Home Trekin' To Dillon, MT Dillon, MT Livingston, MT On to Medora, ND Medora, ND Medora Musical Around Medora & Park On to Mandan, ND Mandan The STORM Travel Diary 2015
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Lane’s  Roadhouse Livingston, MT
June 7 – Sunday – June 9 - Tuesday We leave Dillon about 9am bound for Livingston on SR141.  The landscape is soooo green.  A bright sunny day with wispy clouds overhead as we travel the back country, 2-lane route that proceeds through ranch land and a few very small towns with names like ‘Twin Bridges’ and ‘Silver Star’.  The latter has a roadside junkyard of huge iron wheels and other things that seem to be railroad paraphernalia. The Jefferson River is now showing itself now & again as we enjoy the views of the mountains. It, like most of the waterways here, is fast-moving and very muddy.  About an hour later we connect with I90 near Bozeman.  Heading east, we reach Livingston, MT.  A short way on SR89 (provides access to the North entrance to Yellowstone, about 55 miles south), we pull into Rock Canyon RV park and finish our 147 mile trip.  We were so pleasantly surprised at this lovely 43 year-old campground on the banks of the Yellowstone River.  The hosts pamper their guests.  They made our two night stay ever so comfortable.  We will be coming back to this campground next year!  We met several campers who were very congenial.  And watching the river, we were treated to the sight of a momma merganser duck and her very new chicks.  We spotted her & her brood several times & enjoyed their antics.  A scenic drive and a trip through town completed our stay.
Gary always has work.  Hooking & unhooking our truck & motorhome takes time and a lot of kneeling.
The Jefferson River, full & muddy, joins us now & again.
A field of soy brightens up the view along Hwy. 141.
A very pretty section of I90 as we’re about to descend from a grade.
On I90. The train tracks, usually within sight of the freeway, are extremely busy with freight trains hauling all kinds of goods.  We see a lot of coal cars & oil tankers being pulled over big grades with multiple engines huffin’ & puffin’.
Looking south from I90.  These incredible mountains are stunning.  These are the sights to see on the way to Yellowstone, about 55 miles away.
After arriving at Rock Canyon RV, Livingston, Gary daydreams about all the fish floating by and his plan to catch a few of them.
How hardy the riverside wildflowers have to be.  Clinging to a bit of dirt & rip-rap, this plant shows off its pretty flowers.
Rock Canyon RV Park.  The Roadhouse settles in with a bit of a view of the river.  We enjoyed the benches as we relaxed and scouted wildlife.  The only wildlife were humans & their dogs enjoying romping in a side channel to the busy river.
As the sign says, opened in 1954, well before the famous chain ‘In & Out Burger’, this has got to be the town center.  Crowded whenever we passed by.  A regular hamburger can be had for $1.89 & up.  But, it’s the ice cream that is out of this world!  Locally produced, this ice cream gets the prize.  They have become so popular that Bozeman has a plant where they just produce their bars.  The rest is done right here iin Livingston.  Yum!
This common merganser female duck & her very young brood entertained us with their antics.  Swimming & feeding on a calm side channel to the Yellowstone as the babes learned how to be adults.  Please note the wild hairdo of momma.  Her red ‘hair’ is close to the head, but in the back it flies straight out.  It resembles a mousse arranged ‘do’.  She is rather small & quite pretty, even with, or because of, her unusual hair style.  Momma is solely responsible for the care of her young.  Poppa disappears once the eggs are laid.  If orphan mergansers show up, she takes them on.        (See below for video)
The snowy-white, orange-beaked American pelican rests on the gravel in a calm channel of the Yellowstone.  Living & feeding on fresh water lakes & rivers, they are quite a sight when, as a flock, they fly over.  They are usually seen in groups.  We’ve seen a few fly over, but this one was on his own as he cleaned his feathers.
Taking a drive on a side road, we came across this school.  Not just a relic of the past, but a functioning schoolhouse today.  Currently, 2 teachers educate 19 students in grades pre- kindergarten to 6th grade.  Student population has declined 47% over the last 5 years.  There is a nearby middle school with 7 students and ten miles away in Livingston is the high school currently serving 490 students.
These horses looked so content in their pasture.  The yearling kept following the obviously pregnant mare – not for feelings of family, but the swishing tail of the mare, which was acting as a hairy fly-swatter.  I was so busy enjoying the horses I forgot to take pictures of the estate they live at.  This neighborhood, about 20 miles from Livingston is full of beautiful homes built along or near the Yellowstone River about 30 miles or so north of Yellowstone National Park.
It is so gratifying to see so many osprey nests.  The breed is doing well.  We watched this pair for a while, but saw neither ‘nesting’.  It is a warm day, so maybe they don’t need to sit on the eggs.  The male hunts the Yellowstone River for his & her food while she sits on the eggs.
Back in town, we drove through some neighborhoods.  This pretty place with its draperies decorating the front porch looked inviting.
I don’t know what the proper name is for this ‘scooter’.  It is propelled by shifting one’s weight from side to side.  Nice way to get around in good weather on the crowded, narrow old neighborhood streets.
We were told to check out this food trailer parked in a strip mall just off the freeway at Livingston.  With a big blue tarp to shade the picnic tables, a wide variety of food is offered.  We chose fish & chips & they were wonderful. Just about the best we’ve ever eaten. There are actually a number of fine dining restaurants in town.  We just chose to try the locals’ favorites.  It was also just a couple miles from the campground.
This prairie dog made itself at home at the food trailer.  Just outside the eating area there was an entrance to its burrow.  In typical ‘dog’ fashion, it would stand on its hind legs and check out what tables were occupied.  Not intrusive, just looking for someone to toss a bit of food his way.  We saw 2 others playing in the field between the ‘restaurant’ and the street.
A view from the steps of our motorhome at the campground.
A tidy ranch.  What a view as chores are done.
Wanna buy a town?  There is a residence behind this retail (?) structure facing the main road.  It has a U.S. Post Office included. I’ve read about small towns for sale.  I’ve never seen one, until now.
Had to include one more horse picture.  Such a beautiful animal with markings on its face making it unique.
       Common Merganser Duck & family.                                             See description above with the still picture. To start the video, place the curser on the picture and press the arrow on the popup bar at the bottom of the picture.  When finished, click on  the pause button to stop
Livingston, MT