Motoring in the Big Sky state

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September 9th 2008
Published: September 10th 2008
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East Glacier to Helena

Afetr the worst nights sleep on this trip we got ready for the day with a "homemade"breakfast from the supplies we were carrying and readied to leave the Whisling Swan motel.Well we were late off the road and we thought any port in a storm is better than sleeping in the car or motoring miles more to try and find a motel.
We headed off with Helena the states capital in our mind.First was Browning the heart of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.What a desolate place but the locals seemed to be making th best they could.We called intot the Indian Trading Post for a look around but things were prety expensive so decided to push on.The country was pretty barren with few animals and little in the way of farms or people.We ontinued south on MT 89 passing thru Dupuyer an old western town and on to Choteau which also had old western days history.Not much to these towns but did buy what turned out to be a very delicious sandwich( Americans know how to fill a sandwich !!!) and so stopped on the roadside overlooking a lake for lunch.The lake seemed to be something from the ice age past as there was very little other visible water for miles and miles including streams or rivers.Again when we stopped what was obvious was the silence until a car approached.Then out of the blue there was the sound of someone pushing pedals on a bicycle and this old guy biked past.He looked local as he had no pack etc and he just pedalled on his way into the distance going who knows where....strange !!
The land had changed as we seemed to be dropping down in altitude and became more fertile with animals and crops.All the while the Continental Divide was in the background sometimes closer than others depending upon the course of the highway.Traffic was almost non existant and we reminded ourselves that every 48 sec we were cutting out a mile at 70mph !!Whilst this trip didnt hold the gobsmacking scenery of yesterday it was still interesting s the colours of the landscape changed as we travelled.
We turned onto MT 287 and passed 3 real life cowboys herding cattle on the side of the road.Could have been in a movie they looked so authentic.Then it was a stretch of I-15 that travels down from Canada for the last 30 odd miles into Helena.
Helena is a small state capital with a pop 35000 and looks purpose built.However we ound out later when we took a one hour tiur of the
city that it was a gold town of 1860 and survived when the gold ran out by being the seat of government for the Montana territory as it was the and then became state capital.The main street is called "Last Chance Gulch",hows that for a name of your #1 street.!!!But it ll seemed appropriate.The tour took us around some very oppulent and magnificent homes built in the late 1800's and early 1900's as well as a cathedral that we went back to visit.Very impressive interior
We ended the day with a visit to Safeway saving heaps on our purchases with the card we were given a week ago and a trip to WalMart for cheap beer and Pepsi(sorry Leigh) at 25cents a can !!!Coke was 50 cents so couldnt turn down the bargain and once you pour it on top of bourbon who can tell the difference!!!
Tonight we are at another Super 8 and we are sure tonights sleep will be back to our usual solid affair.


10th September 2008

I beg to differ on the Pepsi vs Coke comment....there is a world of difference! And why do you bother to buy a decent brand of bourbon only to adulterate it with cheap fizz? I tell you, Coke is worth the investment!

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