The path to Wisdom is filled with many distractions. I found that out on my way to Wisdom tonight, everywhere I drove, there was plenty to see.
You didn’t really think I was spouting philosophy, did you?
I’ve been traveling Montana highways for a long time now, and it seemed like every road I turned down had a sign that said “Wisdom”. I’m thinking there’s no way they really all lead to Wisdom, but they really do – you can get there from I-15, I-90 and Hwy 93.
And it is an impressive journey, if not an impressive destination.
The road from Highway 93 begins along the Bitterroot and will take you through the Big Hole Battlefield where the Nez Perce Indians fought General Gibbons 4th Infantry in 1877.
Highway 278 will take you through some of the largest ranches in Beaverhead County and past Bannack State Park, home of the first gold rush in Montana and the first territorial capital. An impressive number of buildings still stand in this ghost town originally founded in 1862. The Hotel Meade started out as the county courthouse until the railroad made Dillon the commercial powerhouse and the county seat was moved. You can see the gallows from the jailhouse window, where several men were hanged, including Sheriff Henry Plummer and his deputies. It is reputed the Sheriff and his men killed over 100 people and committed numerous robberies before his hanging. Bannack State Park provides an excellent distraction.
The path to Wisdom is long and windy, at least if you are talking about the road from Divide. It is the most beautiful, following right alongside the Big Hole River. Lots of fishing and camping spots and bordered too by the Pioneer Mountains.
Wisdom itself, not so much of a distraction. There is a restaurant, it began as Fetty’s in 1932 and is now the Crossing, food is grand. So, if the rest of the town doesn’t impress, at least stop for the food. The chicken fried steak was over a half inch thick and hand breaded, followed up with homemade rhubarb pie, it was worth the drive.
And remember, in Montana, all roads lead to Wisdom.