Today is my first rest day. I know I need it and a swollen left foot cautions me to take the needed rest. The day is not a loss, I take a tour of Butte, Fascinating.
Silver, gold, copper and other precious metals only gained by hard hand digging far underground once made Butte the money capital of the far west. That title is gone now. The richest hill in the world has disappeared. What once was precious has now been totally carted away. What remains is a big, 1700 foot deep, hole in the ground filled with toxic water. New process waters continue to be pumped into the giant contaminated pit by the hour. “But”, our guide cautions us, “There will be a lot of jobs for Butte when it finally comes time to clean-up this mess”. None the less the people who built this cityÂ and mined the great hill are still the stuff which amateur historians like me will analyze, ponder, and even dream about long after this rest day, and my quest to reach Key West are finished.