Enjoying Montana’s Ghost Towns

CAMPGROUND: 2nd night at Rambling Moose Campground
LOCATION: Virginia City, Montana, about 80 miles north of Yellowstone
WEATHER: Perfect! Sunny. High 78. Since we are at 6000 feet elevation, it gets cool in the evenings/overnight.

After one of George’s yummy breakfasts (eggs, bacon, and grits), we drove into Virginia City. We strolled the streets again. Many of storefronts were open this morning, and we could peep in to see how they looked in the 1800s – like this old barber shop.

Many of the old houses are still lived in.

We boarded a little train to take us to another ghost town – Nevada City.

On our way, the conductor provided an interesting history of the ghost towns. We learned that the heir to the General Mills fortune is the benefactor who bought up most of Virginia City when it was about to go under, preserved and restored it, and then returned it to the state.

Nevada City is more “ghosty” than Virginia City – not too much left except a bakery and a place along the river where tourists can pan for gold.

We had lunch in another saloon back in Virginia City, an intresting combination of tourists and locals starting their weekend drinking early.

This is a replica of the stage coach that used to come through here.

Then, we went to the afternoon performance at the Old Opera House.

It was a play followed by vaudeville acts. Quite good. During intermission, we checked the adjacent saloon (yet another one) and saw this talented couple dancing to the honky-tonk player piano.

TODAY’S WILDLIFE SPOTTING: 3 mule deer, a bunny rabbit, and a snapping turtle. We were disappointed in not seeing a moose. This campground has a resident one (thus the name). The campground owner told us that last week, a foolish camper followed it (a mother) into the woods. The camper almost got attacked as the moose was protecting her baby.

Back at the campground, we made a nice fire.

DINNER: My latest discovery – lavash. They are very thin flatbreads. The package I bought contained 6. For each meal, we just split one, so we will have several flatbrad meals. They lay flat in the freezer, so are easy to keep. Previously, I made one with a cream cheese base and chicken. Tonight, I made an Italian one. On my last shopping trip, I bought a chub of Italian sausage. I had George cook the entire chub on the grill this evening. I froze 2/3 of it, and used the rest for tonight’s flatbread. The frozen sausage will be for future meals. I also had him grill a few pieces of pepperoni, and I froze the rest. I sauteed some veg – green pepper, mushrooms, and onions. Then, we were ready to assemble: We coated both sides of the flatbreads wiith olive oil and toasted them over the fire (you could do this on the top of the stove). Then, I brushed on a thin layer of leftover pasta sauce. Layering came next – the veg, sausage, and peppperoni. Finally, I topped them with mozarella. I popped them in the microwave to warm up everything and to melt the cheese. Delicioso! With 4 flatbreads left in the freezer, I see more of these meals in the future!

While we were eating dinner outside, neighbors pointed out a double rainbow in back of our Airstream. Stunning!

This was followed by a brilliant sunset that seemed to last forever.

A great ending to a very nice day.

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