Posts Tagged ‘tourist attractions’

The Beauty of Garnet Ghost Town, Montana: a Photo Essay

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A cobblers station in Davey’s General Store

Montana’s best known treasures are it’s two National Parks, Glacier and Yellowstone. But the well-preserved ghost town of Garnet, Montana is one of the state’s biggest lesser-known gems.

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Tall grass in front of one of Garnet’s outhouses

Located in Granite County, Garnet is beautiful and not overrun with tourists. Unlike so many tourist attractions in the United States where rooms are often kept pristine behind plexiglass and rope, Garnet Ghost Town allows visitors to walk in into it’s abandoned buildings and wander pretty freely. The rooms that are unaccessible are cordoned off for obvious safety concerns.

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Garnet was built as a mining town in the 1890s

A thousand people once called Garnet home during the heyday of mining in the 1898. But the mining bubble burst and less than 200 people remained in Garnet in 1905.

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Left: Garnet’s old jail Right: a vista of Garnet’s historic district

You can still get a sense of what life was like by visiting the over 30 preserved buildings including the Wells Hotel, Kelly’s Bar, Davey’s General Store and the Blacksmith’s Shop.

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A vista spot near Garnet in the Lubrecht Experimental Forest

Garnet Ghost Town is a great place to discover the beauty of abandoned places. It’s accessible by car from late April until January. The gravel road and scenic ride to Garnet is also a big draw for ATVs, and mountain bikers.

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Left: Vintage bottles in Davey’s General Store Right: the former reception desk at Wells Hotel

In the winter, Garnet Ghost Town is a popular destination for snowmobilers and cross country skiers.

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Nothing feels more old timey than Prince Albert in a can

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Left: Ghost Town Kitchen Still Life Right: Vintage wooden skis in Davey’s General Store

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One of the decaying rooms in Well’s Hotel

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Left: A Victrola and peeling wallpaper at Wells Hotel Right: this chair was probably the epitome of comfort in the 1890’s

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Welcome to Montana’s Coolest Ghost Town: Garnet

Garnet Ghost Town

Admission price: $3 (per person over the age of 15)

Map and driving directions can be found here.

Bureau of Land Management
phone 406-329-3914
BLM_MT_Missoula_FO@Blm.gov
Summer: 9:00am – 5:00pm Inquire about winter hours.

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Australia’s Red Centre As Seen From a Helicopter Ride over Uluru

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If you want a bird’s eye view of Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) Helicopter is your best bet 

During my recent visit to Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre, it was incredibly clear that the one thing you shouldn’t do is climb Ayer’s Rock. Fortunately Longitude 131 offers scenic helicopter tours as part of it’s menu of “Bespoke Experiences.”

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My pilot and the R44 Raven II helicopter

The ride in the R44 Raven II helicopter was smooth. I liked this little helicopter!

Taking off from Longitude 131 in a helicopter for my scenic ride

The photographer in me always likes to get shots from different vantage points, so I booked the 30 minute scenic flight over Uluru & Kata Tjuta to Ayers Rock Airport instead of taking the car transfer. I’m glad I did. The bird’s eye view from the R44 Raven II helicopter gave me a great perspective of the vastness of the desert and stunning views of Uluru and the 36 domes (not all visible by ground) of the Kata Tjuta range (formerly known as the Olgas).

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A nice view of Uluru from a helicopter

 The helicopter ride was smooth and 30 minutes long and took me over both Uluru as well as the Kata Tjuta ranges before heading to the Ayers Rock Airport.

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Approaching Ayer’s Rock Airport

Seeing the scrubby dotted landscape below also made me appreciate the tribal prints of the native Aboriginal people, the Anangu. You can buy their prints at the cultural center.

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Different domes of the Kata Tjutas are visible from the ground

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Left: Approaching Uluru Right: Uluru/Ayers Rock is more solid than nearby Kata Tjuta

I shot some video on my iPhone 6 during my helicopter ride. Check it out:

 Flying over Uluru (Ayers Rock) in a R44 Raven II helicopter

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A view of The Kata Tjutas (formerly known as The Olgas) as seen from helicopter

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The domes of Kata Tjuta are visually more interesting that Uluru

While I went to Longitude 131 intent on seeing Uluru, The Kata Tjutas were far more visually interesting for me.

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Obligatory helicopter selfie

The 30 minute scenic helicopter ride over Uluru and Kata Tjuta from Longitude 131 to Ayers Rock Airport costs Australian $570 for two people and can be arranged directly from the resort. It’s great for both photographers and aviation geeks. Since I am both, to me it was totally worth the money.

Longitude 131

Yulara Drive,
Yulara Northern Territory 0872,  Australia
Tel: +61 08 8957 7131
Fax: +61 08 8957 7130

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Griffith Park Now Offers Shuttle Service to Hollywood Sign Viewpoint

The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. Now the Department of Recreation and Parks have made it a little bit easier to get a clear shot of the Hollywood Sign by offering a shuttle service on weekends (and selected holidays) from Griffith Park to a viewpoint of the Hollywood Sign and then on to the Observatory.

Hiking trails overlooking Griffith Observatory

The shuttle costs $10 for adults and tickets must be purchased online here so be sure to book before you go. You’ll also want to pack your zoom lens, as the viewing point offers a clear view, but there is still quite a bit of distance between the shuttle’s viewpoint on Mt. Hollywood Drive and the sign itself.

View of Downtown Los Angeles from Griffith Observatory

The shuttle service also stops at the trailhead for a hiking trail that will get you even closer to the Hollywood Sign, approximately an hour and 15 minute hike to the closest viewpoint you can reach by foot. After 20 minutes at the viewpoint, the shuttle continues on to the Griffith Observatory where you all get killer views of downtown Los Angeles (especially on a clear day).

Early morning view of downtown Los Angeles as seen from Griffith Park Observatory

The shuttle service to the Hollywood Sign viewpoint is expected to run through the end of 2014.

Griffith Observatory Shuttle Service info can be found here.

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

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