We left Bozeman around 11:20 a.m. and arrived in Helena around 12:50 p.m. It's a very easy drive through farm and grazing land with wonderful mountain vistas—snow-covered (which we love). It was cloudy with snow showers and rain showers. The temperature was in the 40’s until Helena then, in the low 50’s.
Helena has a mountain or two right in it. Some big houses were built with character in the early 1900’s from wood or brick or stone. Even the modest houses in the historic center have character and each is different--definitely not "little boxes...ticky-tacky, all the same". We were at a latitude of 46°N and an elevation of 4412 ft. but Spring Had Sprung. There were wonderful trees in full flower and the plants all had flowers blooming too. It was really pretty. Although Audre loves to be able to name trees and flowers, she has been out of the USA for so many years, she has forgotten the names of many of them. It is frustrating for her and so she picks up brochures to help her identify trees and flowers. The most obvious and common ones aren't in the brochures and it is, of course, those that Audre has forgotten the names of. Oh well.
Driving around town on a Sunday was fun: the state house is big and a bit unusual
The Montana State Capitol building
and the civic center looks like a mosque.
The Civic Center in Helena, MT
Lewis and Clark County has about 60000 people and the city were about 30,000. It has all of the ginormous national chains there. The origin of Helena’s name is hard to find but one brochure it was picked by John Somerville (a miner) who named it after his hometown. “After some discussion the miners named the new settlement Helena after the Scott County, MN hometown of one of the men.”
We stayed in Helena for about a week and it was nice. We were excellent consumers in Helena, and we relished buying all of the stuff without paying sales tax. Click here to check out our post on our doings in Helena and here about the car we bought there.