Thursday, August 13, 2009

Virginia City and Ennis, Montana

After making our way from Sturgis to Sheridan we landed in Virginia City, Montana. First impressions were that this was going to be an interesting stop. After reading a lot about Virgina City it was somewhat disappointing to be able to see it "all" in one day. But then of course we got kicked out of the RV park in Virginia City so after settling in Ennis we thought we would just enjoy some riding in the mountains. Tuesday night we ventured out to karaoke in the Long Branch Saloon, but that was a real bust so we didn't stay very long. Watching TV back in the motorhome was much more entertaining.

Virginia City does have an interesting history. Gold was discovered in Alder Gulch in the spring of 1863 and, as our tour director phrased it, "The stampede of gold seekers and their parasites was on!" Of course every old west mining town has to have "ladies of the evening" and their places of business, all located in one area down the gulch was called "The Cabbage Patch." Quite unique, I thought.

The gold eventually ran out, although there was enough left to maintain some homes and businesses, but not enough to remodel any buildings so the town froze in time. Most of the buildings are original as you'll see in the video, although some have burned over the years. A family by the name of Bovy purchased the entire town back in the 80s and has been slowly preserving and reconstructing buildings after doing a lot of research.

Ennis, Montana - 15 miles down the road from Virginia City - is a good place to stay if you're into fly fishing. It's on the Madison River, which is not only full of fishermen, but also big into floating down the river on your innertube. We spent some time sitting along the bank of the river envying the tubers as it was getting pretty warm by that time of the day.

Deciding that we were DONE looking around that area we decided to leave the next morning (Wednesday) planning to go at least part way across Montana, spend the night and arrive in Medora, ND the next day. Montana is one huge state to drive across, and we had the unfortunate experience of losing our air conditioning about half way across. The blower quit, so we went down the road with our windows open, which doesn't help much when its 97 degrees out! It just feels like you're sitting behind a Nipko heater - that's all. We decided that we might as well get all the misery out of the way in one day, so we continued all the way to Medora. (sweat beads flying off my forehead) I had been so warm for so long I felt sick.

When we got parked we went downtown to what is now the Boots Bar and Grille to get some supper. It used to be called the Ironhorse Saloon, but has recently been bought out, cleaned up and renamed. The food is still good, the atmosphere the same, and all in all, enjoyable. We've always sat out on the deck in previous years, but due to the temperatures last night we ate inside. Besides that they've got MOSQUITOS this year - usually it's too dry out here to have any - but not this year. I guess we're truly almost back home.

So that's the sum and substance of our last couple of days. Nothing too exciting. The kids will be here Friday night, Lovely Daughter is bringing her motorcycle. Hopefully they'll have an uneventful trip.


Marge said...

So you're heading home.......we have finally decided to leave here on the ferry next Thursday, and camp in Homer that night. Friday up to Anchorage for a few days, then we'll take a slow, easy drive for the next 3,500 miles, arriving in Grand Forks when our son has a few days off. Then on home.

Where is your winter trip to? We're thinking Corpus Christi and Padre Island. You been there?

Paula said...

I read with hysterics about your getting kicked out of that it wasn't so funny at the time though huh? I didn't get a chance to comment after I'm commenting on that now. I enjoyed your trip like I enjoy all your trips

Grandma Elsie said...

Glad you are safe now ( no more strange parks )and hope you got the AC fixed.I find I am so used to it I can't tolerate the heat any more either.
Enjoyed your trip with you again. I must say ,since hubby is gone ,I don't travel much ,except with a daughter ,so I enjoy reading about your travels.
Elsie <><

karenfae said...

why did you get kicked out of the RV park?

Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!