My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Haunted Weekend - Part 1

Throughout the week, I watched the weather. Friday was supposed to be stormy, and one of the areas I contemplated visiting even had a fire warning  - from possible dry lightning.  I didn't relish camping way out in the woods, only to find a wildfire had cut off my route back. I dithered about only doing day stuff, but I live too far away for anything to be closer than about 4 hours.

Friday morning sky

I got up to see a red sky Friday morning, and finally decided to go to Bannack State Park, the best preserved of Montana Ghost towns.  My rationale was that I could always just come back home if the weather turned really bad. I piddled around and finally left around 9:A. M.  I needed to mail a package to first went to the post office at Dillon. Then I had to make a detour into the Dairy Queen for a Blizzard before going on to Bannack.

When I got to Bannack, the sky was partially cloudy but the sun was extremely harsh and the temperature was too hot. So I decided to go find a campsite and come back in the evening.  On the way out, I took a left turn too soon and got to see a lovely huge pasture full of both sheep and hay bales.

I finally reached a main road and got myself oriented and headed back to the correct road.  The road I was looking for was The Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway.  It has lots of camping along it. And it even has a public hot springs with a swimming pool.  I would have checked it out Friday night, but found I'd forgotten my swimsuit.  

The first campsite I found was Grasshopper Campground. It has water, which a lot of the Forest Service campgrounds don't have, and pit toilets. The site was in the woods with most of the tables in the shade, and with large campsites. I soon found a site with only a trailer on one side of me and only two sites from a restroom. The view was back to a mountain of falling bounders and tall evergreen trees. 

The sky was getting blacker and lightening was flashing as I ran to get my tent up.  While I was setting up, a few fat drops of water landed on me. I managed to get the tent completely up before a short shower commenced.  When that one was over, I got all my bedding into the tent, and blew up my pad. Another shower started so I just lay down and read for a few minutes. Minutes later, the sky was mostly clear, so I headed back to visit Bannock. 

There, I found most of the visitors gone and I had an almost solitary experience with the buildings. If I squinted, I could almost see it when it was the capital of the Territory of Montana and many of its occupants were busy mining gold or running stores or saloons. There have been many sightings of ghosts, especially in the Hotel Mead, but none of them showed themselves to me. 

Dr. Rayborn's house is the only one furnished


Baby carriage

Mason's - upstairs and school - downstairs
This desk brought back memories of ones I bought for end tables - and my almost three-year-old daughter who caught her leg in one.  We had to saw her out of the desk.

Hotel Meade

The beautiful staircase inside the hotel

Street view with a few visitors

The Methodist  Church - only church in town

The jail - usually just held a man a few hours before he was hanged
View behind the street

One house had several wallpapered rooms - all flowers

Grasshopper Valley is most ranching - the cows are grazing on government lands while the ranchers are stockpiling hay for winter
This is a haying machine  - think it's called a beavertail
Hay bales were thick

The evening sky promised an end to the rain, even though it was still in the forecast.