Most of the buildings aren't open to the public, but a stop in the visitors center left us an opportunity to try on a miner's helmet:
There's a 3/4 mile-ish trail up and the sorting mill debris. There were lots of gorgeous wildflowers:
The elevation of 3500' feet isn't all that impressive compared to Bozeman's near 5K, but it's a steep, steep change and easily puts you above treeline. The clouds were always hanging nearby:
Had I realized I had some of dad's pictures from '84 before we went to the mine I would have taken some more strategic shots for comparison. However, here's what it looked like in 2012:
And the other side in 1984. Time and weather have not been good to it. My impression was that they are in budgetary survival mode and not even really near restoration.
As always, Matthew was quite the hiker and had a good time climbing around. Catherine hung out on my back chilling and squealing.
You may have noticed in my previous post, Matthew had a sizable scab on his forehead (over a sizeable bruise). Friday before we left he apparently stood up too quickly under some playground equipment at school. The day we went to the mine it had disappeared (a la the second picture in this post). However, while we were there Matthew took a nice dive onto the asphalt, increasing his bruise and creating a new scab. I have a feeling this is what life is like until they're
teens, eighteen, twenty-five, married. We tried to take a picture of the three of us in the bucket as well. The kids were obviously super cooperative:
Catherine also enjoyed some rock tossing/kissing:
And Matthew tried out the furs. I couldn't get him anywhere near the woolly mammoth though.
That afternoon we headed down to the Eagle River Nature Center for a short hike:
Matthew was pretty excited about the fish but demonstrated that much of his fish "understanding" came from finding Nemo. We have some work to do as well.