2009 Tetons and Yellowstone travel blog

Hegben Lake

Earthquake Lake

Notice the trees in the lake and the side of the mountain...

We passed through Ennis MT on the way to Virginia City

The Rusty Cowboy, the best collection of junk you have ever seen...

Virginia City from Boot Hill

Boot Hill

A grave marker

The main street of Virginia City and the only one that is...

Strolling Main Street

In the 1870's Virginia City was the capital and this house was...

Painted wild life seems to be very popular in Montana

The Alder Gulch Short Line railroad

Arriving in Nevada City

Donna, Judy, Judye, Lee Ann and Joan belly up to the bar

One of the player pianos

A street in the restored Nevada City

Zang's saloon

Weak saloon fare

Montana's oldest standing public school

Judye tries her luck panning for garnets

Mary and Linda try too

Linda is really serious now

Wade Lake on the return trip

Our tour group overlooking the Madison Valley

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MPG - 4.86 MB)

Old time piano music

We organized a tour to Virginia City and Nevada City, historic gold mining towns in Montana. Virginia City is a living town of 150 year round residents who host the West's best preserved gold mining town from the 1860's. Visitors walk the same board walks that desperate vigilantes once patrolled. There are over 100 historic buildings complete with artifacts and furnishings.

We rode the Alder Gulch Short Line Railroad to Nevada City just 1.5 miles away. Nevada City has 14 historic buildings original to the site plus a collection of more than 100 other historic buildings from locations all over Montana, including the Nevada City Music Hall with its collection of historic music machines, gaviolis and player pianos.

On the way to Virginia City we stopped at Hegben and Quake lakes. On August 17, 1959 at 11:37 PM a powerful 7.3 earthquake struck in Madison Canyon, an area in Yellowstone National Park. During the earthquake the surrounding landscape dropped as much as 20 feet and shock waves caused numerous seiches to surge across Hebgen Lake for 12 hours. Water pushed by the seiches poured over the dam which did not collapse.

The landslides caused by the quake carried 80 million tons (40 cubic yards) of rock, mud and debris down into the valley and created hurricane force winds strong enough to toss cars. In Madison Canyon, a family of seven were swept away by the landslide, five of whom perished. Two more fatalities were also reported in nearby Cliff Lake to the south. In Rock Creek, tourists camping there were caught off guard by the quake and landslide, which swept them into the creek by causing a seiche which inundated trailers and tents, uprooted trees, and injured one additional person.

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