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By Rick and Susie Graetz
University of Montana Department of Geography 

Montana's greatest wonder: the Missouri River

(Part 1 of 5)


September 28, 2018

Rick and Susie Graetz

The Madison River flows past autumn foliage upstream from Ennis.

On Aug. 12, 1805, Meriwether Lewis penned in his journals, "the road was still plain, I therefore did not dispare of shortly finding a passage over the mountains and of tasting the waters of the great Columbia this evening. At the distance of four miles further the road took us to the most distant fountain of the waters of the mighty Missouri in search of which we have spent so many toilsome days in wristless nights." Lewis was describing today's Distant Fountain Spring, part of Trail Creek, flowing from the east side of the Continental Divide at Lemhi Pass. Climbing above the trickle, Lewi...

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