26. Jul, 2016

25.07.16 Basin, Montana to Seeley Lake, Montana

We left Basin this morning after 2 days’ lovely rest and relaxation.  It had been an airBnB property we had rented again, and was very well suited to us. Over a garage/ storage area and completely alone along a dead end, it meant that we really could shut off completely.  The only other thing that was on the same road as us, was an Amish community who ran Health Trips down in to tunnels in the mines in the area, ‘Merry Widow Mine’ was also opposite us. Apparently there is Radon down there and it is reputed to have health benefits, so people visit in the hope of being cured, much like visiting Lourdes or Fatima.  We had seen one of the Amish when we had arrived on Friday, but not realising, turned to each other and said why was that weird bloke in a suit, riding along on a push scooter?  The next day we saw him, again on the way for lunch, and he spoke to us, so we managed to work it out. 

For lunch we visited Basin, about 1 ½ miles away, with a population of 255 people, a tiny but very arty and creative town. There was an artist’s retreat, a crystals selling shop, therapies and Basin Creek Pottery.  We were lucky enough to see the pottery first hand in the apartment we stayed in, as the Potter owned the place, and it was truly beautiful. Lunch was at the Saloon Bar, Silver Saddle, where we had the best Iced Tea so far, and great food too.

Anyway, whilst relaxing yesterday, Paul had been reading about the many Ghost Towns in the area and we decided to visit one today.  It wasn’t far, although once we had ridden 10 miles up there on the dirt road, over the way washboard, juddering up and down, it may as well have been 200 miles again!  I felt like I was doing a ride at Alton Towers! Still, Coloma and Garnet Ghost towns proved worth a visit.  Garnet is maintained as a ghost town, for the attraction of visitors, and heritage of course, so was pretty busy, whereas Coloma was just the remnants of a village occupied in a very precarious position for just 6 years around 1895. It certainly made you think about how difficult it must have been for the settlers to try and make their way up the long winding roads with horse and carriages, but obviously they went where the gold and silver panning was.

We now find ourselves in a cabin at Seeley Lake, a most tranquil place, where as I type a family are enjoying a barbecue in the fire pit just above the lake.