"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Crossing into Montana & A HUGE Surprise Meeting!

Fort Peck, Montana
Downstream COE CG
Lewiston, Montana
Kiwanis City Park

Say, Ahhh
What in the world is this?!  I'm coming to it....
Just as we were about to cross the border from North Dakota into Montana, we saw "Home on the Range" in rocks on the hillside.  It sits off Hwy 94 in the Little Missouri River National Grasslands outside of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Now we are in Montana with much warmer weather.  Let the fishing begin!  My brother and I each bought a year fishing license as we'd be in Montana for a month or so and planned on lots of fishing!
Our first stop in the NE corner of Montana was Fort Peck.  Fort Peck Lake is the 5th largest artificial lake in the US.  The dam was built from 1933 to 1940 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer by damming the Missouri River to make it more navigable.  It took 10 years to fill.  It is HUGE.
We stayed at the Downstream Campground built by the COE.  $20 for 50amps.  Water spigots are spread throughout and there is a dump station.
Lots of grass and very tall, shady trees.  There is very good spacing as well. You can ride bikes or walk on the nice paved trail or fish on the lake or in the ponds.
Gorgeous sunsets out here over the lake.
The very next morning my brother and I fished at the dam.  Right away he caught a huge 5lb Lake Trout.  Gave him a good fight!

That ended the fishing as we went straight back to camp so he could weigh and clean it.  Guess what's for dinner tonight?
Look at those teeth!
We did try fishing later on but didn't catch anything so we took his Ranger out on several of the dirt roads and scoped out some other fishing spots.  Not much luck though.
So we drove to town and tried out their beer at the Busted Knuckle Brewery.  It was housed in an old abandoned gas station. 
It had fantastic ambiance.  Their flights were served on license plates, the tables were old radiators with glass tops.
Diane and I don't drink beer so we tried their homemade No Octane Root Beer.  Very good!
Cute names for their beer as well.

I like the wrench handles on the taps.
We saw this vintage set up as we left.  How cute is that?
On Sunday we spent the day at the Visitor Center at the lake.  They have a huge hydro electric system here and lots of information about it, the lake and the area.
I learned there were many dinosaurs discovered here.

Look out.  One still bites!

Pretty amazing that Fort Peck made the first cover of LIFE Magazine?
Above is the town of Wheeler in its heyday. (Yes, another town of Wheeler, my maiden name)  It no longer exists today.  It's just an empty area now at the corner of Wheeler St.
It was time to head out through more prairie to Lewistown in the center of Montana for a few days.  Along the way there were these large cutouts of various dinosaurs and other animals.  At least there was something to look at to break up the drive.
Driving through some whistle stop towns along the was Saco.  There were some very old buildings along one side of the road with the railroad on the other.  We decided to stop and check it out and give the dog a run.
The old one room schoolhouse that they proudly display as the place where future national radio and television newscaster, Chester (Chet) Huntley, attended school in 1917.  He was best known for co-anchoring NBC's evening news program, The Huntley-Brinkley Report.  Huntley and Brinkley's catchphrase closing of  "Good night, David"—"Good night, Chet... and good night for NBC News", was well known.
Huntley's last NBC News broadcast was aired on July 31, 1970. An interesting tidbit, he returned to Montana, where he conceived and built Big Sky, a ski resort south of Bozeman.  Huntley died on March 20, 1974, at his home in Big Sky at the age of 62, three days before the opening ceremonies.  He was honored with a cenotaph at Soldiers Chapel on the grounds of the Big Sky Resort.
Besides the schoolhouse was a church and jail.
We finally made it to the campground run by the Kiwanis.  It's a donation-only campground.  There were a few obvious sites but mostly you just pulled out along the inner road and chose a spot on the grass.  There were several people but it was very quiet.  No amenities, but there are bathrooms, a central water hose to fill up.  No dump.

That night we checked out the Elks Lodge.  No camping there but we had a great dinner out in the covered patio which overlooked the golf course.

I can't believe he didn't slip and fall in.  I did have my camera on video though.  Just in case.
As usual while poor Steve and Diane worked my brother and I fished.  A couple of nearby streams kept us very busy.  Some spots were easy to get to along the road or trail, others we had to bushwack to.  We had a great time and caught quite a bit of trout. 

Playful otter.
Big Spring Creek
And finally....  It happened.
  You know how some times you really wish and hope and pray that something will happen?  Well it took 5 years, but we finally hit the jackpot!
We had been trying to meet up with Dino & Lisa of MNDrifters since we met them at the RV Dreams seminar in TN.  They are hard to keep up with.  Either that or they were trying to avoid us.  Not sure which.  Well we knew they were heading to Alaska and it just so happens they knew where we were and decided they could no longer hide.  They went the route that would take them right by where we were in Lewistown.  They didn't tell us either.  I had just gotten back from fishing and Steve says, Hey, Dino and Lisa are here!  I said What?! Where?  He said right behind us.  Steve shows me his facebook where Dino and Lisa had posted a picture of their camper and that they were tucked in for the night in Lewistown. They were just waiting for us to notice.
If you look closely that's our rig way behind them!
Oh those tricky kids!  Look how happy they are to finally run into us again!
We went in to town and had some dinner at the brewery.
We sat around camp a bit and talked and talked.  They told us all about there Alaska plans and we got to tour their cute camper.  Love it.  When we go to Alaska that is how we will do it.  Buy a camper and store the 5er.
Then we said our goodbyes and watched the magnificent sunset!

WOW!  Meeting up with THEE Dino and Lisa and THIS sunset!  How could it get any better?
Thanks guys for making our 2019 into such a great year!



  1. Wow...those are some nice fish! That’s awesome getting a visit from the illusive Dino and Lisa. Great sunset!
    Safe travels!

    1. It was nice to see them again. The fish was pretty awesome too!

  2. Love it when they have root beer at a brewery!! Some awesome sunsets pictures. Glad you got to meet up with your friends again...finally.

    1. It was really good Root Beer, not too sweet. The sunsets were especially nice while we were there.

  3. It was great to meet up with you guys. I remember it as if it was only 66 days ago. I mean yesterday. See you down the road sometime, I think.

    1. If you're lucky! HA HA! No matter what the map says, we are not on the way to Disneyland!

  4. I'll take some beer, heavy on the root :-/ Oh, and a side of vanilla ice cream too!

  5. Great looking fish, sunsets and friends.

  6. That water looks cold, especially in early June! We're headed back to the Lewiston area now, hoping for no smoke this time. You two are fun to "sneak up on", like we did in Homolovi :-) Amazing skies!!!!

    1. It was very cold. We've lucked out with no smoke this trip, so far. Hope the skies stay blue for you guys. That's, right, I almost forgot about Homolovi!

  7. Holy crap that is a nice fish! I see Dino and Lisa finally tracked you down but I thought it was those two who were always in the "undisclosed locations". Glad you all met up, you are both great people to hang around with.

    1. It was a nice fish. They were drawn to us like a magnet! Like moths to a lightbult. Like flies to.... well, you get it!


I’d love to hear from you! It’s more fun when you leave a comment!