Well, big sky MEANS big sky I guess. Heading up I-15 thru Idaho to Montana the scenery gets increasingly better and bigger, meaning one had better pay attention to the gas gauge because gas stops are very few and faaaaaarrrrrrrr between. This is the literal definition of “no man’s land” up here. Luckily we found a little pit stop in Lima, Montana. Ever since we entered Nevada and up to now the smoke and haze from all the fires has been pretty thick, not a lot of clear blue sky.
We stayed at the Butte KOA for a couple of days. Not one of the better KOA’s I’d have to say. Spaces were too crowded and not much shade over the gravel spaces. We did take the Trolley Tour of the area. It was an interesting historical adventure sightseeing this area that was initially a gold mining establishment, then silver, then copper which ended up being it’s big draw in the early 20th century. The dogs enjoyed the lengthy paved nature trail that ran along the creek here at the KOA. From camp we could see the large statue, Our Lady of the Rockies, standing on the Continental Divide 8,510 feet above sea level. It is a 90 foot statue similar in nature to the Christ of the Ozarks we saw in Arkansas. The historical nature of this town aside, I don’t think I could live in a town built around a very large pit of toxic, contaminated mining water which has an acidic level similar to battery acid. Yuk…
|The lovely Berkley Pit in Butte, MT. Anybody for skinny dipping?|
You know an area is in sad shape when all the locals you talk to tell you there is nothing to do and that you do not want to visit or be here during the winter. Oh well, live and learn. We already got 3 offers on the house, so our full time trekking ways are getting closer. And we are slowly carving up the country into parts we want to see, parts we want to see again, and parts we never want to return to or through. Our journey continued E/B I-90 across Montana and following the Yellowstone River. We finally got rid of the smoky haze but traded it for some clouds and rain. Still, a pleasant change for a while. Next stop, Billings MT and the very first KOA campground, established 50 years ago.