Tales on the Trails

Exploring Montana

Rock Creek Road itself is an adventure.  Hairpin blind dirt turns it wanders about 30 miles from I-90 down to Phillipsburg, the County Seat.  We started off on I-90 one day, headed for Phillipsburg and Georgetown Lake (well above 6000′) via MT Highway 1.  GET OFF HERE, Barney shouts, and off we go on an exit to nowhere.  Wanna go the fun way, he asks.  DUH, we reply and off we go on a dirt path that took us through ranchers property, (he knew him of course), over a mountain, through mud bogged road, highly tilted terrain, up to where the cell towers are – you always know you are at the highest point when the radio guys beat you to it!

I am purposely vague here as I don;t want to detail the route and encourage trespass, but this was a fantastic way to get back to HWY 1 which would have been 20 minutes on the pavement.  Question:  Would you prefer to travel 40 minutes on the highway through pretty country and arrive at your destination rested?  Or take a 2 hour bumpy, dusty, sometimes scary remote unmarked road with a days walk out if you break down to cover the same distance?  If you answered take 2 hours you should own a jeep if you don’t already.

Georgetown Lake is a man made reservoir, ice fishing heaven, and an out of the way ideal destination.  Treat yourself to a burger at the inn while you’re there.  We arrived May 23 and were told the last ice on the lake had melted 13 days before.  The mountains all around are snow capped, the valleys lush and green and the fisherman were pulling fish out from shore by the handful.  So was a bald eagle that soared by us, uninterested in the jeep.

The ride around the lake isn’t too long and well worth the time.  Its a steep grade getting up there but RV’s made it and we made a mental note for next time.  Back down the grade takes you to Phillipsburg, a happening arty fartsy town with many things to note, but I will tell you about two:  The brewery and the candy store.  Try the wheat beer.   The Sweet Palace is sugar heaven.  Jeanne says it is row upon row of delicious goodness.  All, or most, locally made with a variety of fudges that puts diabetics into comas just by walking by.

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