Truck trip to Fort Peck Dam, holding more water than ever

June 9, 2018 Mosby to Jordan, MT 

MJ riding

Principal Rider is also the Principal Planner for this trip, and she had made plans to stay in Jordan, MT, which did not look so good in pictures and looked even worse in reality. Although we did have a very nice lunch there in the shade of the park — and I got to use my new camping table! Thanks again to our SAG person, the truly wonderful Kathy.

Picnic table
See my new camping table? It’s on the right side.

Mary Jo thought that it would be more fun to head up to Fort Peck, which sounded fine to me since it meant the bikes would be in the back of the truck. So reservations were made and canceled and off we went.

We thought of riding up to the turn off to Fort Peck, but the wind and hills had taken the toll on us. So we finished with 50.6 miles for the day and headed north in the truck.

We stayed at the Fort Peck Lodge, built in 1933 as a temporary housing and garage for the 10,000 or so people who came to build the Fort Peck Dam. The lake on the Missouri River is 134 miles long, and it’s all head back by an earth-filled dam.

MJ and KT at FP
Kathy and Mary Jo in front of the Fort Peck Lodge.
KT and JB at FP
Our SAG rider and the Slowest Rider.

Because of the wet spring in Montana this year, the article in the Billings Gazette points out that it has held back more water than ever before: “Looming above the plain like a great grassy green berm, Fort Peck Dam has impounded more Missouri River water this spring than ever before — enough to cover all of Yellowstone National Park with 6 feet of water.”

We walked around the houses that have been built there in the temporary-then-became-permanent community and found them to be very nice houses and government buildings.

Lobby

Bear
The waitress said he showed up overnight

The lodge makes it obvious that hunting/fishing/outdoors to the rural Montana economy is huge to them. Every room is filled with trophy heads, pictures with big fish and dead deer, elk and antelope.

Somehow we had one room that was decorated with something other than the manly arts of fishing and hunting. We had a picture from the Moulin Rouge, a copy of the Mona Lisa and a Dutch masters portrait. Maybe we looked that way to them.

And the Principal Rider became the Principal Hunter, her room filled with lovely trophy pictures.

Mosby to Jordan

Pass the steak, pie and, yes, blue-cheese dressing

June 8, 2018 Lewistown to Mosby, MT

Judith Mtn
John, south of the Judith Mountains, a wonderful day of riding in Montana

We rode all 79.6 miles today. The first seven miles out of Lewistown was uphill, and then we had 20 miles of downhill. Great ride with Judith Mountains in the distance, and that’s where this picture was taken.

We started in on what would become a common theme today: Uphill and then a bit of down, then uphill and then down. Last year, when we rode across Nevada, there was steady uphill going up the pass and then a corresponding down hill into the next basin. It always seemed like we got short changed on the downhill on this rollers. Up, up, up and then down, then up, up and one-half do–.

Delores
Delores, who puts on a pretty good spread

We stayed at the Hill Ranch Oasis, a bed and breakfast, run by 84-year-old Delores. She gets help from daughter, sons and in laws for the two seasons she has: May and June for prairie-dog shooting (we did not do that) and then in the fall for hunting deer, elk, antelope and dire wolves (only if they are stalking the livestock).

The Hill Ranch Oasis had many cattle and sheep but sold them as Phil, the patriarch passed away recently.

The meal that night was tops: Steaks, fried potatoes, asparagus, pickled beets and plain old pickles and green salad with the blue-cheese dressing. Delores made the dressing, and it was the best ever. I’d go back just for that. Choice of pie for dessert: Strawberry rhubarb (my favorite) and cherry. With ice cream, if you wanted it. I’m sure I forgot something because I was too busy eating all of it.

And the next morning? Pancakes, to get you off to a good start.

Dining room
In city the living room, dining room area of The Hill Ranch Oasis.

Lewistown to Mosby