It’s a Dam Big Country — Day 3

A late start this morning.

First up the Canyon Fer­ry dam about 20 miles south­east of Hele­na MT.

The lake behind it is huge and full of boats and fish­ing and stuff. From the ‘front’ it’s not a very impres­sive dam.

canyon ferry dam
canyon fer­ry dam

To reach the vis­i­tors’ cen­ter (closed) and an entire sub­urb of Hele­na you dri­ve across the dam.

It takes a few min­utes to fig­ure out how to get around to the back side of the dam from the vis­i­tors’ cen­ter. It’s worth a few min­utes of wan­der­ing around to find this.

the back side of canoyon ferry dam
the back side of canyon fer­ry dam

The riv­er down­stream of the dam is pret­ty impres­sive as well.

downstream view of the canyon ferry dam
down­stream view of the canyon fer­ry dam

At the camp­ground ffrom which I took the last pic­ture I was scold­ed by this starling.

scolding campground starling
scold­ing camp­ground starling

Leav­ing the Hele­na area I took Hwy 12 east. At the left turn of 12 in the Townsend I found the Broad­wa­ter Coun­ty EMS rais­ing mon­ey to buy radios and pagers.

broadwarter cty ambulance doing double duty as a billboard
broad­wa­ter coun­ty ambu­lance doing dou­ble duty as a billboard

If there’s only one stop sign in town that’s where you stand to get the most atten­tion. (That’s the new guy out there look­ing for mon­ey so that he can have a radio too!)

just about everybody gave them at least a couple of bucks.
just about every­body gave them at least a cou­ple of bucks.

Had a love­ly chat with one of the mem­bers who was orig­i­nal­ly from *Sno­homish*. He said they tried the traf­fic stop thing a while ago to hand out appli­ca­tions for EMS/Fire train­ing and peo­ple kept try­ing to give them mon­ey. So they’re try­ing it again.

Stopped for lunch in White Sul­fur Springs. The wind was real­ly blow­ing. I felt the Shark get light a cou­ple of times.

On the way out of town I found this lit­tle dam. No name, no noth­ing. Just a lit­tle dam with a shal­low lake behind it and not much to speak of in front of it.

some of the dams aren't so big
some of the dams aren’t so big

Much of 12 runs through cat­tle coun­try. These wind­mills broke up the monot­o­ny a bit.

cows and windmills
cows and windmills 

While I was tak­ing the wind­mill pic­tures this love­ly fel­low was singing at my back.

big sky singer
big sky singer

Final stop for the day before head­ing to the motel was Har­low­ton. I stopped to use the loo at the park and I found a small town rodeo arena.

These two fel­lows ran over to great me.

a coiple of cattle dogs who, briefly, found me interesting
a cou­ple of cat­tle dogs who, briefly, found me interesting

But quick­ly lost inter­est. The bulls being moved around behind the pan­els were much more interesting.

there is a bull in the blue box...
there is a bull in the blue box…

I packed it in for a final run to Roundup.

Okay, maybe not. Small towns are full of sur­pris­es and here not two blocks from the are­na was the last elec­tric loco­mo­tive on the Mil­wau­kee Line set up in a pock­et park.

the last electric locomotive on the milwaukie line
the last elec­tric locomotive

(Yes, I have a pic­ture of the sign describ­ing the exhib­it. I’ll send it to any train nuts who ask.)

Hmm,  that’s a lot to say about a day that seemed like it most­ly con­tained this:

it's a long way from here to there
it’s a long way from here to there

Today’s Route:

View It’s a Dam Big Coun­try ‑Day 3 in a larg­er map

About the Author

Lara Harriger


  1. Good to see that you’re hav­ing fun!

    Am quite jeal­ous in that I’m not out on the road myself.

  2. LOVE that pho­to of the paint stripe of the road… I’ve got a sim­i­lar one of my parked side­ways across the paint stripe on High­way 50 across Neva­da that I’ll need to hunt down now!

  3. Technoshaman

    Glad I’m not the FNG there… stand­ing on hot black­top is no fun. Did that four sum­mers; got out of the biz. 

    Yeesh. Straight *and* dou­ble yel­low. One or t’other is fine. Both? Think I’d come right out of my gourd after too much of that.

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