Saturday, July 20, 2013

An awesome day in Eastern Montana

This morning we left Hardin heading for the Ft. Peck area.  At Terry we turned left and headed up the “Big Sky Back Country Byway” and followed that to Ft. Peck for a total trip of 306 miles.  We had a vision that eastern Montana was mostly flat ranch land.  Boy were we ever wrong!  The whole drive was beautiful with mostly rolling hills and lots and lots of farm fields.  Looks like the predominate crop is wheat followed by corn.  There were a lot of sugar beets just north of Hardin.  After we were on the Back Country Byway it was mostly ranch land with lots of hay but not very many cattle.  The whole trip today was outstanding and we are sure glad we did this eastern swing.  We did not have any luck getting a COE campground at Ft. Peck which was not surprising since it was a weekend.  However, we did get a site at the marina which is nothing special but is good for one night.  After setting up we went to the Interpretive center where they have lots if great displays of current and prehistoric animal life in the area.  We also signed up for the Powerhouse tour.  We have toured several dams over the years, most notable Hover and Glenn Canyon, but this was by far and away the best tour we have ever been on!  On all the other tours you were always keep at a distance from the generators and the other equipment but on this tour it was really different.  In the first place the tours were small with only 11 people and they took us right down to the generator floor where we could actually walk around the touch them.  Was really neat to be able to feel the vibration and heat from the rotating generator.  Later they took us below the generator to where we could see the turbine and again we were able to get up close and examine things.  We could even touch the rotating shaft from the turbine to the generator.  The whole tour was like an engineer’s field day.  Unfortunately they did not allow photos on the tour.  The whole story of the building of this dam is really amazing.  It was constructed during the depression with 10 thousand workers as a public works program.

Some of the hay fields on the BywayCIMG2015a


One of the exhibits at the interpretive centerDSC_5644a

The spillway, currently under repairDSC_5653a

The sun is setting on the lakeDSC_5663a

1 comment:

  1. Being born and raised over in that part of the state has a lot to do with why I like open spaces without a whole lot of trees in campgrounds. Nice to know about the dam tour. We usually just fish when we're up that way.