Day 33: July 18, 2016
Mo' Montana

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After Glacier, my plans were even looser than they had been before. I had in mind following US-89 until it became inconvenient but I now noticed Helena on the map. Visiting Montana's capital seemed like a good idea and that immediately made following US-89 inconvenient. In addition, I had driven plenty of winding road yesterday and found myself in a relaxing-freeway-drive frame of mind. I left Great Falls on I-15 rather than US-89.

In thirty miles or so, a scenic overlook sign appeared next to some interesting looking rocks. I pulled over and read the sign that included mention of Old US-91 and the bridge it crossed. The bridge was readily visible from the overlook. As I finished reading, a man accompanied by a couple of kids walked into the rest area. He pointed to some steps a short distance away and explained that they led to a higher viewpoint. I immediately headed to the higher point from where I could see not just the bridge but the river and the rails and road that ran beside it. I switched to a longer lens and watched a camper cross the bridge and travel along the river. I wanted to do the same, of course.

The next exit connected me with Old US Highway 91 which I follow to and over the 1931 bridge. I continued north for a short distance as the road, river, and rails curved together then turned around and returned to the interstate.

In Helena, a group of young native dancers, accompanied by several not quite as young drummers, performed outside the state museum.

The Montana Historical Society's Museum makes use of its large collection of artifacts to tell Montana's story from prehistoric times to the present. A rare white buffalo, Big Medicine, is displayed there.

The capitol really is right across the street.

Before leaving Helena, I stopped by the Lewis & Clark Brewing Company. It's a place where recycling takes many forms.

Perhaps it was the good luck I'd had with the scenic overlook this morning that prompted me to pull over here even though the scenery appeared to be primarily city housing. This became a worthwhile stop when I read the line "The 90 foot statue is directly behind you on the mountain." and turned around. Read all about it here.

After checking in to my Butte, Montana, motel, I discovered four breweries shown within a half mile of my room. One of those turned out to be closed but that's still an impressive count. They all close at 8:00, however, and I only managed to reach two. This is Butte's "Historic Uptown District" and, in addition to breweries, it seems to have a higher ghost sign population than most cities. Here are just two of the several I saw in walking to the first brewery.

First up was Quarry Brewing who's slogan, "We Dig Beer" is reflected in their URL. I believe this is the first use of the "beer" top-level domain, which became available in 2014, that I've seen. This was a most enjoyable place with some very good beers and I could have happily stayed until closing time (8:00:-) if I didn't have another brewery on my agenda.

I found more old signs on the way to Muddy Creek Brewery and have included a couple. This was another very pleasant place with at least one (that's all I tried) very good beer.

After dinner at the petrobilia filled Sparky's Garage, I captured a couple more ghost signs on the way back to the motel.

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