The opportunity to walk out the back door and down through the weeded path to the river for fishing is heaven for Susan. For her this place is magical (she says). For me -- not so much. It has been fine this far as I take a walk, read my book, practice the ukelele (thank you so much Vicki for leaving that for me), and relax for the hours that Susan is at the river. Too many days of this would most likely drive me to drink!
On this morning's walk I had another bird follow me and perch high up on the wire to watch me. As I wandered further down the road I could see a worker in the field baling hay with this farm machine. I got closer and watched for a while and learned how those round barrel shaped hay bales are formed. He drives over the freshly mown hay pulling that green cart-looking thing that picks up the hay and makes a barrel of it.
|My morning bird|
|Round hay bales get popped out of this baler machine|
Susan got back from another successful half day of fishing and offered to drive to the nearby (well, 70 miles seems near) ghost town that Vicki and Ray had told us about. So off we went. Gold mining had its boom in the mid to late 1800s in the west. Miners poured into this town, and in 1898 the town of Garnet had over 1000 residents, four stores, four hotels, three livery stables, two barber shops, a union hall, a butcher shop, a candy shop, a doctor's office, a school with 41 students, an assay office, numerous miners cabins, and THIRTEEN saloons.
|Garnet Ghost Town, one of Montana's most intact ghost towns|
|Susan walks through the town|
The boom was short lived and by 1900 many veins had disappeared and recovering the gold from deeper mine shafts became difficult and expensive. By 1905 the population of Garnet shrunk to 150.
|The General Store|
|Shoes, as well as everything one could want was sold in the General Store|
Unlike many mining towns where single males predominated, Garnet had a large number of families, and social life was quite different. The town had its share of drinking (13 saloons?), gambling and houses of ill repute, married women outnumbered the prostitutes. Family oriented activities of dinner parties, card games, and hay rides were common; family picnics, fishing trips, and shopping trips took place in the summer months; sleigh rides, sledding parties and skiing were wintertime activities.
|Parlor room of the Hotel|
|Horse stable and livery|
|A miner's cabin|
|The inside of that miner's cabin was - see the bed frame straight ahead, and stove to the right|
|I had to show this three holer ;'-)|
We drove back to town and went for Taco Tuesday at the Bootlegger Casino -- as Margaret and Jeff, our generous neighbors -- had told us we "needed" to do. It was good (and cheap) and we got filled up.
Speaking of cheap: At the espresso cafe yesterday, when I finished up and posted my blog, I thought for sure my bill was incorrect. I got a large tea and a huge muffin and the tab said $3.50. I asked the really nice barista if she had charged me for both items! That would have been almost the cost of my tea in Seattle (or Mukilteo). She said yes, of course, that was the total. Think I will go back there today.