Posted by: bikedave | July 7, 2010

July 6, Twin Bridges, MT to Cameron, MT

When I arrived in Twin Bridges last night, there was a low ragged overcast that obscured the nearby mountains.  This morning was like waking up in a totally different place.  I could see forever!  The viability must have been 100 miles.

Looking south across the Ruby River Valley

The road took me south through the Ruby River Valley passing through the towns of Sheridan, and Laurin.

1901 Catholic Church, Laurin, MT

School house, Laurin, MT

In the town of Alder the road turns east and follows the Alder Gulch to Nevada City and Virginia City.  As I rode up the gulch, not far from Alder, I began to see large piles of rocks.  I learned that these piles were tailings from gold dredging operations that started in the late 1800s and continued until 1940.

Alder Gulch tailings

Rain was threatening, but I stayed dry to Nevada City where Vicki was waiting for me.  We walked around the city looking at the old buildings and trains.  Nevada City and Virginia city both are basically tourist traps.  Most of the old buildings have been moved in from all over Montana to be displayed in these towns.  We didn’t stay long.  Our time at Bannack was much more enjoyable.

Do you think this place might be haunted?

Old steam engine, Nevada City, MT

While in Nevada City we saw a beautifully restored 1910 Steam engine.  It was acquired by the state 10 years ago, freshly rebuilt and certified. Every summer the train would run between Nevada City and Virginia City hauling tourists and train nuts.  Unfortunately, the train is not running this year.  It seems that the boiler is due for re-certification, and there was no money budgeted over the last 10 years of operation for this scheduled maintenance.

Number 12 sits in the train barn awaiting re-certification.

After leaving Nevada city,  I passed through Virginia City, then climbed over an unnamed pass, and descended into the Madison River Valley.  I crossed the Madison River near the town of Ennis, Mt, then turned south through the valley to the town of Cameron, Mt, where Vicki was waiting for me.

Madison River, Ennis, MT

Looking east from Cameron, MT

Sphinx Mountain east of Cameron, MT

Miles today: 55   Total Miles: 1,097


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