We have already seen some amazing things in this great country we live in. I always knew that America was a big country, but after driving through a portion of it I realize that it is huge. Montana is on of the bigger states and we didn’t get to see nearly enough of it, but what we saw was beautiful. Journey was allowed to choose what she did for her birthday and out of all the choices she picked to mine sapphires in Phillipsburg Montana. A man we had met on the road had suggested it to us and I thought no more of it at the time because we are always getting suggestions on where to go and what to do. We take them into consideration and try to see some of the things, but there is simply too much to see and do in this great country to do it all. She apparently liked the idea of sapphire mining because it is her birth stone. So our first order of business in Montana was to mine some sapphires. I bought two buckets of gravel and we picked through them about five times. When I buy dirt, I make sure I get everything from it! All joking aside though, the whole family had a blast and the sapphire mine was a very nice area. Journey got her blue sapphire and Miles found a garnet, which is rare and what he wanted. After mining we went into town and visited the candy store. I let Journey get a bag of candy for the family to enjoy while on the road and everyone was happy. I would recommend going to the sapphire mine if you are in the area.
After mining we visited the capitol in Helena and as you can see from the pictures it was a lovely building. Inside it was filled with beautiful stained glass, historical pictures, and opulence. Our guide was a history buff and we were able to learn all about the early times in Montana. He seemed to have the back story on the painter and some of the original politicians with plenty of humor thrown in. It was a great tour and we even got to meet some very nice people from Arizona.
Everything in Montana up to this point was wonderful, but it didn’t have a thing on Glacier National Park. I thought I had seen big mountains, but the Sierra Nevada’s are small hills compared to the mountains around Glacier. Being terrified of heights, I was a little worried about what is called the Road to the Sun. With a name like that I knew it was going to be steep and narrow. Well while Sarah drove us to the top I didn’t worry a bit about the thousands of feet we would plunge if we went over the edge because the view took your breath away and made you realize the glory of this planet. People who claim aliens come to Earth wonder why they do and I know the answer. To see Glacier National Park! At the top of the drive I switched with Sarah so she could do some gawking too. She was surprised since it was the scariest drive she had made and she isn’t one to be afraid of things. I had to take a turn though so she could see what she had missed and she thanked me for it! Not only was the scenery awesome, but the wildlife showed up too. While in Glacier we saw a black bear, a pine martin, a big horn sheep, a marmot, mountain squirrels, a unique frog, and two adolescent elks. We even managed to climb up to Hidden lake at the top of the pass though it was a bit chilly on top of the mountain. The wild flowers were in bloom and I feel that our entire trip was worth it just to see this amazing place.