Friday, May 14, 2010

Road Trip Part 2 - Anaconda, Montona, and A Few Words of Advice to Montana Travelers.

I mentioned yesterday, that we made a quick road trip with the Grandparents to Philipsburg, and Anaconda, Montana. You can read about some of our Philipsburg experience, here. As for Anaconda, well...let me start with a few words of advice for all potential travelers to Montana:

  1. Don't come too early. Most of Montana is closed for the winter. Well, okay, the state isn't actually closed, but almost all of the "tourist" sites, like the 140 foot "Copper Shoot" slide, or the 100 year old fish hatchery in Anaconda, are seasonal. If you arrive too early, you might be able to see them being prepared for use, like we did, but you won't be able to use them.

  2. The speed limit on most Montana highways is 70 miles per hour, click on the picture above, to enlarge it (if blogger will allow you - it was allowing the picture to enlarge, and now it's not), if you don't believe me. And, if you are from out of state, you might be surprised at what passes as a highway in Montana (don't judge by the road above, it's very good - I don't snap pictures when things get windy, and narrow). So, while you might see lots of wildlife (yesterday we saw a big horn sheep - in the road, a heard of antelope, and a bull moose - just off the road), you will need to be pretty quick with a camera to get their pictures. I'm not that quick with a camera. Besides which, taking pictures through van windows, is difficult, as can be witnessed in in the picture of an abandoned homestead, below (pretty cool homestead, though).

  3. Not everything is as grand, or exciting as it seems. If you're use to polished up, child friendly, tourist attractions, with snack bars, and easily accessible, clean, public restrooms, then you might find destinations in Montana - rustic, and not in a quaint kind of way. But, there is still a lot of fun to be had, and most of it is educational, and most of it is free.

Case in point, is the Anaconda public library, or Hearst Free Library, as it's called. On the outside, the 110 year old building, is beautiful, and impressive (my pictures are of the side entrance, and back of the library, the front is very grand, with a column lined porch - but we weren't sure that door was open).

Reading the write-ups about how Mrs. Hearst originally had it built as a place of learning and culture for the people of Anaconda, and looking at the number of windows on the outside, we expected more than the dark, single room, single floor, interior. But the librarian, perched at a desk in the center of the room, was very friendly, and because it is partner library to our own, we were able to check out a few choice books.

Like this one, by Jim Arnosky, which we chose to celebrate our moose sighting. Because for us, any road trip, on which a moose is sighted, is counted as an absolute success, picture, slide, and fish hatchery, or not.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

Just like my kids think a trip where they spot cows is a success.

Erica said...

Wow, a moose sighting?! Here we see gators. I'd much rather see a moose. Sounds like a great trip.

(I'm giving you an award on my blog :-))

Debbie said...

I loved Montana when I lived there for a while. My Nephew has mentioned Anaconda, though I lived further North and didn't see much more of the State. Gotta love those Montana Freeways!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

A previous co-worker of mine was from Anaconda. Very interesting to see the pictures. Thanks for sharing! We have family in MT and love to visit when we can.