The condo's stats are:
12oo square feet
detached single car garage
Price: inquire within.
MLS link: http://www.gallatinidx.com/listing.php?mls=162839&site_id=225
MLS Number: 162839
Shawna and I at her wedding in July of 2008.
6. Speaking of weddings, my cousin Blake FINALLY married his girlfriend of nine years last Saturday. It was a large, large wedding, and was a lot of fun to be a guest at (note that I didn’t indicate that it must have been a lot of fun to plan?).
7. We put the condo on the market!!! Anyone know someone who would like to buy a nice 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, single car garage in a great neighborhood? We like the ‘hood so much that we want to buy a house in the same ‘hood.
8. If you’re having problems with your neighbor, talk to your neighbor. Please don’t call the city planning department and expect me to fix it. I’m just sayin’…
9. I had 18 voicemails to return on Monday when I got back. OVERWHELMED. So overwhelmed that I can't even begin to figure out where to begin. And people left me multiple messages. And sent me an email. Patience people...
10. We ate strawberries and snap peas from the farm when we got home on Sunday!
The BLM Interpretive Center
The plaza in front of the building gives visitors a sense of which direction people headed out of Fort Benton after getting off of a Missouri River steamboat in the 19th century. Virginia City, Last Chance Gulch, the Whoop Up Trail into Canada, Cow Island, and other places only accessible by wagon until the railroad arrived in the 1880’s. Mullan Road from Fort Benton to Walla Walla, Washington.
At the BLM center we bought two, two day passes to all of the museums in Fort Benton. We watched a quick documentary of the area, then drove down to the fort of Fort Benton and toured the reconstructed buildings.
All that remains of the original adobe walled fort. Only the mortar!
The building to the left is reconstructed from photos and archaeological findings. The square building on the right was stabilized by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1908.
Our hotel, the Grand Union, and the Fort Benton levee, where steamboats unloaded trade goods for 50 years until the railroad arrived in Montana.
Built in 1882, just before steamboat traffic waned to railroad traffic, the Grand Union (http://www.grandunionhotel.com/) underwent a major restoration in 1999 and is a fabulous place to stay for a pretty reasonable price. They also have a fantastic dining room downstairs. Our room wasn’t quite ready when we checked in, so we walked along the tree lined levee, sat on the benches, checked out the bridge, and read the interpretive markers before going into our room. I’d made reservations for a room with a king bed, but somehow we walked into a room with two double beds. I promptly informed DJ that I loved him, but I was sleeping by myself tonight! I’m a sprawler, and he’s a cover-stealer, so two double beds were a great way to get a good night’s sleep!
Our hotel room, bathroom, and view out the window. Note the infernal air conditioner built into the ceiling? Note the restauraunt patio below?
After some lounging around and showering, we headed downstairs for dinner at the restaurant. DJ had a delicious steak, and I had a seafood pasta. I have to admit, I should have had the steak; the bites I stole were delicious!
After dinner we walked along the levee (www.fortbenton.com/levee/index.htm) back up to the BLM interpretive center. It was a nice way to help dinner settle before going to bed. Unfortunately, the air-conditioning, or lack thereof, was a total buzz-kill. While our AC unit had worked while we lounged and showered, it no longer worked after dinner. But it did switch on every 20 minutes for 5 minutes to make this god-awful buzzing sound. Like the kind the old fashioned bed-side alarms used to make. We tried sleeping with the window open, which would have been fine save the infernal noise every 20 minutes, but the waitstaff was enjoying an after party on the patio below us. Finally. At 12:30 am I walked down and asked them to relocate. That left the AC unit to jolt us out of sleep every 20 minutes. I was so desperate for sleep that I even offered to go sleep in the back of the truck in the park. DJ, in true MacGuyver style, finally pulled out the screwdriver in a pocket knife, stood on the bed and unscrewed the vent, and hit the kill switch for the AC. Sweet, sweet silence (except for the crickets). After that we had a lovely night of sleep!
We woke slowly the morning of Saturday, the 4th of July, and both showered again before going downstairs for breakfast. After the continental breakfast served at our hotel in Hawaii, well, no other continental breakfast holds a candle. But we had something to eat and coffee, before checking out.
We retraced out steps to the Museum of the Northern Great Plains, and walked through the exhibits of homesteading, tractors, and the building petting zoo with authentic buildings hauled in from now-defunct homesteading towns. They did have a large collection of tractors!
We left Fort Benton around 1pm, and headed towards Great Falls for gas and the remainder of our trip. We left Fort Benton around 1pm, and headed towards Great Falls for gas and the remainder of our trip. I won’t go into our pit stop in Great Falls, but suffice to say, I remember now why we live in Bozeman, where dentists are abundant.
From Great Falls we went north on I-15 to Vaughn, where we turned west towards Sun River and Fort Shaw, which was built in the spring of 1867 to protect miners traveling the Fort Benton- Helena road. It is named after Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who commanded one of the first all African-American regiments, during the American Civil War.
From Fort Shaw I convinced DJ to do some off-roading. Rather than take highway 200 through Lincoln, we took the Birdtail Creek Road up towards Birtail Butte. Mullan’s road-construction journal describes Birdtail Butte frequently, and most of the resources I’ve found so far indicate the Mullan Road went south of Hwy 200.
What? Why wouldn't we high-tail it into the Montana backcountry. Where there is no cell service. Only cows. And people, with guns. Who are very insistient about their property rights. you don't think that was a good decision?
So up a dirt road we went! Along the way, I couldn’t help but notice the farmsteads we passed. Maybe they were stage coach stops on the Fort Benton-Helena Road, which was the Mullan Road?
Bird Tail Butte
Up up up
Down down down
Coming down Birdtail Pass we saw more farmsteads and ranching operations. More former stage-coach stops, perhaps?
The excellent driver, in his truck, on the BFE, I mean, CDT, road.
At an elevation of 5,902 feet, Mullan Pass is where the Mullan Road turned west to Garrison, Montana, then pretty much followed the current line of I-90 through Idaho to Coeur d’Alene, where it went south over the Palouse. The Northern Pacific built its line from Logan, MT (just west of Bozeman) through Garrison in 1883, and primarily used Mullan Pass to move freight after the main route when over Homestake Pass between Bozeman and Butte was completed. We were lucky enough to be there when a train went through.
And I say through because the NP blasted a 3,847 foot long tunnel over through the last bit of the pass to avoid the last bit of altitude climb.
By rumor, and with some historical support, Mullan Pass was also the location of the formation of the Masonic society in Montana. Masons have played a role in Montana and were possibly the group who formed Vigilantes to hang road agents during the wild and lawless days of the gold rush.
Looking west from Mullan Pass towards Helena.
We had to make a decision once we reached Mullan Pass at about 5pm on Saturday July 4. Bozeman, and our nice bed, with sheets, and a nice Sunday with coffee, was to the east, through Helna where we could have a nice dinner. OR, we could head south and west towards Garrison, continuing to follow the Mullan Road, and then swing through the Pintler Loop and try to find a camping spot on the 4th of July on Georgetown Lake. We’re not dumb. We decided to go home.
Proof that I was there too!
One plus was that as we came down towards Helena, we also got a nice look at the train trestle still in use.
Huh! A train trestle!
I wonder when this one replaced a wood trestle?We grabbed dinner at the restaurant attached to the Holiday Inn on Last Chance Gulch, and then bolted for home. We were in bed by 10pm, and I swear to god, those fireworks were noisy! But we slept through them!
The next big Mullan project weekend is actually this week, when I drive back to the lake for 10 days. Stay tuned!