Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 188 - Great Falls - East Glacier

Distance travelled (by bike): 25,840

Admittedly i went the long way round, from Great Falls i drove north east to Havre, then back west to East Glacier. 
The road to Havre was non eventful, though the scenery was typically fantastic. Havre is a typical small town above street level. however below street level its fascinating. After the town burnt down the residents moved into the basements as temporary shelter, they then built a series of tunnels to connect the basements. There was an underground bank, general store, coffee house, funeral parlour, pharmacy, laundry and opium den!
When the buildings were repaired most of the residents moved back above ground, the railway decided to keep their workers below ground. Another business that used the underground lodgings were the salons who made the basements into brothels, customers who would rather not be seen visiting the ladies could use the tunnels from another part of town to visit. Parts of the tunnel system were also heavily used in prohibition for sales of bootleg alcohol.
Heading back across 'big sky country' i arrived at East Glacier, on the edge of the national park the elevation had risen and the temperature dropped. Sadly i was told that the pass is closed, but you can get about half way, and its worth the drive. 

underground, the general store

the natural lighting

the local underground bar

one of the ladies rooms

ice cream parlour 

another bar

in the distance is Canada!!

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