After leaving Glacier and Waterton, we drove south to Helena through open plains with a small city occasionally along the road. Two such cities were Bynum and Choteau (Cho-toe). It turns out both had something to offer in the way of fossils. Bynum was really small, and it wasn't until we got to Choteau some 30 miles south that I found Bynum had a pretty large display of fossils. In fact, it turns out that this area of Montana and the plains to the east into the Dakotas contain many fossils, including some very large dinosaur remains. I went into the Old Trail Museum in Choteau that I realized this. The museum offers paleontology courses, day camps, and field trips. You can find more about the OTM by clicking here. Unfortunately, we weren't really prepared for this discovery, but I can certainly see going back there next summer. Actually, I had planned on taking a paleontology field trip with our local Sierra College geology department this summer, but had a schedule conflict. The trip would have gone to a site near the Montana and N. Dakota border.
Helena turned out to be an interesting place. Lots of history. We stayed there overnight. We toured the places mentioned below and went off to an area called the Gates of the Rockies about 20 miles north of Helena to the mouth of the Missouri River.
We took 89 and another road down to Helena.
In Helena, we toured the capitol building and the historic museum nearby. The museum contained a number of C. M. Russels's paintings and sculptures of the West. We also took a nice leisurely history tour of Helena on the auto (wheeled) train.
State Capitol at Helena The Unabomber was kept here for awhile
The St. Helena church was not only interesting for its architecture, but for an incident that took place there many years ago. The incident involved an inebriated pilot who flew (sideways, I hope) between the two towers. He was eventually fined for the stunt, and became a pilot for the presidential plane Air Force One!
The auto tour train. Cathederal of St. Helena
I took a cruise on the Missouri from the Gates of the Rockies. There is lots of wildlife along the river; however, our mid-afternoon trip revealed only one bald eagle and some other birds.
Floating down the Mighty Mo. I got a turn at the wheel. Hang on!
The scene along the Missouri of an infamous disaster, Memorial plaque
which killed a number of fire fighters in the forties.
Off to Spokane where we departed back to Sacramento. We spent a good part of a day in the area, revisiting the site of the 1974 World's Fair we attended back then.
River front area and site of fair Need a ride?
Japanese gardens at Manito Park.
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Changes last made on: August 11, 2002 14:00:00 2002