Unique Adventures in Central Montana

The phone rings. It’s my cousin and she’s looking for ideas for a summer vacation. Before I ask what interests her family has, I start blurting out an entire list of ideas. Knowing there are kids involved I immediately think of our our summer dinosaur digs and our six amazing museums on Montana’s Dinosaur Trail. If they are traveling on US Hwy 2 (Montana’s Hi-Line) they could stop at the Blaine County Museum in Chinook and … Read more

150th Anniversary at Fort Shaw

150 years! In Montana history that’s pretty significant. First, some background on the history of this 150 year old Fort. In the late 1860s there was a lot of conflict between Native Americans and the white settlers who came to the area. Fort Shaw was constructed and opened June 30, 1867 to protect the settlers traveling on what was called the Mullan Road. Construction of the fort was primarily adobe bricks and when you look … Read more

Forever Faithful Shep – 75 Years of Loyalty

This is a story about the never-ending love between a dog and his master. It was 75 years ago that Shep, a mongrel dog, appeared at the Fort Benton rail depot. His master, a sheepherder, had passed away and his body was being sent back east to relatives. The dog began a 5 1/2 year vigil at the depot, meeting every train that pulled in to the station in search of his master. Let’s do … Read more

Combining History and Art on the Upper Missouri

Some background: Let’s think way back to the early 1800’s when artist Karl Bodmer was born in Zurich, Switzerland. When he was about 23 years old he moved to Koblenz, Germany. Bodmer’s uncle was an engraver and taught his nephew art. Karl Bodmer ended up learning a nice variety of media and became a printmaker, lithographer, illustrator and painter. In 1833 Karl Bodmer and Prince Maximilian du Wied arrived in St. Louis, Missouri and began an arduous 2,500 mile steam and keelboat trek … Read more

Have You Ever Heard of Korpivaara

A few weeks ago I was invited to tour a nearby area with some historic preservation folks. They said the name of the little community was Korpivaara. I wanted them to think that I knew the Central Montana tourism region inside and out but this is one I had never heard of. The day came, I was ready, and off we went. We drove first to Belt, Montana. Belt is a small town about 20 miles east … Read more

Chief Joseph Ride Follows the Nez Perce Trail

Sometimes you have to be patient. Thirteen years ago I missed seeing the trail riders complete the last leg of the annual Chief Joseph Ride and enter the Bear Paw Battlefield south of Chinook, Montana. I told myself I wouldn’t miss is again. The downside – I had to wait thirteen years to see it! The Nez Perce National Historic Trail is 1,300 miles long stretching from Lapwai, Idaho through southern Montana and then ending … Read more

Lewis & Clark Festival in Great Falls

Each year members of the Portage Route Chapter of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation dress in period clothing at the Lewis & Clark Festival and demonstrate skills that would have been used in the early 1800s. This annual festival is held in Gibson Park, downtown Great Falls, the third weekend of June each year. The Portage Route Chapter is named after the arduous portage the Lewis & Clark Expedition did around the series of waterfalls … Read more

Passports for Dinosaur Travelers

Members of the Montana Dinosaur Trail have developed a passport for the fourteen museums on the trail. For $5 you get a very official looking passport with the logo for the dino trail on the cover, a page dedicated to each museum, fun fossil facts about the dinosaur fossil found in each area, artwork depicting each dinosaur, a place for field notes and the passport stamp. Each museum on the Montana Dinosaur Trail has their own unique … Read more

Discovering Dinosaurs – Digs, Displays and Museums

Montana has had some incredibly significant discoveries of fossils, most noteworthy are the dinosaur bones. Fourteen areas have joined together to form the Montana Dinosaur Trail coverning eastern, central and southwest Montana. This past weekend I met with the members of the Montana Dinosaur Trail and I’d like to share some information about a few of them. If you are traveling on US Hwy 2 from the North Dakota border and traveling west you could stop at … Read more

Choteau’s Old Time Threshing Bee

A threshing bee has been on my radar for several years and I finally went to one. The Teton Antique Steam and Gas Threshing Association has been in existence since 1984 and they do an annual threshing bee each September in Choteau, Montana. I decided to go early – and believe me – this event opens at 7am so I left Great Falls for the 52 mile drive a little after 6am. Ugh! The best … Read more