We woke up to rain in the night and throughout the day the landscape changed on an hourly basis giving us a wide assortment of grays that followed with many sieges of rain and wind, thunder and lightening. As much as I hate to see the weather change the varying shades of gray were a sight to see and I welcomed the coolness.
Some pictures are so dark that it appears that we took the pictures with black and white settings. I assure you, we did not. At times thunder and lightening shook our home and I can tell you I was truly uneasy as our home sat along the water waiting out the storm.
But finally the storm the worst of the storm ended ....the fisherman returned and fish were caught making very happy fisherman and seagulls.
We spent the days reading, watching movies, cleaning house and walks when the weather would allow and of course lots of cooking and eating....
We waited out the storm for two days and finally the weather began to improve though still overcast and a bit threatening.
When the bunnies came out to play taking time for a little snack, we took it as a good sign and we left our beach front property for a trip into Helena for a bit of local sightseeing.
Helena - The Montana State Capitol
Helena was not the first choice for the State Capitol. The first choice for Territorial Capitol was Bannack then there a fight among the mining barons to select their town as the Territorial Capitol. Eventually, Helena wrestled the title was of Territorial Capitol from Virginia City to become the new state capitol in 1889.
Near the center of the Capitol, up the Grand Stairway and on the second floor, is a statue of Jeannette Rankin. She was the first woman in America to be elected (1916) to the U.S. House of Representatives before women had the right to vote in the United States. Rankin who was a pacifist, voted against the entry to WW2 ending her political career in Montana.
One of the Capitol's main attractions is a giant painting by Montana's famous Western artist Charles M. Russell. The painting, called "Lewis and Clark Meeting Indians at Ross' Hole", is 25 feet long (like three cars end-to-end) and twelve feet high. It depicts the scene where the explorers Lewis and Clark asked Montana's Salish Indians for the safest route to cross the mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The canvas on which it's painted was so big that the artist had to have the roof raised on his studio to paint it. It's displayed above the Speaker's chair in the House of Representatives' chamber.
Of course I had to find a quaint little cottage and this little painted lady fits the bill for my favorite that I shared here. What was your favorite..... Do you favor little or do you wish to go grand and big? Once again I found myself pressing on and did not do my customary neighborhood drive around Helena. I found myself anxious to return to nature and discover the wilds of Glacier Park. With a few more planned stops before Glacier, we hit the road once again.
Gates to the Mountains
During the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the explorers searched for a water passage way through the looming and rugged Rocky Mountains. Traveling the Missouri River they hoped they had found the way through the mountains.
Captain Lewis wrote on July 19, 1805,
|“||this evening we entered much the most remarkable clifts that we have yet seen. these cliffs rise from the waters edge on either side perpendicularly to the hight of 1200 feet. ... the river appears to have forced its way through this immense body of solid rock for the distance of 5-3/4 Miles ... I called it the gates of the rocky mountains.||”|
Visited by Native American for thousands of years, left pictographs that are still visible today. Thought to be left by shamans who may have used the area for vision quests.
Gates of the Mountains Wilderness (then known as the Gates of the Mountains Wild Area) was the site of the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire, which claimed the lives of 13 firefighters and which was the subject of Norman Maclen's book "Young Men and Fire". The studies of the Mann Gulch Fire have led to a greater understanding of fire dynamics and lead to improved fire fighting management that are still used today.
Early pioneers Henry Sieben (raising sheep) and Nicholas Hilger (raising cattle) ranched the area since the mid 1800's. Where others had not been successful, the two neighbors built empires that continue in the families today.
In 1886 Hilger started a river transport business that was not successful but later turned it into a river tour business that continues today.
|Hull of the original tour boat|