Into the Rockies

6/17/12 – Shoshone, ID was our first stop. I had seen the Library/City Hall building back home on Google Street View. When we arrived in Shoshone the view was partially blocked by a trailer hauling a huge All Terrain Vehicle. I was disappointed at first but soon realized that this was the best shot. So much for my preconceptions. Pocatello was a nice, mid-sized Idaho town that was divided into two parts. It had a new side and a beautiful but abandoned (on Sunday) old town. The library was in the old part of town. It had some great modern sculpture outside including one that surprisingly dealt with guns, violence and kids. Parked outside was the Pocatello Bookmobile with great graphics of Idaho icons. But no potatoes. We headed north and east to another icon – The Grand Tetons. This was the first time I had seen them from the west. From here they reminded me of photos of the jagged peaks of Fitz Roy in Argentina. The Alta, Wyoming branch library has these grand Tetons as a backdrop. It was jaw-droppingly beautiful. After a long and wonderful drive over the Continental Divide we came to the little town of Dillon, Montana. Like Pocatello the old downtown is empty on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. The library is classic and had interesting sculpted faces on the sides. We end our long slog in Butte, MT. This is probably one of my favorite towns in the American West. Walker said we probably like it so much because it reminds us of San Francisco – great old architecture built on hills; cold and windy summer evenings and full of hobos. We have dinner at the M & M Café, a Butte landmark. In the evening light we drive around this incredible community trying to figure out how this once grand city survives. As we drive by the big library that I will photograph tomorrow my heart drops. In a city of architectural splendor the library is probably the plainest building in town. I find out later that the gorgeous old library that I thought would be here had burned down twice. This was the replacement.Image

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One response to “Into the Rockies

  1. Judith Marvin

    Don’t know if you’ve seen it, but my niece Pamela Roberts produced a documentary, “Butte, America,” for PBS a couple of years ago. Great historical footage.

    Also-I spent a couple of weeks each summer for several year at the Yellowtail Ranch on the Crow Reservation near Wyola, Montana. Suggest you photographs a library on the res, or in Hardin, or some place the Native Americans visit.

    Thanks for the updates!


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