Stephen Comes to Visit!

Last weekend Stephen came for the holiday weekend. Friday we spent the day in Helena doing various activities. We hiked Mt. Helena now that my foot is all healed up and nail free. It was a warm sunny day despite the snow on the ground.After hiking Mt. Helena we went to a local restaurant named Benny’s Bistro, which features local ingredients in their food. Stephen had a tasty reuben made from local beef, while I had a delicious carrot and ginger soup. The restaurant also had pastries called Madelines which were soft and melted in your mouth with a taste of citrus zest. Apparently one of the cooks learned to make them in France, so they serve them with every dish.

Next we went to the Great Northern Carousel for some ice cream. For some reason Carousels are a big thing out west here. Both large cities and small towns (boulder included) seem to have them. The one in helena has lynxs, grizzly bears, and mustang ponies. The Great Northern also sells ice cream, including Huckleberry Ice Cream. After our tasty Ice Cream, we had a few hours until the Down Town Art Walk. We checked out a local bookstore Aunt Bonnie’s which had a cool section on Montanan Books. I picked up a few including The Secret Life of Cowboys. I figure that since I am one now I should read up on my new heritage. We also walked around town and came across a Reeder’s Alley.  This section of town was built in the 1870’s to house all the miners working on Last Chance Gulch. Now this cute little brick alley has been turned into a bunch of businesses. But it was fun to walk through the alley.

Later we toured around the Last Chance Walking Mall. They had an Art Walk around Helena for the night. There was quite a few artists around, and it was fun to look around at all the local artists. There was quite a bit of Native American Art around that was interesting to look at.

Saturday we went to check out Elkhorn, a mining ghost town just 20 miles outside of boulder. This town is located up in the mountains behind boulder. The town built up after the discovery of Silver in 1872. It quickly grew up into a town of about 2,500. Unfortunately when the price of silver fell in the 1890’s the town began to dwindle away. Overall it is estimated that this small town produced over $14 million in silver. Some of the old cabins have been reoccupied, and there are fancy new homes built amidst the crumbling skeletons of older homes. The two major buildings left are the Fraternity Hall and Gillian’s Hall. The Fraternity Hall house meetings for the Masons and other male groups while Gillian’s Hall served as a general assembly area for the town, complete with a stage. I really like the front of the Frat Hall with it’s teeny balcony.

 We walked around town for a couple hours looking at things. We tried to find the cemetery, but the signs to it disappeared about half a mile away and we couldn’t find it after searching around for half an hour. We walked back in time to see a couple of teenage  hoodlums peeing on the car (lovely). Thankfully they hadn’t keyed it like I thought they had when they quickly hopped in their car and drove away when they saw us. At this point is started to get quite cold up in the mountains with snow starting to fall so we headed out anyway. Sunday we chilled around my apartment, made breakfast and watched some movies. Not very exciting but we were both tired from all of our tourist activities and just wanted to veg.

That’s all for now. Happy Turkey Day everyone!

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