Rock City Hoodoos Haunt Gals as They Stroll Along the Two Med River
Rock City sits along the edge of the Two Medicine River, right at the confluence of it and Birch Creek, before it becomes the Marias. Years ago, the river receded, leaving sandstone that wind and rain are slowly eating away. The strange-looking rock formations, hoodoos, look like aliens, with their elongated heads and stick bodies.
We left Great Falls at 7 a.m., and arrived in Valier by 8:15 to meet Marta from Essex. Along the way, we saw deer, a fox and a hawk in the middle of the road. The weather was gorgeous and the promised 30-mph winds had not whipped up yet. The road wasn't too bad and had recently been gravelled, so that was a blessing.
We had a great time jumping up on, climbing up, walking around,and squeezing through the formations as we worked our way down to the river. Unfortunately, the river bank was lined with spotted knapweed, the one disappointment of the day besides a bit of graffiti.
Everyone was amazed at the large number of hoodoos, all amassed in one place. We all took way too many photos. Everywhere we looked, we saw another interesting rock or hole in the wall or bend in the river.
For our backdrop, we had the northern end of the Rocky Mountain Front, the Badger Two Medicine and Glacier mountains looming above the plains.
We spent about two hours climbing around and then headed up to a high point to view the confluence and the golden eagle nests sitting on ledges in the high bluffs. We all plan to come back in spring, provided the road isn't gumbo, to see the eagles mothering their chicks. Thankfully, we didn't see the grizzlies that reportedly had been hanging around the river bottoms. The forest service even helped the townspeople of Valier set up a phone tree to report grizzly sightings, since so many have been spotted this year.
At 11:15 a.m., we headed back to the cars and had lunch at the Panther Cafe, under new ownership. Tracy was very friendly and accommodating to us, having let us use the bathrooms on the way in.
As we exited the cafe, we were confronted with a huge gust of wind and felt lucky to have gone early enough to miss it or else we would have had sand blowing into our eyes. We said goodbye to Marta as she headed back to the Essex area.
We were home by 2 p.m. Who went: Marta, Nancy, Jean, Sue, Katie, KuntZ, Gail, Mary N, Chrissie, June