Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 10 Summer 2010 Park to Park Road Trip

We left our hotel in Bozeman Montana and headed North along the Pintler Scenic Loop.

What would a day be like if we didn’t have to encounter construction… maybe some day we will find out, but right now, we are in the middle of a road construction project.

9321 Road Construction I-90 North of Bozeman MT 9322 Road Construction I-90 North of Bozemand MT

9333 Pintler Scenic Loop MT 9324 Pintler Scenic Loop MT 9329 Pintler Scenic Loop MT

Around Noon, we pulled into the town of Philipsburg MT. We had done some online research and we wanted to check out the Sapphire Mining Company and the Sweet Palace.

Starting off with the Sapphire Mining Company.. we bought a pile of dirt that had been dug out from a nearby Sapphire Mine. The guy behind the counter washed and sieved our pile of dirt and then showed us what to look for… Sapphires…

9343 Saphire Mining Philipsburg MT 9344 Saphire Mining Philipsburg MT 9345 Saphire Mining Philipsburg MT

It was a little hard to find the sapphires in amongst all the dirt, but with persistence, we found about 2 dozen pieces. I placed them all carefully in a plastic pill bottle.

9346 Saphire Mining Philipsburg MT 9347 Saphire Mining Philipsburg MT 9348 Saphire Mining Philipsburg MT

We then went next door to see the gemologist and she appraised our find. We actually found some very nice pieces. Nice enough that Karen decided to have 3 of them turned into a necklace pendant. The gemologist showed us an example of the necklace she would make for Karen using the sapphire stones we found. 8 of the 2 dozen sapphires are usable in the necklace, so after they are fired in a kiln, the gemologist will pick the 3 best stones from the 8 to make the necklace. You can see our stones in the plastic bag below the sample necklace. Sapphire is Karen’s birthstone, so it is pretty cool to have a necklace made from gem stones that we found in a pile of dirt.

9349 Saphire Mining Philipsburg MT 9352 Saphire Mining Philipsburg MT 9353 Saphire Mining Philipsburg MT

Next we went next door to the Sweet Palace to buy some fudge and chocolates.

9358 Sweet Palace Philipsburg MT 9359 Sweet Palace Philipsburg MT 9360 Sweet Palace Philipsburg MT

We bought some Double Chocolate Fudge

9373 Double Chocolate Fudge Sweet Palace Philipsburg MT

And some Amaretto Chocolate Swirl Fudge.

9375 Amaretto Chocolate Swirl Fudge Sweet Palace Philipsburg MT

I watched the toffee pulling machine while Karen picked out several other chocolaty sweets.

9376 Taffy Pulling Machine Sweet Palace Philipsburg MT

Then we went across the road for some lunch at Doe Brothers Old Fashioned Soda Fountain.

9378 Doe Brothers Restaurant Sweet Palace Philipsburg MT 9379 Doe Brothers Restaurant Sweet Palace Philipsburg MT 9385 Doe Brothers Restaurant Sweet Palace Philipsburg MT

Back on the road again driving on US 93 through Montana.

9388 US 93 MT 9391 US 93 MT

There was this interesting tunnel ahead of us, which we learnt by the sign posted at the side of the road was to allow wildlife to cross over the highway.

9395 Animal Bridge on US 93 MT 9394 Animal Bridge on US 93 MT 9393 Animal Bridge on US 93 MT

We drove along the shores of Flathead Lake for several miles. I was surprised to see such a large lake in Montana.

9403 MT 35 Flathead Lake MT 9404 MT 35 Flathead Lake MT 9407 MT 35 Flathead Lake MT

Passed by this huge field of what I think is Mustard… but it might be Canola.

9411 Mustard Field MT 206

Dinner tonight was at the local A&W. Decorated in the retro A&W style, they even had one of the old speakers that you used to park beside to order your food and then the girl would come out with your tray.

9417a A&W Columbia Falls MT 9417b A&W Columbia Falls MT

Funny thing though, they didn’t call the burgers names like we do. They looked at me like I was from another planet when I ordered a “Teen Burger” They don’t have the family of burgers like we do back home, instead they have singles, doubles or triples with or without bacon or other toppings. I thought A&W was all about Teen Burgers, Mama Burgers, Papa Burgers etc.

9417e A&W Columbia Falls MT 9417f A&W Columbia Falls MT 9417g A&W Columbia Falls MT

For dessert, Karen had the “Turtle Sundae” and I had a “Hot Fudge Sundae”

9417j A&W Columbia Falls MT

To see all of our photos from today, you can find them on my FLICKR site.

Tomorrow we will be visiting Glacier National Park.

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