We start the day with a complimentary buffet breakfast in the hotel’s Union Grille. Under blue skies with scattered clouds we explore historic Ft. Benton, known as the birthplace of Montana. Visitors really should plan a couple of days to absorb all the town has to offer.
This was Blackfoot territory when Lewis and Clark worked their way up the Missouri River in 1804. A memorial stands in the riverside parkway as well as a replica of the exposition’s keelboat, Mandan. We don’t have time to visit Old Fort Benton and the museums chronicaling the area’s history and development.
On my to do list is the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument Interpertive Center. Is that a mouthful or not? The quiet riverside setting, architecture, displays, information and friendly staff makes this a hidden gem.
Leaving Ft. Benton the road leads to the top of the bluff. Pullouts give us the opportunity for photos of the winding river as it works its way towards Great Falls. Our 42-mile drive to Great Falls takes us through fertile agricultural country.
Additional goals for the day are visits to the Lewis and Clark National Interpretive Center and the C.M. Russell Museum, Home and Studio before dinner at The Celtic Cowboy – Great Falls version of an Irish pub and live music. Lodging for the night at the local Holiday Inn Express.