After a week of travelling about in the mountains, with a few small cities mixed in, Spokane seemed like the big city. And it has been that way for well over 100 years.
As a result downtown has a nice collection of older architecture.
The island in the middle of the river at the top of the falls was the home of the 1974 World’s Fair. This clocktower was part of the Great Northern Depot train station that was unfortunately demolished for the fair.
The falls itself is quite impressive.
Also of note is Manito Park and Duncan Gardens. As for that 278 miles – it is that far to Seattle.
Our trip’s northernmost stops were in Montana, Idaho and Washington. In Montana we spent the night in Helena.
When we first arrived we saw the state capitol on a hill as we entered town. To our amazement we just drove right up, parked on the street just outside and walked in!
As we wandered around we looked down a hall to a room that had a sign above that said ‘Office of the Governor’. A lady was standing in the doorway, and she encouraged us to come on in.
She told us the capitol is the ‘People’s Building’, and during business hours is always open to just come on in, no security checks whatsoever. She showed us around the office a bit, including the room that is used for the governor to greet people. It contained a set of flags for the state of Montana, as well as the 8 tribes that reside in the state.
She also told us the best way to see the rest of the building and encouraged us to ‘explore’.
The next day found us in Missoula. There we checked out the riverfront and some of downtown’s historic buildings.
It is only about 20 miles from Tombstone to Bisbee, but culturally it is a world away from the old west gun crowd. Bisbee is known as an artistic town, full of free spirits, having been named the ‘Best Hippie Town in Arizona’.
It was founded in the late 1800s as a mining town, and there is evidence of that everywhere, with the town situated in a steep valley with a 1 street commercial district, and houses scattered up and down the hills.
Many of the houses and commercial buildings have interesting architecture, but the crown jewel is the Art Deco Cochise County Courthouse.
When the mining eventually died out in the 1970s, the artistic crowd found the town perfect for them, with a fantastic climate, interesting architecture and affordability. Today the town thrives on as one of the destinations in Southern Arizona.