I often speak about my love for the rural American West. I love its spirit, its character.
Sometimes that character is visible in the faces of those that live here. Other times, on the landscape.
Here are some pictures from a recent trip through Fort Benton and on up onto Montana’s Hi Line:
Fort Benton, along the banks of the Missouri River, bills itself as “The Birthplace of Montana.” It was established as a fur trading center in 1847 and was the farthest a steamboat could reasonably travel up the Missouri from 1860 until the railroad came through toward the end of the 19th century.
The land in central and northern Montana is rolling, fertile farmland these days. This is one of Montana’s Square Buttes. This one is near the town of Square Butte south of Fort Benton and I’m aware of another Square Butte near Great Falls.
Then farther north is Montana’s Hi-Line, so named after the railroad that runs along the northern edge of the state. These are the Sweetgrass Hills, rising to the northwest of Chester.
The railroad, now run by Burlington Northern, is key to the settlement of the towns along Montana’s northern edge like Rudyard.
Resourceful, adaptable, creative and clever — all attributes that can be seen aplenty in towns like Joplin.
They are not called the spirit hills, it’s the sweetgrass hills!!!!
You’re right! Thanks for the correction.