Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Friday, January 19, 2018

Fort Peck Dam, Montana and Visitor Center

After leaving the ACOE campground, we visited the Fort Peck Dam and visitor center.  Enjoyed some great views of the dam and spillway.  The campground is located behind the dam.  It is a nice place to overnight or spend some time enjoying the lake or local attractions.  Somehow, we failed to get a picture of this campground.

We visited the dam first, as the visitor center was not yet open.  The dam is the highest of six dams on the Missouri River and the largest hydraulically filled dam in the US.  Driving up on the dam and looking in both directions was truly an amazing sight.  The dam was started in the early 1930’s and at its peak had over 10, 000 workers on site.  The town of Fort Peck was built to support this project providing housing and all the other needs for the construction team.

In 1938, an inspection by the construction engineers discovered problems on the site but before any action could be taken the dam started to collapse.  At least eight men died but only two could be recovered from the mud. The rest are buried in the dam still.

We walked along the dam in the strong winds to view the spill ways and enjoy the view.  I found two rattlesnakes on the dam.  Since it was cold and windy, I believe the first died from exposure and the second clearly had a run in with a vehicle. 

The visitor center was very well done with history of the area and the dam.  It added to the experience. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Returning to Lewis and Clark

We are currently housebound with the (for Florida) bitterly cold weather and now seems like a good time to return to our summer travels on the Lewis and Clark trail

1 June 2017

Today we traveled from the Lewis and Clark State Park, ND to Fort Peck, MT and the ACOE park at the Fort Peck dam.

 Before leaving the Epping area, we visited the LC interpretive center along the Missouri river where it meets the Yellowstone River. This was an important area for the native tribes for hunting.  Lewis and Clark passed thru here and remarked on its lush bounty of game animals.

Then we visited the nearby Army Fort Buford, where Crazy Horse surrendered to the US Army.  It is not much to look at, but it played an important role in the westward movement.  What is most noted for and why I wanted to visit was this is where the great native Chief Sitting Bull surrendered to the US Military.  It was not yet open, so we just had a look around by ourselves.

Then we visited the nearby Fort Union Trading Post where we learned a great deal about the trade with the native tribes from a very knowledgeable guide.  The history of the busy trading between the western tribes and the Europeans is an amazing story in itself.