the wandering chick
...around Great Falls
Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls
The city of Great Falls has about five dams and falls along the Missouri River. This one above and to the right is called Rainbow Falls.
Black Eagle Dam
Ryan Dam
This one is Black Eagle Falls..
This one is the big daddy and is the one from which the city of Great Falls gets it name, even though they are actually 10 miles out of town. They were discovered in June of 1805 by Meriwether Lewis. Lewis and Clark spent a whole month trying to navigate around the falls, much longer than they thought it would take. The falls can be best viewed from Ryan Island which sits in front of the falls and is entered onto by a small suspension bridge. The dam is called Ryan Dam.
The suspension bridge to Ryan Island
Wheat fields at harvest time
Great Falls at Ryan Dam
Red barn outside Great Falls
This photo above and the one on the right were taken on Route 87 headed east from Great Falls. They're typical of the wheat fields in the late summer. I think farmers can be artists, too.
Farm house on hill
Farm house on hill
These farm buildings caught my eye early in the day. Later, when I was returning on the same road, the setting sun gave them a whole new look (right).
a small windmill farm
a wheat field
Above: a small windmill farm outside of Great Falls to the southwest. The wheat field (right) is in the same area.
countryside terrain
First People's Buffalo Jump overlook

Before horses were brought over to America by the Spaniards, the native Indians had to use other means to catch and kill buffalo. One particular method was to lure the buffalo off a cliff, then use bow and arrows to kill the ones that did not die in the fall. Such a method was a great fanfare to the tribes, and much planning and ceremony went into the event.

Several of the men of the tribe would cover themselves in wolf or bear hides to scare the buffalo into a stampede. It would take time and special skills to get enough buffalo herded toward the cliff. Once the head buffalos started running, the others would follow. The men in bear or wolf robes would continue to run toward the cliff, then would jump to a small ledge below.

The head buffalo, on the other hand, could not see the approaching cliff and would take the plunge. Even if they did see that they were about to drop and tried to stop, the momentum of the buffalo behind them would push them over the edge.

From such a custom came the name of a state park outside of Great Falls in Ulm. First People's Buffalo Jump State Park is located on one of many cliffs that were used by American Indians to kill the bison for food.

Left: During a buffalo jump, teepees would be set up for the women and children to watch the event. This is the remaining frame of such a teepee.


teepees used during a buffalo jump

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Around the Billings area

Bighorn Canyon and Little Bighorn Battlefield

Fort Benton

Glacier National Park

Montana's backroads

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