The road trip to Wisconsin brought with it many unexpected twists and turns along the way, not only cruising down any given highway, but also in the weather. While at Glacier National Park there were multiple hail storms. Heading south through Montana en route to Wyoming rain and hail storms continued, with sporadic snow storms. This was June 20.
Sadly, I never made it to my camping spot at the Rainbow Campground outside of West Yellowstone. Instead, I spent the night in a hotel room in Dillon, MT. Not the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in, however not the worst either. And what it did provide me was a night in a dry place where I could hang my tent tarp and open the tent to allow them both to dry out from the rain and hail the night before.
Three hours behind schedule to get to, and through Yellowstone National Park, I packed up and headed east through Montana and into Wyoming. Beautiful country, with snowstorms (now June 21, the summer solstice) in the distance and the first of a few side-excursions along the way, I stopped in Nevada City and Virginia City.
I have to give a shout out to Chris for his suggestion to take this route through the Madison Valley on my way to Yellowstone. Absolutely gorgeous! Rolling hills and open fields on one side, steep mountains on the other, and an amazing sky from which rain, hail, and snow fell in the not-to-far distance, intermittent sunshine along the way.
Founded in 1863, Nevada City and Virginia City were communities that in the 1880’s were known as one of the “Richest Gold Strikes in the Rocky Mountain West”. Many of the original structures still stand and today are home to a variety of businesses. From fresh, locally roasted coffee and created artwork, to panning for gold, living history tours to train rides, museums to reenactments, these two cities are a great place to stop. Explore for an hour or more, enjoy a bite or a beverage; Nevada City and Virginia City make for a delightful day trip, ghost towns that are still very much alive.