We are having a wonderful time exploring this part of Montana. Today we drove the Lake Koocanusa Byway. We ended up in the town of Libby. We had hopes of seeing a lot of wildlife. We did see a lot of Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles. They were all over the Libby Dam area. We saw them soaring as well as diving for fish.
Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, in the Kootenai National Forest in northwestern Montana, was created in 1992 to become the Northern Region's 5th scenic byway. It follows the Kootenai River and Lake Koocanusa via State Highway No. 37. Open year-round, this 67-mile route connects Libby and Eureka. The byway also includes a side loop (Forest Development Road No. 228) around the west side of the lake, a more leisurely, two-lane, paved route. We took this drive on the way back, hoping to see more wildlife. All we saw was one deer. :-)
To the untrained ear, Koocanusa sounds much like a Kootenai Indian word. However, it is a modern creation. When the dam was under construction, the Corps of Engineers conducted a contest to name the lake. A woman from Eureka, Montana, won the contest by taking the first three letters from the words Kootenai and Canada and adding USA to create the name Koocanusa.
I think she came up with a cool name for the area. My photos on this trip did not come out as well as usual. I am adding the best ones, they do not do this area justice.