Big Sky RV Park
After Helena we visited Anaconda for our second time. We wanted to take my brother and Diane Sapphire mining in Phillipsburg. The few campgrounds they had were all booked up so we stayed in nearby Anaconda.
As you drive into town you can't miss the Anaconda Smelter Stack. It is the tallest surviving masonry structure in the world with an overall height of about 585 feet, including a brick chimney 555 feet tall. It was built in 1918 as part of the Washoe Smelter of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company.
This is the side we were on.
My brother's spot to the left with his Ranger.
Today was my brother's birthday so we took them to dinner at Barclays II in Anaconda. It's a throwback to the days of the 60s when the RatPack was around. They are a 5 star rated steak place. You get multiple courses and large quantities. Really good food. I had comes with salad, shrimp cocktail, bread sticks, antipasti and an ice cream sundae.
Due to safety issues in the past, you no longer are able to scoop you own bucket at the mine site itself. Now you choose your own bucket from a bunch of prefilled buckets. You choose a table and get a screen, brush, tweezers and bottle.
First you pour a little dirt into the screen.
Here's my brother at the trough washing out the dirt and picking out large rocks.
You then go over what's left and brush off the rocks as you go.
The above were the only stones good enough to have processed.
Our last day we toured them around historic Philipsburg. It is one of the cutest towns. Just the right size for a small town we could live in. Now we know why the campgrounds were filled up. This is one of their largest festivals each year. Professional BBQ contest, Beer Tasting of Montana beer, Car Shows and some great country music!
Part of Main Street is shut down for the festivities.
It was early and they were just setting up. We walked around and visited some of the cute shops.
The band was real good. If they were selling a CD of their music we would've bought one.
Such cute buildings. There is a lot of history here if you walk/drive around and look at the buildings.
Smoking some pork in a handmade smoker.
Diane and I listening to some great music.
We headed out just as the crowds were starting to come in. Philipsburg is a great town and I highly recommend spending the day here and trying the sapphire mining. It is by far the easiest and most rewarding of any we have tried. Tomorrow we spend the day in Butte.