Wednesday, March 07, 2018

257 - Fantastic weekend at Garnet ghost town

257.0 lbs (116.6 kg)
One of the things I like about my current job is that I get two consecutive days off that are not at (but close to) the traditional "weekend". Mine are Thursdays and Fridays, which means that for two and a half days (I usually start work at 16:00 [4.00 pm] on the days that I do work) to go and do something fun. Last weekend I went with my roommate to the abandoned gold mining ghost town of Garnet, about 20 miles NW of Drummond, Montana. We had three options for getting there: a long but level 10-mile hike, a scenic and winding but slightly uphill 5-mile hike, or a steep 3-mile trek. In the summer you can drive right up to the old town but in winter the roads are not snowplowed, although they are groomed for snowmobiles. So we had the choice to rent snowmobiles (too expensive and not physically challenging) or cross-country skiing (didn't have the skis) or snowshoeing. Since we had equipment for the latter but not the former, we snowshoed in on the 3 miles long road.

Perfect conditions for snowshoeing
Holy cow! That was a steep road. It took us five hours to get there! When we finally arrived there was such a tremendous sense of achievement. We had rented one of two rustic cabins there from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for $30 a night (with a nearby outhouse, fresh water spigot in town, propane stove and cut firewood in the cabin - True to the spirit of the ghost town, there were no other humans there on either night.

It snowed steadily or heavily part of the time and was crisp and cold and cloudless the rest of the time. Snowshoeing around the old town at midnight with only the light from the stars and from headlamps was FANTASTIC. At the end of the adventure, we snowshoed out, downhill back to the car, and it took only two hours!

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