Butte Montana

Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Thursday, September 1, 2011

We spent the morning driving to Butte Mo. It was cloudy and rained a bit. Montana skies and landscape are always impressive, whatever the weather. The rolling hills gave way to the foothills of the Rockies and the roadways were steeper as they wound through the mountain passes.

In Butte we visited the World Museum of Mining which included "Hell Roarin' Gulch" , a turn of the century mining village. It is located in an actual mining yard with more than 50 structures including the 100 foot high head frame of the Orphan Girl Mine. Silver and zinc were the main ores extracted from this mine.

Copper was also mined at the Berkeley Open Pit between 1955 and 1982. During this time 1.4   billion tons of ore was taken out. The pit is an impressive view in Butte. The pit is 7000 ft. longł 5600 ft. wide and 1800 ft. deep.

Butte is also home to the 90 foot concrete statue of the Virgin Mary, “Our Lady of the Rockies”. It is on top of the Continental Divide and overlooks the city. It is 3500 ft. above the city. It was a non denominational project built through the efforts of countless volunteers over 6 years. The National Guard and teams of civilian workers lifted the statue in 4 sections on Dec. 20, 1985 with a sky crane while thousands watched.

We later went on to Helena, the state capitol of Montana.
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