Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 2011

Beautiful Pink Columbine and Hybrid Lilac Bush
Grand Union Hotel Fort Benton
Beautiful Pink Peony

Grand Union Hotel Front Desk
Grand Union Hotel Side/Front View
Chief Mountain from our hills up north
Grand Union Hotel Front Room

The Grand Union Hotel was built in 1882 in Fort Benton, Montana! It was a hub for visitors that came in on river boats . River boats came in from the Gulf of Mexico to Fort Benton for many years bringing needed supplies and trappers, fur traders, dignitaries, etc to the inner most waterway in the United States. If you get out a map and follow the waterways up to Fort Benton you can see it was a very long way.

I have always wanted to spend a night in this grand old hotel. Our son and daughter-in-law and their boys were camping in Fort Benton in early July. This gave us a chance to visit with them and to stay at the historic hotel and to enjoy the museums in the area and interpretive center. We all toured the reconstructed fort and could imagine how it was in those days when someone would trade a buffalo robe for a cook pot or whatever else was needed to make their lives a little easier in those long ago times.

The Grand Union Hotel is located right on the Missouri River in a great place to welcome all the waterway visitors of the time. We had a beautiful room on the river side. The hotel has been renovated and looks and feels wonderful. We had a great meal in their lovely dining room -- buffalo with huckleberry sauce, finger potatoes, wonderful homemade artisan bread!

Fort Benton these days is really off the "beaten path" so to speak. A person can imagine that it could have been as big or bigger than Great Falls is today. But Fort Benton is not near any major highway or on the way to a certain place. You have to want to go to Fort Benton. It is 206 miles from our ranch through fields of hay and grain. We took the Highline highway US 2 and then turned at Chester Montana and headed out into the rolling fields of hay and grain. Marvin and I totally enjoyed our stay in Fort Benton. Lovely little town with so very much history and beauty on the Missouri River with the beautiful high banks and wide river.

Other pictures of my hybrid lilac bushes that bloom after the regular lilac bushes and are covered with wonderful smelling smaller flowers. I adore my Columbines and the pinks were especially beautiful this year. Along came the end of July and our lovely peonies that our son, Jason, planted. The pinks are totally divine...and the whites are terrific.

It is haying time on the ranch. We had a very late summer this year but everything is still green. We did have flood watches on the St. Mary River that runs behind our home place and the channels outside our back door did get really full and were running wild there for a while. But all has calmed down now. The birds have raised their young and have gone on to other areas.

I had recovered from my fractured patella (knee cap) that happened when I fell on the ice in February...was doing my physical therapy...then the knee cap began a slide to the left of my knee. Pain came along...x-rayed on last Monday (25th of July) showed that the knee cap was falling apart...scheduled surgery on Tuesday morning (26th) here I am with my once-again stiff left leg in a full black velcro brace going through recovery again. Hoping this is the last time for that. I was riding my pedal bike before this happened and was discouraged to have to put that away. I have a little bit of the patella left now and hope it stays in place and I can be back up and around on my bike soon. Especially before another winter hits us.

Hoping all that read this are well and enjoying life and all the beauty that surrounds us each day in the simple things such as beautiful flowers and blue skies and tall green grass!


  1. Sounds like so much fun! I LOVE your beautiful flowers.
    Thank you for sharing about Fort Benton, I hadn't heard of it.

  2. I do hope your knee stops giving you grief. Goat hugs from your friends in Superior