Day 61, St. Mary's to Helena, 230 miles
"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."
You may not believe this, but it didn't rain today. Amazing. In fact, it got a bit warm, ninety-one degrees.
This morning we got up and fiddled around, packed up and rolled out at 10:40.
Ridiculous, but that's what we did. In just a few miles we exploded out of the mountains and into range land. We got a feeling we'd be seeing a lot of this for the next few states. However, the Rockies followed us to our right, and surprise, we found ourselves in mountain terrain once more.
One gas stop at Wolf Creek took 45 minutes, as we chatted with Bill and Claire, both Irish, then an Aussie who assured me there was plenty of (PP!) Gold Wings in Australia. Wouldn't that be cool? Too far off to think about. Another fellow, a local, spent quite a while talking with us while he and his granddaughter waited for Mother. Then Junior spotted the bike and wanted the tour, marked out in (PP!) Sharpie on the saddlebag map.
That's one of the reasons we travel so few miles. It's really nice to talk to
people, and the locals at Wolf Creek live by a clock that keeps slower time.
In Augusta we met Jenny, walking to the store and carrying cash in her hand
instead of a purse. I mentioned that wouldn't fly in New York and she said they don't even know where their house keys are, and always leave the car unlocked.
She's lived in big cities and came back to raise her kids in the country.
There's something to be said about country living. I just don't know if I could do it. How slow can I go? And those winters...
We rolled in to Helena and looked up an old friend whose girls went to school
with our kids. Ron Nason greeted us and we spent way too little time catching
up. He told us the capitol building was worth a stop and gawk, so we headed
there. After snapping a few shots, we entered and talked to the security guard.
We arrived a minute before they locked the doors, but we were free to roam the halls and marvel.
Ron nailed it, the building was beautiful. No copper stair railings though.
Statues of famous Montanans stood in various areas, and the dome (typical for
capitol buildings) looked really cool. One spot held a bell, donated by someone.
Why wouldn't they build a belfry and use the thing? It's a bell, for crying out loud!
We couldn't find the governor's mansion. I figured he lived in a little house
across the street, but QG thought no.
Tonight the wind picked up and the clouds once again appear daunting. It
couldn't rain again, could it? Naw.
Because of the heat and challenge of riding through it, we have decided to start early tomorrow, and get done before the hottest time of day. We'll see if it really happens.