Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ft. Peck, MT-July 2010

When we left Lone Wolf, MT, we headed toward Ft. Peck and Ft. Peck Dam and Lake on the Missouri River. Some of our friends were there already. Close by Ft. Peck they had found dinosaur bones, but we found so much more of interest in the area.....
This T. Rex skull, found on a nearby ranch, is the most complete skull ever found. 90% of the skull was intact when discovered.

Our parking place on the lake shore.

One of our group is relaxing lakeside.

If you look at the rivers in the background, one looks lighter, more white, than the other. That is the Milk River and where it flows into the Missouri. It was so named by Lewis and Clark for its color.

During the building of Ft. Peck Dam a small town of 30,000 people grew up and although little is left, the theater is still operating. We went to see the Will Rogers Revue. Here is Will Rogers doing some of his roping tricks.

The outside of the theater.

These are the 4 diversion tunnels built to divert water on the Missouri River so the dam could be built. Today 2 tunnels divert water to the hydroelectric plant, while the other 2 are for emergency water release only. Each tunnel is 24 ft in diameter and is 1 1/4 mile long. Ft. Peck Dam is the largest hydraulic filled earth dam ever built. It was built in the 1930s and employed 10,000 people.

After leaving Ft. Peck we headed towards Great Falls. On the map we saw a site for a hot springs. It was Sleeping Buffalo Resort. I believe at one time it must have been a really nice place, but time and deterioration have taken its toll. The outdoor pool and play area, including the fancy slides, don't look like they have been open for several years.

But inside, for $5, we could spend all day in the hot tub and pool. Piped in from a natural hot spring nearby, the waters mineral content is supposed to be healing and theraputic. Today, it is the closest thing to a pool the surrounding area has. The place offers an annual pass for families and they even have swimming lessons.

The day we visited there wasn't much activity. In fact we were the only people there. Several of our friends drove by, but seeing the condition of the place didn't stop. They missed out on a nice, hot soak.

Bear Paw Battlefield. The site where Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce Indians surrendered after a 1700 mile flight from the U.S. Army. Only 40 miles from the Canadian border, and safety, they were surprised by the Army. Chief White Bird and about 200 Nez Pierce did make it to Canade where they joined Sitting Bull, a Lakota Indian, and his band.

They say the land looks today much like it did 150 years ago. At the time of the surrender it was cold and snowing and the Army had laid seige to the Indians for 6 days.

I would like to live on that street.

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