Thursday, August 1, 2013

On to Helena

For our Helena stop, we stayed on the north side of Canyon Ferry Lake.  It's a huge lake, about 20 miles from north to south, with many campgrounds along the shore.

The AAA book listed four 'gems' for Helena and we did three of them.  First was the Last Chance Tour Train.

The driver did a fine job of multitasking as he also related stories about the landmarks we passed, including the capitol building,

Various historic houses,

The cathedral,

And historic reminders of Helena's past as a gold rush town.

Two of the other gems are the aforementioned capitol building and the cathedral.  For fantastic pictures of both, I refer you back to Diana's blog here.

The final AAA gem is the Montana Historical Society Museum.  Naturally, they highlighted the history of the area and they had an extensive gun collection which Ron enjoyed.  My favorite displays were the one of unusual objects like this chair decorated with bison horns . . .

And the white bison named Big Medicine.

Big, as I like to call him, was a true white bison (not an albino,) which historically happened once in five million births.  Due to special diet and care, he lived much longer than average, passing away at 26.  As you can see, his coat was in poor condition by then, but he's still an amazing sight.


  1. When you only have a short time I think the tour train is really the way to go.

  2. These tourist trains are very popular, we came across them a lot in Ireland. That white buffalo is magnificent, I can understand why he was thought of as being magical.

  3. We like the tour trains because it gives us a great overview for things we'll come back and see later in much more detail and time.

    White Buffalo? Must have been hard to find him in the herd... :c)

  4. So I saw a white buffalo statue today that baffled me. Now I guess I understand.

  5. I think I'll take a pass on a bison horn chair, thank you very much.

  6. Super looking spot to visit..Im glad the White Bison died of old age and wasnt shot!