Six Mile Scenic Drive

When I was on my way to Virgelle, MT Saturday I took the first turn on US Hwy 87 coming from Havre. The sign said it was six miles to the Bureau of Land Management’s campground named Coal Banks Landing.

During that six miles, I probably stopped and took 20 photos.

The road is gravel but it was in good condition. There are actually three gravel roads leading off US Hwy 87 towards Virgelle. I chuckle that this little town has three exits – pretty amazing!

The first photo I took was looking toward the Bear Paw Mountains.

A field of winter wheat showing spring growth provided the beautiful green foreground for this photo, some distant grain bins were glimmering in the mid-day sunshine and the mountains formed the background. Wow!

The Bear Paws are an island mountain range jutting up from this rolling plain. I’m always surprised how this landscape can change so dramatically in just a few miles.

I drove about one more mile after taking my first photo and there was this little calf giving me the “eye”.

I got out of the car and walked a bit closer to the fence and he didn’t budge. I took several photos of him, then, as I turned to leave he looked the other way and gave me another pose. You guessed it, I took a few more photos!

So far, it had taken me about 20 minutes to go two miles but I was coming up with some fun photos.

From this point I still couldn’t see the Missouri River. The gravel county road made a few turns, following field section lines I suppose. Then I began to go down a hill with some  curves in the road.

Scenery changed dramatically again!

On my left side there were unique rock formations which I refer to as hoodoos. I took a few photos of them, then continued down the hill.

Straight ahead was a local farm/ranch. In the background of that was the mighty Missouri River and the river breaks.

Here’s a photo of the hoodoos that I saw as I came down the hill.

The geography had definitely changed – all in a six mile drive. It is certainly well worth a traveler’s time to take the road less traveled!


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