Today was all about water: rain falling from the sky, snowmelt swelling rivers in the forest, and, most cool of all, spillage released from a dam. Let’s unpack all that in today’s report.
Once again, the rain decided to stay in the picture. You can even see a drop of it on the far right of this shot taken on the road going up the west side of Flathead Lake. Still pretty views despite the excessive humidity.
Before I hit Flathead Lake, though, I tracked down the Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ just to the south. What the heck is that, you ask? It is one of the few dams owned by a tribe (the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes), who took over ownership in 2015. I debated whether to go the last half mile down an extremely rutted gravel road to get there, but figured it would be a good test of Bella’s AWD. When I saw the dam, I was SO happy I did: for the first time ever, I saw a dam releasing water!
What a fantastic sight and sound! (This is my first embedded video, so I hope it works!)
And the scenery above and below the dam was beautiful…
Up the length of Flathead Lake, a quick stop in Kalispell for gas and lunch, and then it was my first meeting to Route 2, my main route for the next several days. More than once, I pulled off to avoid the super-aggressive drivers who insisted on going 70-80F in pouring rain on rollercoaster curves. At one such point, I got lucky, with a break in the rain and a wonderful bonding experience with the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
Before leaving the high country, I crossed the Continental Divide, which I would have missed entirely if not for the signpost. A half-hour later, I was definitely out of the mountains and onto the plains. There will be lots of plains. Lots and lots of plains. For the next three days.
- Miles Driven: 290
- MPG: 26.1
- Side trips: (previously Kerr Dam)