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Hunting in the deep dark woods and further creative ventures


Fort Benton

FUN FACT: This is my first blog post from a place other than the location in which I reside! Keep your boots on, kids. I know that this is terribly exciting, but please try to contain yourself.

This is one of the most exciting adventures of my life! I'm not sure why. I've been to many countries, travelled alone, and have done some crazy things abroad. However... This road trip I'm taking to Bannack, Montana, is driving me insane with fantasy and imagination and muses. Initially, I was only supposed to be away from Canada for three days (two nights), but it worked out that I was able to extend my holiday by a day. This led to further excitement, including seeing more of Fort Benton, and even staying a night at none other than... The Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton, Montana. This is a historic hotel. The hotel was refurbished and renovated in the 1990s, but it is exactly as it would have been in the late 1800s, when Fort Benton was a notoriously dangerous town, featuring The Bloodiest Block In The West. There were outlaws, lawmen, brothel madames, and more. Madness everywhere, guns blazing, ropes stretching under the weight of criminals, and eventually it wound down to become the quiet and friendly town that Fort Benton is today.

Things have changed a lot since the 1800s, but the history remains. A lot of people I know think that the history of the Old West and North America in general is dull and stupid, but I disagree. For some reason, I am enthralled with the idea of lawlessnes and wild country. Everything that goes along with it are symbols of strength and endurance, as well as examples of what humans can become in extraordinary situations (both good and bad).

Now, my actual excitement. Today I saw the Old Fort Benton, and a little bit of the Museum of the Upper Missouri (to return to that tomorrow), and I walked along the Missouri River, reading all kinds of history plaques. I adored the Old Fort. Part of the building, the blockhouse, is the oldest standing building in Montana (I think it's neat. Considering the fact that initially the whole fort was made of adobe, which is mud. Mud tends to not last for very long, but in 1906, the Daughters of the Civil War put up a strong stucco shell to preserve it). I'm kind of cloud nine for the most part. All of the furs and history and notes about brothel madames and guns is making me overly delighted, and it's marvellous. Oh, and other thing?

The hotel I'm staying in is allegedly haunted.

I can't find very much information, but it could be that the Grand Union Hotel is haunted. Furthermore, it could be that the third floor (where I am staying with my 'entourage') is haunted. Along with the rest of the hotel, inevitably. Here's a link to what I found, on the site Haunted Montana. Of course, being me, I tend to get excited and then I get paranoid anyways, so I'll undoubtedly start hearing or seeing things. And, being me, I won't believe any of it since I'm a solid sceptic. Still... I've always wanted to stay in a haunted hotel, or several, and now I am!! Who knew what would come out of staying an extra night on a trip?

That is all I can offer for now. I mostly wanted to share my current excitement, before I get dressed up in extravagant steampunkery-old westery to go for supper in the historic dining room. I doubt that I'll have a chance to post like this again until I return to Canada, so stay shiny and have a great half-week!

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