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Road Trip Day 6: Washington, Idaho, Montana – Aine is launched at Evergreen! by Ann Treacy
September 24, 2022, 3:06 am
Filed under: Idaho, Montana, Washington DC

Good news – after a fantastic breakfast at Hash in Olympia, we left Aine happy and ready at the Evergreen College campus. She was ready for us to leave and I can’t wait to hear how much she likes school once she gets started. So far, it’s just orientation and meeting folks. Sounds like meeting folks is going well.

Now we are trying to get home (1700 miles) in three days- and remember only one of will be driving and it’s not me. Dad (aka grandpa) continues to rock it. We’ve made it through the serious mountains of Washington and Idaho. And we managed to catch a few sights as we floored it.

We checked out Wild Horses Monument aka Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies in Quincy WA. Created by Chewelah sculptor David Govedare. We checked it out from a distance; next time we might march up for a closer look.

I wanted to stop to see something in Idaho so we stopped to see the Sunshine Miner Memorial in Kellogg. It honors the 91 victims of the Sunshine Miner disaster of 1972. Apparently there were 178 people working; 85 made it out safely and two were found alive seven days later. There was a big fire and spread quickly given in the mine. Very sad. The memorial is touching with mini gravestones for each lost miner and a 13 foot statute of a miner with a light shining from his helmet.

We have landed in Missoula MT with a hope of getting closer to home tomorrow!



Road Trip Day Three: Montana, Wyoming and Washington highlight Butte MT, where my great grandfather died by Ann Treacy
September 21, 2022, 3:33 am
Filed under: Idaho, Montana, Washington

Welcome to day three of the road trip. The highlight was when accidentally step into our family history … we stopped in Butte MT and wanted to see something. (OK I wanted to see something, and I knew it better be quick and easy.) So, I picked the Granite Mountain Memorial Overlook, which seemed like an easy in and out. It wasn’t, in fact we never did get to the actual Memorial, but we saw so much more.

We circled the memorial, which means we saw the mines around us. Sounds like Butte started with gold planner laying claims in 1964. After the gold bust, they moved to silver and then copper. This area was number one producer of copper. In fact, they were the first to mine a full mile down.

Turns out my great grandfather John Michael Murphy died in the mines here, leaving a widow with six kids. Lots of Irish ended up in the mines here. Apparently in 1880s, it was the “Most Irish part of the US.” You can see in the names of the streets and bars. Most folks were from the Beara Peninsula, which would ring true with my mom’s family hailing from County Cork.

The area looks like area around the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. (Also saw some timber commerce going by us.) The closer to the mines, the smaller the homes. While buildings in town are impressively stately. We were here on a cloudy day, which really gave us the feel of Ireland or Northern MN. It also looks like a Claes Oldenburg playland. So industrial in a way I think is striking and beautiful – I hate to admit but at least as beautiful to me as sun on a mountain.

After that we kept on going. We had lunch in Missoula and pushed on through Wyoming. We landed in Spokane, WA. Once we got here, Grandpa and I took a walk in Manito Park. I wish we had been able to spend more time. It’s a really nice urban park.

Complaint of the day – why does Washington State putting their welcome sign on the driver’s side of the road? Drivers are not taking pictures. Compare Washington to how I rocked Idaho!




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