Our first day had only started, with the morning given to wandering the old ghost town at Bannack! Heading up the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Ramona and I watched for the turn off to Coolidge Ghost Town. The drive itself was awe-inspiring and while my photographs do not pick up on the amazing colour of the meadows filled to the brim with wild Camas, I’m hoping that Ramona did better. While technology has enhanced the art of photography, it is still impossible to capture the smell of the air, the feel of breeze on your skin and true essence of light, that not only surrounds, but melts into you. I love to travel these back roads. Ramona and I are exchanging our photos via memory stick as we were both very motivated to capture these magical times together. These are what I have. I want my readers to imagine the most brilliant blue that, in truth, looked like wide open lakes in the open valleys of this range. So incredibly beautiful!
Click on photographs to enlarge.
I enjoyed the little hike, weaving in and out of remnants of buildings coming from a different time. With this ghost town, I DID feel as though I was taking a serious step into the past. I enjoyed observing what remained of building techniques and even the manner in which these buildings had weathered and fell apart.
From Big Hole, we traveled the scenic byway through Wisdom…then south on the 278 and onward. Little did we know that as we came down off the pass, we should hit a bit of construction and resurfacing along the Grasshopper Creek. I got to speak to someone who had biked over 1300 miles and he was excited for the next UP. We were on our way to Bannack, Montana…once Gold Town…now, Ghost Town.
Ramona and I began our wander on the lower part of this map, at location #26. The map was collected from a brochure I purchased at entrance for $2.00. Click on any photos to enlarge.
At the Bannack campsite, Ramona and I shared a huge treat! Preston had brought us some strawberry shortcake in the morning and so, along with a swig of campground water, we snacked on that generous dessert and listened to the birds. It was nice to sit and do some more relaxing before moving on and out.