Sunday, July 19, 2020

'The long and winding road........'

8:45 am - Sunday - July 19th - Valier, MT - 62° F, 48% humidity, wind 10 mph out of the northwest......clear, blue skies today with a forecast high of 80° F......on this date in 2013 we were at the Columbia Ice Fields in Alberta, Canada.......↴

......the view this morning.......↴

 Lake Frances (Valier, MT) 

After rain most of the night the dawn broke very clear, and cool....a perfect driving day.  We were on the road a tad after 9 am driving to the fairgrounds to Central Ave. where we turned left to make the run uphill to US-191.  On our way we stopped briefly at the Napa Automotive/Hardware store to exchange our 36" fluorescent tubes for the correct 48" variety, then we were on our way once again.  As was the case on Wednesday US-191 continued to amaze......the never ending long and winding road.......

....after about 36 miles we transitioned to US-87 which continued to elicit 'oooohs and ahhhhs' as we trundled northwest toward Great Falls.......

We saw thousands of acres of 'rapeseed', an interim crop.  You see a lot of this in Southern Alberta....fields of gold stretching for miles in all directions

.....our total mileage for Saturday was around 202, so we took a couple of breaks at Rest Areas to break up the drive, and stretch our legs......

.....eventually we came to the outskirts of Great Falls, and something we have not seen for quite sometime.....traffic after another for about 8 miles as we slowly edged toward I-15 to head northbound to the small burg of Valier, MT, and our destination for the day of Lake Frances.........

....we arrived just minutes after Claude and Gail who had driven the 55 miles from Choteau, MT to meet us as we continue our tandem journey.....

....the Lake Frances Campground is first come, first served, so there was some concern on our part about getting a couple of sites on a Saturday, and as we approached the campground on Lake Street those fears were realized....the place was packed....but never always works out.....Claude and Gail had already snagged a two site package enabling us to park with our patios facing each other.  For $25/night you get a lake view and 30 amp electric......score!  

Before parking we utilized the onsite dump station to discharge our effluent from the past 4 5 days, and then backed into our site.  The view (see the picture above called 'the view this morning') is nothing at which to sneeze.  Lake Frances is an irrigation reservoir providing boating, and fishing opportunities, as well as camping with electric, or dry camping if you prefer....the dry camping is free, just like the boat ramp, and other related facilities.

Just before sunset TLE and I took a long walk over to the boat launching area, and back to the far end of the campground.......

.....this is the first time in a while we have been in a position to see a sunset with the big horizon as the backdrop.  We returned to find that Claude and Gail had started a campfire, so we retrieved our chairs, along with adult beverages and joined them until after 10:30 pm.....a great end to another nomadic day wandering around the hinterlands of Montana.

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