Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We're in Montana!

It was a wonderful drive on highway 2 east, then north, across Idaho and into Montana. The scenery was absolutely wonderful! If I can sit for almost seven hours, (it took us longer because we stopped for an hour to see something really cool!) and the scenery has Sparky's attention instead of her knitting, it's got to be very beautiful, and it was!

We are at the North American RV Park in Corman, Montana. If you stay six days you get the seventh day free, or you can get a Good Sam's discount for shorter stays.  It works out to 39.50 plus tax a day for us this week, a little over budget, but we are about five miles from the western entrance of Glacier National Park with full hookups and 50 amp service. They have free wi-fi here that works pretty well. Verizon air card works VERY slowly, but cell service with AT & T is adequate. Since we are not using diesel this week while sitting, and didn't have to fill up on the way over, that's a little savings for us and justifies a more convenient park stay to see Glacier.

On our way today, we saw the Kootenai Mountains in the distance and as we made our way on highway 2,  a sign caught my eye. It said, "Historical Point" 2 miles. The historical point is the Kootenai Falls and river and wildlife management area at milemarker 21, just outside of Libby, MT. This historical site was considered sacred by the Kootenai Indian tribe.  As we got closer, we discovered that there were some falls and a suspension bridge.  There were big signs pointing to a pulloff to the left of the highway. Being the kid I am, I excitedly exclaimed, "Oh, COOL! A suspension bridge and falls--WOW!" And all of a sudden, Eldy swings quickly with the motorhome and tow into the pulloff on the opposite side of the highway! What a guy! I wasn't really asking to stop, I was just excited to see that stuff, (but secretly was wishing we could). I didn't give Eldy much notice but he deftly steered into the pullout. That was a quick turn, Eldo! Out we hopped and ended up doing about a mile and a half hike to first see and walk the bridge, then see the falls.

You hike on a winding path alongside the river to get to the bridge, but first you have to climb stairs and cross over an enclosed bridge over double railroad tracks. This bridge is suspended on iron rails. You can feel movement while you cross the bridge to the other side, but NOTHING like the suspension bridge! Then back down steps to get back on the rocky dirt trail. The trail turns into a Y, and you go left to see the suspension bridge or right to see the falls. Here's what the bridge looks like before you get to it.
The swinging bridge is totally suspended over the river below. It's narrow, about three and a half feet wide, there are rails and fencing to hold onto, but the bridge creaks and groans as you cross over it. It sounds like the wooden floorboards are going to crack. Some of them have cracks in them!...Scary!

Here's another view from a different angle.....

Thank goodness, Eldy didn't try to shake, rattle and roll the bridge when I followed him onto it! It was doing enough of that all by itself!  They have a rule that no more than five people can be on the bridge at any one time...that's probably a good rule to have as much as that thing moves!

We retraced our steps and went over to the's hard to explain these falls, and the photos don't do them justice. Instead of falls that are high and skinny and thundering over the edge of tall cliffs like we've seen in the northwest states of Oregon and Washington, these are not as elevated but they were still cool! They thundered over several stair step layers of unique rock formations.....the falls are the largest undammed falls in the state of Montana. There is a 300 foot change in elevation in just a few hundred yards as the falls thunder over layered rock cliffs.

It was a wonderful way to break up the driving day, AND we got some hiking in...woo-hoo! Can't wait to read all our brochures about Glacier and see what we will be doing in the next few days...see you later, in Glacier!


  1. The falls look beautiful, but that bridge didn't look too steady. I've driven US 12 through some of Montana and Idaho, but I'd like to do route 2 some time.

  2. Great decision to pull out. That is a wonderful site. We are putting it on the list to do on the way to the NP.

  3. LOVE suspension bridges and this is a great looking one. What fun!!