Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America – Day 15

Aug 16, 2012 View Comments by

What a difference a day makes. Only last evening we were enjoying the quiet serenity of a sundown on the pedestrian bridge, which crosses the Missouri at Fort Benton. After Jeff stopped by the statue of Shep, the “forever faithful” dog, to pay his respects, we ambled back to the Grand Union hotel. Suddenly, a strong wind gusted down Front Street and the lights in the hotel went dark. The owner attributed it to a lightening strike. A major weather front is coming and with it high winds and a lot of rain. Electricity is off and on through the overnight hours.

Morning dawns with leaden clouds and a light drizzle. We don rain gear and head our mounts south. Some 40 minutes later we reach Great Falls, MT, where Lewis and Clark spent several days portaging their boats, supplies, and equipment over several miles in 1805. The most distinguishing feature in this historic location today, however, is the refinery in the middle of town.

Not having sufficient time in our schedule to follow the Missouri to its headwaters at Three Forks, MT, we head west on Route 200 for Missoula, MT. We ride into the foothills of the Rockies and then on higher into the mountains themselves. The rain is intensifying and visibility is declining. Because Jeff and I had a hydroplaning incident with the Can-Ams a few days ago, we throttle back our speed. The temperature is down to a wet and soggy 50 degrees at the Continental Divide. Descending on the western side, we see clearing skies; the rain finally stops. We’re surrounded by pine trees and mountain peaks reaching skyward in a gorgeous alpine landscape. The Clark Fork River leads us on a serpentine path to our day’s place of rest in Missoula, MT.

Read more here:

Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Intro
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 1
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 2
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 3
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 4
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 5
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 6
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 7
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 8
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 9
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 10
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 11
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 12
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 13
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 14
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 16
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 17
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 18
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 19
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 20 
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 21 
Retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail Across America—Day 22 

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