The 2-1/2 hour drive down to Butte, Montana was easy and enjoyable. Not only were we driving again on the interstate system, I-90 in this case, but the traffic was light, we were in no hurry, and as always out here in the western mountains, the scenery was beautiful. The City of Butte was not one of our originally planned stops but as any seasoned RVer knows, sometimes when you call ahead to make your reservation for the following night, the campground is full. Rather than spending several days in Bozeman as we had planned, we ended up a bit further north, although perhaps in our favor as the City of Butte, Montana might very well be a very interesting place to visit. We thought you might enjoy this photo taken at a rest stop that shows little brother next to big brother. We have finally gotten used to be the smallest and we are no longer intimidated.
In 1882, 9 million pounds of copper were removed from the ground. A year later production increased by 250% and then in 1896 the mines in Butte produced 210 million tons of copper or about 26% of the entire world supply and 51% of all copper mined in the United States.
We ended our afternoon by driving to one of the highest points above the city to check out the view of the city down below and take the above photograph. Tomorrow we plan to further explore the copper mining industry and check out the downtown area of Butte. Incidentally the City of Butte refers to the downtown area on all street signs as "Uptown" for obvious reasons. We did learn that one happening this weekend in Butte explains why our RV park was full and why some of the streets in the updown area are closed. This weekend in Butte is "Evil Knievel Days." As it turns out Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel was born and raised in Butte and this weekends festival is likely to draw 50,000 visitors to the city. Not good for us. Kathy made me sell my only motorcycle before we were married.
When we walked around the RV park this morning we found that there were at least thirty or more motorcycles parked out in front of tents. It is doubtful that on any other weekend we would find any motorcycle campers but this particular weekend motorcyclists were everywhere. Kathy said it reminded her of the old movie "Easy Rider" but all I could think of was a collection of aging hippies from the 1960s - not in a negative way of course. In any case, our plans were NOT to be downtown, excuse me, Updown, this afternoon. Crowds are no longer fun.
Were it not for the anticipated crowds it might have been interesting to watch the motorcycle jumping that was scheduled for this afternoon and evening. But since we had already decided not to attend these functions (and we later determined that Cabo was not invited), we decided to be satisfied with visiting a statue of Butte native son Robert Craig Knievel that was temporarily erected in the center of Butte's main uptown street.
We retuned back to our campground by early afternoon well satisfied with what we had seen in the City of Butte, Montana. Tomorrow we head southeast to the town of Gardiner. Our RV Park, the Rocky Mountain RV Park is situated about one mile from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Another one of our dreams is about to come true.