Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Scenic Drive in Montana

6 June 2017

We departed Fairchild AFB campground for Bonner's Ferry ID..a short 120 miles via IH 90 to exit 12 in Coeur d"Alene up Hwy 95/2. Upon arrival at Blue Lake Campground just off Hwy 95/2, we decided to reduce our stay to just a week instead of the original 2 weeks. We were assigned site A7 up on the hill. Nice campground around 8 miles south of Bonner's Ferry. We decided to go to Creston BC for a week and made reservations at the Pair of Dice RV Park. It is only around 40 miles from Bonner's Ferry. This is our first visit to Northern Idaho.

Blue Lake RV Park

Blue Lake

Site A7

Thompson Signage

View of Kootenai Valley

Bonner's Ferry was founded in 1899 and has a population of around 10,000 and sits in the scenic Kootenai Valley on the Kootenai River. The Black Mountain at 6100 feet and Clifty Mountains at 6700 feet overlook the valley and town. The area is home to the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho who still retain their native language and customs. Bonner's Ferry gets its name from Edwin Bonner who established a ferry to serve the prospectors and miners crossing the Kootenai River to British Columbia.

Tomorrow we are going to do the circle tour in Montana thru Yaak, down the east side of Lake Koocanusa, Libby Dam, and Troy. This is our first time in the Northwest part of Montana . Below is map.
Map of our Route

After turning off Hwy 2 to 508, we stopped at Yaak Falls, a must stop..did not see any bears however. Next we stopped in Yaak hoping to have lunch at the famous "Dirty Shame Saloon", but they were closed so we walked across to the Yaak Tavern. After lunch saw that they were open.

No Sightings

Yaak River Signage

Yaak Falls

Yaak River

Yaak Tavern

Dirty Shame Saloon

Continuing on our journey via Hwy 508 through the forest and mountains..very winding, we found that when we stopped at the Koocanusa Bridge we had lost a hubcap. After crossing the bridge we turned right on Hwy 37 toward the Libby Dam. Definitely recommend Hwy 37 at this point instead of continuing on 508. It is a better road and affords better views of the Lake. Lake Koocanusa extends 90 miles upstream from the Dam. 42 miles are in British Columbia.It was named for the treaty between the Kootenai and Canadian government and US. It is the thrid largest tributary to the Columbia river. The name was chosen in  a contest using the first 3 letters of the KOOtenai, CANada & USA.

View of Lake

Bridge Across from Hwy 508 to Hwy 37

Libby Dam is on the Kootenai River and was dedicated in 1975. It holds back 90 miles of water in Lake Koocanusa.

Kootenair River View at Osprey Lookout Hwy 37

We stopped at the Heritage Museum in  Libby for John to do some reearch on HBC posts in the area of which there are no markers. He was however, able to pinpoint the sites and the museum had a good display. I wandered around the museum viewing some of the exhibits including a very good collection of quilts. This is a very extensive museum with outdoor exhibits as well.

We had intended to stop at Kootenai Falls and the swinging bridge, but time was getting late and decided to do this another day as it is only an hour from Bonner's Ferry.

Arriving back in Bonner's Ferry,we spotted  a  pizza parlor and decided to have dinner. The Goat Mountain Pizza is located in the historic downtown and must say very good.

Tomorrow is a stay at home day as rain is predicted and gives us time to catch up.

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