Welcome to Montana

MONDAY

During breakfast this morning we were treated to an aerial show as a yellow crop-duster plane sprayed a field near the RV park.  The plane even flew over us a time or two as it tried to make sure it covered all the field.

Then it was time to pack up and make ready to get underway.  We had gotten up a little later as we did not have quite as far to go this time.  We were on the road before 10 and made good time as we headed North up I-15.  No big city to go through today.  Only one construction zone that lowered the 80 MPH speed limit to 65.  No problem for us we travel at 62 in the coach.  We took I-15 until it hit I-90.  If we had turned East we could have taken it all the way back to Buffalo.  We headed west and soon were at our exit for Anaconda, MT.

The scenery was spectacular on the way up here today we were between 5500 and 6800 ft and the mountain peaks towered over us.  There is still snow on them mostly on the North side but some on all sides.

So here we are at the Fairmont RV Park & Campground.  We plan to be here a week and explore around the area.  Butte is not far and has a rich mining history we hope to learn a little about.

Now to watch a little bit of the convention coverage.

TUESDAY

No real plans for today just a planning and organizing day.  Bonnie wanted to wast the towels and bedding also.  She slept in and I worked on our next move.  I had a hard time finding a campground up near Glacier that could give us a site for 2 weeks.  But I found someone willing to work with me at Mountain View CG.  Its a smaller park like Bauer’s was and the other Beaver owners Rich and Vickie that we met at Bauer’s told me about it.  So Evonne was able to give us two weeks if we came in on Wednesday next week instead of Monday.  So I booked it.  Then I started looking for some place for two nights about halfway up there and found another small park.  They only had a 30 amp site available but will give me 50amps if it opens up.  We can live quite nicely on 30amps we just can not run two big appliances at once or two A/C units at once.  Anyway that took until just afternoon.

Then we looked at things to do around here and also decided we would fill the last of our RXs while here.  Well Bonnie needs the Dr to call in one so we delayed that for a day.  I had ordered a mail shipment to be delivered here and that should come tomorrow along with some things from Amazon.  This is my view as I write this.

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Plus a bus load of teens and leaders is setting up a tent city out in front of us.  They seem well organized.

After the sheets dried we headed into Anaconda, MT for supper.  There used to be a huge smelting operation here but it closed in the 1980s.  The only thing left is the stack, hope to visit it tomorrow.  The town is some how hanging on.  There are a lot of railroad tank cars on the sidings, I will have to research that.  We decided to eat at Peppermint Patties, know for their pork chop sandwich.  Well Thats what I ordered and I must say that it was really good.

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The fries were nice and crispy also.  I missed a picture of the homemade beef barley soup but it was delicious.  Bonnie had the soup and a Cobb Salad.

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Afterward we made a quick stop at Albertson’s food store and then back to the coach and in for the night.

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WEDNESDAY

Today we decided to go about 30 miles north to Deer Lodge and visit the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site.  What an amazing place.  This is a working ranch that is run by the National Park Service.

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We parked and headed to the visitors center.

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We checked in, free admission and picked up our free tickets for a tour of the ranch house.  We headed down the 1/4 mile path to the house and made it just in time.

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This was the original part of the Ranch House built in 1862 it was 4000 sq ft then in 1890 a 5000 sq ft brick addition was put on the back.  Grant only lived here 4 years and then sold it to Conrad Kohrs who build a the ranch.  At one time he grazed cows on over 10,000 acres, much of it government lands.  Today the ranch is 1700 acres.  It is still a working ranch plus has lots of displays and demonstrations to portray live as a cowboy or rancher.

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This is Karen a volunteer she led us on the tour of the house.  The house was pretty plan until Conrad married August who turned the house into a magnificent showplace.  All of the furniture and furnishings are original to the house and are amazing.  Sorry no pictures in the house.  Karen and her husband are full time RVers and have served at several parks.

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Here is Mike he is a seasonal employee living his dream.  He also has a travel trailer but has not gone full time get.  He serves as the cook at the Chuckwagon.

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He serves a mean cup of cowboy coffee, it really was good.  The chuckwagon enabled the cook to get ahead of the herd every day and have a good meal ready for lunch and dinner.  It also carried the cowboys bedrolls, no tents were used.  The cook put in long days and was often the second highest paid person on the cattle drive.  The team consisted of 12-15 cowboys, in their teens and early twenties.  They would drive 1000-1500 cows.  They also took 100 horses as they could only ride the same horse for a few hours and some days a horse was not ridden.  Usually the youngest cowboy was in charge of the horses.

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After Mike we walked over to talk to Bill in the blacksmith shop.  Bill is also an RVer who travels in a toy hauler.  He is a retired farrier.  We enjoyed taking to him and learned a lot about the time period of the ranch.

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This shop was originally set up to make parts to repair the equipment on the farm.  Everyone would learn how to fix their own equipment and make parts.  Bill still makes parts to repair the ranch equipment.

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We spent 3 or 4 hours at the ranch and really enjoyed the displays and taking to the people.  In what was the thoroughbred stable there was lots of old original equipment, sleighs and wagons this was my favorite, a fifth wheel wagon.

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We went into Deer Lodge planning to visit the old state prison.  But once there we were tired and just looked around in the gift shop.  I got a picture of the outside and of the yard through a gate.

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The prison was open over 100 years first as a territorial prison and then a state prison closing in 1979.  They say it was always overcrowded.  It was build in part by the inmate labor saving tons of money.

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The yard.

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Of course Bonnie had to make friends with an inmate.

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From there we decided it was better to eat supper in town before heading home. We chose a highly rated steak house from Yelp but it will not make our favorites list.

From there we headed home.  Our mail shipment and a box from Amazon were in the office for us so we picked those up.  Wow we have lots of new neighbors tonight.  I had a battery to replace in our outside thermometer and talked to one of our neighbors.  They are traveling with 4 young grandsons, from near New Orleans and just making the turn to head back East after being at Glacier.

Well thats about it for the beginning of this week.  Its late but I will get this posted.  Thanks For Checking In!

 

2 Comments


  1. Love watching your travels. Are you going to visit Skip? He lives in Montana


    1. Thanks Joyce. Skip is about 500 miles away so don’t think we will be able to see him. It would have been nice. Hopefully
      next summer at the Reunion if he come back.

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