Epic Loop-4

Outstanding drive out of St. Regis toward Butte, Montana this morning. Glorious weather; temperature up in the 80’s before noon. Coach running smooth, car towing great, and bikes holding steady in the rack. A/C couldn’t keep up!

Pumping diesel in Missoula, $2.35/gal. Not bad, total $225 in the tank. You know how it is when you let the needle go below half. It hurts a bit when you fill up!

Clark Fork River crisscrosses through this area; we crossed over it so many times we lost track. Taking a route near any water makes for gorgeous driving. Interestingly, the further east you get the more noticeable the occassional barren hill becomes. Particularly when they run right up against one densely forested. There is always something to see!

When you look at the map, it’s only 205 miles from St. Regis to Butte. You also note it is all I-90. First thought? “Boring!” Ok, maybe a little. However, the beauty of the landscape sucks you in and draws your eyes up, over, and back. You will spot fly fishermen at the lazy bends along the river. Many folks will be out fishing in boats or canoes too.

The old Anaconda smelting tower is visible for miles! The smelter was closed in 1981. The stack remains. Picture the Washington Monument in your mind. Guess, what? It would fit inside the stack. It is the tallest masonry chimney in the world!

Stop and tour the Old Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge; the prison housed prisoners for over 100 years. It was closed in 1979. Unfortunately, we didn’t stop but it’s on the list for next time.

Picturesque Montana Tech University greets you as you drop over the hill into Butte. Mike attended college here and is familiar with the town. He had a pork chop sandwich from John’s for dinner. He said, “Oh, the memories!” By the way, his picture is in the Montana Tech Football Hall of Fame!

There are many attractions here so do your research before you come. We are riding bikes on a paved path tomorrow. The path will take us approximately 15 miles around town. It will be interesting to see what stops we make along the way!

Be sure to stop in at the visitor center for lots of information on sights and activities around Butte.

See ya on the pavement!

Featured image:  Montana Tech University

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