We really enjoyed Helena, the State Capital of Montana. We found a nice campground and took the tours of the city. This is a rather old city and the old part of town where all the millionaires of the past built their homes is fascinating. Just walking around town is fun, seeing all the old buildings and doing the walking mall. Many of the old buildings have been taken over by modern businesses which is a great way to preserve them.
We also took the boat ride to the "Gates to the Mountains" as Lewis & Clark named
them. They are a pair of rock cliffs on each side of the river that L&C had to pass
through. This boat tour is about 18 miles north of Helena on Hwy 15.
There are two museums and a tour of old Fort Benton. Fort Benton was a fur trading
fort. The tour of the fort was one
of the best tours that we have taken. "Spoon", our tour guide, was really excellent
in the way he described the culture of both the indians and the the trading post
personnel. It was a great insight into the ways of doing business and the way people
thought back in those days.
The indians of that time used to kill large numbers of buffalo by running them over the high cliffs. There was a corral across the base of the jump to catch the buffalo that were not killed. The indians believed that they had to kill all the buffalo or else any that escaped would go back to the herd and tell the others about the trap.
There were several places that the buffalo were butchered and the meat and bone marrow were processed so that the indians could take it with them.