Have you ever heard of Three Forks before? No? Really? But it is just 12 miles from Manhattan. That is…Manhattan, Montana. This unassuming area in Southwestern Montana does have significance and you should, at least, be aware of it.
The Nomads, along with Mama Nomad’s parents, were headed to Bozeman where we checked out the American Computer and Robotics Museum. After visiting the museum, Mama Nomad searched around for other points of interest. Three Forks popped up and after a quick read, in typical Nomad fashion, we were in and headed on another adventure.
Three Forks is a population of just under 2,000 in Gallatin County about 30 miles west of Bozeman. And it is located near the area we actually wanted to visit, which was the Missouri Headwaters State Park. You see, Three Forks was named because of the three rivers (Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin) that converged at the Missouri Headwaters State Park.
The Jefferson River is about 83 miles long. The Gallatin River is about 120 miles long. And the Madison is about 183 miles long. Their confluence is just east of Three Forks in the Missouri Headwaters State Park. As the name states, this is where the Missouri River starts. What is the significance of the Missouri River? Well, it is the longest river in North America with a length of 2,341 miles before it joins the Mighty Mississippi just north of St. Louis, Missouri.
In addition, since Thomas Jefferson gave Meriweather Lewis instruction to follow the Missouri River to its source. Jefferson had hoped it would go all the way to the Pacific. As we know, it does not. However the Lewis and Clark Expedition along with Sacagawea stood on this very spot before continuing westward.
The area was lush and green. And life abounded all around the area. I stood there for a moment and just pondered about how many lives were impacted because three rivers converged here to form the longest river in North America and allowed for commerce and people to move great distances using this river. In addition, it is used to help irrigate farmlands. The effects of this one spot sunk in and I was in awe. And the view of the Bridger Mountains as the backdrop to the Missouri River only added to it.
After admiring the area, the scenery and the history, me and the Nomad Boys continued a tradition that we have come to form at every body of water whether it be river, lake, sea, ocean or just a puddle. We do something as old as time. We skip rocks. Had to mix in some fun along with the awe. Each of us took turns picking the best rocks and trying our hand at who could skip it the most times. As with each other time, we had a blast!
If you ever wind up in or around Bozeman, stop by this state park, wander around a bit and maybe skip a rock or two. Safe Travels.