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DAY 49: BILLINGS, MT TO ST. REGIS, MT

Day forty-nine on the road started off with the elegant Montana sunrise in our rear view mirror. We then visited an old-fashioned pioneer village and it was like we time-travelled. The quaint town Reed, MT was nestled in the mountains and featured two very large old-style grain elevators, along the railroad. The area was once plentiful of trees, although the pioneers had cut many of them down for usage. There was a nice green house that hung an American flag. Next to it a rustic wooden home that sported a red star on the front. In the village, we headed up a hill and the I.D. 4 handled the gravel road with ease. A very long locomotive made its way down the track behind us. At the top, the I.D. 4 looked out over the hills and the pine trees. Although not common, we then saw a large field that housed acres of solar panels. A train made its way through the countryside. Very often we see trains alongside the road, trekking their way down the tracks. We met a kind woman with her 1967 VW Beetle. It was a bright yellow and had pink accents, including pink eyelashes. The face of the car appeared to be shy as the eyes peered down a bit. The lady was very proud of her customized, classic Beetle. A semi-truck hauling boulders also had a second trailer attached behind the first. Oddly enough, the second trailer was quite a distance behind and this was a bit strange to see, especially compared to trucks in Europe. We then made our way into Butte, MT. We could see the town as we made our way down a hill. Butte began in the late 1800s as a gold and silver mining camp. The industrialization and development of America resulted in a big copper boom making the town flourish. We could see one of the many mine shafts of the town atop a hill. We visited The Steward Mine, next. Production lasted almost 100 years from 1877 to 1976. The 3,633 foot deep line was the most productive silver-copper mine in Butte. A sculpture of a miner moving materials by Artist Bill Clark to honor the workers of the Butte-Silver Bow area. Bill and the Clark family donated the sculpture to the citizens of the area. The I.D. 4 moved fast down the gravel roads and maneuvered very nicely. Some dust flared behind us. The I.D. 4 and the EV specific Kinergy AS X tires handled the roads superbly. The Garnet Ghost Town in the Garnet Mountain Range east of Missoula, MT was our next visit. The most intact ghost town of Montana included some houses from 1904. We then hit the highway and made a pit stop at Marvin’s Bar. It had a log cabin esthetic, neon signs, and hoisted two American flags from the rooftop. A large countryside hill had some houses scattered around it. Most of the trees had been cleared out due to logging for fuel. On our way north, we saw a teepee. Montana is home to 7 Indian reservations. Near Kalispell, MT, we stopped by The Flathead Indian Reservation. There were some bison and a very large male got close to us as we took a photo. An Old Native American trading post had a totem pole in front. As the sun started to go down we got a nice picture of a wind compass that was the silhouette of a bison. We then arrived in Ronan. The bright lights on the sign welcomed us at night. On almost all of the signs, a Native American language is posted.

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