In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark
From Illinois to the Pacific
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Sept. 16, Day 11, Helena, MT to Great Falls, MT
In the Montana State capitol building, looking up at cartouches around the dome

cowboy, explorer, Indian, prospector

in the House chamber.

George Dean (4 from L.) talks about Mike Mansfield

Capitol and its annual floral display. Eric ready to punch out the grizzly in the Montana History Museum

The gates of the Rocky Mountains

Lewis wrote a long essay about how the Indians drove buffalo off a cliff to kill them for food and other uses. A disguised decoy entices them, then must find a safe crevice to hide himself.

Here's Mark as the decoy.

Sitting in the tepee at First Peoples Buffalo Jump, near Great Falls, MT

Amy gives a daily mileage report, and Bill Kneen encouraged me to take this abstract shot in the capitol.

Amy's Journal

Day 11, Wednesday, September 16, 2009 – Helena, MT to Great Falls, MT 125 miles, 2166 total
George Dean, our step on guide gave a commentary at the amazing Montana state capital or the people’s House. In 1902 the cost to build the sandstone capital was $540,000 the two wings added 1909 to 1912 are made of granite. Two years ago in 2007 renovation cost $29 million we noted that only the Senate is furnished with comfortable La-Z-Boy executive chairs The Charles Russell oil on canvas titled Lewis and Clark meeting Indians at Ross's Hole 140" x 296" in the House chamber is considered Russell's masterpiece the Indians are in the foreground, major subject with Lewis and Clark Sacajawea and pomp at the right. Throughout this art enhanced building we were spellbound by the bronze historic Montanans such as Janet Rankin and Mike and Maureen Mansfield and Wilbur Fisk Sanders. George gave us the history of the Anaconda Copper company the largest copper company in the world, and pays fewer taxes than anyone. The Copper Kings included William A. Clarke.

  A centrally placed grand stairway in the capitool holds the greatest amount of concentrated decoration in all the capitals of the country. I wonder of any other state can be just tasteful artistic building, After the capitol we walked next door to the Montana Historical Society. This wonderful museum had an excellent Native American exhibit, Charles Russell exhibit and a temporary exhibit of Plateau Indians beaded bags. They were rich in subject content and expert beadwork. Big Medicine an extremely rare occurrence one in every 5 million births, white bison, sacred to the Plains Indians is permanently preserved as a treasured state treasure at the Montana Historical Society on view on the second floor. We then boarded our bus to the gates of the mountains boat ride. This gave us a great appreciation of this long limestone Canyon separated by the Missouri River, perhaps 1000 feet high. Now and then we spotted Eagles We saw a picnic site at the base of the Canyon heard the story of the Hilger's ranch house being carried off when the Hauser Dam broke in 1907. And the story of Wagner Dodge, the foreman who was the only survivor of the August 5, 1949 fire at Mann Gulch. He burned as fuel to prevent fire spreading; others would not follow him so they burned. The book Young Men and Fire was published on the 60th anniversary about this tragedy and the Wagner Dodge technique for fire containment was followed ever since. We Had a sack lunch at the picnic shelter along with hungry flies and bees. We then drove north on Route 15 toward First People's Buffalo jump. Along the way we passed through volcanic ash rocks 60 million years old. George said there are no foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Meriwether Lewis had noted you come out of the mountains right to the plains.  The first People's Buffalo jump was an excellent site to see how they led Buffalo over the cliff to provide for their tribes food and buffalo skins. The site ranger gave us a clear explanation of his ancient Indian tradition. We checked in at the Town House Motel in Great Falls, MT. 

Download Amy's Complete Journal in Word or PDF

2011 + Helena, MT to Great Falls, MT 100 = 2111
Actual: 2041 + 125 = 2166

Copyright 2006 DeLorme ( Street Atlas USA® Plus

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