Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Helena, Montana

The last two days I was on an overnight trip to Helena, Montana. I was hoping to stay home on 4 July, but flying during the fireworks was pretty fun, too. We departed Seattle at 8:30pm, with a stop in Great Falls before continuing to Helena. The timing was just right to catch the official fireworks displays in Coure d'Elene, Kalispell, and Missoula. In Montana, though, the official displays are nearly matched by the citizenry. When we landed at Great Falls around 11PM, there were huge fireworks being shot off all over the city. We departed on Rwy 3 twenty minutes later, over the city, and as we lifted off, fireworks completely filled the horizon. Landing on 27 in Helena at midnight, we passed low over some developments that were so thick with mortars and bursts that I though we were going to get hit. Apparently, they take fireworks very seriously in Montana!

The next morning I set out on a walk across town and then a hike up Mt. Helena. On the way back, I snooped around in the Montana State Capitol building a bit. Here's some pictures.

The Cathedral of St. Helena.

Midtown Helena with 5400' Mount Helena behind.

The city of Helena as seen from the summit. It's a pretty easy hike up the 1906 trail, and I ran the steeper shortcut down.

Respectively: the Capitol exterior, an atrium, bronzes in the rotunda, and the House of Representatives chamber.