A Surprising Day

Trip Start May 29, 2009
Trip End Oct 03, 2009

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Where I stayed
Lincoln Road RV Park

Flag of United States  , Montana
Friday, June 12, 2009

Last night we decided that we would really like to get to Great Falls on this trip.  We figured that if we could get to Helena early enough for a capitol tour this afternoon, we could spend tomorrow in Great Falls.

We managed to leave Hardin before 8:00.   The drive was long, but not too difficult.  We spotted our first antelope of this trip in the fields along the way.   We followed the Yellowstone River until it turned south at the town of Livingston (what a great name!).  Suddenly, we were back along the Missouri River near Three Forks where the Madison, Jefferson, and Gallatin Rivers join to form the Missouri River.  We visited the Missouri headwaters the last time we passed through this area. 

We made it to the RV park 8 miles north of Helena about 1:00.  Originally, we thought we would get into town for the 3:00 capitol tour, but decided we should try to make the 2:00.  We made it just in time, and that was a good thing.  Our first surprise of the day occurred when we found out the 2:00 was the last tour of the day.   

The building was very interesting.  It was almost the identical design as the capitol in Pierre, SD.  This is not surprising as South Dakota bought the plans from Montana to build their building.  The most impressive thing in the Montana capitol is a mural in the House chambers..  It is a 12' by 24' mural by Charles M. Russell, the famous cowboy artist.  He lived in Great Falls, MT, and painted this huge mural for $5,000--before he became so famous.  The picture depicts Lewis and Clark meeting Native Americans in Montana.

From the capitol, we visited the Cathedral of St. Helena a few blocks away.  This was our second surprise of the day.  It was more beautiful than we had ever expected. We thought it compared to the most beautiful cathedrals that we saw in England and France.  There were dozens of huge stained glass windows manufactured in Germany.  37 of them told Biblical history.

We came back to the motor home to crash, have dinner, and plan the days ahead.
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