Montana – Day 11

Another pretty day in the west as we head off to Garnet Ghost town. It’s not far, but it’s back windy, windy roads where the land rises and falls—lots of rises.

Garnet/j a-b

You have to wonder why people made a town back there. Easy. Follow the gold. The river winds, too, and panning for gold led settlers to this isolated, hilly, forested spot.

They’ve faithfully preserved cabins, the big hotel—which was pretty damn fancy in its day—the saloons, always a big draw—the general store, the stables, the smithy.

We’ve been here before, but it’s just fascinating. And considering Kat, we drive down to the handicapped parking area. Otherwise it would have been a long, difficult walk down, and a seriously arduous climb back up for her. The park official got it, let us park there. And if they needed the space, would come find us so Jason would take the car up, park, come back, go up again and bring it down (good daddy).

Fortunately, they didn’t need the space during our visit.

We stop in the little gift shop—I pick up a geode for Colt. Onto the store where once upon a time you could by a can of coffee for a quarter, shaving soap for ten cents.

I’m delighted with the table strewn with old shoes and boots. And a dress shoe prominently displayed.

We’ve got wringer washers, and incomprehensible—to me—tools, a pair of ancient skis so long the tips must have arrived five minutes before whoever wore them.

The Wells Hotel—designed and built by Mrs. Wells who married Mr. Wells, an Irish immigrant when she was 14 and he 29 (then had NINE children)—was considered the premiere hotel in the area. Three floors—with the attic level provided for miners or travelers to just lay out their bedrolls. The wallpaper—some of which was custom made—is mostly gone now. Let me just say the spirits aren’t. It felt very crowded and active in there, but if a hotel in a ghost town isn’t haunted, what’s the point?

It has a parlor, a huge kitchen area, and the rooms upstairs are certainly tiny by today’s standards. There are one or two larger rooms I imagine cost considerably more.

And the facilities only a short walk outside.

No privvy privacy/BW

The ground shoots up or rolls up, and little cabins still dot the rises. The trees cover the steep juts, giving the town that isolated, intimate feel. I love The Newlywed Cabin. Garnet was a rare thing—a family mining town with family and community picnics and events. Whenever someone got married, they could use the cabin until they built their own—or somebody else got married.

A nice boost for the happy couple.

Kat takes plenty of rests on benches, and wisely doesn’t climb too high.

Garnet gallery:

We get back a little late, and decide to grab food from the buffet and take it home. They’re great about this, have take-away boxes, so we have a little post-day trip lunch at our own table.

Time for Mama to rest.

I start a new book. Decide quickly it’s just too hot to read outside, but I have a nice bed to stretch out on while I relax with a book.

Refreshed, Kat’s ready to start the puzzle we picked up in Missoula. Hey, I’m game.

This one’s 1500 pieces, and HARD! I can’t remember having a frame take me so long to put together. Lots of lovely but blending colors. This one’s going to take awhile.

But it’s dinner time. I’m still full from lunch, but off we go (Jason on foot). I work up a little appetite wandering around taking pictures of flowers, and the big berries (?) on a very cool tree.

Spiky purple/NR

But even with that, I decide I can only manage a salad—and fries. Always room for a few fries.

They are delish.

Today’s #Food-a-rama

Not much of a sunset—the sky went soft and blurry, with a tint of rose. Dusk lingers while we finish the meal. But why not have dessert?

Hazy sunset/Kat

Well, if you insist, I can eat a scoop of sorbet. Which is also delish.

It’s cooled off enough I walked back to the car for my jacket before dessert. And now, ready for home, it’s night, and there’s that slice of moon, with Jupiter and Venus bright.

We have so many trees at home—comes from living in the woods—that I rarely see so many stars. It’s a treat.

Back for another shot at the puzzle. Whew! I’m on a purple area that has a zillion shades. Kat worked on a green area—a zillion shades. She is far more advanced than me.

Now workout’s done, and Kat and BW are back from breakfast—I think Jason on foundation work, and BW’s heading down to the river to take some photos. Kat’s already at the puzzle. I may have to give that some time.

Tonight, we paint!


In today’s #randomkatness:

Le stove/Kat

19 thoughts on “Montana – Day 11”

  1. I love your stories! You reminded me that as a 5’2 lady I naively bought my first ski swap skis for someone who was 6′ or taller ’cause they were a good deal. It’s a miracle I never broke anything and yes-they arrived well before the rest of me. 🙂

  2. Great pics of your ghostly adventures. I felt some strange spirit like sensations at an antique store a few months ago…very intriguing. Do you know the name of the flower? Gorgeously purple! Thanks for sharing?

    1. That would be a Canadian thistle. They’re actually a noxious weed. Basically the rancher’s dandelion ?.

  3. Sounds like the ghost town lived up to its name. Scariness all around. Love ghost towns. They contain much more atmosphere than just a mere . . . town, don’t they?

    That “fish over the cake of rice” looks so good, I’m going to show the pic to Ward so he can make it for me. (The kitchen is not my best room.) Of all of the food pics from your vacation thus far, this one actually made my mouth moan a little.

    Hope whatever it is that you’re reading is as good as the treasures you gift to all of us. Happy day to you all.

  4. Love your updates and pictures. Read it everyday. Glad you are having an awesome time. We just got back from Inn Boonsboro and had a great time.

  5. Great ghost town pics! Feeling those vibes can be a little unnerving. Do you happen to know the name of the flower? Gorgeously purple! Thanks for sharing your adventures?

  6. As always, entertaining.

    Small mistake though. I think it’s Jupiter, not Juniper, in the night sky. 🙂

  7. As usual, l loved your pictures. Towns like Garnet always amaze me; preserved so we can get a glimpse of what life was like. Not sure I would enjoy sharing a privy, but one adapts as needed. Food looks yummy. Puzzle sounds challenging. Glad Kat is resting whenever needed. The pot belly stove is perfect! Again, thank you for sharing.

  8. I love kat’s pix of the stove. What a beauty that is. I’m thinking Nora has some of the wicca magic in her blood, to sense things the rest of us don’t. That, and a great talent and imagination, adds up to writing genius

  9. Sounds like a fun and relaxing vacation. But just out of curiosity what do you do with the puzzles after you finish them…leave them there or bring them home?

  10. Can’t you just see that fabulous pot belly stove come to life a la Beauty and the Beast? Love that picture. And more so your blog. Thank you for taking the time to let us all get a glimpse of your world.

    Laura glad you are healing!

  11. Sorry you’re getting the smoke haze, though it does help a colorful sunset/rise. I’ve seen two-hole outhouses, but that three-holer is a new one to me. That’s practically a party! Do you use the picture on the puzzle box? I always do, though I know folks who don’t. I’m not into that much torture. Spectacular wood stove! Looks like it may still be used. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Even though I live very close to where you are, it is fascinating to see these “treasures” through all of your eyes. Such a wonderful perspective on Missoula, Garnet, Glacier, the sunsets, even the haze and smoke. Thank you for this wonderful gift of seeing my “home” Montana, through all of you. The also interesting tidbit is that I am from Maryland originally, and have a brother near where you live there. Many blessings to you, especially the new parents-to-be! But grandkids can’t be beat! Enjoy!!

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