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.
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…
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.
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.
Next we went next door to the Sweet Palace to buy some fudge and chocolates.
We bought some Double Chocolate Fudge
And some Amaretto Chocolate Swirl Fudge.
I watched the toffee pulling machine while Karen picked out several other chocolaty sweets.
Then we went across the road for some lunch at Doe Brothers Old Fashioned Soda Fountain.
Back on the road again driving on US 93 through Montana.
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.
We drove along the shores of Flathead Lake for several miles. I was surprised to see such a large lake in Montana.
Passed by this huge field of what I think is Mustard… but it might be Canola.
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.
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.
For dessert, Karen had the “Turtle Sundae” and I had a “Hot Fudge Sundae”
To see all of our photos from today, you can find them on my FLICKR site.
Tomorrow we will be visiting Glacier National Park.