Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Missoula to Three Forks – Headwaters of the Missouri River

(Three Forks, MT)  Hi 87 Lo 53 -- Before we left Jim and Mary's RV Park in Missoula we met with Bud and Paula, the RVillage.com couple that I mentioned in the previous blog. They’re new full timers who are work camping at the park. They were very informative about how the park is managed. They'd rather have a job that's closer to nature, so they’re going to look for work camping jobs in the state parks.

Bud and Paula, with their fur pet Mac
2014-08-17 Paula and Bob rvillage fulltimers

We had a smooth trip from Missoula to Three Forks, which was 180 miles and 3 1/2 hours away.

We got a kick out of this sign just outside Missoula. Sorry we missed it this year. (Not really.)

We crossed a couple of steep passes through the last part of the Rocky Mountain range. We had one long 6% downgrade for six miles. We're really glad that we got a lot of experience in mountain driving this year. Jim found out that driving in mountains isn't that difficult as long as you take your time and follow the proper techniques.


The highway then flattened out, but there were still lots of mountains in the distance.



We arrived at Camp Three Forks RV Park and got set up in our 30-amp full hookup site. We’ll have more information about the park later this week.
2014-08-18 camp three forks MT (1)

Today we took a drive to the small town of Three Forks and had lunch. A lot of the businesses along Main Street were closed. They all seem to have different business hours, some open only a couple of days a week. A sign of the economic times I guess.

After a very good lunch at the Three Forks Cafe we went north of town a few miles to Headwaters State Park. We lived in the St. Louis area for many years (and one of our sons lives there) so we're very familiar with the end of the Missouri River where it flows into the Mississippi. Today we got to see where it begins. Three rivers come together to form the Missouri River. The three are the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers. In this photo the Madison River comes in from the left, the Jefferson is in the center, and the Missouri goes off to the right. The Gallatin flows into the Missouri about a mile downriver.

The very beginning of the mighty Missouri River.

Did you know the Missouri River is the longest river in the U.S., even longer than the Mississippi River? We didn't know that, but it's true.

If you click on these to enlarge them you should be able to read them.


Dee is checking the water temperature. She said it's cold, but not as cold as she thought it would be.

Across the road was Fort Rock, a rock formation with a short hiking path up to the top.
2014-08-19 Missouri Headwaters Three Forks MT (17)


The view of the river from the top. It wasn't all that high, but still pretty neat. An information sign said Meriwether Lewis mapped the rivers from this same spot during the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

That's our car down below.

We had a great afternoon out. Jim had intended to do the laundry at the park laundry room today. But we found out their pipes froze bad enough to burst this last winter, so the laundry room is closed. So he took our laundry a mile down the road to a Pilot Truck Stop and did it in their coin laundry. That's actually a pretty good place to do laundry. He said the machines are good, it's only $1.25 per load, and there's a very comfortable lounge. While he was gone a quick storm came through, but nothing severe.

See you tomorrow.


Dizzy-Dick said...

And again, great pictures!! I got a chuckle out of that sign in the third picture down. I checked out the web site. I don't think I will participate in that festival, but will stick to strawberry festivals.

Bob and Jo said...

We would go to that festival if in the area.

Speedy said...

What a great journey! Love seeing all the places you have visited.

DreamCatcher said...

Awesome pictures and great information. And I wouldn't be attending the festival any time soon...thanks for sharing your adventures