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July 24, 2019: Do the Right Thing: A Day in Butte, Montana (with no apologies to Spike Lee)

Yesterday, as we pulled into the Vigilante Rodeo Grounds, I had an anxiety attack. This, light headedness and tightened stomach muscles, occurred because I had no idea how many days we’d be here or what we’d be doing in the interim. My anxiety did abate when the appointment was scheduled for tomorrow. However, we still had a day to kill. What to do?

As it turned out, we had plenty to do in preparation for our next pack trip in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. This morning Pete trimmed the mare’s feet and packed our food, the horses’ food, and the dog’s food.

Butte steer
Butte Rodeo grounds steer

I washed the horse boots, packed up the horse supplements, and cleaned some tack. After lunch we went to Murdoch’s, a farm and ranch store, and purchased yet another Easy Boot.

We then went and look up Kriss and Rick Douglass who are old friends from way back. Actually, we went to pay them a surprise visit and discovered an empty lot where their place used to be. I located them after Kriss responded to my email – and upon calling them up we learned that they had purchased a new place in town. The Montana Tech powers that be had purchased and the torn down their old place and are planning on constructing a student apartment building on the old site. The Douglass’ held out as long as they could, until they got in their minds what was an equitable asking price.

Their previous place (which was on the edge of town) had a view of the Carcass Hills. Their new place (which is located more toward the center of town) has a view of a head frame, a mining scaffolding. Inside, their new place resembles their old place – it is spacious and homey and sunlight streams through south facing windows.

Pete talked with Rick, his former work colleague, and I talked with Kriss, my old writing workshop and running buddy. Talking with Kriss was like inhaling a breath of fresh air. I had not talked with any other females at length since leaving Saratoga. Plus, Kriss and I sort of have a history together. I found myself talking as we talked politics that it would be cool to be living in Butte again, sort of like old times.

We next went and visited Jan Munday who is the wife of Pat Munday, who was another colleague of Pete’s. Pat is on a Fulbright visit in China right now so we did not get to spend time with him. Jan, Pete, and I got burritos in town and walked Butte’s now deserted main street. We then got desert at the Metals Bank Restaurant, once bank, and then a fine eating establishment, and now a sports bar. The décor consists to a large part of a huge bank vault – it was pulled up hill to its current location by 36 draft horses. There was a photo on the wall. The process of moving the vault took 2 days. It weighs 64,000 pounds.

I’ve always felt comfortable around Jan – she works in the social service field. Most fitting because she’s both compassionate and well grounded. The Munday’s daughter, Emily, she said, is now finishing veterinary school, in Pullman, Washington. She wants to continue to work in the marine biology field.

All the events of the day led me to where I am now, the Butte Laundromat. This is a really funky and somewhat scuzzy place. At least our very dirty clothes (last washed in Saratoga, Wyoming) will be somewhat clean when tomorrow, we meet with the veterinarian.

Next: 203. 7/25/19: On to the Bob Marshall Wilderness

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