Dillon, Montana   Leave a comment

Day 29, heading out to Dillon, Montana, was another beautiful drive. Montana is one of the most beautiful states.

The scenic route we took was a little scary around the bend of overhanging rocks and narrow road, but it sure was beautiful.

We stopped at the Missouri Headwaters State Park, which is where the Jefferson, Madison and Galletin Rivers meet.

Driving through the town of Three Forks, we came upon the Sacajawea Hotel.

Did you know there are more statues of Sacajawea than another other member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition?

Day 30, The visitor’s center in Dillon has a Lewis and Clark Diorama. I give that project an “A.”

As we came out of the visitor’s center, Bill noticed the “Hamilton Free Public Drinking Fountain” so of course we had to take his picture.

We made quite a few Lewis and Clark stops throughout the day. Beaverhead Rock was the first site that Sacajawea recognized, confirming that Lewis and Clark were following the correct trail (or river).

You have to imagine a beaver swimming and all you can see is the top portion of his face and head. Once you can visualize that, you can see that this rock looks like a beaver head. Our guide had to show us an actual picture of a beaver before any of us could visualize it. So look for a picture of a beaver swimming and compare it to this rock. I wonder how long the Indians sat and stared at this rock to visualize a beaver head…..

Just inside the fence a skeleton caught our guests’ eyes. Turns out it was probably a road kill deer that someone placed there. I guess when you live in the middle of nowhere, you have to find something to do to amuse yourself.

Clark’s lookout was located just outside of the town up on some rocks. Our guide showed us the exact rock that Clark stood on, so Bill and I just had to stand in the same place.

Rattlesnake Rock had a pictograph from the Indians indicating a rattlesnake.

You can see the squiggly line in red. The area is also noted for a LOT of rattlesnakes. I don’t think our guide told us that before we exited the bus….

Camp Fortunate was a picturesque lake area, pictured below, where the expedition set up camp.

We drove off to Lemhi Pass, where our pilot car guided us to the Continental Divide running between Montana and Idaho.

This year, we had beautiful weather and were able to have a nice picnic lunch. In 2009 when we did this trip, an Indian tribe was running a 12 mile marathon up the mountain. We found out that the Indians are ancestors of Sacajawea! They held a (Shoshoni) reunion during the 100th year anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition and ever since have made it an annual reunion. They have chosen this area because it is where Sacajawea was born. Pictured in the middle is a direct descendent of Sacajawea.

This year since it wasn’t the reunion weekend, we were able to picnic near the mouth of the Missouri River, where Bill took a drink. I think he thought it was the fountain of youth.

It must have done its job.

Most of the group decided to walk down the hill to meet the bus.

If you look close at the photo above, left, you can see the bus waiting for us. We decided as we got closer to the road that it would be great to point out “something” so that all who did not walk would wonder what they missed.

We are soooooo bad…..

Then we had the guest who likes “show and tell.” He found some moose poop. REAL MOOSE POOP.

Bannack is where we ended our day, the local ghost town. This was a booming town during the gold rush.

There are 2 buildings that are considered “most haunted. Bill is into those “ghost stories.” I caught him (below right) seeing if he could hear them!

The jail was set so that the prisoners could see the “hanging” area from their cell.

We learned that it was not the people who mined for gold that got rich, but the merchants selling to the miners, or the “herdy gertie” girls would charge a nickel per dance. They called them “herdy gerdy” girls because they would dance to the musical instrument called a herdy gerdy.

We also learned how to pan for gold. It’s VERY time consuming. It’s a good thing that I wasn’t living back in the day trying to find gold because the ranger pointed out the few specks of gold in my pan AND I STILL COULD NOT SEE THEM! I did manage to find a lot of garnet.

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