Sunday, August 28, 2011

Home to Helena

On our way to Helena we stopped in Malta, MT, to see Brett's Aunt Leona. Had a wonderful time visiting and going to dinner with her at the Great Northern Hotel.  We all had Montana was wonderful!  We spent the night at an RV park that was connected with a motel and had a small river in the back and right above the river was railroad tracks.  Staying there was quite interesting.  I don't know what was worse, the trains coming through every hour throughout the night ( the RV actually shook) or the mosquitoes that were the worst I have ever seen.  They attacked in swarms no matter the time of day.  But we got to see Leona  and view Malta, an old western town, so it was worth the stop.

Highway 2 on the way to Malta, MT

A windmill farm near the highway.  Brett counted 93 windmills.

Brett's Aunt Leona - still a classy lady.

We arrived in Helena, MT, on Tuesday.  This is home for Brett and we wanted to spend some time with his mother while there.  She lives in a beautiful home that she and Brett's dad built in the Spokane Hills east of town. We worked on a couple of projects for her and spent some free time just kicking back.  Saw some beautiful sights including Canyon Ferry Lake which is just up the road from his mom's place and Hauser Lake for a mini family get-together.  Both lakes are on the Missouri River.

Brett's mom, Joyce, and me - she always spoils us rotten !

Mom and Brett  ( I took the picture and it was after a couple bottles of Moose Drool - a really good beer but a lopsided photo)

A view of Hauser Lake from our get-together

Canyon Ferry Lake

Having a good time at Hauser Lake with Aunt Virginia

Each morning while there we walked the dogs to give them exercise.  Most days we walked on the back roads around his mom's house.  The pups enjoyed running loose and chasing occasional deer through the fields.  On one day, however, we decided to hike up Mt Helena which is on the west side of the city.  It is an arduous hike but can give you wonderful views of the city and surrounding burbs.
Sunrise from Mt Helena the morning we walked.

Halfway up the mountain disaster struck.  The dogs were chasing around the hillside and Lucy came back when called but Max, our boxer, didn't respond.  We continued to call and heard him coming down the mountainside but there was a lot of thrashing going on.  When he came down to the trail he was a mess. He had tangled with a porcupine and lost, big time.   He had quills in his face, his nose, the roof of his mouth, and he was trying to get them out.  Since the end of the quills are barbed he was not able to remove them and his tongue was bleeding and he was drooling everywhere.  Brett picked him up and carried him back down the mountainside to the car (that's why the hike was so arduous).  A drive into Helena got us to a vet's office and after emergency surgery to remove the quills, Max was okay.  We thought he would look like a mess when we picked him up later that day but there wasn't a mark on him that we could see.  They gave him an antibiotic for infection and another drug for inflammation and pain.

In the car on the way to the vets.

At the vets right before sedation.
So that was our excitement in Helena.  We had a great time, except for the porcupine episode, and will be back there again in a few weeks after scouting out Idaho.   I did want to share one other picture with you which is one of our favorites.  The picture is part of a mountain range north of Helena that is called the Sleeping Giant.  Can you see him?

The Sleeping Giant guarding Helena, MT.

For our trivia buffs:

How many quills does an average porcupine have? 

30,000  (Luckily, Max didn't have that many).

On to Idaho and more memories.   Peace to all !

For additional pictures:

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