If you’re ever in up-city Helena, Montana and think you might be lost, there’s a good chance you are, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good things to see. By “up-city” I really mean “up-hill” and I know because even though we found a cool little park to revive us, we were already worn down by our uphill trek.
Once you’re up there, there is a classic Pioneer Cabin to see, as well as the rich-in-history Reeder’s Alley area, but we hit those two spots on the one day of the year when they were closed for maintenance, so all I know with certainty is that the steep hill of the main town drag led me to a less main, even steeper drag that tried to pull me up another half block, with no reward in its closure.
You can almost find all this area by other means though. The town trolley (which is pretty darn cool, and we may refer to again in a whole different article) runs by there, as does the Last Chance Train (which we’re still hoping to hitch a ride on pretty soon).
When you’re up there you can view the historic Fire Lookout post. It was actively maintained until a mere zillion years ago, or thereabouts, (can’t be sure of any dates prior to my own birth a few years ago), but it still stands as a historical reminder.
You can’t go up inside of it, and that’s a shame because I’m sure the view would be great, provided you didn’t spy a fire, which is why the whole thing was built in the first place.
But if you’re looking to find the Fire Lookout, it’s easy. Just get to the top of the hill, hit up Reeder’s Alley and the Pioneer Cabin, and maybe the wonderful kiddy park right around it all, and then take a Wong turn, and you’re there.
ABOVE: Reeder’s Reedy-Reed alley wasn’t much up to par on the day of our visit, but they’ve got all kinds of historically preserved buildings, not to mention a tourist office for darn-near half the state, even if they were busy keeping it all painted on the particular day of our visit.
ABOVE: I don’t know how to take a right turn, but apparently I do know how to take a Wong turn, and it’s right there at the corner at the top of the hill in Helena. What a hand-basket you are, my dear, what a one of those indeed… don’t know what those are any more than I do a Wong turn, but that hardly helps the joke anyway.