Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Coming home after a great weekend

I see I need to check my posts before I actually publish them for spelling errors and I am not sure what I am doing wrong when I import pictures from my e mail. Mine are nice and clear but the ones Carol sent me are unfortunately fuzzy. Anyway we had a rather uneventful trip home on Monday. We had breakfast at Wheat Montana in Kalispell and bought several loaves of our swirl Rye bread we all like so much. Fairmont is a beautiful destination in Montana. Above is proof I was actually there. A few deer crossed our path on several occasions.

Got home in time for cubs and Wednesday I go to work. Everyone benefits by a lovely break like this and I love learning more about Montana. A friend of mine recently gave me a beautiful book. Motorcycling Montana. I highly recommend it.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Continuation St Patrick's Day 2012

After buying a lot at the Sweet Palace in Philipsburg Montana we went through the Pintler Scenic Route and into Butte where we drove round and round looking at the sights looking for our motel which we found later was back a few miles in Rocker, Montana. So we went back and checked in and  then back to Butte for more sightseeing and dinner and a free party called a shelaiglah shindig. We saw a lot of beautiful old buildings but a lot of the more popular tourist stops are not open yet at this time of year.

We had a wonderful supper of corned beef and cabbage at the Chef's Garden and then headed over to the Mile HIgh Event Center at Star Lanes to the Shindig. The entertainment was a great band called the Potato Famine and we saw the Copper City Cloggers and the highlight was the Edmonton Police Pipe band..I guess they have been doing this for 25 years. Now here is the catch...The Shindig was put on by the Democratic Party of Montana...I never knew I had so many close friends in Butte wanting to shake my hand and get me to vote for them?????It as a fun time though and afterwards we headed for our hotel.

Hotel Finlan

The next morning we got up and headed into Butte again to get a good spot to park for the parade. We went to the BS Cafe and had breakfast and I met a man by the name of Larry Johnson and he and his son Nathan have just published a book called Montana Waterfalls which I purchased in Whitefish on the way home. Then we watched the parade which was quite long witha lot of local talent, a lot of politicians and of course the Edmonton Police Band again. Because everything was booked and we could not get our room for another night we went to the Marcus Daly in Anaconda. Marcus Daly was the founder of Anaconda. We checked in, watched their St. Patrick's Day Parade and then went to Fairmont Hot Springs and had a great swim and soak. Back to Anaconda we had supper at The Daily Grind. Another rather quaint restaurant and I had a pastrami and cabbage sandwich in the Irish tradition.

The next morning we had breakfast at a place called Donavan's in Anaconda and were delighted to learn some more history from the menu in the restaurant. The stack from the smelter is 585 ft 1 1/2 inches tall. May23,1918 the first brick was laid and Nov 30,1918 the last one was laid. 1980 they stopped smelting copper. Marcus Daly wanted to name the town Copperopolis but apparently it was already taken so someone else named it Anaconda. After breakfast we headed back to Fairmont Hot Springs for another swim before the BMW meeting and it started to snow and it snowed and it snowed. It probably snowed four inches while we were in the pool and had lunch. We even went to the outdoor hot pool where one could hardly see for the falling snow. About 13 or 14 showed up. Everyone kind of trickled in because of the deteriorating road conditions.

The trip from Fairmont to approximately Drummond was very slow and cautious. There were 10 vehicles which had gone off the road. Two of which had gone flying by us slower folks. We stayed behing the Huddy's from Helena til they turned off at Garrison and headed East. Two of the vehicles were semis. Quite scary but as we proceeded west we eventually ran out of the snow and accumulation and actually headed up between the Swan and the Mission mountains to Kalispell where we stayed at the Motel 6. I took Carol to Nickel Charlies for dinner before we turned in.

March 15 /St. Patricks Day in Montana

On Thursday March 15 I deliberated about taking the bike and sidecar to the Western Montana BMW meeting in Fairmount Hot Springs in Montana. However on looking at the weather report and the conditions I might be traveling under I decided to take the Highlander and my friend Carol. As you will see by the following posts It was a good decision. Carol and I left Calgary about 9AM and decided we would travel a different route as Carol usually goes the same way to the US and I wanted to make this trip eventful. So we entered the US through Carway south of Cardston. Of course St Marys is closed at this time of year and although the roads were good this is what it looked like...

As we crossed the border I had commented on almost bringing the motorcycle and the lady border guard thanked me profusely for not doing so or I might have brought on a blizzard. As we crossed between East Glacier and West Glacier we decided to stop for a bite of lunch and found this quaint little place called the Snowslip Inn and I had a homemade turkey barley soup and Carol had a BLT sandwich with fresh cut french fries to die for.

This is a Montana Buffalope

We continued on after lunch and I took Carol down the east side of Flathead Lake and I called Betty Heidrich from Big Fork to find that her and Art and some friends were having dinner at 6:30 at the Mustard Seed and we were invited so we checked in at the Brooks Street Motor Inn and had a delightful dinner at the restaurant and gave Betty her Birthday gifts. Annie and I had brought a bird feeder and birdhous in John Day Oregon in July and Betty's birthday is in Nov...We were just a little late. I also told everyone that in Calgary The Mustard Seed is our homeless shelter..a far cry from this high class Asian restaurant. The next morning we met Art, Hal, Jerry & Carolyn Abbott and Roger at The Press Box for breakfast and then headed East as I wanted to take Carol to Philipsburg and the Worlds Largest Candy Store and they are not open on Saturday. So we had a room booked at the Motel 6 in Butte for Friday night never dreaming that Butte has the largest population of Irish descendants in the United States and that St Patrick's Day is a highly celebrated occasion.