16 June 2008

The Butte Commute

Gas prices have not had much of an effect on my daily commute to work here in Butte, Montana. Oh, maybe I walk to and from work a few more days per month than usual, but generally driving is not a factor. There are other considerations, however. Some days, you need to watch out for horse traffic:

Or crossing herds of deer. Though unlike Helena or Missoula, Butte mule deer tend to be nocturnal. Probably has something to do with our urban cowboy poachers:

Or heavy morning snow (this storm came Tuesday night, 10 June):

We seem to be moving out of the wet, cold June weather. Even on cloudy mornings, the skies clear quickly. Here, the clouds rising over the Highland Mountains south of town:

Recently, my two mile walk to the office has been extended with an additional half-mile walk to the Butte-Silver Bow Library, where I am scanning newspapers from the 1980s for articles about the beginnings of Superfund in Butte.

Butte is America's largest National Hisotric Landmark District (in addition to being at the headwaters of our nation's largest Superfund site--the tow go hand-in-hand). I like to walk Broadway Street, with its nice classic houses like these:

And this one:

And of course, Butte being Butte, some real "fixer-uppers" crammed in-between:

At the library each day, I'm greeted by Max, of Where the Wild Things Are fame:

The highlight of my day is lunch break at the Venus, an expresso house ran by the Butte-Silver Bow Arts Foundation:

Where one can find the finest cinnamon rolls on the planet (they remind me of those my old neighbor, Helen Larson, baked: yeasty, chewy bread, lots of cinnamon, not overly sweet). Here, served by Jennifer:

Jennifer also makes a great cup of Chai:

And here's Glenn Bodish, the Arts Foundation director (facing the camera, gesticulating):

Walkerville and Butte America: a great place to commute!

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