The trip from Glacier back to Colorado had us slicing through Montana down I-15, US 87, and finally I-90. Along the way we made a point to stop in Great Falls and Billings. You’re going to know Great Falls is nearby when you start passing armored trucks with machine gun turrets mounted on top!
Stationed in Maelstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, the Montana Wing of the Civil Air Patrol takes patrolling the dozens of missile silos in and around Great Falls pretty seriously. A bit more robust than Helena, Great Falls definitely felt more like an urban center. We drove through beautifully preserved neighborhoods of mid century ranch and craftsman styled homes on our way to their vibrant downtown district.
Destination… SMOKED. American Barbecue. It had been a few days since tasting any sort of smoked meats and I had to get my fix. I try to keep my expectations low, but there was no need here. This place hit the spot. Being from Chicago, I couldn’t pass up on the hot links as an appetizer. Damn they were good! For my main course I destroyed a half pound of melt in your mouth brisket plus a side of baked beans and potato salad. That brisket was so smoky, I wanted to hang it in the car as an air freshener. Mmmmmm. For dessert I slurped ramekins of their Texas style, Alabama white, and Mustard No 2 bbq sauces. Yes, I know I’m a feign. Theres plenty of cool stuff to do in Great Falls if you have the time. Check out Giant Springs State Park, home to the worlds largest freshwater spring. Within it is gorgeous Rainbow Falls and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
Northeast of the city is The Great Falls of the Missouri River. It is made up of a series of waterfalls dropping a total of 612 ft from first to last: Black Eagle, Colter, Rainbow, Crooked, and Big Falls. This place is so remarkable that its depicted on the State Seal of Montana. Stuffed to the gills from our feast we hoped back in the car and continued on our way towards Billings!
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