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Our Philipsburg, MT Trip - August 2014

Sunday morning the weather improved a bit, the overcast was still very thick and obscured the top of the mountains, but at least the rain had stopped and it was a bit warmer. We did not see the sun but the temperature got up to 53, not the weather we had anticipated.

Heavy overcast in the morning

After breakfast at Gary's cabin we got to work cleaning up the mess we had made building the shed. During construction the wood pieces were dropped in a pile and we had scavaged material from a couple material piles left by the previous owner. Gary got the shed loaded with his storage items, which meant that the snow blower found a home under cover beside the wood pile (under the blue tarp) and the bench on the left in this picture revealed that there was a working surface instead of a shelf for supporting storage items.

Cleaning up our mess

Perhaps the largest improvement was cleaning up behind the cabin. The prevous owner had left a pile of plywood, OSB sheathing, and PVC pipe and fittings piled high. What we could not use because of weathering was cut up and burnt in the fire pile and the remaining good wood was leaned in a neat stack and covered to protect it from the rain and snow. Gary has plans for more shelving and this pile will be gone as these projects are completed.

East side of cabin cleaned up

The north side of the cabin is now free of the other major pile of material left by the previous owner. This pile had a substantial amount of stained wood siding and metal roofing. This pile was covered so all the material was usable and what we didn't use was moved to a storage pile further down the hillside south of the cabin. The material on this pile is covered as well so everything that is left will be there for the next project, which has not been determined.

North side free of material

After lunch we took a drive up the mountain service road above Gary's cabin. This required his four-wheel drive pick-up as the roads are not much more than a path filled with ruts and rocks. But Gary is an experienced driver and we felt safe winding our way up the mountain on roads that few people take. The first stop was at an abandoned mine structure. All along the way there are fenced in open mine shafts and it appears that this structure may have been over the top of a shaft.

Old mining structure

The drive was not more than a couple miles before we reached the overlook that Gary had told us about. It appeared to be a dumping area for the rock removed from mine shafts and as we looked in a southwest direction we were overlooking Philipsburg.

Gary at the top of the mountain

The scenery below and as far as we could see was spectacular. The cloudy skies did not interfere with our view as it seemed to lift to allow a clear view.

view to the southwest

We walked around the area where we had parked, there were several more mine shafts, one covered with a steel mesh screening. Although it was problably very sturdy, non of us tempted fate and walked too close to the open shaft that is carved out of solid rock. The drive back down to the cabin took us on another road where we could see the long narrow rutted road down to a neighbor's home, we did not venture down the drive as it was posted with no trespassing signs.

Time to return to the cabin

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