Valdosta Daily Times


May 12, 2013

Billings, Montana: Where the old West remains alive

- — Montana bills itself as “Big Sky Country,” a pretty accurate claim in our opinion. The self-described Treasure State is blessed with mountains and hills for recreation, prairies for farming and ranching, and lakes, rivers, and streams for boating, fishing and swimming. Stand in the middle of the state and it seems as if you can see a thousand miles in any direction.

Montana is home to two of our country’s best-known national parks, Glacier and Yellowstone, although the latter is sort of a stretch since a relatively small portion of the park creeps over Montana’s southern and western borders from Wyoming. Still, Montana can claim at least a sliver of America’s first national park. Drive east of the Rockies and the Montana prairie appears to stretch to the Atlantic Ocean.

In addition to outstanding natural wonders, Montana offers a large array of historical sites, museums, dude ranches, rodeos, fairs, parks, and more. There is certainly plenty to do and see in Big Sky Country. Even Ben Cartwright and his sons might have sold the Ponderosa and moved here if only they had the opportunity to witness Montana’s beauty.

Visiting Big Sky Country

Travelers considering a visit to Montana typically think mostly of the Rockies that fill the western portion of the state. Trip planning centers around locations such as Whitefish, Missoula, Bozeman, Kalispell, Flathead Lake, Glacier, Yellowstone, and, perhaps, Butte. Most fail to consider locales east of the mountains. We’ve listened as travelers complained about the long drive across Montana during a trip to their mountain destinations. These are the same people who would almost certainly complain about driving through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and the Dakotas. In Texas, they have a point.

We are here to tell you there is more to Montana than the western quarter of the state. Actually, a lot more, and it’s less crowded, less touristy, and likely less expensive. You can even see greater distances because there are no mountains to block the view. Best of all, visiting central and eastern Montana puts you in a land where the old west remains a vibrant part of the culture.

Text Only
  • 140418-AR_Paul_Townsend001.jpg Graphic novelist draws on inspiration

    A few moments with graphic artist Paul Townsend is all you need to understand that his mind swirls with stories that he’s willing to explore on paper – no matter where they take him.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pompeys Pillar.JPG Pompeys Pillar

    Along their journey west to the Pacific and return east to St. Louis, Lewis and Clark left numerous marks recording their presence in order to validate a claim to the land for the United States.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • 1vsusr2014.jpg seen.yer-shoh

    Two of the most revealing exhibits each year at the Valdosta State University Fine Art Gallery are the fall and spring senior art shows.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • Film Review Draft Day_Rich copy.jpg ‘Draft Day’ scores a field goal at the theater

    Our reviewer looks at the movies "Draft Day'" and "Rio 2."

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • emerging1.jpg Emerging Artists: VSU shines spotlights on student performers

    Three years ago, Valdosta State University Theatre & Dance created a twist on its seasons’ conclusions.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • bicycle safety.jpg SGMC, Kohl’s to host Bike Smart safety event

    SGMC, Kohl’s Department Store, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and Safe Kids Lowndes County will host Bike Smart!

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140410-AR-Wake_Compound001.jpg Bringing wakeboards to Lowndes

    In college, many dream of their future career paths and, while some may seem far fetched, some people are able to make theirs a reality. Luke Tilt and Quinn Silvernale were able to do just that.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140401-Ballet003.jpg Beautiful Dancers

    The Ballet School in Valdosta offers children with special needs the chance to live out their dreams of being a dancer. For many, this may have seemed like a far fetched dream given their physical limitations, but as the Ballet School proves, there is no such thing as a physical limitation.

    April 13, 2014 5 Photos

  • Dido and Aeneas 1.jpg VSU Opera, Chamber Singers Present ‘Dido and Aeneas’ April 19-20

    The Valdosta State University Department of Music will present “Dido and Aeneas” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, in the West Hall Rotunda. Seating is limited to 100 people per performance.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Film Review Captain A_Rich copy.jpg A salute to ‘Captain America’

    Our reviewer looks at "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," 'The Grand Budapest hotel' and "Bad Words."

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
     View Results