is just one of the many neat things to see and do related to Lewis and Clark in the area, stay tuned.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 53 Sunny to Partly Cloudy High 84) 

Consider this a call for more creativity in street names. The latest bad example is our current town of Great Falls. The streets are numeric with either a street or avenue with an occasional named street like Central. Being at the intersection of 9th and 10th just doesn't make sense and shows a complete lack of creativity.

It can also cause problems like it did for Bob yesterday. After dropping off Jo for her haircut he was going to get the truck washed. He had checked the route before he left and he knew he would be increasing in numbers along the way. He hadn't heard anything from the GPS on his smartphone for awhile and glanced at it and saw it was blank. Pulling off to the side of the road he hurriedly put in his destination again, or thought he did. He didn't worry when a couple of turns ensued figuring he had passed his turn. And he wasn't bothered when the numbers were increasing until, until that is he started recognizing features close to Jo's haircut place. He wanted to increase in Streets but was increasing in Avenues, if that makes any sense. Of course it doesn't make sense!!

Turns out the destination he hurriedly chose was the haircut place and because of construction he ended up on a different way back to the place. So he pulls off again and puts in a new destination making sure it is the truck wash place. Why can't all the towns be like Kansas City where you can stand on the corner of 12th Street and Vine? 

Not 12th Street and 12th Avenue for heavens sake. Or why can't towns be like Winslow Arizona where you can be standin' on the corner?

Jo says we just don't get out much.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 52 Mostly Sunny High 84) 

Part of the planning for next summer involves making sure we see what we want to see. As mentioned before Bob has been gathering tidbits about locations all over the country into documents. Then he enters those sites into a Google Map. Since some of those maps exceed the 200 marker limit set by Google he uses to convert that Google Map with multiple pages into a single view. He recently completed the maps for Ohio.


New York

On the left of our blogs is the following section, 'Our Google Maps - Places to See and Eat'.

Stay tuned, he will be adding more maps since we will be seeing a lot of new states next summer.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Currently in Great Falls MT (Low 42 Mostly Sunny High 78)

We left St. Mary Montana yesterday and headed to Great Falls Montana. Wouldn't you know it the weather finally cleared after 6 days of rain. Here is a shot taken from the truck as we were leaving.

Oh well, at least it was a nice travel day. It was approximately 170 miles, here is the route we took.

View Larger Map

We are staying at Dick's RV Park. While here we plan to catch up on shopping and do a little sightseeing.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 25, 2014


Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 37 Cloudy Currently 40)
Heading to Great Falls MT (Currently 48 Showers Later High 67)

Location, Location, Location! You could not ask for a better location than the Glacier Park KOA. We are very close to the east entrance of Glacier National Park. Although the weather has been cloudy and rainy every day except the day we went into the park it still has been a fun time. Jo got a lot of reading done and Bob planned more of next years big trip out east. If its going to be cloudy and rainy you could not picture a more scenic place. We especially liked the cloud formations in the surrounding area and how low hanging they were. These shots were taken out our back window.

There are not a lot of trees around so just about any site would work for our satellite dish but we have a backin with a nice view of Glacier National Park. The view to the left of GNP during a more sunny time.

Straight back from our window.

The view to the right of GNP.

Here is the Cameo in the site.

The campground to the right.

The campground to the left.

This KOA has Kabins, upscale lodging in park models that have DirecTV dishes, and tent areas. There is a nice path down to St. Mary Lake. Wish we could have done more walking and picture taking but it rained most of the time we were here.

We are off to Great Falls Montana today, Lord willing and the slideout comes in.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 36 Cloudy with Showers High 53) 

We were surprised about how many waterfalls we saw along the Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier National Park. So many that we decided they earned their own blog entry.

It was a great day first of all because Jo is feeling better. Add to that a grizzly bear, scenery and waterfalls and you have a great day. We are so blessed to be able to travel this great country at our own pace and see such gorgeous things.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 22, 2014


Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 40 Cloudy and Cool with Showers High 54) 

We picked a good day to go to Glacier NP as we have been socked in with clouds and rain ever since. We decided to drive ourselves on the Going-to-the-Sun road since Jo has not been feeling well and if she started not feeling well we did not want to be on the Red Bus.

There was a lot of road construction which slowed us down and we could see the bad weather coming in so we did not make it all the way to West Glacier but still got some great scenery shots, and our first grizzly that we blogged about yesterday.

The drive was fine except for a couple of places on Logan's Pass where Bob pulled the mirrors in. He never had to stop but it did get close a couple of times. This was in a 1 ton dually so the road is probably doable for a lot of vehicles.

The scenery on the road was amazing.

The next blog entry will deal with all the waterfalls that you see on the way.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 44 A Couple of Thunderstorms High 58) 

As you can see in the heading above we are in the rainy season here in St. Mary Montana. According to the forecast Tuesday was probably the sunniest day that we will have during our stay so we headed to Glacier National Park. We took a lot of photos so have decided to break up our adventure into three posts. This one deals with our first sighting of a grizzly bear ever. Future posts will deal with the Going-to-the-Sun road and the waterfalls in Glacier NP.

Realizing that we don't have the best camera for faraway shots, you will have to click to enlarge them and then zoom, but this was close enough for us considering it was a grizzly bear.

Another shot

Our last shot

We got a much better view with our binoculars. The large hump of muscle was clearly evident. It was great to see our first grizzly.

Next blog entry we will see shots of our driving tour of the Going-to-the-Sun road.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 49 Storms High 68) 

The weather yesterday was clear until about 3p so we went to Glacier National Park visitors center and then drove the Going-to-the-Sun road. We have a lot of pictures to go through for a future blog entry.

In the mean time we will review 'The Intouchables' that we saw via Netflix. We usually only review movies currently showing but this one touched us. 

We saw a trailer on another movie we got from Netflix and decided to give it a try. Face value of this movie is one that we would not like for a number of reasons. It is a foreign film with subtitles, illegal drug use, sexual situations, and profanity. In spite of all that it got a rare 5 from us on the Netflix rating system.

The subtitles didn't bother us as much as they would have. We are watching the show 'Switched at Birth' on ABC Family which deals with deaf kids and have gotten used to them. The profanity didn't bother us as much because you are hearing the French and reading the words which seemed to dull the impact.

On to the movie which is based on a true story. An ex con shows up to a job interview just to get his papers signed so he can continue to receive his benefits. The job is to care for a man paralyzed from the neck down. The man is tired of all the pity he's getting after his paragliding accident, which he gets none from the ex con, and he decides to hire him for a one month trial period.

What follows is this unlikely pair learning more about each other and becoming life long friends. It is neat at the end of the movie to see the real duo and find out what has happened in their lives since.

A tough movie to recommend so again here is your caveat emptor; foreign film with subtitles, illegal drug use, profanity. If that doesn't scare you off then give this movie a try and then let us know what you think.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo