Home is where we park it... travel blog

Grand looking capital building

The horseman is Civil War Union General Thomas Meagher who later became...

The dome from the inside

This relief is a bronze cast hanging in the senate

Looking up at the 800 pound chandelier in the Senate

Senator Mike Mansfield and his wife...very revered

Elegant stairway

Unusual seating arrangement at the front the house's meeting room

Largest painting Charles M Russell painted

His signature

Very cool highway patrol car parked in front of the capital building

Had to laugh at this light....STOP POLICE

Great drive

Fast, full running creeks and rivers

Nothing but trees and mountains in the distance and around each corner

We have left Helena National Forest

Spectacular views

Rivers and more rivers

Snow capped mountain in the distance

Only passed through a few towns....not much along our route

An the terrain changes again

That is Billings below

We have arrived

Nice sentiment


We had the pleasure of having a retired history teacher as our tour guide at the capital of Montana. His name is Dallas. He definitely was a school teacher because the discussion was always in the form of a question. We were congratulated when we answered something correctly. LOL We were a captured audience of two, so he got a little carried away with spinning some of his stories, but it was great fun and we appreciate his time.

Montana became a state in 1889 and the corner stone of today's capital building was laid the 4th of July 1899. The largest painting that the "Cowboy Artist", Charles M. Russell, painted hangs in Montana's House of Representatives. There are 100 Representatives and 50 Senators.

The building has an elegance, but a modest elegance. It has just the right amount of stained glass by notable artist John La Farge, many painting and murals telling wonderful stories (not necessarily factual), but beautiful works of art.

The building is 100 years old, survived a notable earthquake in 1935 and continues to be painstaking maintained. Most of the light fixtures are original. The chandelier in the Senate is 800 pounds. After the earthquake the support was redesigned so the chandelier could be lowered to within 5 feet or so from the floor.

We finished up our tour by 10am, took on some water at the Elks Lodge (they had the spigot under lock and key) and drove off to Billings, Mt. We took the back roads and really saw some beautiful Montana Big Sky. I took the scenery pictures through the windshield and side window, so excuse the bugs. Our route was State highways 12/287 to 12 east to Townsend 12 East, to 89 south to 294 east back onto 12 south east to route 12/3 to 3 south and finally Billings. There is a lot of open space in Montana.

We arrived at the Billings Elks Lodge just in time for a turkey dinner. It was pretty good. Had dinner with a couple that split their time between Arizona and Billings. Orin was in the legislature for 7 years. He shared some great stories. The temperature this afternoon is about 85. Starting to get a little warm.



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