Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Three Forks – Missouri River Headwaters

On July 4th, 1803, Thomas Jefferson issued these orders to Meriwether Lewis:
"The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River, and such principal stream of it, as, by its course and communications with the waters of the Pacific Ocean may offer the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent."
Many months and hardships later, The Corps of Discovery arrived in what is now called Three Forks Montana. Here, they found the confluence of two rivers they named Jefferson and Madison (left and center) forming the headwaters of the Missouri River (right) which they had been tasked to explore.

Barely a mile downstream, the Gallatin River joins the flow and the Missouri is already a substantial river. Over the next 2,341 miles it will become the "Mighty Mo", the longest river in North America.

We had a nice, informative visit here during our drive from Helena to Billings.

Happy was not particularly impressed by the history and significance of the location, but she thoroughly enjoyed the taste of some cool, yummy river water.

So far, the weather has been absolutely perfect. Temperatures have ranged from the low-60s in the mornings to mid-70s in the afternoons.

We are going to spend just the night in Billings, then push east into the Dakotas tomorrow... Stay tuned!

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