Thursday, September 03, 2009

Our Montana Adventure

Wednesday morning we left home to begin our little getaway. . . our Anniversary vacation. We decided to drive to Salmon for a little change of scenery instead of driving up the interstate towards Montana. It was a pretty fall morning and the drive to Salmon was very enjoyable. From Salmon, we drove over the Lost Trail Pass into Montana. The drive through the pass was beautiful. Coming into Montana, we drove near the Big Hole National Battlefield site and since we'd never been there before, we decided to stop for awhile and find out about the area. We spent about an hour watching a video and discovering what tragic events happened in this beautiful valley.

The Battle at Big Hole had the highest number of casualties during the Nez Perce War of 1877. Five bands of Nez Perce Indians consisting of 800 people and about 2,000 horses arrived in the lush Big Hole valley in August of 1877. Chief Looking Glass chose the old camp site to set up their tipis believing they were far enough ahead of the soldier's to be out of danger. The soldiers were trying to round up all the Nez Perce and remove them from their homelands in Montana and put them on smaller reservation in Idaho (1/10th the size of the original reservation agreement). However, scouts spotted the tipis and were hiding in the willows waiting to attack the Nez Perce. In the early morning hours, a warrior stumbled onto the concealed soldiers on his way to check on the horses. The warrior was shot and killed and the battle began. The troops crossed the river and fired into the village. Some of the Nez Perce scattered quickly, while others were slow to awaken. In the confusion, men, women, and children were shot. The figthing lasted over the next 24 hours and in the end, 90 members of the tribe were killed, - -30 warriors; the rest were women, children and old people. Those who were able to escape were pursued by the troops over the next several months. Finally after many battles, Chief Joseph finally surrendered near the Canadian border. Of the nearly 800 Nez Perce who had started the trek towards the reservation, only 431 remained to surrender. The rest, including four chiefs had been killed in battles. Over that period of time, the Nez Perce had traveled over 1,100 miles. It was such a sad story . . . such a needless and tragic event in our history.

From the battlefield, we drove to Anaconda and then on to Phillipsburg, Montana. Randy had booked a sweet little B&B called the Quigley Cottage.

Quigley Cottage was a charming little house filled with antiques and surrounded by trees, three gardens and two patios . . . just a pretty place to spend a few summer days.

We arrived about 6 0'clock, just in time to unload our bikes, get settled in our room and then go for a little ride around Phillipsburg.

After a little dinner and a ride around town, we came back to the cottage and spent a pleasant evening in the parlor reading and listening to music. Various comfortable chairs were set around in the parlor so we moved from one to another until we found ones that suited us. It was a very pleasant way to spend an hour or so before turning in for the evening.

Here we are in the dining room where we had breakfast Thursday morning. It was a sunny room filled with plants, chairs and more books and interesting antiques. The dining room overlooked a pretty little patio filled with hanging baskets and flower beds. We had a delicious breakfast of fruit, a ham, cheese and pear panini, and fried potatoes. It was so delicious - and so pretty on the blue china.

Dave and Davee Letford are the owners of the cottage and such a nice couple. Over several years they had totally remodeled the cottage, doubling it's original size and adding an upper floor. Then they filled it with antiques and books they'd collected over the years. They did a beautiful job and turned a plain little house into a charming country cottage. As we ate our breakfast, we visited and got a little better acquainted. Dave had worked in Alaska for over 25 years in the oil fields and Davee had a owned a business downtown - a tea room and shop. They we so nice and friendly . . we really enjoyed getting acquainted.Here's the room we stayed in. It was a pretty little bedroom with lace curtains and shutters on the windows, and a very high sleigh bed. Such a pretty room!

Phillipsburg's downtown area wasn't very big, but every building was a different style of architecture and all of them were so cute. I love old towns where they make an effort to restore their old buildings instead of tearing them down and building something new. At one time Phillipsburg was a bustling mining town, just like many other mining towns throughout the west. Now it's a little quaint town of just over 200 people who are trying hard to restore the old buildings and make it an interesting little oasis.

We'll definitely make an effort to go back to Phillipsburg for another stay at the Quigley Cottage. A charming cottage, delicious food and great company made it a great little getaway destination.

1 comment:

Kristi Burley said...

Looks like a fun little trip. Happy anniversary!!