Lynd and I left Helen, MT yesterday after a two+ week visit with our daughter Christina. It is always a special treat to be able to visit with Christina and meet some of her friends and co-workers. This year we were invited to their Crawfish Boil, which was a first for us. We had a very tasty time.
We drove eight and half hours to Glendive, MT. Imagine, 8.5 hrs and we are still in Montana. It is indeed a very large state. Glendive is in Eastern Montana about 30 miles from the North Dakota border. I-94 E is a very good interstate with much less traffic than so many other major highways.
Tuesday morning we went to visit the Frontier Gateway Museum here in Glendive. It contains a lot of 1800's memorabilia and farming equipment, and a complete dinosaur fossil that was found only a couple of miles from here.
Afterwards we drove to Sidney, MT, a small town about 50 miles away. The landscape here is very similar to the bad lands in Theodore Roosevelt N.P. in North Dakota, and the Black Hills of South Dakota. This is a very rural area with lots of big farming operations. We ate lunch at the Rodiron Grill, which is new and in an up and coming area of Sidney.
We drove to the Fort Union Trading Post, in North Dakota, which was the most important fur trading post on the upper Missouri River for 39 years. Fort Union served from 1828-1867, longer than any other post of the frontier. Just down the road is Fort Buford, which was established in June, 1866 and was a major link in American military strategy for the 19th century. It is located at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. Fort Buford became home to 6 companies of infantry and cavalry, including Buffalo Soldiers from 1891-1895. In 1924, it became a state historic site. It is also known as the site where Sitting Bull formally surrendered his rifle to the commander of Fort Buford on July 9, 1881.
The area around the confluence of these two rivers is the only undeveloped confluence of rivers in the world. In 1864 the US Army claimed 30 square miles of the area and it is still owned by the government today. The confluence of the rivers is also home to a unique fish, known as the Paddlefish. There are only two species of paddlefish in the world; an extremely endangered speices found only in portions of the Yangtze River drainage in China and a species native to North America found in 22 states throughout the Missouri and Mississippi River basins.
On the drive back to Glendive, just outside the small town of Savage, we saw a ring-necked pheasant trying to cross the road in front of us. Thankfully, it turned around and retreated to safety instead of continuing across the road. What a beautiful and majestic bird.
Tomorrow we leave for North Dakota, but it will only be a travel day as will the following day.
Hope each of you is well and having a great start to your summer. Before you know it, July 4th will be here.
Looking forward to communicating with you again soon.