Friday, July 24, 2015

Elmo, Montana

Today I am continuing our 2005 travel stories, picking up where I left off on my last post at the Blackwell Island RV Park in Coeur d’Alene, ID. After three days among crowds of people we sought the solace of Montana. We left CDA on Friday, May 6 and headed toward Elmo, MT which is on the shores of Flathead Lake.

The Coeur d’Alene and Flathead tribes were neighbors and trading partners. There were several other non-nomadic tribes in the area. They had permanent encampments, because the abundance of resources available. These tribes were considered wealthy compared to the Plains Indians who had to migrate to feed their people.

We left CDA on I-90 south of the CDA National Forest. We moved east through several small towns in Idaho, including Cataldo, Pinehurst, Smelterville and Wallace, then through Lookout Pass on the Idaho-Montana border. In Montana we passed through Taft, Saltese and De Borgia before turning northeast on MT 135 at St. Regis. We also got within sight distance of the Clark Fork River which flowed beside the highway for most of the rest of the trip to Elmo. I think we crossed the river seven times, but the most beautiful parts were driving along the highway and seeing the river views right beside us. We always find this adventurous.

We continued on 135 for 15-20 miles weaving though the pine-tree covered mountains until we got to MT 200.  Then north on 200 until we switched to MT 28 just south of Plains, MT and on into Elmo.

After a great drive with some sunny and cool weather then some rain showers and the cool of the mountains with river views and greenery along the way -- we were invigorated. What a wonderful life. We moved into the Arrowhead RV Park in Elmo. The price was right at $15 per day, but the sites were very unlevel and the area was too remote for Kathi. Remote to us usually means no Walmart within 100 miles. We had a great view of Flathead Lake out the windshield of our motorhome.

Saturday morning we drove into town to do our laundry. We have a small washer dryer in the Alfa, but it was not functional at the time. It rained most of the day, but the drive into town was still a sight to see.

We had clear weather and cool temperatures on Sunday and Monday, so we drove around the area to see what mischief we could get into. We followed MT 93 along the eastern edge of the lake and found the Flathead Jackpot Casino in Bigfork, MT. We had a few hours of enjoyment playing video poker. This was a long way from Las Vegas and the machines were certainly not Vegas type machines. Montana only allows casinos to have a maximum of 20 poker or keno machines with a minimum 80% payback for gamblers. You do not spend much, but you cannot win much either. But, who cares – we whiled away our time and it gave us a relaxing afternoon before moving on down the road on Tuesday.

Next stop: Anaconda

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