http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: We Go North Again

Friday, September 19, 2014

We Go North Again

UPDATE:  We weren’t lost, I posted a blog Monday on Live Writer to be published Monday night telling you readers our plans—well, I certainly must not have hit the correct “publish” button!  So, here is one of the two blogs I’m posting tonight to tell you about our wonderful little mini vacation!

After our week of snow and below freezing temps we are now looking at a week plus of perfect Indian summer weather giving the cowboy the traveling urge.  Monday morning we loaded the motorhome with a few things and just after lunch pointed it north.  North to Charlie Russell country, the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.

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The Big Muddy, (the Missouri River) has few bridges in Montana, one being the Robinson Bridge which was our destination.  Located east of the bridge is the James Kipp Recreation Area with sites large enough for any rig.  No hookups and when the first drop of rain falls you better have the wheels of your rig moving—this is gumbo country and I don’t mean the eat it kind of gumbo! 

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When the least amount of moisture falls in this part of Montana the unpaved roads turn into a greasy, gooey, clay mud which is impassable.  About two weeks ago this area received 7 inches of rain—unheard of for August in this neck of the woods.  Seven inches of rain on this type ground means lots of still standing water producing millions of helicopter sized mosquitoes!!

We arrived about 6pm last night, had a late happy hour, took the pooch for a walk and retired.  This morning we were lazy, enjoying our coffee while watching the light play on the sandstone walls across the river from our campsite.  Late morning we took off in the jeep for an auto tour on the CMR as the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge is referred to around here.  After two stops you have never in your life seen a more exuberant woman than me when I discovered a forgotten container of mosquito repellant hidden in the jeep console—otherwise I might not have left the safety of the jeep all day!!

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The jeep logged over 100 miles today of rugged, majestic, go on forever country.  The Missouri Breaks is some of the most rugged country in the world and President Clinton created a national monument out of a portion of this area of Montana. 

After we left the CMR we drove to the small mining community of Zortman.  This small summer cabin community is also home to a well stocked grocery store, RV park, bar and restaurant. 

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Back at the campground the cowboy got the grill going and we dined like kings on baby back ribs and Pioneer Woman potatoes.  As the day began to fade we drove back out to the refuge—hunting is allowed on the CMR but there is a wildlife viewing area—a couple thousand acres in which hunting is not allowed—the elk seem to have figured this out!!  There is dispersed camping above this viewing area and those folks have a ringside seat to the elk movie early morning and evening! 

Traditionally about 500 head of elk visit the Slippery Ann viewing area each fall.  Hunting pressures in the early 1900’s eliminated all the predators and elk in this area.  In the 1950’s surplus elk from Yellowstone National Park were captured and released here.  Over the years elk numbers have risen to the point where fall hunting is now permitted. 

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IMG_1529And one for you Judy, the end!

I have some elk bugling videos I will post tomorrow after I’ve uploaded the footage to YouTube.  The CMR is so remote we had no, none, zip, nada cell service. 

3 comments:

  1. Great country with plenty of wildlife. Oh, I was speaking about the elk and not the RVers. The jeep comes in handy for getting around up there.

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  2. Even with repellent those mosquitoes would have kept me inside. They just have to get at me no matter what. Hopefully they all die off pretty soon. Love those elk pictures.

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  3. I would sure like to hear bugling elk!

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