Monday, January 21, 2008


While downloading songs into our combined Christmas gift, an iPod nano, Glenn and I took a trip down memory lane. We met in college during the fall of 1977 and spent the early 1980's in Helena, MT. Young and in love, we worked, socialized with friends, hiked, fished and camped in the mountains.

Our apartment was at the edge of town, right across from Reeder's Alley. Now, the alley is a location for businesses and a restaurant, but in the 1870s, it was the site of a short-lived gold rush. After a nugget worth $3.10 was discovered, it was filled with prospectors looking for gold. Unfortunately, no more was found.

One of my jobs was at a law firm right on the historic Last Chance Gulch across from the Atlas Building. Helena's Main Street is home to many shops and businesses interspersed with plenty of history. Along this outdoor mall, one can find an old trolley car that was used until 1928, a sculpture of the Four Georgians, who were the first to discover gold on the Gulch, and a large number of historic buildings.

We spent many nights and weekends playing Frisbee golf with friends and our dog Mariah, in Mount Helena City Park. This 628 acre city park offers great views of the Helena valley from its 5,468 foot summit. Our engagement photo was taken there. Gosh, we look like babies!

Canyon Ferry Lake is about 25 miles east of Helena and was great for swimming. Mariah and I would hop around the rocky bank keeping up with Glenn as he caught trout.

The 17 mile guided Gates of the Mountains boat tour goes through the spectacular Missouri River Canyon, which was the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It was christened the "Gates of the Mountains" for the cliffs that appear to "open and close" the passage on the river. If you go to Helena for a vacation, make sure to take this trip.

Sapphire mining was also big during the gold rush. Two mines are still available for digging, The Spokane Bar Mine, the Eldorado Mine. The latter of these is where the sapphires came that are in my wedding ring.

Cue the 80's music honey and open some wine. This reminiscing has made me thirsty.

Here is a link to a Seeley Lake, MT winery.