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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.
All images © Jennifer G. at Introverted Reader 2022
- 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.
- The grounds of the Archie Bray Foundation
- The Cathedral of St. Helena
- View from the summit of Mt. Helena, overlooking the city of Helena
- 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.
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 🌟🌟🌟🌟
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
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?