While in Valdez, we received some sad news of Denise’s mom passing. We quickly left Alaska and hurriedly traveled the 1500 miles on the Alaska Highway. The road is much less forgiving when you are pushing 400 miles per day. June and July are peak months for the highway maintenance guys with miles of gravel roads were they tore up the old pavement to re-pave from the past winter damage. My poor tow vehicle, the Tacoma ate a lot of dust from the RV.
The drive this time of year was gorgeous through Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia. July 1st was Canada’s 150th Birthday and there were many flags and some festivals along the highway. The road was busier heading towards Alaska than what we saw early June. Lot’s of motorhomes and 5th wheels. Also, there was much more wildlife along the road grazing this time, especially the wild buffalo.
It took us a total of six hard days of travel to reach Great Falls, Montana. We needed a break and decided to catch our breath here. We didn’t realize how hot it gets, but July is the hottest month with an average in the upper 90’s and with that piercing sun, it feel much hotter. The locals tell us it’s not bad, “there is no humidity“…..Right!
While in Great Falls, I washed the RV and Tacoma, changed the RV oil, rotated RV tires, replaced the grey & black water dump valves, we lived through a 5.8 earthquake and took a day to sight-see. The earthquake happened about 12:30am and was centered about 60 miles away. It bounced the RV around pretty good. The aftershocks kept going for at least a couple of hours. Every aftershock rattled the dishes. We didn’t sleep much at all rest of the night.
Great Falls is located on the Missouri River in the middle of the prairie. The water over the falls have been slowed to a trickle with several dams being built to generate electricity for the area. Great Falls is re-branding it’s name to the electric city. A few miles out of town, is the “First People Buffalo Jump”. This is where native people stampeded buffalo over the cliffs to obtain buffalo meat and hides. We read that there is a 3 mile round-trip hiking trail to the site and we needed some exercise. We started early to beat the heat at 10am, not early enough. By 11, the sun was brutal. It took us about 2 hours to complete the 3 miles.
Our Overnight Stay:
We stayed at Dick’s RV Park in Great Falls Montana. We paid $45/night and had 50amp, water, sewer and wifi. For an extra $15 which we paid, you can wash the RV and tow vehicle. The location is convenient. The wifi doesn’t have much bandwidth and not useful. No cable TV but 7 over-the-air channels. It’s a nice park and plenty of room for big-rigs. We would stay here again.