Route Map

oday, after another delicious breakfast at Terry’s, Barry, Joan, and I took off for the Big Sky Country of Montana. For a very long time, I have been one of those people who said that someday I want to visit Montana. Finally, I was going to do just that. The map shows the 325–mile loop that we took––north again to Sandpoint; east then south to Thompson Falls, Montana; south and then southeast to catch the I–90; northeast to Couer d’Alene, Idaho; and then north to Bayview. We stopped at the three places marked with black full circles: Thompson Falls, Montana; Wallace, Idaho; and Cataldo, Idaho. This time we followed the GPS lady’s directions of the quicker way of getting out of Bayview, but she did make a mistake this time of directing us left at a fork in the road rather than to the right. But we had been on the road yesterday and knew she was wrong and didn’t listen to her. Otherwise, she did a great job the rest of the day.

Route Map

Enroute to Montana

Barry took the front passenger seat again and was assigned to photo taking. Crossing Lake Pend Orielle right before reaching Sandpoint. We had sunny skies all day. (Barry’s photo)

Enroute to Montana

Enroute to Montana

We stopped at the Idaho tourist office on Lake Pend Orielle for stopover points on our scenic drive, but they only had information on Idaho. You can see the Cedar Street Public Market crossing Sand Creek in the photo, taken outside the tourist office.

Enroute to Montana

Enroute to Montana

Still in Idaho. (Barry’s photo)

Enroute to Montana

Enroute to Montana

Lake Pend Orielle, Idaho. This lake was formed by glaciers. (Barry’s photo)

Enroute to Montana

Enroute to Montana

One more of Lake Pend Orielle. (Barry’s photo)

Enroute to Montana

Montana

Crossing the state line. We gained an hour crossing this line as Montana is on Mountain Time.

Montana

Montana

One of our first glimpses of Montana. Immediately as you cross the state line, you notice the sky and why Montana is called the Big Sky Country. The high cumulus clouds make the sky look huge. Really beautiful. (Barry’s photo)

Montana

Montana

Driving through Montana. (Barry’s photo)

Montana

Montana

Driving through Montana. (Barry’s photo)

Montana

Montana

Montana valley. (Barry’s photo)

Montana

Montana

We stopped in Thompson Falls at Minnie’s Montana Cafe to have lunch. This seemed like a rather big town, population 1500, after passing through towns of probably 200–300 population, if that. Barry and Joan both had ice cream for lunch, Barry having a banana split. Not of great interest to mention but Barry told me that the banana split actually was invented in his small home town (and present residence) of Latrobe, Pennsylvannia. A good fact to know for trivia quizzes. Add to that fact, both Arnie Palmer and Mr. Rodgers were also born in Latrobe––pretty good for a small American town. We had some good laughs at our waitress’ expense, because she was so busy that I was only able to give my lunch order in intervals to her, as she would rush away right after I just gave part of my order. But soon we were her only customers (we were eating late on Idaho time) and we were able to ask her the directions to the falls at Thompson Falls. She told us there were no more falls in Thompson Falls because they were dammed up for a hydroelectric plant.

Montana

Montana

But we decided to see what was left of the falls anyway and walked past the Black Bear Inn, originally the Ward Hotel, built in 1907–08. It is on the National Registrar of Historic Places.

Montana

Montana

Sign in a store window advertising the First Annual Sanders County Yard Sale, extending from one end of the county to the other. From its Internet site, I found that it will be along route 200 for 116 miles from Heron to Ravalli and along route 28 for 34 miles from Dixon to Hot Springs––a 150–mile long yard sale!

Montana

Montana

Another sign in a store window to remind you of where you are. On another sign, an interesting fact was pointed out: There are no stoplights anywhere in the 2790 square miles (7,226 square kilometers) of Sanders County.

Montana

Montana

Walking over the bridge to Thompson Falls Island. E

Montana

Montana

Geese on the riverbank.

Montana

Montana

Looking back over the bridge.

Montana

Montana

Wallking past the osprey nursery (on top of the first pole). Montana installs nesting platforms for the osprey so that they won’t build their nests on power poles, which can cause power outages and fires.

Montana

Montana

My photo of an osprey. Probably the male guarding the nest while we were walking around.

Montana

Montana

Close–up of the osprey from the last photo. Osprey are nicknamed “fish hawks,” as they eat only fish which they capture by diving feet first into the water.

Montana

Montana

Barry’s photo of the osprey, taken with his camera.

Montana

Montana

And the best osprey photo of them all––Barry’s photo.

Montana

Montana

Barry got this photo of Mama Osprey in the nest with her babies.

Montana

Montana

Barry was able to get that last photo by climbing up the top of a hill. There’s Barry.

Montana

Montana

Hi Barry!

Montana

Montana

Thompson Falls. Still a pretty sight even though the water now flows through a dam.

Montana

Montana

Looking downward from the falls.

Montana

Montana

Wildflowers on the river bank.

Montana

Old Mission State Park

Brother Francis Huybrechts also hand–carved the frames for the Stations of the Cross.

Old Mission State Park

Montana

Barry took over the driving for awhile after we left Thompson Falls. There were two ways to go back to Idaho––over a winding mountain pass or a longer flatter way. We had advice as to our route around Montana from both Alan and a waitress at Terry’s, but we didn’t realize that they were different routes––Alan’s was over the mountain pass and the waitress’ route was the easier one, and we took her route as this is the one she had mapped out for us. Photo: On the way back to Idaho from Thompson Falls.

Montana

Montana

Scenic Montana.

Montana

Montana

Scenic Montana.

Montana

Montana

Passing a lake.

Montana

Montana

Passing one of very, very small Montana towns. E

Montana

Idaho

Crossing the Idaho state line. We now lost the hour that we had gained.

Idaho

Idaho

Beautiful Idaho. The rest of my photos of our journey today will be on the next album.

Idaho