Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Muleys and Virginia City

Today we returned the rental car and ran some errands which included a trip to Walmart to allow Sam to pick out fish for the fish tank he received for his tenth birthday two weeks ago. Sam chose two Mollies and immediately dubbed them Bonnie and Clyde. He also received an ant farm whose members he's dubbed Bob. All of them.

Before I post our Yellowstone pictures I did want to include these bits from our visit. Northern Montana is overrun with Mule Deer. When I say overrun, I mean, when you drive down the road, you will see multiple herds of them grazing in the passing wheat fields, napping in the long slender shadows of the irrigation equipment, or standing at the roadside watching traffic go by as though they were bored school children. They have absolutely no fear of cars and look surprised, perhaps even irritated, if you hit your horn and squeal your brakes. They just trot slowly to the shoulder where they turn back to see why it is you were in such a hurry. We noted the remains of many, many Muleys along the interstate, accompanied by tire marks of the motorist who clearly tried not to hit them (I can only imagine the damage to the car).

They also wander into town and graze in people's yards. Helena, the state capital, is no exception. This picture was taken across the street from the capital building. A small herd of Muleys had taken up residence in someone's manicured yard, grazing on their ornamental shrubbery. Dad tells me that the look of brown-eyed innocence is a dodge, that they've been known to charge and attack residents if they come out their front door at the wrong time.

Hard to believe that this big-eared, quizzical creature is so much trouble, isn't it?


On our last full day, Dad took us to Virginia City, the only touristy activity he has any patience with. Virginia City and Nevada City, which are next door to one another, are old well-preserved western towns with a heavy helping of tourist traps shops intended to attract out-of-towners. As it was the off-season, most of the buildings were closed, but we were able to look in the windows which somehow added to the magic for me because it felt more like peering back in time. Once I figured out how to compensate for the glass, the camera actually brought details to light that I didn't see until after I got home and put them on the computer.

An old Mercantile

Printing Office

Shoe Maker's

The home of a former pillar of the community. This place was built in 1843 and family members lived in it until the early 1950s. Strange to think that our lives could be opened up to this kind of scrutiny in a hundred years or so.

The kitchen which is attached to the above diningroom

The livery

The old train depot

A very much retired tin lizzie


Scotty said...

Great photos, Mary; the printing office, especially, bought back memories for me. When I was about 14 I did some part-time work on weekends and school holidays in the printing press for my local hometown paper. I would sometimes operate a linotype machine to make lead slugs of text which would be fitted to frames for printing.

Mary Paddock said...

Thanks Scotty. They were lots of fun to take.

The private college I attended in the 80s to had a printing shop and I often wondered what it would be like to work there.