March 26, 2012

ghost town gold.

The Hotel Meade
There really is a sigh of relief in the Cowles home every time the weekend arrives. It is almost always followed by “What should we do today?” Some days we do something that we’ve been planning to do and other days we go somewhere really random. This weekend was one of the most random ways to spend a St. Patrick’s Day. We drove for 2 hours up Montana to a Ghost Town outside Dillon with our friends Rex and Jessica. Before hitting the road, Jase and I made hit a deli in town to make sandwiches for the road. We picked out smoked ham, Swiss and Comte cheeses, and in the spirit of St. Patty’s Day– green-dyed bread. It was kind of awesome. 
Making delicious green sandwiches
The last hour of the drive was very beautiful. We passed herds of buffalo and Jason saw a Bald Eagle perching on a telephone pole. Clark Canyon Reservoir was frozen over and the boys foolishly walked out on the water to test the thickness of the ice. I slept most of the way, but awoke when we finally arrived in freezing, middle of nowhere Dillon. Ghost towns are really creepy. This is the first one that I've been to so I don’t know how others are, but this one was just a main street of small houses with the occasional schoolhouse, church, hotel, or small jail. Because it is winter time, we were basically the only people there and the sky was gray and overcast so it was even creepier than I think it would normally be. 

At first I was kind of excited, but if you know me well enough, you know that almost everything scares me. Although I know “ghost town” doesn’t mean there are actual ghosts, (not that I believe in ghosts) but it was still chilling. Anyway, this town was a mining town founded in 1862 where there was a great amount of gold discovered, but the population dwindled when the gold ran out. (It made me laugh that we were here on the day we should've been searching for a pot o' gold) Perhaps the most telling history is Bannack’s sheriff: Henry Plummer. Plummer and his gang was accused for over a hundred murders in the Bannack gold fields and trails to Salt Lake City and was hung without a trial. While we were there, I couldn't help thinking about the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland with the “ghosts” dancing around – I tried to picture what life was like here during its peak. 
One creepy, old town
I ended up loving the town. It was  something completely new to me. I would love to go to another one someday.My dumb camera died, so we didn’t get many pictures, but you get the idea. We ended our St. Patrick’s Day by going to McDonald’s to get, what else, shamrock shakes . . . oh wait, that’s right, they ran out by the time we got there! What a let-down. I sufficed with a strawberry shake.

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