2015 Montana, Calgary Stampede, Icefield Parkway travel blog

Columbia Falls, MT - Columbia Falls RV Park - site 38

Columbia Falls, MT - Columbia Falls RV Park - site 38, another...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 0 - our route - 332 miles

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 1 - it's raining a little as...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 2 - We were on this completely...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 3-the Missouri River, just after it was...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 4 - doesn't look too good ahead!

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 5 - coming through Helena, the capital...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 6 - there must be a billion...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 7 - it's snowing as we climb...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 8 - the snow is settling in...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 9

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 10 - as we near the top

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 11 - this is Nevada Lake running...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 12 - we are on two-lane MT...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 13 - they use a lot of...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 14

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 15 - these signs denote fishing access...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 16 - Salmon Lake

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 17 - Seeley Lake

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 18 - Swan Lake, a much smaller...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 19 - some of the mountains surrounding...

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 20 - a few teepees

Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT 21 - the ski slopes near Whitefish


Our trip from Livingston to Columbia Falls, MT was all mostly north and covered 332 miles, including a three-mile detour to give the Mothership a drink. Diesel prices this year have been a Godsend with all of our fill-ups except one being around $150. That one was for 80 gallons and came to $212 - quite a difference from last year's prices. Our trip pretty well covered the gamut from real beauty to snowy mountain passes to a six-mile stretch of pot-holed, wash boarded mud detour where they had completely tore the road up and had no alternative but to drive it. Under no circumstances should you take US 287 north to Helena from I-90 this summer! There was another route that was only a few miles farther but I thought it would be nice to take the back roads instead of always being on interstate - my huge error. This Freightliner chassis and Tiffin build sure proved itself on that six-mile stretch. A lesser machine would have been nothing but nuts and bolts by the end of it - my rattled teeth still hurt!

We are staying at the Columbia Falls RV Park for the next six weeks as we just enjoy the Montana weather and prepare for our trip into Alberta. We have a very nice 50 amp FHU back-in with good cable, the best WiFi so far in a RV Park, strong Verizon and a clean shot to the satellite though there are a few shaded sites available for those that want them. The owners are very hands on and the whole park reflects it. Columbia Falls is a small community of less than 5,000 and just large enough to have a few chain restaurants and stores such as Dairy Queen, A & W, Burger King and O'Reilly Auto Parts. It is called the Gateway to Glacier National Park as the park entrance is only 16 miles away.

This last week we have had beautiful blue skies with the highs in the low to mid 70s and lows in the mid 40s - just perfect. We are sitting here right now in mid afternoon with the windows open and a cool breeze blowing through the Mothership as we watch the softball super regionals.

While enjoying our time here we have been taking care of a few things. Libby needed an oil change and that was easily accomplished. We got our hiking sticks caught up with the new badges we have earned so far and that required a trip to local hardware store to get some new drill bits! We also made a trip into Kalispell (16 miles away) to get our Wally World fix, as well as another trip into Whitefish (10 miles away) to remember what a Safeway store looks like.

We plan on venturing into Glacier NP next week and see what is going on there. They are close to opening the Going-to-the-Sun road from this side up to Logan Pass, maybe in a week or two. They have finished snowplowing that section but still have to get the road ready to handle all of the traffic. They still have to snowplow the east side from Logan's Pass down to St. Mary's and maybe that will be done before July 1.

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