Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
December 1, 2009
For 25 years Our Lady of the Rockies has overlooked Butte, Montana, from atop the Continental Divide. Yet visitors who want to get a close-up encounter with the towering steel statue have to take a three-hour round trip by bus to visit her mountaintop perch. An aerial tram would cut that trip to a mere five minutes.
But the volunteers who constructed the Lady have been foiled at attempts to get their tram built. According to the Montana Missoulian, their application was rejected by the Montana Supreme Court, and then the recession dried up enthusiasm for the project. No tram means no new volunteers for the Lady. The Missoulian reports that the youngest man on a recent work crew (to hand-dig a water line) was 72.
Although more people visited Our Lady of the Rockies in 2009 than 2008, the folks in Butte may need a miracle to get their tram, and not just a Mary apparition miracle. After all, Mary’s already there, and she’s 90 feet tall.
We wonder if this sensible project might be running afoul of some kind of group prayer signal noise. After all, the wild border town of El Paso would be very unhappy to see its current-champion tramway overshadowed by Butte’s. Even some of the more conservative Our Lady volunteers might not be thrilled at the idea of a tram — they know that embarrassing things happen when you skylift people up a mountainside.
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Our Lady of the Rockies
Butte Plaza Mall
- 3100 Harrison Ave., Butte, MT
- Bus tours up the mountain to the Madonna depart from the office in Butte Plaza shopping center, which is on the east side of Harrison Ave. just south of I-90/15 exits 127 and 127A.
- Tours June-Oct. (Call to verify)
- $16 for round-trip tour
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
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