In the last year, I was lucky enough to take two trips to Montana; a summer excursion and a winter one. And I simply cannot gush enough about how wonderful the people and environment are.
The people of Montana should get awards for their caring nature. Everyone we met was extremely kind and friendly - there was not one instance of an unfriendly person. For example, there was:
- The woman who drove about 1/2 foot into the cross walk that we were getting ready to use. She rolled down her window, smiled, and apologized for not stopping far enough back. (Compared to the taxi driver when we landed in NY who drove over the entire crosswalk and just ignored us as we wrestled the luggage through the 12" of available space he left at the front of his car.)
- The man who saw we were parked on the side of the road and asked if he could help us find something. We spent a nice ten minutes chatting about the area.
- The ladies at the airport who told us to go in front of them in line because they were still getting their boarding passes. When the lady with the passes came back and the line still hadn't moved, I told her to go in front of us because she had been there first and she said, "Naaah, that's okay - we're all going to the same place anyway."
- All of the people at restaurants and hotels and stores who truly went out of their way to be friendly.
- The handwavers. On any back road, whenever anyone drove towards you, they waved. Where I live, if anyone "waves" there's usually a finger involved.
Oh my. The people were great, but the place was even better! On this trip, we traveled most of the western part of the state, including the areas of Glacier National Park, Whitefish, BigFork, Kalispell, Seeley Lake, Missoula, Hamilton, Lake Como, and Darby.
Montana is simply one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. There are mountains in almost every direction, and lakes and rivers that were crystal clear. We hiked in the woods, mostly easy hikes this time around, but there are easy and hard trails everywhere, and thousands of miles of exploration available. There are all sorts of wild animals. We saw mule deer, as well as a herd of buffalo running at the edge of a forest. Twice we had a bald eagle soar over our heads, and wild turkeys romped through the fields. And of course there are the thousands of cows and horses everywhere. Aaaah.
If you like the outdoors, you have to visit Montana. I took a lot of pictures, so it was tough picking just one for this post that captures the Montana essence. Here was my selection. Enjoy!