November 22, 2014 Hike to Ryan Dam along the south shore of The Mighty Missouri River- NOT!
The 3 of us met at the Rainbow Dam overlook parking lot at 8:30 am in hopes of hiking along the river to Ryan Dam. However, with winds gusting upwards of 35 miles per hour along with the high profile trail, we decided to adjust our hike in exchange for a lower less vulnerable trail. We quickly switched gears and drove to the Boxcar to navigate the Rivers Edge Trail making our way towards Elks Riverside Park. The concrete Tenth Street Bridge quickly drew our attention-built in 1920 it boasts as the longest open “spandrel ribbed concrete arch bridge” in Montana and is quite impressive as it spans the width of the river with white capped waves licking at its feet. We leaned into the wind as we made our way along the river and were pleasantly surprised to meet up with Susan and her 2 beautiful golden retrievers who were enjoying a walk in the wind and a romp in the dog park.
We continued along the east side of the trail with Susan and dogs in tow, enjoying seeing some remaining choke cherries on the bushes that somehow escaped pickers. The Bison, with fish fins, is missing from its place of prominence- probably for renovation and repair. Before crossing the river via the Weismann Memorial Pedestrian Bridge we inspected the 2 metal pillars on the east entrance that were designed by metal sculptor Alex Smithson . They are an interesting collection of car parts, springs, nuts, bolts, etc.
We crossed the river and reconnected with the Rivers Edge Trail and West Bank Park which is complete with a Bear sculptor ( no bear spray required) and some interesting spruce trees decked out with pine cones that decorate only the tops of the trees. We completed our loop of the Rivers edge trail by passing the Waste water treatment center before crossing the Missouri River via the 9th Street Bridge to enjoy a warm cup of joe at the Missouri River Diner before returning to the Boxcar. The size of the diner breakfast hash browns is pretty impressive if you are looking to fill up! It turns out that taking the lower profile portion of the Rivers Edge Trail was interesting and the push back of the wind gave us a pretty good work out, too!