Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 24, 2016, Reed Point, Sacajawea Park in Livingston, MT and the Missouri Headwaters State Park, Three Forks, Montana

July 24, 2016, Reed Point for some painting, Sacajawea Park in Livingston along the Yellowstone River, MT and then Missouri Headwaters State Park, in Three Forks, Montana. Helena for the night.

Temperature today was much nicer, we started out below 70 degrees, by the end of the day back up to the 90s but beautiful in the morning. We only had one stop on the agenda today so we traveled rather casually. Leaving Columbus we drove along I-90 and along the Yellowstone River. The Yellowstone is one of the premier rivers for fly fishing and all along it there are signs of where you can stop and go fishing. Being early and the weather beautiful we just got of the highway at Reed Point and headed down to the river. We ended up driving through a little town that looked like it came out of the 1860s. All these very old western buildings. Across the river we found a fishing and boat launch site and decided to hangout and enjoy the morning and do a watercolor. It was a beautiful spot.

Yellowstone River in Reed Point, we stopped here and spent some time
enjoying the river
Driving on we stopped in Livingston, MT for a coffee and discovered another beautiful town along the Yellowstone. At the edge of town is the Sacajawea Park where we went for a walk along the river. All and all a very nice and very picturesque morning.

Sacajawea Park in Livingston, Montana, beautiful spot along the river

Yellowstone River with mountains in the background, Livingston, MT

Bruce standing with a sculpture of Sacajawea and child

After lunch in Bozeman we headed up to Three Forks and the Missouri Headwaters State Park. This is where the Missouri River starts, and it is where William Clark arrived on July 25, 1805 with Lewis coming two days later. Kind of cool to be there around the same day. It might have been just as hot, around 90 degrees. The first thing you see are the ruins of the town of Gallatin City which attempted to get established here in the 1860. Moving down the road a little we come to the headwaters of the Missouri. The area joins three rivers, the Jefferson, the Madison which join and form the Missouri and then just down a little a third river, the Gallatin comes in and the Missouri River is off and running. The Missouri River is 2,341 miles long, winds through seven states and is the longest river in the US.

Entrance to the Missouri Headwaters State Park

What is really cool is that I was able to stand in the river at the point of the headwaters. Right there. Finding this spot was one of the three main objectives give to the Lewis & Clark expedition by President Jefferson. We moved up river a little to also see the Gallatin River. Heading out we drove up to Helena and through some massive wheat fields. They are huge along Route 287.

Bruce standing in the water at the headwaters of the Missouri River

Standing on the observation point looking at the Gallatin River, Montana

The country side around the headwaters wasn't what I expected. I thought from my readings that it would be more like mountains and lots of trees and little stream. But is isn't, it is flat, hot, empty land with mountains off in the distance. The Missouri moves north up into Montana and then over before heading south to the Mississippi. As you drive north along Route 287 you go back and forth over it as it goes back and forth. There are no trees at all, just giant empty space and then massive wheat fields. I guess that is why we come to look and learn. It was a cool day.