Weekly Update for July 10, 2022

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Weekly Update at Introverted Reader

Welcome to my weekly update for July 10, 2022!

My husband and I spent last weekend in Helena, the state capital of Montana. We took a boat tour of the “Gates of the Mountains,” a small canyon on the Missouri River that was named by Merriwether Lewis. We didn’t intend to follow so heavily in Lewis & Clark’s footsteps while we were in Montana; they just passed through all the places that attract us! The Gates were ruggedly beautiful.

My brother-in-law and his wife are ceramic artists and they each completed a residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena back in the late ’90s. We went by the foundation and strolled around the grounds. It was cool to walk around the old industrial brickyard and find ceramic art tucked away in so many nooks and crannies.

It was rainy on Sunday morning so we visited the state capitol building. The weather dried up in time for our planned architectural history walking tour of the downtown area, which was a lot of fun. The inside of the Cathedral of St. Helena surprised us. It’s very ornate for a cathedral in such a small city!

Afterwards, we decided to hike to the summit of Mount Helena on the 1906 trail. It was breathtaking up there! 360 degree views overlooking everything. We checked the radar before we started hiking and it looked clear for the foreseeable future. But while we were on the summit, we saw a pretty nasty storm in the distance. We hurried back to the car. Probably 30 minutes after we got back to our hotel, the heavens opened. Rain and small hail poured down while the wind blew everything around. It was crazy to watch! When the storm passed, we drove out to find dinner. Gravel had washed into the roads, tree limbs were down everywhere, and some streets had piles of hail. Then we realized that flash flooding had closed practically every restaurant in town. We finally found a chain restaurant that was open and ate there. We didn’t realize exactly how bad the storm was until the next day, when we saw videos on news sites from all around town.

After breakfast on Monday, we decided to drive back to Billings. We passed by the Missouri Headwaters State Park, which we felt certain Lewis & Clark had visited since the first part of their explorations focused on tracing the Missouri River to its source. They haven’t steered us wrong so far so we stopped by to take a look. The Missouri River begins where the Madison and Jefferson Rivers meet, with the Gallatin River joining just a bit further downstream. It was a peaceful place but the mosquitoes were vicious so we didn’t stay long.


  • Gates of the Mountains
  • Grounds at the Archie Bray Foundation
  • Cathedral of St. Helena
  • View from the Summit of Mt. Helena
  • Missouri Headwaters

All images © Jennifer G. at Introverted Reader 2022

  1. The Gates of the Mountains. Our boat tour guide was a captivating storyteller. The history that grabbed us all the most was about the smoke jumpers who died in the Mann Gulch Fire in 1949. We could practically feel the flames licking at our heels as she spoke and we stared up the gulch. Norman Maclean (author of A River Runs Through It and Other Stories) wrote a book about the tragic incident: Young Men and Fire.
  2. The grounds of the Archie Bray Foundation
  3. The Cathedral of St. Helena
  4. View from the summit of Mt. Helena, overlooking the city of Helena
  5. The headwaters of the Missouri River. The Madison River flows in on the left and the Jefferson River flows in on the right to form the Missouri, in the foreground.


Book Lovers by Emily Henry: Book Review

Ten Anticipated Books Releasing in Late 2022


Links for all titles go to my GoodReads reviews

Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13) by Janet Evanovich 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron #1) by Ashley Poston, read by Adenrele Ojo 🌟🌟🌟

And then a couple of re-reads (well, listens) on our drive last weekend:

All Systems Read (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells, read by Kevin R. Free 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells, read by Kevin R. Free 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Currently Reading:

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. 

Ghost Story (Dresden Files #13) by Jim Butcher

Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, read by Kaipo Schwab

The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mack

Up Next:

I might get started on The Ramayana by Valmiki, adapted by R. K. Narayan for a couple of reading challenges. Or maybe, since he’s on my radar right now, I’ll read A River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean while we’re here in Montana.

What did your week look like?


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz hosts The Sunday Salon and Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer hosts Sunday Post. Kathryn at Book Date hosts It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. Great photos! Aren’t you glad you missed that storm?! My husband recently read Young Men and Fire, as well as Fire on the Mountain (by Maclean’s son). He said they were both fascinating. He’s currently rereading Undaunted Courage and says it’s not as good as he remembers from the first reading. I’m looking forward to listening to the Wells books later this year. They seem fairly popular, especially on audio.

  2. Montana looks lovely. I’ve never been there. I liked Book Lovers. When you get to The Dead Romantics, you’ll find some similarities to it. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  3. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of Even As We Breathe. I have that one sitting on my TBR bookshelf.

    I never knew there was so much to do in Helena and Billings! I’ve been to both places, but usually we just drove through it. Next time we may stop and explolre!

    1. I can see just passing through Helena and Billings but there’s definitely stuff to do if you have time to search it out!

      I just finished listening to Even As We Breathe today. It was good; probably 4 stars. But there’s one big inconsistency that has me debating whether I want to lower that rating. I downloaded the ebook to see if I had misunderstood something but I didn’t.

  4. Oh my word such beautiful places you have visited. Love them all and clicked on many of the links. Glad to see you enjoyed Book Lovers, my turn at the library should be up soon, I’ll keep in mind its set in a fictional place near your home town.

  5. Those pictures are amazing! I wish I could live in a house with that first view as my view from my livingroom windows. lol

    I clicked the link and read about the smoke jumpers in the gulch fire. How awful and terrifying!

    1. Right? One side of the canyon is actually all private land under a conservation easement. The house(s?) aren’t in sight of the river though. The builders have more restraint than I do!

      Wasn’t that fire terrible? I think we all had goosebumps as the guide told us about it. I can’t imagine being caught in something like that.

  6. Jen, I love your pictures. We have never been to Montana, but maybe someday we will get a chance to visit. We had vicious mosquitos too when we traveled and they derailed some of our plans. I hope you have a great week!

  7. Hi Jen!

    Sounds and looks like you’ve had a really good and fun week! Glad to hear your husband enjoyed the audio book on your trip! That does make it worth it.

    Happy reading and fun travels this week!

    Elza Reads

  8. I enjoy the photos. I read a book about Lewis & Clark awhile back so I would love to see some of those places. I love the Martha Wells and Jim Butcher books you are reading.

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    1. I read Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose (about Lewis & Clark) several years ago and only rated it 3 stars. I’d like to read a different book about them now that I’ve visited so many of the places they passed through.

  9. We went to a wonderful bookstore in Helena. I think it was called Montana Book Company. We enjoyed walking around downtown. But, whew, I’m glad you got off the mountain before the rain and wind and hail hit. You just barely escaped in time, Jen.

    Love the photos!

    I’m very curious about The End of Everything. Now I’m off to see your review of Wind in the Willows. Our book club is reading that later this month.

  10. Sounds amazing! And what a storm. Glad you didn’t get caught in the mountains in that! Love the headwaters pic too. I’ve always been fascinated by Lewis & Clark.

    1. I like reading about explorers but I didn’t love the book I read about Lewis & Clark (Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose). I’d like to find another book about them, especially since I’ve seen some of these places for myself now.

  11. What a great trip, thanks for sharing with us. I have never been to Montana but it’s on the list of trips for us…one day. Beautiful photos. Thanks also for the book suggestions, many I would like to add to my Goodreads account.
    Also, the Asheville info you’ve been patient enough to let me pester you about is VERY appreciated!

  12. What a great vacation — beautiful and interesting places to visit, and the adventure of a storm! I’m glad you all survived the latter without incident, but I feel for the people whose homes and businesses were flooded. I watched the video you linked to; it was really something.

    Have a great week, and enjoy your next books!

    1. As I understand it, the area with the most flooding is on landfill over an old creek bed, so it’s probably a fairly regular occurrence. But still…. They lost at least one evening’s worth of business, and that doesn’t even include possible structural damage.. I do feel bad for them.

  13. Sounds like you’re having a great time exploring Montana.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  14. I love your tour of the Lewis and Clark areas — we did a river boat tour from Portland to Idaho last fall, and saw the end of their journey. What an amazing country we live in!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. We visited Fort Clatsop, where Lewis & Clark spent their Pacific coast winter, while we were staying in Portland. I wanted to do a river boat tour but we were there in the early days of the pandemic so none of that was open (and I’m not complaining). Maybe we’ll get back through there someday.

  15. Your site seeing in Montana looks and sounds wonderful. I’ve never been there, but would love to go.

  16. It sounds like you had a lovely vacation and even got some serious reading time in! I’ll have to check them out. Thank you for sharing your list! I’ll be checking them out on Goodreads! It’s always nice to have potential new reads to peruse!

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