Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

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The Miner's Union Hall in Granite Ghost Town Early morning in Granite ghost town, then Philipsburg

I got up pretty early, intending to check out Granite along with the rising sun, and then head on. I started my exploration on foot, walking along the old Miner's Union Hall (only the side walls are still partially standing) and several older shacks and the superintendent's house (still standing, but with its windows boarded up and its door locked). I then walked to the mine, which was still in shadow - it turns out this would have been a good sunset spot.

After about an hour and a half I left Granite, and drove the few miles back down to civilization. I arrived in Philipsburg a quarter of an hour later, and briefly stopped to take a few pictures of the main street - "a historic district" listed in the National Register of Historic Places. At this time of the day, it was mostly deserted.

Garnet ghost town

I didn't stay long, and headed on towards Garnet Ghost Town. The last few miles were over a single lane dirt road, but it wasn't as bad as the signs at the start of the road would make you believe.

Garnet is a nice little ghost town in the middle of a forest. Even though there was a fire in the early 20th century that destroyed a part of the town, quite a few buildings are still standing and accessible to the public. Some of them contain miscellaneous furniture and appliances from the era. I walked around for a while - unfortunately, without a tripod which I had left in the car and was reluctant to go get - and experimented with various "creative" shots.

Towards Glacier National Park

The entrance sign on the western side of Glacier National Park After about an hour and a half, I left Garnet and continued on my drive North. This led me over more dirt roads, then through road construction, and then I was finally able to drive at regular speeds again and make good progress towards Glacier National Park. The highways were mostly two-lane with only brief straight stretches and there was some slower traffic, so in order to not be stuck behind trucks I had to drive and pass European-style... which means really step on the accelerator to pass someone before the next turn.

Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated throughout the afternoon, and it started to rain before I even reached Glacier National Park. I stopped for coffee in Kalispell, and was able to briefly use their Internet machine to check my mails. (Since my wireless card wasn't working, I couldn't just logon to their hotspot.)

I reached Glacier National Park at 4pm, and stopped at the first campground I saw, next to Lake McDonald. I spent the rest of the day in the car, listening to music on the laptop and basically just waiting it out until the rain would stop. Since it didn't, there wasn't much to do but hope for better weather the next day.

Miles driven: 230mi (370km)

Campground Accommodation: Sprague Creek Campground (Glacier National Park): $15

Written Saturday May 5th 2007 in Bivange, Luxembourg.