Passing through the east end of Montrose after a weekend of riding, and decided "what the heck, i'll take a quick look", and swung in to the Museum of the Mountain West, off of Hwy 50.
An impressive collection of saved and restored buidlings, along with a few old vehicles and equipment are what first catch the eye when pulling in and parking (actually, much of this can be seen when driving by on Hwy 50).
Once inside the main building, you can immediately see that this is a true collector and curator's museum of both raw artifacts and sharp, era-replicating displays. . . all set up to be viewed and appreciated up close and personal. From arrowheads, tooth brushes and lice combs to pistols, saddles, player-violins and pool tables; with replicated taverns, Dr's and dentist's offices, dry goods and linen stores and great stories going with it all. Seriously, from the smallest of detail items to a turn of the century church.
I had the good fortune to go in on a slow day, and found Mr. Richard E. Fike sitting at a table and chewing the fat with a friend (later found him to be a museum donator as well - sorry, can't remember his name, but he had some 80+ years under his belt, and a lifetime of experiences digging and collecting artifacts). Mr. Fike was happy to show me around and fill my head with fact and fable, and I soon found myself at the end of a 2 hour tour from the man himself! I didn't want to leave. . . .
Two hours isn't nearly enough, and I'm looking forward to another visit on my next trip through.
If not for a lifetime of work and love from Mr. Fike and his assistants, these incredible artifacts, and stories, would be either forever lost and forgotten, or bit by bit, stored away in someone's attic, or propped against a shed.
This place is truly special. . . and I have great gratitude for Mr. Fikes incredible museum.
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