Mining, Smoke “Stack”, and Fabric Store (Continuing Glacier Trip)

We left at 9:00 am and went to find a dump station. Kevin thought a large Maverick with RV bays would have one. Nope. We went down the road and the Love’s had one but it was so disgusting, Kevin wouldn’t even get out. (Good!) Went on down a bit farther to another place and they had a dump. $10 but that was fine. On the road by 10:00. That morning I had looked at a map and saw a road, MT Hwy 1, that went south to Philipsburg and then around to Anaconda. It is what Kevin and I “Louie L’More land”. He was a popular western writer. We can see the open range, mountains/hills behind with trees, open grass for grazing the cows and usually a canyon where we know the bad guys would come from. HAHAHA This road definitely had that. Philipsburg wasn’t much to see from the road but we drove into town and it is a happening, old-time place. The drive from here to Anaconda was breathtaking! Tall pine trees, but not dense, a lake, and a place we thought would be fun to have as a north home base. The town of Anaconda is bigger than we thought it would be. Due to narrow hills on both sides, it is long and narrow. We will come back to explore. Our campground is Fairmont RV Park. They are strict on the 5 mph rule and repeated it over and over in emails and at the office. It is all gravel, but level, with side yards of dried grass. We think there might be a mountain behind but can’t see due to the think smoke from wildfires. I fixed roast and packaged rice for supper. 

Wednesday 07/28/21 Breakfast is cinnamon rolls then off to Butte. Butte originated as a placer mining camp. Gold was discovered in 1864 on Silver Bow Creek near the south end of what is now Main Street.The gold was heavily alloyed with silver. I had researched and found a famous World Museum of Mining. The museum did a great job putting this place together, in our opinion. They have a mining town set up and quite a few of the buildings were the original buildings of what it represented. All the buildings are old and some were donated and turned into a certain business the town would have. I also noticed the sponsors mostly match the building. For example, the eye doctor building in the old town was sponsored by a current real eye doctor. I think that is very cool. They also have a lot of mining equipment and we climbed a tall Head Frame. We can see where the railroad cars would go into the small building and the rocks would drop in. We read on a sign that the mucker was invented by a man living in Park City, Utah.

Truck on the train rails at Western Mining Museum, Butte, Montana

We saw an old truck on a railroad track that has a wooden, open box looking thing on the back. It looks like you could raise the top. We decided it must be to reach wires and lines above the trains.

Cute name for a road! Western Mining Museum, Butte, Montana

One of the street names in this old town is “Enda The Road.” HAHA We asked the worker where she would recommend for lunch. She said Annie’s Cafe is her favorite and so we drove to Front St. Along the way we commented that Butte reminds us a lot of San Fransisco! Lots of steep hills and even saw garages with the house on top. We have had a problem in Montana! We have yet to have food that tastes 1/2 way decent. And we are still looking….. Annie’s Cafe was closed for vacation so we found on Google Hanging 5 Family Cafe. I had chicken fried steak and Kevin had a patty melt. Both tasted burned. Oh well. We drove around downtown Butte but didn’t get out. It looks like the buildings have been revitalized and yet has kept the old feel and architecture of old. Well done, Butte. Many of the houses have the same look and were well maintained. Not so much in the town of Walkersville that is an extension of Butte. We see lots of mining still going on. From here we head to Anaconda.

Hard to see through the smoke – Famous Anaconda Stack, Montana

The wildfire smoke was so thick that it looked like evening and cars had their lights on. We saw and looked up the “Stack”. During smelting, each of the furnaces would have it own stack. Later, they would connected through flues to a large central stack. In May 1918, the base of the “Big Stack” was completed, being 30 foot high octagonal base. The stack raises for the base elevation of 5,754 ft 585 feet to elevation of 6,339. Years later, the company moved smelting to another town and was going to tear it down. The people of Anaconda rallied and was able to save it. We wanted to see it and I found there is Anaconda Stack State Park. We put it in GPS and drove to it but the first road went right into the tailings. The second road came upon a “do not enter” company only and construction gate. So we turned around. We could see Stack in the distance. Kevin said an amazing thing: “I love you. I love being with you. No matter where we go and even if we are lost or can’t find something, we still have a great time, together.” OH my heart!! I feel the same way about him. We drove down the road and we see a parking lot with a large mining-bucket and decided to turn in. Would you believe, that is the State Park! HAHA So tiny. Anyway, we got out and walked around the small place. The neat thing is they have bricks and a small wall outlining the size and shape of the base and then the top of Stack. That gave a really good perspective. The big bucket we saw was taller than Kevin and was used to dump ore. After this came the fabric store.

Fabric Store in Anaconda, Montana

My “Traveler’s Quilt Book” listed The Upper Thread Embroidery and Fabric Room. The building was old and had a musty smell. I hope it isn’t in the fabric I bought. The ladies in the back were having their quilting time together, which they do every Wednesday. Kevin said they were chatting like long lost friends. So nice. I found 2 fabrics I like and then Kevin insisted I get one more. He is the best! As we were checking out, I saw a complete quilt kit for sale. I asked if the pattern for it is for sale. She looked and no, it isn’t. I ended up buying the entire kit and am pretty excited about it. It has farm things but the piecing is different and I like it.

Farm Quilt I Made For My Dad

(This is a picture of the quilt finished.)

Just a “Small” Ice Cream Cone! HAHA

Since I bought fabric, I told Kevin we should get some ice cream at the corner drug store. I kid you not, the ice cream on top of the waffle cone was almost as big as my head! I had huckleberry and Kevin had Carmel. So delicious and filling…that was our supper. 🙂 We went back to HOWE and changed into our swimming suits. Within walking distance is Fairmont Hot Springs. The springs/swimming isn’t open to the public but our campground had passes for it; we just had to pay $13. They have 4 pools, 2 inside, 2 outside and they are huge! The pool was 93 degrees with the hot pools 104. The hot pools were too hot for me that day but we sure enjoyed the pool. After an hour, a staff member told everyone to get out of the pool due to weather (lightning within 30 miles). I didn’t hear, because I am deaf, but was glad to look up and see Kevin motioning for me to get out. Back to HOWE for relaxation.

The next blog post will show Kevin thinking he is Lewis & Clark. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Mining, Smoke “Stack”, and Fabric Store (Continuing Glacier Trip)”

  1. I love the farm quilt you made for your dad, it’s absolutely beautiful. So much time & love went into it.
    This was the second time I read this post & I just had the light bulb moment, Enda The Road! First time I read Edna, a girls name. Glad I read this again, that’s such a fun name for a road.
    WOW! That is a gigantic scoop of ice cream & looks so tasty.

    Like

  2. Charla and Kevin, your love story is so beautiful! I chuckled in the previous post about the pebble under the level.

    Like

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