On our last night in Utah, we heard of a ghost town in Montana near the campground where we had already planned to stay. Oh, joy, one of my favorite things!
Just after crossing the state line, we spied what looked like a ghost town, and I just had to make Grizz turn off the road. While Monida looked like a deserted town, it turned out to be a study in contrasts, from abandoned buildings to a well-kept, white-sided house that obviously had residents; from rusted-out trucks to older but still obviously in-use SUVs; from an old caboose to an almost-new K-Line box car. We had to wonder who would actually live in this little place with ‘No Services’ and nothing else in sight of these 20 or so buildings but the highway vehicles flashing past:
Do you see the mailbox here – it looks brand new, almost like it had never been used! You gotta wonder!
When we arrived in Dillon, we wasted no time in getting set up and heading straight for Bannack State Park, the ghost town we’d been told HAD to be seen. For a mere $5 we wandered through, not restored or moved buildings, but preserved buildings at the original town-site of the first territorial capital of Montana. Other ‘firsts’ for this old town: jail, hotel, Masonic lodge, hard-rock mine, electric gold dredge, saw mill, brick courthouse. The sheriff of this town was allegedly the leader of a gang of thieves and murderers called The Innocents. The towns-people formed their own gang, the Vigilantes, and hunted down the gang members, killing or banishing most of them – and hung the sheriff on the gallows he’d had built for another murderer!
Here’s a glimpse of some of the town’s buildings:
The former physician’s residence was the only building with some artifacts and lifestyle restoration:
From the jail, apparently the prisoners could see the gallows – we couldn’t but then we think the jail has probably sunk into the ground some over the years:
We watched a photo shoot of a reenactment of a settler fighting with an Indian:
It was a fabulous afternoon! The next morning, as we were ready to head northward again, was when the truck started to act up - see previous posts about that.
We arrived at Kalispell, near Glacier National Park, and after getting the truck repairs done, and some last USA Costco shopping in, we spent some time at the Park:
All in all another beautiful state! This trip – 20 states and 7 provinces visited, each fascinating in its own unique way. We saw tons, learned much, enjoyed thoroughly!
We’re headed into Alberta today, planning on a few days at Waterton National park, then on to Calgary/High River area to visit the kids. After that home – in just over a week from now.
Thanks to all of you for joining us for the trip, for your comments and support as we’ve had our adventures, particularly in those first few difficult days when the grand-babies were born and passed so quickly. We’ve enjoyed having you along, wishing you all could have a similar trip for yourselves.
We’ll be back with you in a few days. In the meantime – happy fall, happy quilting (or whatever else you love to do), happy blogging.