An Adventure in U-turns

Day 3 – Ft. Peck dam and lake

Yes!  We were ready by 9 a.m. and left the Edgewater Inn and RV park in Malta.  (I am rating the campgrounds as we travel along.  Check out the ratings by clicking on ***Campgrounds along the way on the side bar.)

One of many grain silos along the way.  Hillsdale, MT

One of many grain silos along the way. Hillsdale, MT

Our travels took us along Hwy 2 east through Glasgow and then south on Hwy 24 to Ft. Peck.

Our first destination was the Fort Peck Interpretive Center and Museum.  But before we got to the Center, we came across the old Fort Peck hotel and our enthusiastic friend from Malta said this is a must see.  So we stopped and enjoyed a bit of history from 1930’s era when President Roosevelt authorized the building of  the Ft. Peck dam under the New Deal during the Great Depression.  This hotel served many folks who came to this area to find a job during a very difficult time in the United States history.

Hotel Fort Peck.  1030's era

Hotel Fort Peck.

The bar.

The bar.

The dining room.

The dining room.

The hallway to the rooms.

The hallway to the rooms.

The "lobby".

The “lobby”.












After visiting the hotel, we went on  our way to the Interpretive Center and Museum.020  Again, we were not disappointed.  What fascinated both Dale and I was the building of this huge earthen dam.  What an undertaking and what an accomplishment.  Here’s a bit of history taken from a brochure:

“Construction of the Fort Peck Dam started in 1933 when Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the project as a part of the New Deal during the Great Depression.

More than 40,000 people flooded to the area looking for work, creating 18 boomtowns featuring businesses and schools.  The work force peaked in 1936, with 10,564 workers directly linked to the dam.

Workers overcame a massive earthen slide in 1938, affecting a quarter of the dam.  The dam was completed two years later,  seven years after it was authorized.”

What I found interesting was all 800,000+ residents of Montana could fit in the area of the Ft. Peck lake and each person could live on a quarter acre!  Los Angeles, CA has a population of 3.8+ million!   Ft. Peck lake’s total square mileage is 382.8 and LA is
503 sq miles to give you a little comparison.

Another fact I found fascinating was if the total shoreline of Ft. Peck lake was stretched out, it would reach to Atlanta, GA!  The Ft. Peck reservoir is the largest body of water in MT but the Flathead lake, where I live, is the largest body of natural water west of the Mississippi.  And, for the fishermen, I guess there is some  fantastic fishing here, especially the walleye.

Just down the road from the Interpretive Center was our campground, Downstream Campground.  It is absolutely wonderful!  No one is here; well, hardly anyone.  It is open and shaded with electrical hook-ups and showers.  We are thankful for the showers because it looks like the next two or so nights we’ll be dry camping in Makoshika State Park and Medicine Rock State Park.

The campground has access to nature walks so FINALLY we were able to stretch our legs and the dogs got some real good sniffs in.

Yes!  A walk!  The dam's power plants in the background.

Yes! A walk! The dam’s power plants in the background.

This was an early stop day, which we don’t mind.  We found our camping site around 2 p.m. which allows us to kick back a little bit.

We are really looking forward to the next leg of our trip, the two state parks.  I guess we will be driving through the Badlands of Montana and we will see some great scenery and rock formations.  We were told that these campgrounds are rarely visited so we are looking forward to riding our bikes along the roads and trails.

That’s our third day and we are happy campers.  I hope I can say that at day 40!

P.S.  We are under wind warnings here and Dale thought it wise to move out from under the trees with large branches!

This entry was published on September 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm. It’s filed under Montana and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Day 3 – Ft. Peck dam and lake

  1. Sue Haugan on said:

    good pic of you 4!

  2. Are you eating where the locals eat? And no cavities.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the different kind of beauty of eastern Montana, my other home. Isn’t the dam area interesting.

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