Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Butte to Missoula to Spokane

Monday we left Garryowen, MT and drove to Butte.  It had been our intention to spend two nights in Butte at the KOA.  It's not a terrible KOA, by the way.  However a winter storm warning which included the word snow was issued for our area. We do not like snow.  So Tuesday, we got up and went to see the Berkeley Pit
The mine was opened in 1955 and closed in 1983.  For reasons that are not clear to me, the water pumps were turned off when the mine closed, and ground water has been leaching into the pit ever since, it's now 900 feet deep.  If the pit water level reaches the natural water table, estimated to occur by around 2020, the pit water will reverse flow back into surrounding groundwater, polluting into Silver Bow Creek which is the headwaters of Clark Fork River.  Remediation is taking place, and one hopes it will be successful.  You may view the status of the water level at

The far side of the pit.

The structure with the stacks is the water treatment plant.  It doesn't look big enough to me.

This is a mansion which used to belong to a copper baron.  Now it's a bed and breakfast.

Butte is suffering economically, as are most old mining towns.  They've made an effort to create a historic downtown with a walking tour.  We had planned to spend time looking at the town, but the desire to not be snowed on trumped our desire to see Butte.  We were gone by noon, heading back to Missoula where it was warmer.
After over nighting at Jim and Mary's RV park in Missoula, we pressed on westward.  It pretty much rained all day today.  We saw this a lot.

We felt bad for these people.

This was crossing the border into Idaho.

Now we are in Spokane where it is currently not raining.  We had originally planned to stay in Deer Park until we reassessed how far out in the middle of no where it was.  It's really far. This park is ok.  We're pretty much killing time until we return to Issaquah, and this is as good a place as any.

In sporting news, Emirates-Team New Zealand did not win the America's Cup. 


  1. Allison, you handled that lose better than I expected. I was looking forward to your post when I saw the race results.

    1. I considered a rant about the loss, but decided not to inflict it on the blog readers. We feel like the wind limits and the course time limits were set to ridiculously low standards. The Kiwis' loss of three stages when they were in the lead due to too much wind or not enough wind gave Oracle time to tune their boat and learn to sail it. They was robbed!