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Our Big Trip Across the Western US - September 2015

Our final day in Philipsburg began with a short drive up the mountain for breakfast with Gary. On the way up the mountain we saw a group of mule deer near the road. One doe and a younger deer were in the middle of the road and split up to get out of our way. We caught the doe and the rest of the group on the passenger side and they were not moving until the younger one could join them.

Our HHR didn’t have any trouble with the rough mountain road but we used its low profile as an excuse to go extra slow and enjoy the picturesque views as we went. There are a number of old shacks that at one time would have been homes for those working the mines along this road. They are all in pretty tough shape now and are great subjects for pictures.

After breakfast we spent some great “Mountain Cabin Time” both indoors and out. The clear dry air is softly scented with the fir trees and is unlike the stronger scent of the spruce forests we have visited. It was 41 degrees when we arrived but quickly warmed up and perfect for setting in the sun.

Lunch was beside Flint Creek southwest of Philipsburg and will be the highlight of our stay in Montana on this trip. It was a perfect day with a gentle breeze and warm enough to be comfortable. Gary had made sandwiches and packed the lunch and we had no trouble finding a picnic table near the water to hear it clearly.

After lunch we walked along the creek enjoying the water and the natural surroundings. This is forest service land and there are trees cut down when they present a danger but are left where they fall. Gary was checking out potential fishing spots.

This picture shows the view as we left this camping area. Flint Creek follows the road through the wide flat valley. Before returning to Philipsburg we turned the opposite direction to view the entire valley above Flint Creek.

The view from above is fantastic. This canyon is steep and rocky and widens into the valley below. We will be on this road tomorrow as we head out of Philipsburg but are happy we stopped in the afternoon when the light was better for a photograph.

Back in Philipsburg Sandy visited the Back Creek Pottery again. We had stopped there yesterday and Sandy wanted to return for one more look. All the pottery is locally made as is the soap and the jam. This business has been open about a year and is located in this 1898 building. The owners run the store along with making all the products and are so friendly.

Gary and Dan took a short walk up the street and visited the Philipsburg Brewing Company. Gary has been wanting to try the place and this was our perfect excuse. This micro-brewery offers a nice selection of beer and also features live music. We sat upstairs behind the tanks where it was less crowded and waited for Sandy to return. We would have no reservations suggesting a visit to this brewery.

We will depart Philipsburg tomorrow morning and just like our departure from Sausalito we will be sad to leave but know that our time here is over. Our host made us so welcome just like our hosts all along our trip.

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