Leaving Missoula for Great Falls and Fort Benton.
We left eastbound through the downtown business loop of Missoula. Past the 1880’s buildings mixed with modern businesses. Past the University of Montana and along the Clark Fork River.
The landscape began to change to more desert plants, then hay fields and cattle. And many crossings and following along the river.
We kept seeing signs for Paws Up, so I finally looked it up on my smart phone and found that it was a resort. You can click this link to read about Paws Up.
We also saw signs saying Blackfoot WPA which got me curious. So I looked it up to find it was
Waterfowl Production Area, restoring wetlands.
We passed a few logging trucks going the opposite directions, and watched several pieces of Farm Equipment that were cutting the hay, then gathering it up into bales, and then giant fork lifts putting them on trucks for transport.
Somewhere along the way we passed the TV station with the large satellite dishes sending out the programming for ABC and FOX and probably more stations.
Through the farming areas there were huge grain silos, and several really long trains pulling grain cars. We passed through Great Falls and continued to Fort Benton 40 miles north.
After setting up in our campground, we went down into Great Falls to the Elks Lodge for refreshments and a lodge pin. They were, of course, very friendly and showed us a (copy of a) painting of Elk by the town’s very famous artist C.M. Russell
. There is a museum of his works in town. If you would like to know more about him, check out this link to the C.M. Russell Museum.