25 May 2015--In Helena, MT for all of a day and a half, but stopped at this, the St Helena Cathedral that was built in 1908, for a quick look. For those of you that are new to the blog, Cathy and I usually stop and look at Cathedrals if a city has one...they tend to be really old and really pretty...we have seen some incredible ones, but this one was just sort of run-of-the-mill, so we didn't stay long.
Hopped on over to the original Governor's mansion, privately built in 1888 but not sold to the government till 1913. It was closed so we didn't get to see inside (some of you might be happy about that--haha). The 2nd house was directly across the street from the Mansion...if you click on it and blow it up it looks like a Hansel and Gretel house...sorta cool! And then catty-corner to the Mansion was the headquarters of the Montana Dems!!! I wonder if it's a sign of things to come that they are outside a place that no one important lives in anymore. haha
Am I lucky or what? Our car was filthy from dragging behind the RV, and here is Cathy cleaning my window for me...I am blessed! haha
Other than the military base, the only other thing we got to see was the Capitol building in downtown Helena. We always like to check out a state's flag, seal and license plates...the saying on the flag and seal, "Oro Y Placa", means gold and silver.
Montana became the 41st state of the union in 1889, and the Capitol building was built from 1889-1892. The last census had Montana's population just going over 1 million people...it is the 4th largest state by land mass, but 44th by population!!! It is call "Big Sky" country, and the view from the top of the steps of the Capitol looking out to the mountains is illustrative of that! It is a beautiful state!!!
This lady, Jeanette Rankin, was born in Montana in 1880 and was the 1st woman ever democratically elected to the US House...in 1916!!! You Go, Girl!
The main entrance and staircases.
Some of the paintings on the walls and ceilings of the House and Senate, followed by the "centennial bell" that Cathy is standing behind.
Back at the base...it is a National Guard base, so needless to say no one was working so we got to sneak on the equipment...haha (That's sort of an inside joke...we in the military always called the Guard and Reservists "weekend warriors"...so that wasn't very nice of me.) Cathy was looking to tough it out on the tanks, while I prefer to fly!!!
This tiny base that we are on was home to the inaugural training of the 1st Special Forces group...a precursor to what we now know as the Green Berets, and a joint operation they did with the Canadians!!! (Hello Gayle and Yvette!) The guy in the 3rd pic makes it look like he is teaching the other guy to dance, not kill someone! haha
So we are sitting in Great Falls, MT tonight as I type this. We are staying at the RV Camp at Malmstrom AFB where Cathy and I were stationed for 3 years back from 1988-1991 (me) and 1989-1992 (Cathy). It has been 24 years since we have been here, so this is a trip....like a trip down memory lane. I can't believe it has been that long ago...crazy!
Anyway, gotta go make plans for the rest of the week. TTYL!