My Journey


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You really made my day after all the trains I played with today with these pics and the stories !

Many thanks.

Yes, Goldens are very much an easy target and in today's world you have to keep an eye on them...

Merci Beaucouop !


Well-known member
You sure do run into some amazing events and pictures Jerry. You are proof that always being out helps one see the world that is happening around them. How cool to see that deer and the babies. Then the fire as it is happening. :)

PS Hopefully no one was injured and they had insurance.
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Recommended books for Overlanding


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I'm happy to offer a bit more info about Anaconda, Montana. While there are notable and once very productive mines around Anaconda, the town was built around a huge smelter built to smelt the copper ores from Butte, about 30 miles distant. Copper baron Marcus Daley built the railroad in 1894 out of frustration with the rates he was being charged to ship on the Northern Pacific. The line from Butte to the smelter was exceptionally heavy duty due to the tonnage it was designed to haul. In 1913, Daley electrified the railroad, shedding +40 steam engines in favor of 27 electric engines, of which the one pictured may be one of, although the history websites say the sole surviving electric engine is on display at the big mining museum in Butte. Whatever the case, the railroad was the first in the US to be electrified. The smelter in Anaconda operated from the 1880s until permanently closed in 1980. The 585' tall smokestack is tall and big enough to fit the Washington Monument inside of it and is the tallest freestanding masonry structure in the world. Thousands of men worked in the smelter operations and on the related railroad assets, establishing a vibrant little city for much of the 20th century.

Butte was described as an Island of money surrounded by a sea of whisky....a good day in Butte was when you woke up and looked to the west and saw smoke coming from the smelter as you knew you were going to work that day...


No doubt Butte was the Wild, Wild West. Among many other things, it was a hotbed of union labor organizing and related violence, leading up to and beyond the murder of union organizer Frank Little, whose gravesite Jerry discovered and photographed around 2 years ago.

The smelter story started with the crude ore treatment practices employed in the early days of mining the near-surface ores: Ores were "roasted" in open pits over wood fires, resulting in noxious and highly toxic fumes which could kill outright during low wind or temperature inversions. Daley sought to build the smelter well away from the population center of Butte, so he chose the Mill Creek valley and built what became known as The Old Works. Somewhat later he built the "new works" and a 300' smokestack. Lawsuits were filed by ranchers and residents of the Deer Lodge valley on the first day of operations of the new stack. It took several more years, but the current 585' tall stack was built and crude "scrubbers" activated by electrified chains inside the stack removed some of the arsenic and other heavy metals. But it was not enough as the Mill Creek valley and some surrounding hills were denuded due to toxic soils created by the fallout from the stack. As one proceeds over the Continental Divide on MT 569 out of Anaconda today, the destruction is still quite evident.

Foy we are long gone from Anaconda now as I'm way behind with the blog. I'm probably getting too bogged down with details that interest few but I just love recording the history of my travels. Butte was next.....that was probably obvious to you.....

Foy.....I sure do appreciate each and everyone of your posts and there is no doubt in my mind that I can speak for many others in saying that you provide the good stuff that we all love to read. Thank you.....

Arjan.....the old trains were actually pretty cool. I liked them too.....

ITTOG.....I agree and I'll tell you that I did not stick around. As I passed by the burning house I saw that the entire second floor was engulfed in flames. Those houses must be at least one hundred years old. It made me really, really sad..... see the baby deer after the fire was definitely a beautiful sight for my sad eyes. Sometimes these things are just like seeing life through a lens.....

Often in my travels, as many of you know, I'll walk through the towns cemeteries and I think that the reason that I often do that walk through the cemeteries is because they are akin to reading a history book.....



On a hill overlooking Anaconda there are two rather large cemeteries.....the Upper Hill Cemetery and the Lower Hill Cemetery.....



Their entrances couldn't be more than one hundred yards apart and so it was that Tanner & I climbed the steep hill and spent several hours exploring the cemetery grounds to see what we could see.....



Headstones tell stories and my mind began to wander as I wondered what these peoples lives were like.....



.....they were not easy lives.....that is for sure.....


This particular monument grabbed my attention that's for sure. I've tried to google what I see there and I have come up empty handed. I did learn that wampum was a Native American form of currency or jewelry but oddly I read that this was common with tribes located in the northeast.....not Montana.....

....."small cylindrical beads made by some North American Indian peoples from shells, strung together and worn as decoration or used as money."


I was surprised to see a large number of headstones that referenced fallen soldiers during the Spanish American War.....


As we walked to the highest point of the Upper Hill Cemetery we came to a section that was filled with the graves of children. It was emotional to say the least.....there were so many babies.....too many babies.....



Life is such a puzzle.....why do some people live such long healthy prosperous lives while others are born and are given just a few years.....



.....or just a few months.....


One of my favorite songs....."Farther Along" was written by Joshua Garrels.....there's a line in it that begs the question that I often ponder.....

"The good man dies, the bad man thrives".....


The full lyrics below.....

Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by
Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man dies, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves em' both
We're all cast-aways in need of ropes
Hangin' on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I've seen
Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
Some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin' that line back home
There's so much more to life than we've been told
It's full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
I go down to the river and let it run
Wash away all the things you've done
Forgiveness alright
Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by, oh yeah
But still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like truth and pack of lies fightin' for my soul
I've got no place left go
'Cause I got changed by what I've been shown
It's more glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin' on
Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I'm free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I'll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levees and my bluff
Let the flood wash me
And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
'Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
The son of God is forever blessed
This is the kingdom and we're the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon
Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by

Songwriters: Joshua Garrels


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I remember, as a kid, my dad would sing the chorus of that song. Don't know that I've seen all of the lyrics before.

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Many thanks for the kind words, Jerry. Your own efforts to chronicle your travels and life experiences make it easy for me and for many others to summon the effort to chip in a little from time to time. I appreciate and enjoy seeing pictures of, reading about, and visiting Montana a great deal and I'm always happy to tell others about it. Maybe a little too happy in the eyes of some readers or listeners....................

Looking forward to the next installment!

Foy's a great song. There was a period in my travels that I had to hear it at least once everyday.....

Foy.....everyone loves it.....jump right in.....thanks again.....

After a few days of hanging around Anaconda, Montana, it was time to continue east. A short drive north on a secondary highway took us back to the interstate, and not far along the interstate driving east we made our next stop in Butte, Montana.....



The plan here was to hang out with a friend that I'd met years ago in my travels.....



Butte, Montana (to me) is much like Anaconda, Montana.....both are old working class towns and it almost seems like the world has past them by.....



Just like Anaconda.....we would spend a few days in Butte just hanging out, visiting, and really not doing much to speak of.....



We must have walked every city block, north / south and east / west in what is really a huge old section of the city of Butte.....


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To the northwest of the city, and just on the outskirts of town.....there are quite a few hiking trails and several large parking areas at the base of Big Butte (6,299').....


We would finish our days here and we would camp in one of those large parking areas. The views were fantastic but it was really surprising to me that this place turned out to be an all night place to hang out.....sound sleep was difficult to find.....



The views above the city were sensational.....




Of course we hiked to the summit of Big Butte.....not more than 15 minutes from the trailhead and Tanner did what Tanner was told to do.....


Butte is surrounded by magnificent mountains.....the recent snowfall blanketed everything.....



There were more friends to visit.....and after a few short days we were back on the interstate.....eastbound.....



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I loved all the pictures of the old buildings. Of course all towns have history but the history of old buildings have always been intriguing to me.

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"and Tanner did what he was told to do" Good boy, Tanner!
We stopped by "Andy's" on the way home from the lake this eve. Scout had her first ice cream cone. She also did what she was told to do, (put our trash in the trash can) but I failed to take a pic of that.

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Recommended books for Overlanding

ITTOG.....I'm constantly searching for cool old structures during my travels. So many of the old buildings in Butte had plaques on them designating them as historic structures.....I was browsing the internet a few days ago and read that Butte was once the largest city in the United States west of the Mississippi River..... was Scout with the ice cream ? Mine sure love it.....

Eleven miles east of Butte, Montana the interstate highway crosses the Continental Divide Trail at Homestake Pass (6,329') and here we decided to make a stop.....the plan was just for a brief stop.....but that did not happen.....once again the failed plan.....


It seemed like we had been spending quite a bit of time, and maybe it could be said too much time, in the Montana cities as of late so I thought a wilderness hike and a swim in the nearby lake just might feel real good before continuing eastward.....


We had a few options for hiking.....the Continental Divide Trail was the first hike of the day.....mountainous and was beautiful yet not strenuous.....



Flat and fairly open.....we hiked on an old abandoned railroad bed.....


Not too sure what the tracks are that we encountered (as seen in the next picture) of course is a deer but the other I'm not so sure of.....


At some point during the day I realized that we were not going any further along that interstate on this day so we returned to Homestake Lake to swim a bit more.....




The guys in this truck (shown below) pumped 1,500 trout into the lake while we there.....what an interesting sight that was.....and I pretty much hate the whole fishing scene. The surface of that lake looked like boiling water.....those trout were absolutely crazed.....



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Jerry- Scout loved the ice cream! I try to not give her much human food, but I suspect she will get ice cream again! On the trout stocking, I must've been 4-6 years old the first time I witnessed that, in Red River, NM. I could see the event in my minds eye as soon as I saw the pic of that truck and read what you had to say about it. We are headed to Colorado at the end of the week. I can't wait to get to the mountains!
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