Oh, The Horror!!!
Helena Travel Blog› entry 12 of 20 › view all entries
July 25th, 2009 – by: Doninseattle
I got into town about 5:30. Found the historic downtown area, parked the car, and strolled around. Ended up at a small Microbrewery that was pretty busy. Blackfoot River Brewery, I think. Lots of weird rules for Montana MBs. The weirdest being that they can only server a total of 3 pints to a customer per night. I only had one so I may go back. I decided to drive around the city to figure it out. Found a Costco for fuel and was hoping to get by with dinner being a free graze through the sample trays but they had all packed up. So I splurged on their Cesar Salad and a soda. BTW, they have the exact same stuff as the one back home, just tax free here.
When I left, the rains that had been chasing me all day had finally caught up. Strangely the sun was out. Which was good for the double rainbows.
I came to Helena because this is there big Summer party week based around the rodeo. I did some searching last night and then this morning before I found the fairgrounds. I am heading over there next.
I ended up trolling through the small downtown area again last night but it was pretty quiet. One of the other rules about Montana Brew Pubs that I totally forgot about is that they have to close at 7:30. By the time I got there, It was long dark. Went next door where a crowd of people from Helena High Schols Class of '98 had gathered for their reunion. And they still looked like kids. Feeling old I stuck my head into a biker bar, but feeling wimpy, I moved next door to O'Reiley's Irish Pub. There was a guitarist singing for his girlfriend and the bartender. Feeling uninspired, I succumbed to Small Town Friday night, and headed for the Walmart.
I think I have figured out the best sleeping arrangement for my car because I slept pretty much through the night and well past sunrise. After a quick stroll through the Super Walmart I got in the car to watch Helena Wake up. It is Saturday here and I am not sure Helena wakes up as a rule before the lunch bell starts to ring. Driving around was quiet, I found a farmers markets that was just setting up around 9. Drove around for another hour before trying it again. A few more people but it was not like I was fighting my way through crowds. In fact, the vendors seemed pretty darned excited to see me.
Gold was found in Helena back in 1865, By 1888, Helena was home to 50 millionaires�"per capita, more than any other city on earth. The Mansions district near the downtown section were the result. I am going to stroll through there next. The downtown business district is small but with well reserved or refurbished brick building. The rest of the town is pretty non descript compared to any other city across the plains/western part of the US. It is nice except for the layout. Besides being a little confusing, it isn't really walkable and it there doesn't seem to be any small neighborhoods, just one city. Even worse, finding a coffee shop for the internet access I am using is next to impossible, I am sitting in a Safeway, drinking Starbucks. GASP!!!!
there is a lot of room for improvement. I may head to Missoula tonight depending on how the fair goes.
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