We had a full day of de-camping in Lincoln, driving to Great Falls, looking for a place to camp, finding a place that I balked at and setting up camp there. Along the way we stopped at the fishing town of Craig which is made up of five different fly fishing shops. Five shops in one country block makes for a lot of fly fishing gear for Susan to gawk at, and find the one thing she may not already own. In the restroom of the largest shop/lodge was a photo hanging above the toilet. I can only hope that it has not given Susan any decorating ideas.

This photo may give an inclination of why I was balking at the campsite…

I moaned and complained and told Susan this was the worst place I have ever camped (and it was). But — it turned out that she was right. We had electricity to run our air conditioner in this broiling heat, showers on site, a laundry facility, the price was cheap at $28 a night, AND it was right on the bike trail. Right at the very beginning of it actually.

The Rivers Edge Trail follows along the Missouri River and is a very pleasant ride. The many examples of art work along the way make us wonder if Great Falls isn’t an artsy town. Most of that art along here had something to do with tools or related to tool work.

There was the “Chain Tree”…

…and the hand tool bird..

On our journey we also got to see a bit of “wild life”. We had swallows busily building or visiting their nests.

There were at least two heron that I did not photograph. But I got a White Pelican in its place. I was so disappointed when, after I had put away my camera, this pelican slowly took off into a gliding flight, showing its black tipped wings and reflecting in the calm river. Well, disappointed because I did not get a photo, but so pleased to see this gorgeous bird in flight.

I got this next photo for Cindy as we had both individually missed a fast moving rabbit on her birthday ride. Happy Birthday Cindy.

Great Falls means there are falls in and near the city. There are actually five along the trail, but one was prominent and fairly full enough to offer a beautiful sight.

Lewis and Clark were all around here, and as we continue on along the river — there they are with Sacajawea spotting the falls.

The paved trail ended at the 11 mile mark and would continue for quite a few miles on gravel and dirt — perfect for mountain bikers but not for us. We had some rolling hills to get to this end point at Crooked Falls (dry right now so no photo) but those were the only hills on the trail.

On our return, we visited the Lewis and Clark center which is very well done with great displays and stories. Living in Washington State, we are quite familiar with L&C and have seen a lot of displays and stories about them. Therefore, I took only one photo,

One more stop was at Great Springs State Park and Fish Hathery. Susan was hoping to find out about those big brown fish we had seen jumping and rolling around in schools. Maybe “bottom feeders” someone said; catfish? maybe big brown trout another guessed, could they be pike? No one gave a definitive answer and there was no one at the hatchery to question.

We ate our packed lunch by the cool natural Great Springs that eventually form the shortest river known and feeds into the Missouri River.

Time to get back to (our lovely — but functional) camp. First a stop to enjoy the river for another moment. And to at least look at a fish ;’=)

We didn’t exactly get lost once we got near town, but the signs were a bit unclear so we ended up backtracking for a few more miles than we anticipated. Hot, dusty and tired, we all but collapsed into our recliners with a cold drink and a rest before venturing to the shower. 

2 thoughts on “GREAT FALLS MT”

  1. Thanks Cindy. It was a great trail, and even though only 25 round trip I was more done it from it than from your birthday ride. I think it was the heat and the headwind on the way back,


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