Our trip to Garnet, northeast of Missoula, is one I'd been looking forward to for awhile. Garnet was established in 1895 after gold was discovered in the area. It's up in the hills at the end of curvy, bumpy, dirt roads. The side hills are strewn with all kinds of wildflowers at this time of year. This first building was a saloon, always a prominent feature of the old mining towns.Here we have a miner's cabin, put together quickly as the miners had more important things to do than fix up their homes. They must have been short guys! Actually, I think this cabin and others like it are rotting into the ground. Most of the ghost town is maintained just enough to keep it fairly intact, a process called "arrested decay". We found this bird's nest on one of the cabins.Here is a 'photo op', wildflowers against the wall of an old building. Notice the low window. Apparently the miners slept on the floor and they could more easily look out this low window.I had never seen so much beargrass as I did on this drive. It was almost as prolific as the pine trees.Last, but not least, we found this "porta-potty outside the ruins of a cabin. It must have been a summer potty, as they didn't bother to put up walls around it.
Flathead Lake, below Kalispell, is the largest natural body of fresh water west of the Mississippi. It is truly beautiful with clear, cold waters. We dipped our toes into the lake to say we had done it!In 1854, St. Ignatius Mission, located between Missoula and Polson, was founded to serve the religious and educational needs of the Salish and Kootenai people. Father Hoecken and his Jesuit helpers built the original log cabin with still stands on the north side of this church. Within 35 years the mission included a large school, a sawmill, printing press, flour mill, hospital, farm, and the present church.The renowned murals in this church were painted by Br. Joseph Carignano, S.J., the mission cook. In 1973, this mission was declared a national historic site.The 'Going-to-the-Sun Road' follows along a nearly vertical cliff in some places. I can't imagine the tremendous, back-breaking job the very early road builders must have had! Now there is construction all along the way with modern machines, much easier.This is Reynolds Mountain, right behind the visitor center at Logan Pass. Myriads of wildflowers were in bloom, scattered over the whole area. Gorgeous! The most prominent, the yellow ones, are glacier lilies.The views are so awesome, we felt we'd died and gone to heaven! This is Heaven's Peak.Here we are, stopped for construction, looking down on the road we'd just ascended. Wow! Keith has a contest going with our daughter—who can find the biggest doodoo. Here he is hollering into a tunnel. "Doodoodoodoo". A family joke!