I finally caught up with my WIN friends at Canyon Ferry Lake in Townsend, MT. They had already been there a few days, but I made sure I made it in time for the Gates of the Mountains ferry ride outside Helena.
It was about a 2 hour trip. Here we are getting ready to head down the Missouri River. There are dams along this river today, so it doesn't really look much like it did in 1805 when Lewis and Clark explored this area.
We did see an eagle's nest.
There were even pictographs on the limestone walls which towered over us.
Fifty years ago this was the scene of a horrendous fire which claimed the life of 13 smoke jumpers fighting the Mann Gulch fire. Even though we learned a lot from the deaths of those fire fighters and have incorporated many of those lessons in present day fire fighting, the fact remains, Mother Nature is in control. Another 19 smoke jumpers were lost recently in another fire in Arizona.
Marysville is almost a ghost town. Just a few homes and churches and one business remain. But once it was a bustling community supporting the Drumlummon Mine, opened in 1883.
Carolyn is standing in front of what was the Falling Rock Theater. Once the town boasted of a brewery and 27 saloons, along with churches, mercantile stores, schools, hotels and restaurants, and claimed Helena would one day just be a suberb of Marysville. But that wasn't to be. By 1895 the mining company was having financial problems, the town burned in 1910 and in 1925 the railroad cut its line to the town.
The sign said this was a candy store, but it wasn't open.
This seems to be the only business still operating and it didn't open until 4pm.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, dedicated 1886, and still functioning.
This looks like it could once have been a church, but is now the Marysville Pioneer Memorial Building.
Once a Methodist-Episcopal Church, built in 1886, it has been privately owned since 1972. Today it is used only for special occasions, such as reunions, weddings, funerals and such.
The family are trying to keep it simple, like it was when it was still a church.
This stove looks like it could have been here in 1886.
A few of us took a short, 5 mile, kayaking trip on the Missouri, just outside Townsend.
We thought we were pretty lucky to see this owl in the daytime. But we should have known the only way we were going to see an owl in the daytime, sitting in the sun, was if he was chained there, like this one.
But this Bald Eagle was real.
A swallows condo.
There's more from the area, but that will be in the next installment.