On our way back, The Mr. and I each made a wish on a penny, kissed them and then threw them over the edge.
Our next stop was the Conservatory Botanical Gardens and we drove around for over an hour trying to find this place. We didn’t have cell coverage in Canada, so we’d map out our route at the hotel and go from there. Let me tell you how frustrating it is not having GPS! We finally just gave up, only to find out there were two roads with the same name and it was on the other half of the road that we DIDN’T know about. We did eventually find it but didn’t spend time going through it.
The Blue Point Amethyst Mine, located in Pearl, was soooo cool! I could have spent an entire day there. The information online said it was off the beaten path, and they weren’t kidding. We followed all the homemade signs, but I wasn’t expecting what we saw when we pulled in.
There were a few old campers, a tiny shack, and buckets stacked all over. An older man came out, greeted us, and gave us pretty simple instructions to stay out of the actual mine itself and to have fun.
I was so excited to start finding amethysts that I wasn’t very picky with the first few pieces I put in our bucket, though we did find quite a few beautiful pieces. I would have liked to dump my bucket out and start over after I knew what I was really looking for. A nice young man came over and offered to help us find some bigger pieces. He was going to school for mining and was happy to share his knowledge. In the end, we ended up with a whole bucket full of amethysts for only $20! I would definitely go back again but next time bring water and dress cooler. We got HOT!
Honestly, the coolest part of this stretch was seeing a young bear on the side of the road.
Silver Islet, a 140-year-old mining community, was pretty. We walked past some of the original miners’ homes that have been modified for summer residences and then got ice cream in the general store. Now that I’m writing this and looking at the brochure I grabbed but never read, there was an old grave yard, a small gallery and a studio I didn’t even know were there. My advice to you is that you read up on the material given to you so you don’t miss something interesting.
We weren’t all that impressed by Sleeping Giant but now we realize that we didn’t even get to the park area! There was a visitor center we missed with a lookout and exhibits. Honestly, at that point we were getting tired and hungry as we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, but I’m sad we rushed this part of the trip.
We drove past a restaurant called Montana’s on our way back and, since it was busy, we figured it must be good. We couldn’t have been more right. It was by far the BEST steak I have eaten in a LONG time and I finally got to have a Canadian beer!
After dinner we headed back to the hotel for some wine and relaxation. It was a wonderful anniversary :)