Waterfalls, Freshwater Springs and a Smokestack

The five waterfalls of the Mighty Missouri River are the liquids that gave the town known as Great Falls its name. The Missouri River drops a total of 612 feet in ten miles as it tumbles over five waterfalls. About 187 feet of that drop is the plunge from the series of waterfalls, and the remaining 425 feet comes from the descent of the riverbed. Black Eagle Falls are the uppermost falls and they are … Read more

Ghost Towns & Gold Mines in Central Montana

The area near Lewistown, literally the center of Montana, has a history of gold mining, and with the boom and bust associated with that, there are now ghost towns. I took a driving tour following along portions of the Ghost Towns/Gold Mines history detailed in a brochure available at the Lewistown Chamber of Commerce. It’s a self-guided driving tour but I was lucky to connect with a historian who lives in one of the areas … Read more

Charles M. Russell and the 1919 Victory Stampede

It’s been 100 years since an amazing exhibition of Charlie Russell’s masterpieces went on view at the Calgary Stampede. At that time, Russell headlined the exhibits in an effort to help boost a struggling Stampede Rodeo in the Alberta town of Calgary. The event spanned one week and the events and exhibits commemorated and chronicled the changing West, a good fit for cowboy Charlie’s art. Charlie and Nancy Russell shipped 24 paintings and 8 bronzes … Read more

Joplin’s Secret Scenic Drive

Joplin hosts an annual Art In The Park and Car Show each June and it was on my list of events to attend this year. And what an event it was! There were vendors of all kinds, live music and over 60 vintage vehicles in the car show. And, of course, I couldn’t pass up a yummy slice of pie at one of the food booths. What kind? Raspberry rhubarb with pecan topping. Homemade, unique … Read more

Tiber Reservoir/Lake Elwell – Recreation Around the Lake in Central Montana

Most people think of Tiber Reservoir/Lake Elwell as a place for boating, camping and fishing and those are probably the activities that most people do. However, there are a lot more activities you can do at Tiber. First, some history – the reservoir or lake, whichever you choose to call it, has 181 miles of shoreline (in two different counties) and was created when an earth-filled dam was built on the Marias River in 1956. … Read more

Four Seasons of Big Blue Skies in Central Montana

It seems like when I am out of the area marketing Central Montana I am asked why we call ourselves Big Sky Country. For travelers who have been to Montana, they understand. But sometimes my response is…you just have to experience our skies. My favorite sky is filled with puffy white clouds, what I refer to as cotton ball clouds. But, every now and then we have some amazing moody skies too. Follow along as I remember … Read more

Three Historic Hotels in Central Montana

Central Montana has three historic hotels, beautifully renovated, and they all share a varied history in their past. At times they all sat idle and mostly empty. Locals wondered if they would ever see their unique beauty again. Fort Benton’s Grand Union Hotel opened November 2, 1882. Steamboats traveling up the Missouri River docked in Fort Benton, unloading people and merchandise making the town a busy center of commerce. Sounds like a perfect location for a hotel! Fort Benton … Read more

24 Hours in Great Falls, Montana

If you only had 24 hours to enjoy Great Falls what would you do? First of all you need to realize that you can’t see it all and you will get only a taste of the community. And that’s just what we did a week ago for visitors to the area. After checking in to the Hotel Arvon in downtown Great Falls, a dinner plan was decided. Our visitors wanted something casual and fun. Someone suggested Roadhouse Diner, … Read more

Young and Old Danced at The Little Shell Pow Wow

This past weekend I attended the Little Shell Pow Wow at First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park near Ulm, Montana. This was a traditional pow wow, not a competitive one, and the atmosphere was relaxed and family-oriented. I arrived early but not in time to manage to get a parking spot in the parking lot! Volunteers were very organized though and they had a system of directing vehicles in a pattern on the surrounding grassy areas. The … Read more

History at Lewistown’s Airfield

As you enter Lewistown from the west you see interpretive panels that showcase the part Lewistown’s airfield played in World War II. It became a training site for pilots flying B-17 bombers. I assume our open skies contributed to the location as two other communities in Montana, Great Falls and Cut Bank, also had crews training in their area. The bases were built quickly so the bomber crews could get their final proficiency training and then … Read more