Mere has a lot of family in Butte... and that's where her parents grew up, so we made a stop there and stayed with her aunt. Sorry to take so long to catch up, but this was the Saturday before last. I had been having too much fun in too many places without wifi to keep up the vacation blogging.
Butte's an interesting place. Called "the richest hill in the world", Butte was a copper boomtown that peaked in 1917 and started to significantly decline in the 50's and 60's. That didn't stop mining companies from erasing a section of town called Meaderville in favor of a big gaping pit for copper excavation.
The pit closed in 1982 and is below the water line, so it continues to fill with toxic water to this day. While some residents have renovated Butte's old "copper king" mansions and there are some people moving back in to start new businesses, the big pit is really a sad symbol of what we've done to the environment and how quickly one-industry towns can fall.
On the very bright side, however, Mere's Aunt Gretchen was a very gracious host and gave us a great tour of the town's history...and treated us to breakfast at the M&M.