This past weekend my friends and I headed out towards Dillon, MT for some adventuring. Our first stop on Saturday was to Clark's Lookout State Park. In 1805, the Lewis and Clark party passed through this area of the Beaverhead Valley. On August 13, 1805 Captain Clark climbed this high bluff to get a sense of his surroundings and document the location. This monument, which sits on top of the bluff, shows the three compass readings that Captain Clark took that day. We just happened to be there on August 13th so we had to stop. I loved the fact that I stood, looking out across the valley, in the vary place Clark stood exactly 206 years prior.
After spending some time at Clark's Lookout State Park we head to the Dillon KOA where we were staying for the night in a Camper Cabin. It was a cute little cabin and we enjoyed the evening grilling hot dogs, swimming in the pool, roasting marshmallows and chatting the night away.
On Sunday we headed for Bannack State Park, which is a preserved Ghost Town, for a little exploring and touring. Bannack was founded in 1862 and was the first territorial capital in Montana.At its peak, Bannack had a population of about ten thousand. There were three hotels, three bakeries, three blacksmith shops, two stables, two meat markets, a grocery store, a restaurant, a brewery, a billiard hall, and four saloons.
This building housed the school in the bottom level and the masonic lodge in the top level. The masonic lodge is still active and masons from around the world can be members. They still hold annual meetings here. This was originally the courthouse and was then converted into the Hotel Meade. It was very cool to wander around inside the buildings and imagine what life would have been like if you were a guest there.
Some other buildings include the Methodist Church, the Gibson Hotel, the view of the gallows and what is left of the Governors house. After leaving Bannack, we drove the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway to get back to Butte and the freeway home. About halfway down the road we saw a sign to the Coolidge Ghost Town and took decided to go see it to. Coolidge is about a 5 mile drive down a dirt road and then a half mile walk back to the town site.
I loved Coolidge! It was just an abandoned town sitting in the middle of the forest in gorgeous surroundings. Coolidge just happened to be the site of the largest, and final, silver development. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the buildings and mine.
As always, I loved getting out for another Montana Adventure and learning a little about Montana's past. I can't wait for the next adventure!