Day 34 (June 28, 2020): Helena, Montana and Beyond

Spent the morning wondering around the historic district. Helena was founded as a gold camp during the Montana gold rush, and established in 1864. Over $3.6 billion of gold was extracted in the city limits over two decades, making it one of the wealthiest cities in the United States by the late 19th century.

Reeder’s Alley – oldest part of town

Local bike shop
Closed on Sunday: OUT RIDING . . . You Should Too!
I have no idea what this means
Cathedral of Saint Helena

No idea what they actually do in there
Ernie & Bert

On the way to Billings, Montana

The Gates of the Mountains Wilderness were named by Lewis and Clark. Captain Lewis wrote on July 19, 1805,

this evening we entered much the most remarkable clifts that we have yet seen. these clifts rise from the waters edge on either side perpendicularly to the height of 1200 feet. … the river appears to have forced its way through this immense body of solid rock for the distance of 5-3/4 Miles … I called it the gates of the rocky mountains.

Road to the Gates of the Mountains
Gate marked with red arrow

Remnants from the past

THE GHOST TOWN OF CASTLE is one of many towns created and ruined by the silver rush in the late 1800s. The first mine registered on the site was the (oddly named) North Carolina mine in 1884, but within the next 7 years, 991 claims had been made.

The main street of Castle, incorporated in 1891 with a population of about 1,500 people, the result of the influx of miners, and the barkeeps and prostitutes which provided them with services should they have a good day in the mine.

The county road getting to Castle Town was near impassable in Vanna due to the rain and mud

Electric locomotive from the past
Engineer Santa
Talk about multitasking. . . you can wash your clothes and your car!
Last showing: Wizard of Oz

Spent last night camped in a Walmart parking lot in Billings, Montana