Billings and Malta, MT

29 08 2015

Good Morning from Northeastern Montana!

Riverside Motel & RV Park

Riverside Motel & RV Park

After departing from Billing yesterday, we made our way nearly directly north across eastern Montana. Expecting to be out on the flat plains, we enjoyed traveling through forested rolling hills that eventually gave way to grass and grain covered hills. Some very long distance views were unfortunately blocked by the haze of smoke from forest fires to the west.

Our stay in Billings was at the KOA, the first ever, the campground (or rather kampground) that started it all. Sites at the Billing KOA range from grassy tent sites along the Yellowstone river to concrete patio sites complete with fire pit, swing and unique landscaping. We’re located somewhere in between, in $50/night pull-through sites that feel a bit narrow and provide electric and water. Next time we’d like to check out the 5 or 6 back-in sites on the small pond. The well watered grass throughout the campground is nice, but unfortunately overwatering is leading to muddy puddles around some of the sites.

After the 200 mile trip north, were parked at the Riverside Motel, right along the Milk River in downtown Malta. This is a busy crossroads of Highway 2 stretching from Everett, WA; through Glacier National Park in the west to Williston, North Dakota and on to St. Ignace, MI in the east and Highway 191 which crosses into Canada about 50 miles north. The options for RV parking in Malta are here at the Riverside and across the street at the Edgewater Inn. These 18 sites back-up on lush grass to the city park. Over at the Edgewater, there are some pull-through sites, but not much grass – parking is mostly gravel with a few trees. We prefer the Riverside Motel, providing water, electric and sewer connections for $32.10/night. The motel has WiFi service that worked adequately for us. There’s also good Verizon service, but no T-Mobile service.  And, we were able to resupply a few items from a local Albertson’s.

Originally expanded from “rail siding #54” of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba railway, Malta still straddles this busy rail line. Running from Chicago to Seattle & Portland, the line has high speed freight trains passing through town and a daily “Empire Builder” Amtrak service. This is the busiest long-distance Amtrak route, carrying more the 500,000 passengers each year. Both RV parks are within sight of the train tracks, providing a gentle shaking and roar as the trains pass through town. If you’re a light sleeper, you’ll need background A/C or a noise muffling fan.

Today we’ll make the short trip north to the Canadian border – more from Saskatchewan.

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