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Sept 14, 2021

We were slow getting going this morning, so it was around 10 am before we reached Philipsburg. After updating the blog we walked around the historic section of town. The main attraction of the town is The Sweet Palace, a large candy store with many types of handmade candy. It was interesting to see all the different types of candy. We bought a few thing and then left town and drove about 5 miles up the mountain to Granite Ghost town.

Here is the description of the town that we found on the internet.

Granite Ghost Town State Park showcases remnants of this once thriving 1890s silver boomtown that bears stark witness to Montana’s boom-and-bust mining history. Hector Horton first discovered silver in the general area in 1865. In the autumn of 1872 the Granite mine was discovered by a prospector named Holland. The mine was relocated in 1875. 

This was the richest silver mine on the earth, and it might never have been discovered if a telegram from the east hadn’t been delayed. The miner’s backers thought the venture was hopeless and ordered an end to its operation, but since that message was delayed the miners worked on and the last blast on the last shift uncovered a bonanza, which yielded $40,000,000.

In the silver panic of 1893, word came to shut the mine down. The mine was deserted for three years, never again would it reach the population it once had of 3,000 miners.

The description is more exciting than the actual towns site. There were a few ruin and a stone building that was once the bank. We spent about 30-40 minutes walking around before returning down the mountain.

We continued north through the wide Montana valleys to Arlee, MT. Just outside of Arlee is the Garden of 1000 Buddhas. The is a spiritual site that contains 10 acres of gardens and at least 1000 statues of Buddha. It was very interesting and we enjoyed walking through the gardens.

It was getting late in the afternoon so we drove a few more miles north and then headed up into the mountains to find a place to camp. We had a location in mind that we thought was a Forest Service campground, but when we arrived we found out it was on the reservation and a permit was required to recreate on reservation land. We turned around and went back down the road until we found a narrow spot on the side of the road, below the reservation sign. We weren’t sure if we were on the reservation, forest service or private land. However, it worked out fine. We had a few people drive by, but it was quiet most of the evening.

Sept 15, 2021

We got up early and left camp by 7:30 am. We had about 2-1/2 hours of driving to get to the campground in Glacier National Park. We want to get there as early as possible to ensure we could get a campsite. 

First we wanted to see the Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ (formerly Kerr Dam). This dam is in a narrow canyon and stands at 204 feet high, which is 54 feet higher than Niagara Falls. We followed a boardwalk of over 350 stairs to an overlook of the dam. This was an interesting view of the dam. When the water level is higher, the spillways are overflowing an it is very pretty. However, since we were at the end of summer, not much water was flowing.

We arrived at the campground at 11 am and were lucky to get the last campsite. The campground loop we camped in is closing for the season tomorrow, so we will only stay here one night. We talked to a park ranger, and they are closing down due to Covid policies and lack of getting people to fill position with the park service.

After securing our campsite, we stopped at the visitor center and then drove up to a hiking trail. It was supposed to be a beautiful hike, but we were never able to find out. We circled the parking area twice and couldn’t find a parking spot. We then went to a few other scenic sites for about 30-45 minutes and then returned and circle the parking area again, but still no parking. There were probably 100 cars filling the parking areas and jammed on the side of the road. The place is packed with people, so we probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the hike anyway. We returned and spent the rest of the evening at camp.

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