29th August – 21 September 2014

Back in our beloved Montana, we headed straight for our favourite campground in the USA, on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River at Rombo Creek. We were disappointed to find it entirely full, being Labour Day holiday weekend. No matter, we knew that just up the road was an ideal free camping spot right on the river.

Exploring our new surroundings we happened across the remains of a bear, mostly just the fur. Wondering about his demise made us resolve to always carry our bear spray with us. After all, a bear fierce enough to kill another bear in his territory might just have a taste for Welshman!

Finally securing a site in the campground after the big rush, we enjoyed several peaceful days in our favourite spot.

Bearskin rug anyone?

Enjoying the West Fork of the Bitterroot

Our next stop was Anaconda, a mining town on the way back to Georgetown lake. This visit the weather was fine and we took the opportunity to take a look at the World's tallest, free-standing masonry structure, the massive Anaconda Stack.

It was impossible to get close to the chimney itself but the local park had a scale reconstruction of the top of the chimney, showing it's awesome stature. No longer in use, it was the chimney of the local smelting works for the area's mining.

Anaconda Stack – the World's tallest, free-standing masonry structure.

Phil lost across the scale reproduction of the top of the chimney.

Georgetown Lake once again delighted us with its great fishing, wildlife and biking opportunities. The eleven mile ride around the lake began to get easier if you rode it every day! It was important to keep an eye out for the moose roaming around though...

Georgetown Lake

En route to the Madison River, we passed through Butte and sought out the College's Mineral Museum. It took some finding, hidden away on the third floor of a large college building but the wonderfully friendly curator helped us find a parking spot for Harvey and gave us his undivided attention as we toured the exhibits. The collection put Christine's ever-growing pebble collection to shame!

The trip to the Madison proved hazardous as one section of road had been resurfaced. Harvey-the-RV survived his entire trip through the Yukon and Alaska unscathed but on this newly surfaced highway was hit by flying gravel from a vehicle passing by and ended up with a cracked windscreen.

Madison River

This wasn't going to be the only optical problem we would have to deal with on the Madison. After a hard morning of fishing, peering into the sun, Phil returned to Harvey accompanied by permanent flashing spots before one of his eyes. Next day we were back on the road headed for the eye doctor and a windscreen repair shop in Bozeman.

Fortunately the spots before Phil's eyes turned out to be more age-related than serious damage. Harvey too managed to get a repair to the crack on his windshield. Now we just had to amuse ourselves until the follow-up eye appointment in a week's time.

Off to the Bighorn then.......

Bighorn River

During our Bighorn excursion, we had two problems. First the crack on Harvey's windscreen returned and began to creep across the glass at an alarming rate. Then Phil's second eye developed spots. So we were headed back to the Glass doctor and the glasses doctor in Bozeman.

Our extended time in the lively college town of Bozeman gave us the chance to finally track down the American Computer Museum. We'd tried for three years to visit this museum and failed to track it down as it appeared to relocate on a regular basis! It turned out to be somewhat under-whelming.

We also visited the much more impressive Museum of the Rockies and enjoyed the planetarium. Now Phil had stars before his eyes. The dinosaur exhibit was stunning too.

Little dinosaurs after a big snack!

Harvey got his brand new windscreen, the second in two years. In all our combined driving years, we'd only needed a new windscreen three times, all within two years, two for Harvey and one for the old car back in the UK.

The eye doctor recommended a follow up in a month for Phil, so we were able to start our trip south to Colorado. Just a few more days on the Madison first......

Here comes Harvey's new glass.

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