Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Big Turbines & Tires - Small Town

Saturday September 10, 2011
Old West RV Park
Reed Point, Wyoming


Saturday morning we were moving on from Dick’s RV Park.
David was continuing to have trouble
putting air in the rear tires and grumbling about it.
It was apparent from this that the problem was
getting worse but that he didn’t know what to do about it.
So I googled the problem, sent him the
best answer I could find and
off he went to find an auto parts store
to buy a new chuck.


We had to ask Dick for an extension
to the check out time but the chuck
fixed the problem or appears to have
and we were finally on our way by noon.


We were low on gas but there were
no easy in/out stations on Route 191 as
we went through the southern part of
Great Falls and out into the country side.

So we stopped at Eddie’s Corner
which seems to be the sole building in
Moore Montana and is
located at the corner of Routes 87 & 191.
Eddie’s has been open 24 hours a day
since 1951.   David’s comment was
”boy they’ve been open in some bad weather”.




Other than gas priced at $3.789, 10 cents
above what we had been seeing in Great Falls,
which wasn’t so fine,
Eddie’s turned out to be an interesting lunch spot
although you wouldn’t know it from this picture.




But while we were there sitting in the Winnona’s
dining room having lunch,
these fellows went by.
Montana?  Cowboys???  




and then
this rig pulled in on the
other side of us.





He was hauling the BIGGEST tires we had ever seen.


Sat Great Falls to Reed Point (5)


They are Michelin tires,
and just having replaced our tires last Spring,
David couldn't imagine what these things might cost
much less what they would be used on. 
He noticed the driver getting out and asked him. 
He was a nice looking, well dressed man from Texas
with the hat, boots, accent and 'Howdy pardner' to match.


Sat Great Falls to Reed Point (4)

He said they were going to a mining operation in Alberta
and that these were NOT the biggest tires he has hauled!! 
They make them much bigger than this apparently. 
These were priced at a shocking $85,000 per tire! 
He went on to say they were
12.5 feet in diameter
and over 3 feet wide.



Whatever truck these go on obviously will NOT be on
the interstate or if it is,
it will be using the northbound lanes
for one side of the vehicle and
the southbound lanes for the other! 


Leaving Eddie’s we
went south on Route 91
home of the now famous Judith Gap Wind Farm.


Sat Great Falls to Reed Point (1) 

It’s located on both sides of the road
between Harlowtown and Judith Gap, MT


There are 90 towers and generators and plans
for more.  The windmills are HUGE.


 Sat Great Falls to Reed Point (14)

I read that the top of each tower is 262 ft
above the ground and is capped by a large
housing that serves as the hub
for the three bladed  generator.
Each of the blades is more than 125 ft long
which means that the top height of the spinning blade
is nearly 400 ft above the ground.

     The blades are designed to begin to spin in winds below 8 mph.
At about 33 mph they reach maximum electricity production
and when the wind speed gets above 56 mph
the turbines automatically shut down
to protect the blades from spinning too fast.
The blades are not designed to spin rapidly
with the normal rate being 10 - 20 rpm.

There is a single blade displayed in "Blade Park"
in Judith Gap.  We had seen these blades being
moved earlier this spring and posted pictures of
them on the highway and stopped along it when
the winds were too high.
Look at the SIZE of this thing.

wndmill blade

      These are very efficient wind generators.  Each unit is capable of producing up to 1.5 megawatts of power
which is enough to power somewhere between
350 and 400 homes.
In full production, the 90 machines produce
135 megawatts which represents about
8% of the total power used by Northwest energy.

Now that was cool!!


After total again of 200 miles for today,  we arrived
at Old West RV Park in Reed Point, Montana.



Yes indeedy
another parking lot by the freeway with a railroad
track and even LOUDER train whistles than before
if that’s possible.  BUT, with Passport America
only $17.10 for full hook ups.




David thought Reed Point was a cute town
so he went out for a stroll.
I’ll let him tell you about it.

David here:

The small town fits snugly in between I 90
and the railroad tracks 6 or 7 blocks to the north.
This assures the large population
can keep tabs on the traffic both
on the rails and on I-90, whether they like it or not.




First on my walking tour  we have the side of the
RV Park office/gas station/convenience store
where the cowboy cutouts, fencing boards
and wagon wheels paste an old west veneer
on an otherwise ordinary metal building.



Down the main street a few feet, former businesses are in evidence.  Love the wooden sidewalks!  This one vacant.




This cute Victorian is lovely on the outside, but also vacant.



"Reed Point Welcomes Ewe" on the front of this seemingly vacant one.



And then we have the Reed Point Memorial Library.
I’m not sure what they are memorializing,
but they only do it one day a week. 



See if you can determine the hours
from the notice in the door window.




Next we have the largest building in town,
the former "Hotel Montana", now closed.




This building has a bullet ridden sign
on the side to keep you thinking
you might be in the 'old west

P1170366 .


The building below was actually a mercantile for most of its life
with offices upstairs for the town lawyer,
town doctor and one other. 
A couple bought it in 1991
and converted it into this hotel  mostly to have a place
to put all their authentic old west antique collection. 
They ran a small 'saloon' downstairs serving beer & wine,
and converted the upstairs offices to boarding rooms in case anyone actually wanted to spend the night. 
By the clearly out-of-business appearance
of the place, apparently few did.




Next door is the REAL town saloon,
  "The Waterhole", where Budweiser clearly reigns. 




The sign proclaims
"Ain't no city bar",
Gambling place, Dance Hall, cowboy cooking,
buffalo burgers and Rocky Mountain Oysters. 
If you don't know about Rocky Mountain Oysters,
you better read this before ordering!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_oysters




I thought I would see what they had
in the line of local Montana brews on tap
and see what stories I could get from the bartender. 
What a surprise - no taps visible at the bar! 
I asked and she told me that had only PBR on tap.
For those of you who do not drink beer,
this is probably the cheapest beer in the entire world. 
What about in bottles? 
Sorry, only your basic mass market brews from Bud & Miller. 

No beer for me, but how about a story? 
No going there either. 
She was closed lip and only answered
what I directly asked volunteering nothing. 
I think I must have interrupted her conversation
with two ladies at the end of the bar
when I wandered in from the street.

The end of main street has a pair of matched buildings
I don't know what they were used for
but they make nice bookends for the end of town
and the RR tracks ahead.




Beyond main street,
this is a one church town (Evangelical),
with no other business save a lumber mill.  
There are two nice new blue & white school buildings,
the Reed Point Elementary and Reed Point School,
which is presumably inclusive of everything beyond elementary. 
At the school, they leave a box in the entryway
with basketballs and footballs in case anyone wants
to drop by at any time for a pickup game.  Nice.




To me it looks like the town never had its heyday,
but if it did, it is not obvious
from a stroll around town or even a Google search. 
They do make a lot of hay out here though.



The kids apparently compete fiercely in athletics,
championing foes for many years in a row
in "class C" competition. 
It appears the girls are more to be feared here
than the boys by the tally on the board
proudly displayed as you enter the town from the I-90.




Now in a town of such limited population,
I was surprised to see such a fine US Post Office as this one. 
But then again, the USPO is not known for its business savvy.




What can you do in this small town
besides go to the saloon and to church? 
Come through in July for the "Boat Float and Street Dance".



or ask locally for the date of
their annual sheep drive  down main street, 
apparently the claim to fame for this little town in Montana.
Remember the town sign,
”the sheep drive capital of the world”.
Hey, everybody needs something to look forward to,
and they have it.

And finally, the best bumper sticker in this town
or a lot of towns:



  1. Great post! I miss all that kind of stuff while traveling around the Northeast.

  2. Just think of the damage that could be done if you married a wind turbine with one of those big tires! :)

    Looks like an interesting little town. I'll pass on the RM Oysters as well as the PBR :)

  3. Ok you two...this blog was GREAT!! The tires, turbines and town... each a find in itself!!

    I know you are disappointed that you can't get out on the hiking trails together, but I am really enjoying your Highway Hiking;o))

    So much great stuff in just one day on the road...whodathunk!!

    Can't wait to see what you find next down the road !!!

  4. I believe the two structures at the end of town are grain elevator/storage buildings.

  5. I think I've discovered another part of Montana I'd like to find. Isn't it a crying shame so many places are vacant, while people keep crowding into the cities. I'd like a small town like that but probably couldn't deal with winter.

    I love to see those big wind turbines, and think of all the clean energy they produce.

  6. Oh my! Don't think I'd want to meet up on the highway with whatever kind of vehicle those tires belong to.

    I've heard that RM Oysters are delicious. . . but I'll just take their word for it. :-)

  7. I think the library had no zero's so used the '8' & u are supposed to think of them sideways!!! takes up less room also :)

  8. Oh, my. All I can think of is the movie "Footloose." (Yes, I know that I'm weird . . .)

  9. Hilarious post from the tires to calling in dead!! :) What a sleepy place with the best building there being the post office. I laughed outloud a few times reading this one :)


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