Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Bannack, Montana’s First Capitol and One of the State’s Best Camprounds

©Bert Gildart: Bannack provides some of the state’s best camping and is the spot we’re calling home for the next night or two.  The settlement was founded on July 28, 1862, when John White and other members of the “Pikes Peakers” discovered gold in Grasshopper Creek, a small flow of water we’re now watching carefully to make sure we don’t get flooded out.


Gold was first discovered in Montana on Grasshopper Creek, which gave rise to Bannack

Many historic preservationists believe Bannack is one of the West’s best preserved old ghost town.  It was Montana’s first Territorial Capitol.


Little changes here and the old structures I’ve enjoyed photographing over the years still remain, appearing quite functional. Throughout, old wagons stand ready to transport gold, while buildings appear inhabitable. The old jail, Montana’s first, appears ready to accommodate thieves, drunks and murderers, while up on a prominent hill, in plain site, is a lone gallows, and it, too, appears quite functional. There, as every high school student learns in courses on Montana History, Sheriff Henry Plummer took the long drop.

Plummer arrived in Bannack in 1863, and because he was glib and persuasive, he became sheriff. What was not known by the town’s citizens is their sheriff may well have been the leader of an outlaw gang.

Gallows-1 JohnPhillip-5 OldWagon-4

Janie, who has been misbehaving, hikes to same gallows from which Henry Plummer made the “Long Drop;”  John Phillip presents lessons on gold panning; old wagon adds sense of timelessness to Bannack.

But eventually a man about to be hung pointed a finger at Henry Plummer prompting the Vigilantes to gather and meditate heavily. Helping in their thinking was lots of liquor and they soon concluded Plummer was guilty. Though their sheriff begged and pleaded—even offered to tell where $100,000 of gold was buried—the group ignored him. Story has it that Plummer’s final words were, “Just give me a good drop.”

From here, we’re heading to visit a good friend who guides on the Big Hole River.  However, the Big Hole is in flood stage so our fishing may have to wait. We’ve learned to simply take what comes.




*Traveling the ALCAN

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy

Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

One Response to “Bannack, Montana’s First Capitol and One of the State’s Best Camprounds”

  1. Dianne Llanos Says:

    very gorgeous flowers and very nice picture qualities…