rocket tracking


Thursday, October 4, 2012

On the Outside Looking in- two Montana Quilt Shops and Avon, Montana

Birdseye Mercantile, Avon, Montana
My niece and her husband have moved to Deer Lodge, and on one of the days they had off, they graciously accompanied us on a little excursion.  They first took us (my sister Mary, me and Trucker the Wonder Dog) to Avon, Montana, a cute, if once less than it once was, town northeast of Deer Lodge.

Someone said to me the other day that in Montana, a Bar and a gas station constituted a some cases that could be said as true.  Montana does boast the population density of 6 people for every square mile. In reality, thats sort of a misleading fact, as 54% of the population is concentrated in the cities....with the largest being Billings (pop. 100,317), Great Falls (64,387) and Missoula (69.491).  Many little towns sprang up around mines, crossroads, logging areas, or fords across rivers and passes across mountains.  Many of them, like Avon, used to be much more prosperous than they are now.  I spotted a building which I suspected was a blacksmith/Livery in earlier days, a Church and a few other buildings.  This one is the most notable and houses an antique shop and quilting shop.  It's Birdseye Mercantile and is in a building which was built in 1887, back when Montana was still a territory (it entered into statehood in 1889).

Drew and Beth brought me here because of my former life as a museum curator and of course, my quilting habit.  Unfortunately, it is only open the later part of the week.  We did satisfy ourselves in peeking in the windows, and I toddled down the street shooting pictures of interesting buildings.

Quilter's Corner, Deer Lodge, Montana

Drew, Beth's husband, was kind enough to take me to Deer Lodge to see the Quilter's Corner which WAS open.  This too was in an historic building, an old bank which was converted to a lovely quilt shop.

The counter was the original bank counter, lots of marble, fancy woodwork, pressed tin ceilings and brass well as quilting supplies and fabrics to suit almost every interest in quilting. Lovely batiks almost found their way into my luggage, but since I am bound and determined to reduce my stash, I only bought a variety of Perle Cotton threads to work on the project I was completing out there and a length of clearance fabric which
Quilter's Corner, Deer Lodge, Montana

were in Beth's favorite colors as I thought I would try to make her a little something for her new house.
Little Blackfoot River at Avon, Montana

From Ridge just south of Avon, Montana

Trucker, the Wonder Dog.
After we stopped at the Mercantile in Avon, we headed across an old girder style bridge over the Little Blackfoot River....which was gorgeous in the late summer light.  We headed up into the ridges to have a picnic lunch while looking at the land.  The sad part was that so much smoke from the forest fires north and west of us meant that the sky wasn't as clear and crisp as Montana skies normally are.

As you can see below, it was still pretty.

Trucker, my niece's English Shepherd kept us grizzly free...or maybe cougar free...We didn't see any here (which I have seen both of at my brother's in Cut Bank), but we did see mule deer and antelope, and lots of Elk scat.

Trucker was content to just stand and look reality he snoozed while we munched our sandwiches.

 English Shepherds are pretty interesting dogs used as working dogs on farms in Northern England/Southern Scotland.  Although I had a collie in high school, Trucker has the hard stare-down of a real herder.  You can find out more about this working breed here.

It was great to be around a dog again...and it was amusing how he came into my room on the last morning I was there and laid his head next to mine on my pillow...However....I am NOT going to get another dog (she says repeatedly to herself).

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