I just returned from a late-summer gathering with my whole family in Western Montana. Flathead Lake near Glacier National Park, to be exact (happy 50th anniversary, Mom and Dad!). I can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. I highly recommend it.
On the way home, we decided to take the “High Line” highway — a two-lane blacktop track across the expansive Northern plains of central and Eastern Montana. I spent many of my growing up years in Wyoming. I know what wide-open country looks like. But the “big sky” country of the High Line was truly stunning. This country brings to mind the Biblical term “cattle on a thousand hills” — big, big country with open rolling grazing land, hay meadows and wheat fields filling the view from one wide horizon to another.
For folks growing up in those places in our country with forested (and far too crowded) hills and hollers, this kind of place may be unsettling… too open, too endless, with nothing to keep you from blowing over the edge of the Earth. For those of us who love the wide open West, this place holds an indescribable attraction — we breath deeply and think, “this just feels right.” Those open horizons represent possibility, freedom — nothing to hold you back or hold you down.
For folks in agriculture, those high plains are home and heritage, where those endless wheat fields — the world’s breadbasket — give them a reason to get up every day, knowing what they do has purpose and value.
Maybe they should call it the High Road.
(Click one of the images in the gallery below, and enjoy a larger view.)
Apologies to our friend and AgriLife Studios Stock creative contributor, Todd Klassy, of Havre, MT. Todd, I drove through your home town on Sunday afternoon without calling. I didn’t want to disrupt your holiday. I’ll be sure to call you before my next visit. I hope it’s soon!