Taking a Day Off in Helena, Montana

Kristen and I are out on a 4 week tour to the Pacific Northwest. We are out for 31 days on the road with 3 days off from shows. Fun!  One of those days off we were in Montana and we had a great time in and around Helena, MT- the state capital!  Helena was very briefly the largest town in Montana at just the right time to become the capital, before Butte far surpassed it in population. Helena is an old gold mining town and is surrounded by natural beauty. We spent our night off camping at a MT State Park on Canyon Ferry Reservoir, which is about 20 miles west of Helena. After checking out all the campgrounds in the area, we picked Chinamen Campground: $10 a night, swimming and boating launch, mule deer friendly, and with no showers. Who needs showers!? (We found some down the road at a Kim’s Marina, though.)

Lady Van loves a nice flat camping spot with a view of a lake.
Lady Van loves a nice flat camping spot with a view of a lake. Well, this is actually a reservoir, but still… 🙂
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Kristen on a little hike around at Canyon Ferry Reservoir.
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Can you smell the sagebrush?
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OMG, you guys, I love the water! It was a Monday in early June, so we practically had the place to ourselves. The water was beautiful, a little bit of algae but I was more concerned about the huge fish. Yes, I know they are more scared of me, but still! The water temperature was refreshing in the 85 degree sunshine. 
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We called this the gay beach since it was just us on this stretch. There three guys on Sea-doos going back and forth, back and forth across the reservoir all day, also some water skiers. Zoom!
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We saw so many mule deer at the Chinamen Campground. I love seeing wildlife, especially cute and friendly wildlife. In the morning, a mule deer munched on yellow flowers while I wrote my morning pages.
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There was amazingly a good deal of firewood in our fire pit when when we showed up at the campsite. We took advantage and grilled sausages and veggies over the fire. Nom nom nom!
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Sunset around 10pm 🙂
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Skipping stones! The reservoir was totally surrounded by smooth flat little stones. I even managed to skip them.
A beautiful historic building in downtown Helena.
A beautiful historic building in downtown Helena.
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Blackfoot Brewing in downtown Helena is where we played a show and where we drank delicious beers. Montana state law only allows 48 oz of beer per customer at a brewery and they have to close at 8pm!
A statue of the Bullwacker in downtown Helena, MT.
A statue of the Bullwacker in downtown Helena, MT.
Look at this crazy elaborate church they have in Helena!
Look at this crazy elaborate church they have in Helena!
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Kristen having fun on a historic trolley in downtown Helena, MT.
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There I am at the top of  Mount Helena, which is a great hike that starts right in the city. It climbs up the peak so you can gaze down onto Helena. At the summit we found a toy sword stuck into a hole in the rock and took some fun shots.
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Kristen’s turn with the sword at the top of Mount Helena.
There are tons of wildflowers in bloom in Montana right now. Gorgeous!
There are tons of wildflowers in bloom in Montana right now. Gorgeous!
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Thanks for the good times on our day off, Helena!

We are currently having our last day off of the tour.  Unfortunately, not quite as fun this time as we are broken down in Hot Springs, SD. We spent the day waiting for a part for the Lady Van which will hopefully get her fixed up and rolling tomorrow. I guess it’s good luck that we are off today since that means no shows canceled because of the van, but still might have been nice to go to the Badlands National Park as planned. Hot Springs, SD is a fun historic town though!

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