July 7 - Fort Peck, Montana

Trip Start Jun 02, 2011
Trip End Sep 25, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Saturday, July 9, 2011

I woke the girls up at 7am for the Jr. Fishing Tournament which started at 7:45.  They were all very excited, and it was located about 100 yards from where we parked the RV.  We got very lucky with the location.  It was a great set-up for the kids, and they got a shirt, goodie bag, and worms...all with no charge.  They fished for 3 hours in a small pond with at least 50 other kids, and Emma was the only one who got a fish...a tiny Perch!  Regardless, she was so proud of herself!  Afterward, they had an award ceremony and everyone got a free lunch, and all 3 girls got free fishing poles...quite a deal!

While the girls were fishing, I rode my bile up the hill to the top of the Ft. Peck dam, which was long and steep!   I passed an Interpretive Center that looked nice, so when the Fishing was complete I brought the girls back here before we headed off to the rodeo.  The center was very nice, and explained the history, showed the dinosaur history (a very nice T-Rex skull was found here in the 1980's, including many others) in the area, and provided the history of the Ft. Peck Dam. 

The Ft. Peck Dam was built in the 1930's furring the depression to both create jobs and also control the flow of the Missouri river. There had been many years of flooding and draught, so the dam was constructed to control this.  It is the largest "Earth Dam" in the world, which means that it is constructed largely with dirt and stone piled along huge steel beams that went down into the earths rock surface.  This type of dam is supposed to be more efficient when when it is wider, where concrete dams are used for more narrow spaced.  It has effectively controlled the flow of the Missouri since it was opened in the late 1930's.

In the evening we drove 50 miles back to the Wolf Point Rodeo.  This was a first for all of us, and it was great fun!   The girls really enjoyed talking with the folks around us, and everyone was very friendly.  The Rodeo is a huge annual event here and lasts 3 days.  It included about 10 different events, each lasting about 15 minutes.  This was the final day, so the results were combined with the results of the prior 2 days to determine winners. The fact that in a Rodeo it is the animals that normally win sat well with both Emma and Katelyn!

After the Rodeo we sat in the RV for about 30 minutes to wait for the crowd to disperse.  It got a bit rowdy.  No fighting, but lots of drinking and kids in their pick-up trucks.  It was safer to just stay put than to compete with that!  We finally left at about 11pm, and arrived back at about midnight.  Katelyn and Emma were sleeping, and Madison was sitting with me for the whole ride talking about the US Legal System.  Casey Anthony was recently found innocent, so we were having deep discussions about the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" and the fact that a person can not be retried once found innocent.  She was making some very solid and thoughtful arguments, so I enjoyed the discussion with her!
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