Yesterday at about 10:30 am, my friend Tonya and I set out for Butte. The nearly two-hour drive was a pleasant one. 90 East runs right through some of the most beautiful mountains you’ll likely ever have the good fortune of seeing, along with a sky that belongs on a canvas. Cattle ranches line long stretches of otherwise desolate roads as cars speed past en route to Missoula and beyond.
Tonya and I spoke nearly the entire way as I learned more about my travel mate and friend. I’m quite sure she is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. A brief stint in sports broadcasting, working PR for a movie star, and traveling the world all before she could claim to be 30 left me in a daze. I nearly wondered out loud how she managed to fill one life with so much living.
We arrived in Butte by early afternoon. The town looked like a movie set; old saloons and bars lined the street, while mine frame heads, and The Hotel Finlen still stood proudly in the backdrop.
We walked the streets shamelessly snapping photos, while envisioning what it might have been like to amble through this mining camp some 100 years earlier. The sense of grit and fortitude was still palpable in the crisp air.
After a few hours of ambling through this town of just 36,000, we drove through Montana Tech before hitting the road for Missoula.