I have been in Montana for two weeks of a six week assignment and this state never fails to surprise me. I thought it would be Nebraska only bigger but boy was I wrong. People from Montana are so friendly. They go out of their way to be welcoming and I found this to be true over and over again as I travelled to my destination in Pablo which is in the northwestern part of the state on the Flathead (Salish-Kootenai) reservation. This is an example of how beautiful this reservation is.
That was the first misconception. Montana has a cosmopolitan flair about it that softens the Western mentality that sees people different than themselves as a threat. Montana welcomes diversity from what I have seen. I have been made to feel welcomed from the first day I entered the state. They don’t care in this section of the state what my politics are. They want to know if I’m a decent person and that’s what matters, not whether I’m a Democrat or a Republican. Montana’s governor is highly educated, and would be considered moderate and so are Montana’s people in the western part of the state. This has been such a refreshing thing this lack of political polarization that exists in such a high degree in Nebraska that for the first time in a long time I was able to relax and actually not be afraid and guarded about what to say.
The food is fantastic. Local places really seem to take using local ingredients seriously. This is Stella’s Cafe in Ronan, MT:
The sandwich is called the Timberlane and it came on homemade bread with free range turkey, local lettuce,and tomato with mayonnaise. The bread for all the sandwiches is baked fresh daily, and I had my sandwich with homemade chicken rice soup. They use local ingredients wherever they can as well as fair trade and organic. And, they have a delight peculiar to Montana: huckleberry ice cream. The cherries will be out in July and everyone here has encouraged me to make sure to get some from the local stands. Not to worry–there will be more Montana to come in the coming days. I leave you with a Montana sunset.