“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”
Mr. Steinbeck nailed it.
Montana is a place occupied by few, but cherished by many. Visit Montana and you’ll understand why. It’s a place unlike any other. Seemingly untouched; Montana’s rolling prairies, winding rivers, and rugged mountain peaks create a type of escape that is difficult to find in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world. Yes, Montana is somewhat desolate. No doubt about it. But it is desolate in such a pure, rustic way that it leaves you in awe rather than anxiously searching for cell phone service. My love for Montana runs deep. Pure and simple.
Ok, I’m going to come clean about something. I was born and raised elsewhere. There I said it. Whew! Glad that’s out in the open now.
You may be wondering, “Then, why does this non-native have such a ‘deep’ connection to Montana?” The answer is simple my friends. The roots run deep and the bloodline is long. I am the product of a 3rd generation Montanan. My mother was born and raised on an eastern Montana farm. To this day, the town consists of a couple hundred people — tops. I swear I’m related to half the town, no joke. Main Street includes a gas station, two bars, the K-12 school, a county museum, and a couple other shops. It’s quaint to say the least and I love it. I’m blessed to have been born into a big, loud, Italian farming family. My childhood summers were spent four-wheeling with cousins and siblings, riding the combine with Grandpa, learning how to irrigate the fields with uncles, “taste-testing” Granny’s signature cinnamon twists, playing cards when the late afternoon storms rolled in, shucking corn, shelling peas, chasing the latest litter of kittens around the yard… I think you catch my drift. Summer on the farm was a kid’s paradise. It didn’t get any better than that; frankly it still doesn’t.
From age 0-21 my trips to Montana were limited to Christmas vacation and summer vacation — maybe one other long holiday weekend if I was luckily. But that was enough to hook me.
Immediately following college graduation I accepted a job in Montana, crammed all my belongings into my little Toyota and hit the road. It was a long, lonely drive but when I finally rolled into Big Sky Country I actually felt my spirits lift. Want to know why? Because literally the sky is HUGE in Montana. That nickname is legit. It seemed as though I could see forever. The sky was so vast that towards the north I could see storm clouds with rain pouring in the distance and to the south it was blue skies and sunshine. A random memory I suppose, but it made an impression on me. Perhaps it was a metaphor; showing me that the sky truly is the limit.
Within a few weeks of living in Montana, learning the ropes of the new career, and relishing in the fact that I actually had a weekend — yes, TWO days off in a row – for the first time since I was 16-years-old, I began exploring the Treasure State. Hiking in the mountains (anywhere), floating the Madison River, and rock climbing on the Rims in Billings quickly became my favorite pass times. Even a skydiving trip to Ronan, MT proved to be an epic success my first summer of Living the Big Sky. The winter months also provided all sorts of fun: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, soaking in hot springs, ice climbing, snowmobiling, etc. You name it and I bet Montana offers it — at least when it comes to the outdoors.
Fast forward to present time and I am happy to say that nearly five years later I am still exploring Montana and truly Living the Big Sky.
Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or cross-country move, through this website I hope you’ll find some insight and tips on how to enjoy Living the Big Sky.