We decided to take a little drive yesterday and ended up on some – not so familiar – backroads. Not to say that it hasn’t happened before thou. What started out it as a drive around farm country ended up to be much more. It is BIG country out there with lots of dirt roads going this way and that. It’s not hard to get lost and we have done so a time or two or three. May as well throw the map out because whoever made them were, obviously, never out there. You find landmarks to be of better use.
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The grain fields were looking great.
Anyway, we did not get lost out there and meandered down to Big Sandy Montana. We thought we would take the Judith Landing road which goes down to the river but its a long drive and not much to see along the way. After a few miles we noticed a gravel road off to the left and decided to wander down that way. We like to travel roads we have not been on before and it looked more interesting than the Judith Landing road.
After several miles past a few farms and some rolling meadows we noticed a sign that said the ferry was 75 miles. Ah no.. we did not want to go all the way to the ferry but from what we could see, I was sure we would either meet back up with the Judith Landing road or end up in the Bears Paw Mountains because we were venturing into the foothills. My husband was not so sure about it thou.
We had left farm country and were now in ranch country. And boy were there some big ranches up there. Miles and miles before even spotting a main ranch. We came upon this beautiful scene with a little horse herd grazing.
We had not seen another vehicle for some time except one and that was a SUV with Washington plates. Strange thing to see up there in the middle of no where and he was not letting any grass grow as he blazed by us. You see, country folk rarely do that. When we see another rig coming we generally both slow to a reasonable speed so as not to fling gravel and dust on each other. We wave and continue on. UPS trucks not so much. They will blast you good as they roar by in a cloud of dust. We have ended up with broken windshields more than once from meeting a delivery truck.
Eventually we came to another fork in the road where both ways looked like decent gravel/dirt. Humm, to turn and continue on the Warrick road or go straight on the Cow Creek Road? (and I am not positive about that name.)
What was left of an old cabin sat on the corner and while I was grabbing some pictures along came a pickup. After a short chat we got the low down on where both roads would come out. I had been right as it seems the Cow Creek road would come out back on the Judith Landing road and staying on the Warrick road would go up into the Bears Paw Mountains and down to Rocky Boy.
We opted to continue on the Warrick road which would take us thru Warrick into the mountains, down thru Rocky Boy reservation and back to the highway home. Sounds easy enough but there were a couple more “decision” spots along the way.
I cannot say enough about how beautiful the drive was thru this area was. It was a steady climb but a slow one which lent to open views of hay fields and happy grazing cattle and horses. NOTE: Click on the photos and they will enlarge and you can scroll thru.
We had been gone for about 3 or 4 hours now and put on a lot of miles. We finally came to Warrick. I bet you thought it was a town up there in the middle of no where. At one time it probably was but all that was really there was the school and the sign. I tried to find some information about Warrick but all I found was a little write up someone did that said the school still operated in 2011 but could find nothing more recent. The sign has the date 1897 on it.
Shortly after passing thru Warrick we met another fork in the road. The road to the left said Beaver Creek Road and now we knew where we were headed. If you have read some of my previous posts about Beaver Creek park then you will understand why we knew where we were headed — probably. You can never be sure of the signage in the backcountry. At least there were signs thou, and we were grateful for it.
Soon we came upon this old building right along the road. They fascinate me. I always wonder about it. Who lived there? Maybe the original home of the ranch it was on. It was a large house for back in the day and all the window openings were also large for back in the day. I noticed some pretty fancy woodwork on the upper part of the walls. This all made me think the owners were probably well to do and I imagined the home was quite a show place in its day.
We eventually topped out of the climb and started a slow decent. That last little section we had just come thru was heavily wooded and the wildflowers were in bloom everywhere. It was cooler up there and we turned off the AC and rolled the windows down. It smelled so good.
As we began descending back into rolling hills we came upon what seemed to be a sort of lake. One end was damned up. No signs and no one around. Just — there it was..
Soon enough we were back in familiar territory at the very south end of Beaver Creek park. Then back down to Rocky Boy and headed for Box Elder and the highway home. Caught this little horse herd standing up on a peak enjoying the breeze.
To kinda put it in perspective. On the highway it is about 10 miles from Big Sandy to Box Elder. We had just made that trip into 100 miles. It had been a 6 hour day drive but a wonderful day filled with great eye candy. Needless to say, both us and the dogs were tired. We are all old-timers.
You can learn more about Beaver Creek Park, Rocky Boy and the Bears Paw Mountains from some of my other posts. Check them out HERE
Author/photographer — Linda Carlson