Model Airplane Collection at Great Falls Airport

When you are at the Great Falls International Airport, whether meeting a plane or flying somewhere, take some time to look at the amazing collection of model airplanes. Bary Poletto started the collection and it is thought to be the largest collection of model commercial airplanes in the world. How many? 883 planes! Two –thirds of the collection is displayed in glass enclosed cases at the Great Falls airport on the second floor. Bary’s first … Read more

Drawn To The Rails at Havre’s Museum

No, I’m not going “hobo” here but if you are a rail fan or railroad history buff, you’ll be thrilled with Havre’s Railroad Museum. I wasn’t expecting a Railroad Museum when I first entered the building to buy my ticket for a tour of Havre Beneath The Streets. It was definitely an added bonus and I started taking photos right away. Frank DeRosa, who was the main person instrumental in restoring Havre Beneath The Streets, … Read more

Fort Benton is a Model T Mecca

If you didn’t realize that the Montana Model T 500 was happening in Fort Benton last week you’d think you had stepped back in time! The group is a touring association – no keeping these beauties hidden. They have actual road races and the vehicle has to be authentic. To prove the authenticity of the vehicle, the top three race winners have their engines examined to make sure they didn’t put some high-revving parts on in an … Read more

Montana Fishing Season Opens

The third Saturday in May is when Montana’s general fishing season opens. This year that was May 18. The general season closes November 30. Not to make things confusing, but, Montana’s lakes and reservoirs are generally open year round. I was driving on I-15 this weekend and lamented the heavy cloud cover. Clouds bring rain though and they must make for pretty good fishing conditions because I saw quite a few drift boats and plenty of fishermen wading in … Read more

Bike Race to Eden

The Great Falls Bike Club sponsored a road race yesterday from Broadwater Bay in the center of Great Falls to the turn for the community of Eden south of Great Falls. The bike racers would ride approximately 26 miles. The super serious bike racers would do that twice because, well, they can. And they love to ride! I wanted to get them coming up a hill in an open area but the timing didn’t work. I had … Read more

Montana Museum of Railroad History

A recent visit to the Montana Museum of Railroad History in Great Falls filled me with a new appreciation for the significance of rail traffic to Central Montana. Over 125 years ago (October 15, 1887 to be specific) the track of the Manitoba Road reached Great Falls, Montana Territory. The entrepreneur responsible for laying the steel trail westward was James Hill who had made a fortune with several Minnesota ventures. Part of Hill’s plan was driven by a competetive … Read more

Fascinated With Model Trains

As I toured the Frank DeRosa Railroad Museum in downtown Havre last week, the receptionist there told me about the model train club that sets up in their lower level. I’ve been to the Railroad Museum several times and I had never heard about the model train folks. Well, it was my lucky day because three of the club members were there “working” on trains. Let’s also call that “playing” with trains. Two guys and one lady … Read more

Riding Motorcycles Through Beaver Creek Park

It didn’t take long to talk some avid Harley Davidson motorcycle owners in to taking a ride today. There may not be many more great riding days and these guys (and gals) were eager to take advantage of the open roads, medium temps (high of 65 today) and no moisture or wind. We met at the BW Great Northern Inn in Havre. Our first “group pose” was by the hotel’s sign. There was another motorcycle parked there … Read more

Harlowton’s Railroad History

Central Montana is a mecca for folks interested in railroad history. Harlowton was the end of the electric train line and one of the electric engines stands proud watch over the town’s Central Avenue. You can see the “pan” or square-looking antenna-like gadget on top of the E-57B electric engine and that is what connected to make electricity above the train. Every time I’m in Harlowton with friends we use the E-57B as a backdrop for a photo. Today, … 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