Saturday, June 9, 2012

Missoula and Great Falls Montana

Boone & Crockett(Chuck) Often times when we travel we find that we bump into something completely unexpected that turns out to be a little gem that makes you smile. It happened the other day as we were riding on a bike trail in Missoula, MT. Located on the bank of the Clark Fork River is the historic Old Milwaukee Depot. It is a beautiful building with two castle like observation towers and large Romanesque windows. We rode around it once to look at the architecture and discovered this was the home of the Boone and Crockett Club. Over one hundred years ago Theodore Roosevelt and a small group of conservationists formed this organization. Read the Mission Statement photo and you will find these men were dedicated to preserving big game and hunting in North America. The Boone and Crockett Club now also provides a standardized scoring system for measurements of antlers, horns and skulls of trophy big game animals. To learn more of this conservation organization go to http://www.boone-crockett.org 

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The inside of the Boone & Crockett lobby at left and their Mission Statement at right.
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In Great Falls we visited the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. It was another nice surprise. It was very well done and informative. We watched two movies. The first was a general Corps of Discovery and the second dealt with the monumental task of the almost twenty mile portage of the Great Falls and its smaller companions. Nearby is the Giant Springs State Park. It is one of the largest freshwater springs in the world with a volume of 156 million gallons of water per day. It was first recorded by Lewis and Clark in 1805. The large volume of fresh water sustains its pure color for several hundred yards downstream in the muddy Missouri River.

  036The amazingly clear waters of Giant Spring mingling with the waters from the muddy Missouri River. 035The springs tumbling down the rocks from the pool at Giant Springs State Parks. The Roe River is recorded as the one of the world’s shortest river at 58 feet.

040(Jan) We loved biking in both Missoula and Great Falls. Both had a large variety of trails. In Missoula we road along the river, through the university district, into downtown and back. In Great Falls, starting at the Train Depot, we road a loop along the river and over the river bridges. It was amazing to be able to ride that closely along the Missouri. Swollen from spring water flow, the level of the river is quite high but not flooding.

Another thrill was getting to see the falls on the Missouri River, particularly the Great Falls. There have been dams built just above several of them. It’s hard to imagine Lewis and Clark coming upon this sight and having to portage around these mighty falls through the rough countryside.The picture below, was taken at Ryan Dam built just above the 80 foot tall Great Falls of the Missouri.042

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