Waiting for the Equinox on the Missouri River

In Montana, though, it is only a promise of something to come. March’s third week usually finds us deep in winter with nary a sign of spring, although that is questionable in this year of 2014. The pledge is that it will happen, but the question is “when?”

Montana's Big Open

Late 1800s photographer L. A. Huffman called it “The Big Open,” National Geographic termed it “Jordan Country” and others dubbed the sparsely populated landscape south of Fort Peck Lake “The Big Dry.” The heart of this scenic territory is the small town of Jordan, Montana.

Montana's Railroad History

The coming of the transcontinental railroads to Montana Territory in the 1880s is the single most transformational economic development in the entire history of Montana. This careening generalization certainly deserves explication.

Romantic getaways around Montana

Montana Living presents a few choices for romantic getaways and vacations around Montana.

Darkest Day: the town of Bear Creek and the Smith Mine disaster

It was a bright winter’s day on that Saturday in 1943. It was payday, and the miners were expected to return home with their money. When a plume of smoke billowed out of the mine shaft, the wives and children of the miners likely knew what that meant: death.

High Life in the High Country

We rode slowly down the steep mountain trail, letting our horses find their footing in the soft dirt. Our horses stepped gingerly over large rocks and tree roots, and the dense underbrush scratched at our boots and stirrups. The aroma of lush, rich vegetation, piqued by summer heat, filled the air. We rode out of the densely covered trail into an opening, where avalan...

Sands of Time: Kehoe's Agate Shop

The skeleton of the steamship Helena lies rotting in the sand of the Flathead River, the hand-hewn timbers slowing giving way to time and water.
Standing on the banks of the river near Holt, on the outskirts of Bigfork, you can almost hear the whistles of the steamboats and the shouts of lumberjacks working a floating raft of logs.

DESTINATION: Seattle by Train

A cold fog blanketed us as we boarded the Amtrak train in Whitefish.
Stepping into the darkness of the traincar at 9 p.m. we began to leave our home and our worries behind on a ‘get out of town’ trip to Seattle.

Destination: Philipsburg

It’s 9 o’clock on a Friday night in Philipsburg. Two young boys on bicycles ride circles on the main street, and the town’s one traffic light blinks like a sentry over the empty downtown intersection. Music pours onto the street from the open doors of taverns, and on a stage at the White Front Bar, three men – ranch workers, perhaps – attempt a song on the karaoke machine while a disinterested audience sips their cocktails.

Ranch Hands: cowboys and cowgirls compete in Custer Ranch Rodeo

Growing up near the tiny town of Custer, Montana, Tami Jo Blake learned what the word 'cowboy' meant.
Yes, it was a worker who helped her father their 100-year old ranch. But the word cowboy also meant something else: a man of honor, of his word, a gentleman. Those traits might not be readily evident each year at the Custer Ranch Rodeo, but the skills and horsemanship that a cowboy needs surely are. The Custer Ranch Rodeo each year brings cowboys and cowgirls from around Montana and Wyoming to compete in the types of events that many of the ranch hands do in their day jobs.

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