I’ve arrived in Helena , the capital of Montana and goal of Leg 26.

The State Capitol was completed in 1902, but by 1912 had been expanded with two new wings. It looked like this then:

Capitol building, Greek neoclassical style, in a color postcard, shown with grey walls and a bronze dome with statue. There is a green lawn in front. The Montana state seal is shown in the upper right corner.

Montana State Capitol, Ca. 1915 postcard view, with the State Seal.

and it hasn’t changed much since.

Helena’s not a big place. Population 32,091 as of 2020, the fifth smallest state capital. Even in Montana there are five larger cities. In 1928 it was even less populated:

Capitol building, in a black and white aerial photo, showing its lawns with grass and trees, surrounded by mostly bare dirt with very few buildings. There are a few straight strets, and a few meandering tracks that look like they created by someone with a light truck.

Montana State Capitol, Aerial view of the Capitol area, looking NE, about 1928.

Leg 27 is going to take me back into Idaho, and according to Google Maps the shortest route is back the way I came, retracing my steps almost all the way back to the Beaverhead impact site. Boring! So I’m taking a very slightly longer route that uses different roads. No backtracking, even in Helena: I approached the Capitol from the east and then continued west about 2 km. I haven’t yet reached what seems to be the downtown business district, which is separated from the Capitol by several blocks of (post-1928, I’d say!) residential neighborhood.

A map showing my progress is here , a spreadsheet with progress detail is here , and a Google Earth KMZ file is in  this Google Drive folder . Present coordinates: 46.590°N, 112.030°W .