On our way back to South Lake Tahoe following our mini-vacation, we stopped off for one night in Placerville, CA. More or less midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, Placerville is on Highway 50 in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. They describe their location as “above the fog and below the snow line” which gives them something of a four seasons climate.
We have visited approximately one-half of the state capitol buildings in the United States, however, until now we had not made the effort to visit the California Capitol. During our summer visit to Lake Tahoe, we took a short “vacation” to the San Francisco Bay area. On our way to the bay, we stopped in Sacramento to tour the Capitol.
From Rapid City, we headed south, reentered Wyoming and stopped off in Lusk. This was mostly just a rest and relaxation stop after many days of sightseeing activity. In Lusk we parked at BJ’s Campground.
The town of Lusk was on the route taken by the Cheyenne-Black Hills Stage Line which ran between Deadwood, SD, and Cheyenne, WY, via this 300 mile trail from 1875 until 1888 when the railroad took over. When gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874, the stage line connected the Union Pacific Railroad in Cheyenne with the gold mining region of the Black Hills. Lusk has preserved one of the coaches used on this stage line and it can be seen, along with a substantial amount of memorabilia from Lusk’s history in the Stagecoach Museum. The coach was built by the Abbott-Dunning Company of Concord, NH, in 1863. Along with others, it was shipped around Cape Horn to San Francisco. It was used for a few years in the gold fields of Nevada before being brought to eastern Wyoming to the Cheyenne-Black Hills Stage Line.
Next stop: Glenrock, WY
To visit Helena, we parked at the Alhambra RV Park in Clancy, MT.
Helena, the capital city of Montana, was founded in 1864 as a gold camp during the Montana gold rush. The area known as “Last Chance Gulch” produced one of the richest finds in the United States. By 1888, about 50 millionaires lived in Helena, more per capita than any other city in the world. You can see the evidence of this early wealth in the very fine homes in the Victorian neighborhoods of the city. The Montana State Capitol building was constructed between 1896 and 1902 using Montana sandstone and granite. We took a nice trolley/train tour of the city. Continue reading