Seeing Amazing Things
America is a big country, and after driving through a portion of it I realize even more how truly large it is. Montana is one of the bigger states and we didn’t get to see nearly enough of it, but what we saw was beautiful.
The capitol in Helena is a lovely building. Inside it is filled with beautiful stained glass, historical pictures, and opulence. Our tour guide was a history buff so we were able to learn all about the early days of Montana. He knew the back story on the painter of one of their large paintings and also some about the original politicians. With plenty of humor thrown in, it made for a great tour.
Mining for Her Birthstone
In Phillipsburg Montana our daughter Journey wanted to mine sapphires for her birthday. A fellow traveler suggested it to us and she apparently liked the idea of sapphire mining, maybe because it is her birth stone.
So our first order of business in Montana was to mine for sapphires at Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine. I bought two buckets of gravel and we went 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, family friendly, and inexpensive place to spend a birthday.
Journey got her blue sapphire and Miles found a garnet, which is rare and what he wanted. After mining we went into town and stopped in 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 Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine if you are in the area.
Going to the Sun
Montana is a beautiful state, but the magnitude of Glacier National Park’s beauty is awe inspiring. I thought I had seen big mountains, but the Sierra Nevada’s are small hills compared to the mountains around Glacier. Being that I’m terrified of heights, I was a little worried about what is called the Going-to-the-Sun Road. 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 will take your breath away. At the top of the drive I switched with Sarah so she could do some gawking too. She was surprised since it was sch a treacherous drive and she isn’t one to be afraid of things.
I had to take a turn though so she could have a chance to take in all that beauty! 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.