Monday, June 4, 2012

Hiking Mount Helena

Mon, May 28th - Mon, June 4th
Yes, we are still here, but we can take a hint.  Oh wait, this little sign has been behind our RV since the day after we arrived and we  stayed another three and a half weeks.  Maybe we can't take a hint. 

Wednesday I hiked up Mount Helena with Carter and Logan (one of Hilary's day care kids) and Digger. I'm not sure who it was harder on, me or Digger with those short little legs of his.  This was our first stop at the Devil's Kitchen.  I sent the boys up for a picture, so I could have a minute to catch my breath.

I made it to the top in about an hour.  Of course, the boys and Digger were waiting at the top for me and Carter would have been there even faster, if he hadn't had the short legged companions with him.   I think the top is about 5,400 feet, about 1,400 feet higher than the city.         

A few minutes to enjoy the view and have a snack and we were headed down another trail to the bottom. 

"Are you coming, Grandma?  We haven't got all day."  It only took about forty minutes to get back down.  I can't believe I agreed to go up again the next day with Carter and his friend, Zack.

Unfortunately, my batteries died and I didn't get any pictures of our hike with Zack.  But after taking a day off, I hiked up there for a third time with just Carter and Digger.  We got caught in a rain storm just as we reached the top and got soaked hiking back down in the wind and rain, plus a little thunder and lightning.

These are various views along the way.  It's really beautiful and scenic here.  The views are incredible!  

The red-roofed buildings in the center of this picture are Carroll College where our son-in-law works.  They live just a few blocks west of the college and the old downtown is just to the east on Last Chance Gulch (street). 

This picture is a closer view of the old downtown area on Last Chance Gulch with the Cathedral just behind it.  In 1864 four miners were about to declare their prospecting expedition a failure.  One of them said "This is our last chance", as they sank a shaft at a nearby stream.  They named their new diggin's Last Chance Gulch. News of their strike leaked out and a lusty mining camp was born.  In 1874 it became the Capitol of Montana Territory.  To date the Gulch has produced 20 millions in placer gold.  The final clean-up has not been made.

Today we head north into Canada where we will have our phones turned off for the next couple weeks or so, since the roaming charges are outrageous.  We will try to check our e-mail every day or so, if we can find some WiFi to hook up to.  Our phones will be back on when we get into Alaska. 

"North to Alaska, goin' north, the rush is on."  Johnny Horton, one of John's favorites.  Hoping to see some northern lights while we are there. 

Over and out,


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