Pottsluck-Olympic Dreams travel blog

yellowtail dam


Wild Horses

Montana Wild

Top of the Bluff, Bighorn Canyon

Across the Prairie

2018-09-03.Bighorn Canyon

It was a fairly long drive from the Little Bighorn river area to the Bighorn River and the Bighorn River National Recreation Area centered by its Yellowtail Dam. This is really wild Montana. Ten miles of the trip was across Crow Indian territory. In the town, trash littered the highway and shoulders and there was a general look of poverty or neglect with homes needing a lot of work. The prairie though had some nicer ranches with horses and cattle grazing throughout. Thereafter, the countryside turned green with irrigated fields along a broad plain between two high ridges. We arrived at the national recreation area and visited the dam. It is a thin arch dam whose sides are designed in such a way to press the structure into the hillsides. The Yellowtail Dam was quite lovely and there was a downstream dam operated by the Indian tribes who also run guided fishing trips. After the dam, we decided to head into the hills for lunch. As we drove the winding road, out of the corner of Bob's eye, he saw two black bears, a mother and a yearling cub, galloping down the hillside. We stopped the car and watched them run into some tall grass only to re-appear and disappear again into a ravine. Then, as we approached the top of a hill, we were surrounded by wild horses. We stopped, and had lunch alongside of the horses at the top of a high bluff. It was gratifying to see wild animals living in this place of stark contrasts between the windswept bluffs of the plains and the lush irrigated crop filled valleys.

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