Tickling The Ivories

I was very fortunate to visit Philip Aaberg at his Sweetgrass Music recording studio in Chester, MT recently. Chester is a small town located on US Hwy 2, about 45 minutes east of Shelby (I-15). It’s also Philip’s boyhood home and, as of a few years ago, his new permanent home. We first stopped at the Sweetgrass Music offices located in a very cool old building undergoing renovation in downtown Chester. All of Philip’s CDs were … Read more

Art in Trees

I was at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls the other day and spent some time soaking up the good vibes in the Lee Steen room. Paris Gibson Square is on the edge of downtown Great Falls, located between Central Avenue and First Avenue North. It was once a school building and it’s life now is dedicated to contemporary art, changing exhibits and some permanent exhibits. My favorite room at “The Square” is … Read more

Soft Evening Light – Pretty Photo

I love sunsets but because backgrounds are fairly dark they really don’t show that well in photos. I always say – you have to be there to really appreciate sunsets. But, some soft evening light can really make a difference in an OK photo and a super-pretty one. I was lucky the other evening and took several photos capturing the cliffs along the Upper Missouri River when I had been to Virgelle to ride the … Read more

Missouri River Ferries Open for the Season

Another rite of spring – the three free river ferries on the Upper Missouri River begin operating! The ferries are operated by the local county government -both Chouteau County and Blaine County coordinate the river ferries. An operator usually lives right close to the river and when you drive up there is a buzzer to signal the operator that you need (or just want) a ride across the river. The other day I found the brightest … Read more

Six Mile Scenic Drive

When I was on my way to Virgelle, MT Saturday I took the first turn on US Hwy 87 coming from Havre. The sign said it was six miles to the Bureau of Land Management’s campground named Coal Banks Landing. During that six miles, I probably stopped and took 20 photos. The road is gravel but it was in good condition. There are actually three gravel roads leading off US Hwy 87 towards Virgelle. I chuckle … Read more

Cook Inn at Virgelle Mercantile

This past weekend Virgelle Mercantile, located about 8 miles off US Hwy 87 between Fort Benton and Havre, held a Cook Inn. It was primarily “cooking with fire”, not electric ovens. Lots of emphasis was placed on Dutch oven cooking, also cooking on an authentic wood burning stove. I had hoped to get there earlier in the afternoon and spend some time watching the prep work but I didn’t. My stroke of luck was to … Read more

Hands On History Day in Havre

Yesterday I was traveling on US Hwy 2 heading towards Havre. I heard an ad on the radio for Havre’s Hands On History Day being held at Holiday Village Mall. I hadn’t planned on stopping but the mall is right on Hwy 2, easy access, and I would be driving right by it. So, I turned in to the parking lot and realized something BIG must be going on! Tons of cars although it was mid … Read more

Becoming Dinosaurs

Hey, let’s hope we don’t become like dinosaurs! I stopped by Barnes & Noble last Sunday to secure Dave Trexler’s autograph on his new book “Becoming Dinosaurs”. In Dave’s words it is a prehistoric perspective on climate change today. Dave is a paleontologist who leads dino digs out of Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum, MT (north of Choteau). He has worked on this interesting book for a long time. So far, I’m about a … Read more

Tourism Gurus Gather in Great Falls

Wow, a highly successful Governor’s Conference on Tourism was held in Great Falls last week. Nearly 400 people gathered for this annual conference at the BW Heritage Inn to learn, share and network. The vendor show included many national magazine representatives, social media companies and area tourism products and providers. This photo shows Russell Country/Central Montana board member trio Karen Kuhlmann (Lewistown), Chandra Moomey (Havre) and Art Taft (Great Falls) performing popular vocals to lure eager conference participants to … Read more

Annual Release of the Ducks

This morning was the Annual Release of the Ducks at the pond in Gibson Park, downtown Great Falls. It was scheduled for 10:30am but city park & rec crews were a bit late. I suspect rounding up ducks is a bit like, well, herding chickens, so the event began when the ducks were ready. There was a nice sized crowd – kids with bags of breadcrumbs in hand, Moms, Dads and grandparents, along with the … Read more