Montana Hummingbird Series #2 - Thank You Farmers  LbNA # 66085 (ARCHIVED)

Owner3 Daydreamers    
Placed DateSep 29 2013
LocationHamilton, MT
Found By bitterrootgirl
Last Found Jun 20 2014
Hike Distance?

The Bitterroot Valley saw an influx of growth in the late 1800s and early 1900s, due partly to the development of irrigation canals and the promotion of the Valley as being ideal for the production of apple orchards. People came with their hopes, dreams and willingness to work hard to achieve their American Dream. Thousands of acres of apple orchards were planted in a relatively short period of time, but many of those orchard owners didn't realize how long it would take to turn a profit and they ended up walking away from their investments.

Although there are still a few commercial orchards in the Bitterroot, other crops now make up the majority of the harvest here in the Valley. However, any walk or hike in the Bitterroot is bound to take you alongside a few stray apple trees... a reminder of times past....

To find this letterbox, you'll need to park at the entrance to River Park, which is at the south end of South 9th Street. After parking, you'll take the paved trail down into the park, past the playground area and gazebo. The trail will "T" into another trail. Take a moment to enjoy the beautiful views of the Bitterroot River with the Bitterroot Mountains (sensing a theme here?) in the background. You might also want to read the information about "Bruce the Moose". When you're ready to move on, head north on the trail. You'll pass a bench, another "Bruce" plaque with more interesting information and a few more benches.

At this point, you've reached the end of the paved trail. Head through the loosely defined "gate" and continue down the dirt trail. From the "gate", take approximately 50 steps, plus or minus. You should have an apple tree on your left. See, I told you there are stray apple trees all over the Valley!

Now, continue down the trail for another 40 steps and you will have a large cluster of willows and assorted other plants on your right. At the end of this grouping, around the back at the base, covered by a flat rock you will find what you seek.

Please re-hide well, as this trail is very well used.