July 14th and 15th ~ Helena, Montana (Sorry, but we have had no Internet for several days, and I am WAY behind)
“Helena is the capital city of the U.S. state of Montana and the county seat of Lewis and Clark County. It was founded as a gold camp during the Montana gold rush, and was established in 1864. Over $3.6 billion of gold was extracted in the city limits over a duration of two decades, making it one of the wealthiest cities in the United States by the late nineteenth century. By 1888, about 50 millionaires lived in Helena, more per capita than in any city in the world.” ~ Wikipedia
There is a 1-hour tour that covers the art, architecture and history of the building presented by the Montana Historical Society.
“The Cathedral of Saint Helena is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Montana. Modeled by architect A.O. Von Herbulis after the Votivkirche in Vienna, Austria, the construction began on the Cathedral in 1908, and held its first mass in November 1914. The Cathedral sustained significant damage during the 1935 Helena earthquake, which required extensive renovations. The Cathedral was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.” ~ Wikipedia
The exterior is beautiful, designed after the Votivkirche in Vienna, but it is the interior that is especially impressive complete with 46 of the 59 stained glass windows being made in Bavaria. We arrived right at the tail end of a wedding as they wrapped up doing their formal photos.
The Montana Historical Society Museum
This Veterans and Pioneers Memorial building houses the museum. It is noted for having a collection of works by Western-artist Charles M. Russell in many media. There are also displays of Native American, early settlers and mining memorabilia, as well as frontier weapons and mounted wildlife.
Departing from Helena the next morning on our way to Glacier, we attempted a stop to see the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas.
Well, this stop had not been well researched, in fact I knew little about it other than it was a good location to break up the day and the pictures I had seen of the garden looked pretty.
It did not end well.
First of all, the road to the place is narrow, and not well suited for an RV. On arrival we found that one of the gates was closed, which left us no place to pull through or turn around. We chose to pass on by, but the road we were on further narrowed and became a dirt path. We were finally forced to disconnect our tow car to be able to maneuver and get to where we wanted.
By the time we did pull into the parking lot, the sky was very black and a huge storm was fast approaching. I made a mad dash, spent five minutes on a quick swing through the garden, snapped a couple quick pictures, we rehooked up “Jethro” and made a beeline for the main road.
Oh, well – can’t really say I was impressed by this stop, but perhaps our not-so-fun experience and the rotten weather gave me an unfair impression.
Next Stop: Glacier National Park
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that it is relatively easy to disconnect and then reconnect up our tow vehicle.