John Kakuk

Benchmark Campground

July 25, 2022

The Campsite

We found a great campsite at Double Falls campground. The rest of the campgrounds were pretty full, but this one was all but deserted. I met a small garter snake.

The Airfield

Benchmark Airport (3U7), is a 6000′ public airfield paved in 1965. It’s a little rough around the edges, but it works, and it’s a damn pretty location.

Van de Riet Campground

There is a small campground attached to the airfield, named for Ray Van de Riet, possibly a businessman from Missouri who died in 2006. The campground has its own restrooms, a hand pump for water, picnic benches and a cluster of campsites. There is no access from the road except for the secured entrance to the airfield, so it’s definitely my new goal to fly in here for a weekend!

A Morning Takeoff

I was fortunate enough to arrive just in time to record a ’66 Piper Cherokee 235 taking off.

Heading Out

Augusta and the surrounding terrain is a seriously beautiful part of Montana.