We got an early start and refueled in Butte. We saw several places where people had staked their claim on the edge of the parade route getting ready for the big 4th of July festivities.
Back on the road we headed west then north to the 1000 Buddhas Garden just north of Arlee, MT on hwy 93. In Arlee they were having a pancake breakfast at the firehouse; the line was around the block. We arrived at the 1000 Buddhas Garden about 11 and had the place to ourselves for about half-an-hour. I enjoyed a leisurely walk around the statues (no I didn’t count them) and a hike up the hill to where the prayer flags fluttered in a gentle west wind.
After cooling our jets at the peaceful 1000 Buddhas we headed north to Flathead Lake. I reserved the last available camp spot at Finley Point State Park a month ago and today found out that it’s right on the edge of the lake where many holiday boaters, beach-goers, and campers eagerly awaited the fireworks display over the lake.
Sunrise the next day caught a fair number of people sleeping on the edge of the lake while the crows were picking through the festivity left-overs.
The lake is a delight from 5am to about 10. At 10 the power-boaters start their day and after noon the beach-goers arrive to splash in the near-freezing water and squeal about how cold it is.
I went for a ride on the local roads around Finley Point. There are a lot of cherry orchards on the point as well as vacation homes. There are a few places that look like full-time residents, but I suspect the population drops off in the winter around here.
Tech report: There were 3 bars of 3G service and 1 bar of LTE service at the campground. Call and text ok, super slow internet connection.