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4th of July Pass, the Oasis Bordello and Museum, the Silver Dollar Saloon, and Butte MT. (NSFW)

We’re on the road again and left Liberty Lake this morning about 7:00 AM. It’s always such a pretty drive going across the northern Idaho panhandle with Lake Couer D’Alene, the 4th of July Pass, Lookout Pass and driving into Montana.   So far the 4th of July pass was the highest at 3049 feet in elevation which is a pretty low pass but it’s just the start of the Rockies and Liberty Lake is pretty close to being at sea level. It was a pretty good climb and Myles handled it like a champ even passing some other motorhome and semi trucks. 

Driving east through the Rockies really makes you feel like you’re stepping back in time to the cowboy days. Of course most of the small towns capitalize on that but it’s still there too with the cowboy hats and cowboy boots. Makes one feel like a gol-darn greenhorn. Wallace ID is no exception and they have an old whorehouse, the Oasis Bordello and Museum that has been converted to a tiny museum and gives tours. It was an actual working bordello until 1988. You can find reviews of it on Yelp and Trip Advisor but they don’t really have their own website. 

We took the tour a few years ago so we didn’t take it this trip and, no, we didn’t see any “ladies of the evening” when we took the tour and it was kind of hoaky but it was fun. So if you’re ever passing through Wallace ID, take the tour.  The link I pasted above will provide you with a great history of the place.  

I wouldn’t know for sure but the posted prices looked pretty reasonable.  Of course being the innocent that I am, I don’t know what half of those items are on the price list.  Did you notice they have some things timed right to the minute?  I wonder if they had a timekeeper and what happened if a fella took too long?  

Then there’s the Silver Dollar Saloon which has over $50,000 silver dollars embedded in their bar. The day we were there they said the silver dollar count was 71,047 nd they’ve run out of room in the bar and started to put the silver dollars on the wall. 

 I happened to meet a couple nice old cowboys and had a shot of whiskey with them. 


Driving through Montana we started running into a lot of smoke from all of the wildfires. It was like driving through a layer of heavy smog (which technically I guess it is a type of smog). So sad.  You can definitely smell the smoke and visibility is down to about 1/4 to 1/2 mile. In addition to the forest fire we also saw a fire right off the interstate, it was small and under control but just goes to show how dry things are. 

Many of the tiny towns we pass thru have a mining history and Butte is no exception. It was known for having the largest open pit copper mine in the US.  The Anaconda Mine. It’s hard to say positive things about a mine other than it provided employment for a lot of people. It looks like Butte has recovered pretty well but it’s still sad to see what open pit mining does to the earth.  

A lot Thom’s mom’s family came from Butte and her dad and uncles all worked in the mines. His mom and her sisters were all born in Butte so being here is a little bitter sweet. 

We are staying one night in Butte in a KOA. It’s a sad little KOA that has definitely seen better days. Just like Larry, he’s parked between very new and very expensive motorhomes.  He’s pretty proud of himself for aging as well as he has but he’s also a little intimidated with all of these young whipper-snappers surrounding him. 

Stay safe and keep making those memories