July 18, 2021 Kootenai Falls & Bridge
We stayed at a wonderful little private campground just outside Libby, Montana, the Libby Dam RV Park, on the banks of the Kootenai River. My knowledge of Libby, MT comes from news in 2002 that it was identified as an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Superfund site, 12 years after a vermiculite mine there was closed. Vermiculite was mined there for 50 years and was eventually found to contain high levels of asbestos which can lead to the diseases asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer! However, it is a beautiful area and there is a GREAT brew pub in town, Cabinet Mountain Brewery! 12 miles west of town is the reason we came this way!
The Kootenai swinging bridge, originally built for the Forest Service to access the other side of the river to fight fires, has become a destination in itself!
It is a little scary to take the first step, but it’s a sturdy, well-built bridge. There are lots of trails that lead upstream to the impressive Kootenai Falls.
The rock outcrop in the middle of the river looks like a ship heading downstream!
The river is so powerful, churning downstream from the upper falls.
Addendum; “On September 14, 2021, EPA deleted OU8 based on a determination that no further remediation action is needed to protect human health and the environment; the area will still be subject to regular reviews for protectiveness. EPA will continue to address contamination concerns at the remaining operable units of the site, including the former mine site.”