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Thread: Western Montana 2006

  1. #1
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    Default Western Montana 2006

    It was mid August and I had to drive about 5 hours to pick my Dad up. Spent the night there and early the next morning we left. We routed through Iowa and stopped to look at a couple covered bridges in Madison County. I prefer to avoid interstates in case you are wondering. We spent the first night out at Valentine NE. Took back roads up through the Badlands with a detour to the Aladdin Tipple near Aladdin WY.


    It was for coal mining and something to wet the taste buds for better things to come. Dad had never been to Devil's Tower so we continued on to it. The rest of the day was spent doing a somewhat monotonous drive to Big Timber and another motel room for a night. I had bought a new pop-up that only had one bed so we rented a pop-up up in Bozeman MT. We arrived at the rental place the next morning and headed towards the Neihart area of MT. Arriving in the afternoon I had time to do some re-con on my Suzuki DR650.
    We camped in a nearby FS CG.
    Relics along the way to finding the Silver Dyke Mill.


    I could see the mill but could not figure out how to get there.

    I'm keeping the pictures small to reduce bandwidth on the site they are hosted.
    to be continued
    Last edited by caver; 01-29-2007 at 11:05 AM.
    Brad

  2. #2
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    Really neat pictures and info! Did you stop in any ghost towns along the way, or did you just go to the mine? I bet it was fun to see that up-close in person!

  3. #3
    LauraA's Avatar
    LauraA is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Brad, Great write up and pictures. It's nice you were able to make the trip with your Dad.
    Thanks for sharing it, I look forward to more!

  4. #4
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    I really didn't know which forum to post this under. It might take a week or month to finish this report. Dad came along on a trip back in '99. He's been on several since. Often he stays at camp while I explore on the motorcycle. I think he turns 77 this summer.
    I had to explore several roads as there was private property up what I thought was the obvious way to the mill. This is where the mapping GPS comes in real handy. Above the Silver Dyke adit there is a large fenced off hole. Too small to be a strip mine but still a pretty big hole with very unstable sides. I finally head down the road to find the mill. I realize that the last half mile was the haul road for the ore cars. The adit below the big hole had collapsed or been sealed. I decided to come back in the morning with my tripod and film camera to take some good shots. These are all done on my old point and shoot digital.
    Looking down at the mill remains. In upper right you can see the road I shot the previous picture from.


    Turn 180 and we see the tipple remains.



    You can see my motorcycle in the distance. The adit was about a half mile through the woods.



    Below the ore bins.

    Next is the other side of the ore bins. The rest of the mill had fallen in.


    The software only allows 4 pictures so I just wasted about 10 minutes of stuff I had to delete. All pictures are on my smugmug photo website under Vacation 2006. They are in chronological order.
    Last edited by caver; 01-29-2007 at 04:59 PM.
    Brad

  5. #5
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    Note top of metal tank in this picture.




    The Silver Dyke Mill has seen better days.


    Back to camp and we head down the road. This is just outside Neihart next to the highway.




    to be continued
    Brad

  6. #6
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    Brad..............Thanks for posting the Montana photos. I never mabe it out to the Neilhart area, even though I lived not too many hours away. Maybe on our next trip back to Montana. .

  7. #7
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    I'm glad everyone is enjoying the report. After Neihart we headed towards Monarch and turned off heading to Hughesville. I was able to take the truck all the way there. I think we dumped the camper off somewhere and picked it up on the way back.
    A mine adit near the road in Hughesville. I got a handheld mirror from the truck to shine back in it.



    Storage bins at Hughesville


    A mine shaft that was missing its headframe.
    Brad

  8. #8
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    Hughesville again.


    After Hughesville we headed to Great Falls then down to Helena. We stopped at a small FS CG that was on the way to Rimini but it was just rough looking, including the campers and only one site empty. With little daylight left we took a gamble and headed on up the mountain to Macdonald Pass FS CG. Only two other sites occupied and a real gem compared to the other one. The next morning I took a gamble that the roads would be ok for the truck. We took a back route to Marysville that is part of the Continental Divide mountain bike route. We headed down through Helena and then on up to Rimini. Rimini is under reclamation so we were turned back at the town site. So I scratch that off the list and on to the next campsite near the Basin MT area. I did some re-con late that afternoon and then returned to camp. The next morning we headed to Comet which I had checked the night before.

    This appeared to be a spring house and yes the spring was still flowing.


    Comet MT

    to be continued
    Brad

  9. #9
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    Great pics, Brad. Thanks so much for sharing them.....Speedy

  10. #10
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    Lots of old houses in Comet with one newer home stuck off to one side. Dad stayed at Comet while I headed of on my motorcycle to the west portal of the Wickes RR tunnel. On a previous trip we had visited the East portal. This tunnel is over a mile in length.




    Outside the west portal it seemed to be the local graveyard for elderly vehicles.


    I love this old truck.
    Brad

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