Friday night we threw things in the truck and headed east for an over nighter.
First, we stopped in Livingston for a drive up burger, fries/ onion ring and huckleberry shakes. Though it totally threw off my diet, it was a fun experience!
After slurping our shakes, we headed further east to Big Timber, then south up the Boulder River valley. We stopped at Natural Arch State Park, where the Boulder River had once carved an arch through the limestone. The arch collapsed in 1988.
The river, like all of them in Montana right now, was running hard. I'm not sure if, or when, we'll see a slow down in rivers this summer.
You could feel the pedestrian bridge trembling as you walked across it.
Water level gets low enough in the late summer that the water "disappears". The river isn't dry; rather, the water is coursing through subterranean channels in the limestone. The channels are caused by both water erosion, and the water creating a chemical reaction with the limestone to dissolve the stone and expand the channels.
The river goes over these falls. The nuttiest thing? People kyack off of this!
Once we finished poking around at the bridge, we continued up the valley into the Gallatin Natural Forest. Most of the campgrounds had room, though the further you got up the gravel road many camping spots were underwater. In some places you had to ford a creek that was over the road. We finally settled on this camping spot.
Where, to Harlow's delight, a creek coursed through the back. A creek with sticks in it.
As the fire pit area had standing water, it was tough to keep Harlow dry. We ended up sleeping in the back of the truck, with Harlow in the "dog taco" (tarp strung into a U shape between the back seat head rests and the front seat head rests) in the back of the cab. We stayed dry!
Saturday morning we stopped off in Big Timber for coffee, then headed up to Harlowton. Yes, the town that our dog is named after, which is, in turned, named for the guy who started the "Jawbone" railroad in Montana. Which was eventually sold out to the Milwaukee Road. We stopped at the depot.
And after poking around a bit, found out what I'm meant to do with my life. Rehab the Graves Hotel in downtown Harlo.
I mean, seriously, with a south-facing porch like this?
The hotel is not currently in operation, and the entire building needs work. It's for sale. Think I could convince DJ that our destiny is to operate the Graves Hotel in Harlowton MT?
From Harlow we headed back west, through Martinsdale and past Bridge Bowl. Harlow (the dog) was pooped!