Friday, July 12, 2013

Biking in Helena and the Grandkids

Thursday, May 30th - Friday, July 12th

One gimp helping another when we took the kids to the park to see the ducks.


Two sweeties wearing their Christmas dresses from Great Grandma Clem.

Hey Digger, I can beat you and Gumpa, even with my cast!

What a great place to train for the RAGBRAI, lots of hills and beautiful scenery.  This is the entrance to a ranch on Canyon Ferry Road about ten miles east of Helena, with a view south toward the Elkhorn Mountains.

A view of Prickly Pear Creek south toward the Elkhorns that still had snow on them in mid-June.

Heading west back into Helena after a 30-mile ride.

Lookit me Gumma!

Grandma and Tierney just getting ready to go to the play, "Little Mermaid, Jr.", put on all by kids.  It was really good.

I think this was heading south on Lake Helena Drive.  After lots of exploring, my favorite ride starts from Capitol High School going north on Green Meadow Drive, east on Mill Road, north on McHugh, east on Sierra and north on the frontage road following the paved curves to Lincoln Road.  East takes you by a new housing development on the north side with nice quiet roads or continue around the east side of the lake where you will hit about three miles of hard packed gravel and then paved Lake Helena Drive back to Canyon Ferry road.  I usually turn around at the gravel which is about 15 miles, because I prefer to avoid going through the busy downtown traffic.

This view is from the gravel area of Lake Helena Drive toward the southwest and the city of Helena and Mount Helena.  There are a few nice homes overlooking the lake, but not many very close.  The lake is mostly surrounded by pasture and horses and cattle and not safe for swimming.  Spring Meadow Lake is a tiny lake in a state park that is right in town where the kids go swimming.  There is also Hauser Lake and Dam just a few miles north of here.  Canyon Ferry Lake, about ten miles east of town, is many miles long and created by a dam on the Missouri.  There are some nice campgrounds on both of these lakes.

A couple of Pronghorn along Sierra Road just east of the interstate.  I saw about a dozen Pronghorn at different times and had one run across the road right in front of me twice.  But they never stood still while they were close, so I could get a good picture.  They are not actually antelope, but are commonly referred to as Prong Buck, Pronghorn Antelope or simply Antelope, because of their resemblance to the old world species.  Their range extends from Canada to Mexico and they were first recorded by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in South Dakota.  The big mountain to the southwest is Mount Helena, a park right in town.  I have hiked to the top several times, but it takes me about an hour and a half to get to the top, while Carter can do it in half that time.

Here's a unique entrance to someone's home on McHugh Avenue.  Could be a whole new market for old washing machines.

Coach Jeff has the Helena All Star team warming up at the tournament in Hamilton, south of Missoula.

If you look closely, you can see (#1) Carter's knuckle ball half way to the plate.

#1 just smacked that ball and is heading for first base.

A couple deer in a west view along Floweree Drive. 

Farmstead looking southwest along Floweree Drive, just across the road from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy.

Watching the tournament at Belgrade in the shade of the camper parked behind the outfield fence.

Number one granddaughter practicing her photography skills.  Not too bad, considering the subject she had to work with.

A couple of bathing beauties taking a break at the Bozeman Splash Park between games, a great relief from the heat!

Back at the ballpark.   Ballgame?  What ballgame?  Carter who?

Back at home, Carter was having some fun, spraying Tierney and her friends.

Then they noticed I was taking pictures and Tierney yelled, "Let's get Grandma!"  Needless to say, I got a little wet, before I managed to duck back inside.

One afternoon I discovered a nature trail bike path that runs behind Carroll College where Jeff works (Mt. Helena view) and the golf course, which is just about a block from their house.

To my surprise, there were some prickly pear cactus in bloom along the trail.

Carter pitched a complete game, five hit shut out at the Kalispell tournament.  Carter, Carter, he's our man!

In Kalispell, we camped at the home of the kid's friends and this was our view.  

Back home again.  "No Digger, my ice cream!"  You can't blame a dog for trying.

The new Sugar Maple  tree Jeff just finished planting to hopefully provide some shade for the deck in the future.

With all the tournaments, it was hard to get the three training rides a week in that I had planned, so I settled for two 40-mile rides most weeks.  This week I did 42 on Monday, 32 on Wednesday and 50 on Friday.  I think I will mostly rest up this next week before the RAGBRAI, as we travel across Wyoming and Nebraska and check out their capitols.

Smooth pedaling y'all,

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