Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Montana’s Highline—A Rural Road Through Rural America That Should Remain Rural

With Kayaks, Mountain bikes, Backpacks, Daypacks, Walking Sticks, Fishing Poles—and an Airstream Travel Trailer

Today, at 1:45, just as we were descending the small hill that leads into Culbertson, Montana, the temperature gauge in our Dodge hit 103 degrees F. It was the hottest day so far, and is certainly suggestive of the hardships the early explorers, trappers and homesteaders encountered when they ventured into the prairies and plains. The area is still remote, and because of its remoteness, we’ve not been able to find cell phone towers that would enable us to post any of our travels—until today. This evening, we’ve arrived in Williston, North Dakota, and now we’re back on Verizon.


Rudyard, Montana

That’s what we’ve been doing the past week. We’ve been driving across Montana’s Highline, stopping at some of the area’s small towns, and enjoying the life found out here in these remote areas. To us, that’s the charm, and despite the fact that we support our current governor on most things, one thing we would hate to see is the construction of the major four-lane interstate Governor Schweitzer now wants to push through. To us, it’s the small town atmosphere that is the charm of Joplin, Kremlin, Dodson, Chinook, Harlem, Wolf Point, Havre, Rudyard and all the other tiny towns set back from grain bins and railroad tracks that dot this rural Montana area.

All the towns have a certain degree of charm and serve as a stage for other major stories. In Havre, there’s the story of the bison jump where Indians once stampeded thousands of bison to their deaths. Because of the work of archaeologists, the story can still be told at the Piskun Jump.

Nate Murphy

Nat Murphy and Leonardo

The Highline also serves as the northern portion of Montana’s new Dinosaur Trail, making stops not only in Havre but in Malta. Here, Nat Murphy found one of the most perfectly preserved dinosaurs ever found in North America. Because “Leonardo” as he named his find, might provide clues as to whether dinosaurs were cold or warm blooded, he’s hoping for a major grant that will enable him to investigate his finding further. He needs the money in part for CAT scans, as food materials were found not only in the stomach but in the large intestine as well. An evaluation of the foods will tell archaeologists what Leonardo was eating over a long period of time.

Fort Peck Dam

Fort Peck Dam

Perhaps the most significant stop has been Fort Peck, where we’ve spent the last few nights at what we believe may be Montana’s best campsite. The site is called the Downstream Camp, and it is located on the downstream side of the world’s second largest earth filled dam. When completed in the early 40s, it was the world’s largest earth-filled dam, but since construction, Russia built one even larger.

Guide JR

Walleye Guide, Ft Peck

Fort Peck Dam also provided Life Magazine with its first cover, taken by the famous woman photographer, Margaret Bourke White.

On our trip, the campsite served as site where I could rendezvous with J.R. Rasmunson, a premier walleye fishing guide. Despite the terrific heat, our early morning departures succeeded in catches of several large fish, and tonight, one of those fish will be our meal.

When we dine, it will help to remind us that the Highline provides access to many significant adventures in northern Montana. But it will also remind us that some of these adventures will be diminished if Route 2 becomes another major Interstate.

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