Hello and welcome back to the road trip…my number 1 mission today was to see the “Our Lady of the Rockies” Statue which is 90′ tall and sits on top of the Continental Divide overlooking Butte, MT. Once I found out about it I wanted to see this very badly. I found an address which I thought would get me there. It got me to a parking lot…the parking lot of a company that will take you up to the statue…regular traffic is not allowed up there…only commercial. I did my best with my 200 mm lens to get a picture and did but if you look at images on the internet you can see what I would have wanted to get if I could have driven up (the co was closed) vs what I was able to get from the parking lot.
Since I could not go up and see the statue I decided to move on. I checked TripAdvisor and saw that there was an old prison and antique car collection in the town of Deer Lodge, MT. This truly is a cute little town though there wasn’t much open when I got there. The prison however was open and the employees were funny and welcoming…I brought Mr. PH in with me. I wasn’t sure how my granddaughter’s teacher would feel about Mr. PH visiting a prison but since there was also an antique car collection I figure if she was opposed to the prison she could share the car collection. I didn’t remember that this stop was a lot about Mr. PH! He did enjoy himself. 🙂
I was at the museum about 90 minutes…maybe because it was raining out this day I stayed longer that I might normally but it really was a good stop. The town itself didn’t, as I mentioned, have a lot to offer so after leaving here I did decide to move on…
I moved on in search of a ghost town I had read about…this was in Drummond, MT. The Garnet Ghost Town. This used to be a gold mine town inhabited with miners and their families. It was abandoned around 1900 and has been well maintained since. I was very curious. Another ghost town that I attempted to see was close to the road back around where FAST was located but when I arrived there was a chain across the road and because the road was dirt and it was raining I did not attempt to climb the road to visit. I really wanted to see this one. I drove up a dirt road uphill in mud and rocks for over 10 miles to attempt to see this…in my poor Cadillac (which was never meant for this kind of abuse!) It was supposed to be a two lane road to allow traffic up and down but I can tell you from the two occasions another vehicle drove towards me it was not really meant for two cars at the same time. There were no guard rails and the dirt berm at the edges of the road would not protect anything from sliding off the road. To make matters a little worse…it started snowing as I was trying to climb up! I finally arrived (in the snow) and discovered you had to hike to get to the town…in the snow! There was no indication how far the hike might be and I did not have a warm coat. After all that…no visit to town. As I attempted to head back down the road I was trying to find a way where the road wouldn’t be narrow and muddy…about a miles from the end there was a different option and I went for it. Civilization was so close! The one plus to this whole drive? I saw a bear cub! It came out of the woods running in front of my car…I hit the brakes as lightly as I could so I would not slide but I also didn’t want to hit the cub. I grabbed for my camera once I stopped but alas…that cub was way too fast. I then realized where there is a cub there will be a mom close behind and I moved on before mom showed up. Great experience though! There were of course deer but seeing a bear cub? Priceless! I had been to Alaska years ago and never saw a bear cub…Black bears and Grizzly bears but no cubs!
Time to stop and find a place for the night…it’s later than I usually stop and start the search for a place to stay and after that fun drive through the muddy mountain road I need sustenance and sleep! What I opted for was going to require a bit more driving than I would normally go for but in searching for a hotel I was also looking at what I might be able to see tomorrow. I chose the Wallace Inn in Wallace, ID and the Blackboard Cafe in Wallace for dinner. Blackboard Cafe…fun decor, great owners, delicious food and a young man about 5 who seemed to think he worked there and he was extremely attentive as a server. 🙂
Tomorrow will involve some exploring but after breakfast the day starts at a Bordello! Fun stuff!