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Adventures on the Ranch
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Gates of the Mountains
-----This weekend we went on
a boat ride called the Gates to the Mountains. To get there we have to
drive about 20 miles north of us so we left at 8:00 so we would be there
in plenty of time for the first ride and still have time to browse around
their gift store.
-----The ride is very historic,
it is the exact river Lewis and Clark traveled some 100 years ago.......
though things have changes since they came through many of the fancy rocks
and cliffs still remain - in fact there are even a few drawings left on
the walls from the Indians!! That was really neat to see! There are also
some natural faces in the rock cliffs such as a monster that you can see
in the picture, and there is also a rhino head.
told us that you used to be able to see mountain goats and mountain lions
on the banks - but about 6 years ago their numbers started shrinking and
now - even though they are still on the little island (IF you consider
30,000 acres little - but by Montana standards it is a small piece of land)
you don't see them very often. But we did see some Bald Eagles, which you
can see in the pictures. We saw several adults with their white heads and
tails and also a baby from this year that doesn't have his adult colors
yet! They are the most amazing birds and it was a real treat to see them.
-----Another interesting fact
he told us is that Montana is the 4th most likely state to get earthquakes
with California, Alaska and Hawaii being the top 3..... that fact just
amazed me! Many years ago there was an earth quake right there by the river
- up in the mountains - and you can see where the mountain slipped down
and formed a new mountain. The quake that caused that was 5 times greater
than the one that caused Quake Lake in Yellowstone, and that one was a
7.2. Imagine one that is 5 TIMES greater. The guide said, " If we
get another quake like THAT I want to be some where safe - like San Francisco!!"
- which made everyone on the boat laugh!
-----Earthquakes in Montana
aren't something you really think about - but they are very real! We experienced
one several months ago. It was centered around Butte - which is about 60
miles from us - and even up here in the mountains we felt shaking and some
things were knocked down in the house and a couple trees fell. Several
days before the quake hit here we had a mini tornado and hurricane force
winds - so I thought when I heard the roof creak it was a big wind hitting
it - but then I noticed my legs were shaking under me and my mom saw stuff
moving like pictures!! That was no wind! It lasted for what felt like forever
- but was probably only about 10-15 seconds. We found out the next morning
it was an earthquake - a 5.6! Not to big - but still scary for us un-earthquake
prepared Montanans!! Anyway, back to the boat ride......
-----When you get to the end that is where you see these 2 big cliffs
and as you ride the boat back and forth in the little opening it looks
like the mountains are gates - opening up and closing - as you can see
in the pictures. It is really neat!! And is of course the reason the ride
is called the "Gates Of The Mountains".
-----On the way back the guide
stops at a little rest area - and there are lots of neat trails leading
off of it. We didn't come prepared for a hike, but next year we will go
again and pack a lunch and go for a hike there. The boat you go out on
only stops for 10 minutes - but if you want to hike you can get a ride
back later in the day by another boat. That will be fun!
-----Once we made it back he
pointed out one last thing - there are 3 American Flags hanging on the
flagpole there - one is the standard American Flag. The other two are 2
of the early flags - one having 13 stars and the other having 15 stars!
I thought that was another neat piece of history!
-----The ride was fun and definitely
something I would recommend to someone visiting Montana as long as you
like water and beautiful scenery!
Everyone at Omega Shepherds
"The Gates Opening and Closing"
"A Young Bald Eagle"
"Leaving the canyon"
Copyright © 2005 Omega Shepherds