Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 5 – May 21, 2012 – Willard Bay to Lima, Montana


Today’s Mileage: 255
Total Mileage to Date: 1063
Revised remaining mileage to destination: 422

We left Willard Bay, Utah around 9:10 AM this morning and arrived at Lima, MT around 2:30 PM. We had left the last of the big cities, Salt Lake City, behind and within a half-hour we were finally in the sparsely populated northwest.

We had originally planned to overnight at Clark’s Canyon Reservoir; however we encountered a strong cross wind as we crossed over the Idaho / Montana border. Lima, a town we have stayed at before was just 15 miles up the road, so we decided to check out the new rest area that we observed from the highway last year.

The rest area is in town with ample parking to spend the night dry camping. It is far enough from the interstate so road noise should not be factor. Of course we could end up with an eighteen wheeler beside us running its engine or reefer all night. We do have the rain CD if that happens.

Lima is what I describe as a typical Montana town, several blocks long, a main street and one street running parallel to the main street plus a railroad.

Lima is on the Red Rock River fifteen miles from Monida Pass, which separates Montana from Idaho. The community was originally called Allerdice; then, when a station of the Utah and Northern (Union Pacific) was built there, it was called Spring Hill. The name Lima was chosen by Henry Thompson for his home, Lima, Wisconsin. The first post office was established in 1889 with William Bernstein as postmaster.

Lima is Montana’s first railroad town. Established as a division point on the Utah & Northern Railroad in 1880, the town included a substantial depot, roundhouse, machine shop, and a vibrant business district along the tracks that consisted of hotels, restaurants, stores, and saloons. Two churches ministrant to the community’s spiritual needs. In 1889, the Utah & Northern and the Oregon Short Line railroads merged. The Union Pacific absorbed the railroad in 1935. Lima also enjoyed an important position on US Highway 91 in the twentieth century. Along with the old establishments of the railroad era, new businesses, such as motels and service stations, joined them along the highway.

Downtown Lima

The old and somewhat new

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