• Montana places to explore during Memorial Day weekend

     

    It’s a long weekend and a weekend that launches us into the wonderful time of year that is summer in Montana.

    If you’re looking for some inspiration to explore, we’ve some Montana beauty to share:

    • Take in a sunset. Photographer Alex Sholes caught this one near Stockett and shared it with us on our Facebook page. More of our favorite reader photos are here
    By Alex Sholes Photography

    By Alex Sholes Photography

     

  • The 35,000-square-foot building was constructed as a two-story post office in 1932, with the federal courthouse added on top during Prohibition. When Whitacre and his wife bought the building, water from the roof had extensively damaged much of the interior, but the basic structure was still sound. Photo by Tom Bauer

    H is for… Havre, where family restores crumbling court house

    It’s home of the Blue Ponies and one of Hi-Line’s most populated towns.

    Havre is also a place where one entrepreneurial family has renovated a once crumbling court house into a mix-used dwelling and gathering space.

    Missoulian reporter Cory Walsh has the story and photographer Tom Bauer has the photos in the ongoing newspaper Montana A to Z series.

    Marc Whitacre stands in the former federal courtroom that's being transformed into his family's great room, which will incorporate the kitchen into one corner. Photo by Tom Bauer

    Marc Whitacre stands in the former federal courtroom that’s being transformed into his family’s great room, which will incorporate the kitchen into one corner. Photo by Tom Bauer

    Eye doctors Marc Whitacre and Erica Farmer found Havre several years ago and purchased the old building.

    The building, which sits on Third Avenue in Havre’s historic downtown district, was originally constructed as a two-story post office.

    During Prohibition, Whitacre said, this Hi-Line town close to the Canadian border saw such a high volume of bootlegging and related arrests that a third floor was added for a federal courthouse, since it was cheaper than bringing the accused to Great Falls to face justice.

    • Of course, Havre isn’t the only H town in Montana. Can you name the other H towns across Montana? Here’s some help.

    The family’s upgrades have been both historically and creative minded.

    “The part that’s maintainable is the logic. It’s all relays,” he said. “There’s no solid-state electronics here. It’s all relays, transformers or fuel resistors and capacitors. It’s all technology that’s well-described. You can buy books on the subject, which I own. And I do all the maintenance work on the elevator that I can.”

    Whitacre stands in the former federal courtroom that's being transformed into his family's great room, which will incorporate the kitchen into one corner. Photo by Tom Bauer

    Whitacre stands in the former federal courtroom that’s being transformed into his family’s great room, which will incorporate the kitchen into one corner. Photo by Tom Bauer

    By state law, he keeps schematics posted in the mechanical room above the elevator shaft, where you can also manually raise or lower the elevator.

    (It’s labeled in case he’s the one stuck in the elevator: “Remove cap to winch.”)

    Read the entire story here.

    Jenna

  • Cecily Eagleton looks over Helen Lake at sunrise. Photo by Seth Eagleton

    Before They’re Gone: Local photographer looks to document Glacier’s glaciers

    Our May/June Park-to-Park issue featured an interesting and artistic photo Portfolio, that follows the work of a photography who has dedicated his summers to finding and documenting the glaciers inside of Glacier National Park.

    That’s because Seth Eagleton sees the glaciers shrinking.

    Whether the 25 glaciers remaining inside Glacier are gone in 5 years or 20, their retreat is changing the face of the Crown of the Continent.

    “When I was hiking around in high school there was 35 (glaciers),” Eagleton said. “At the turn of last century, there were 150, they’re fading fast.”

    Jackson Glacier is one of the many glaciers Seth Eagleton has photographer for his Glacier Preservation Project. Photo by Seth Eagleton

    Jackson Glacier is one of the many glaciers Seth Eagleton has photographer for his Glacier Preservation Project. Photo by Seth Eagleton

    Rather than get political, Eagleton got creative and started the Glacier Preservation Project to hike to and photograph each remaining glacier.

    His photos make up our May/June Portfolio. The full story is online now. To see the entire spread of photos, subscribe today.

    Eagleton has started a Kickstarter project to cover the costs of creating a book about the project.

    “I’m not trying to push a bunch of controversial subjects, the fact is we’re losing our glaciers,” he said. “We’re going to lose them and whether it’s in 5 years or 10 years – I’m not a scientist, I’m good at observation – it would just be a shame if we didn’t have something to remember them by.”

  • Geyser gazers stand in front of Fan and Mortar geysers in Yellowstone. Photo by Ryan Maurer

    Meet Yellowstone’s faithful Geyser Gazers

    Some people love watching wildlife. Some people love chasing storms.

    Some people, as we told readers in our May/June issue, love gazing at geysers

    Our “Faithful Gazers” story introduces a set of people who have fallen in love with the immense set of geysers in Yellowstone National Park. Their work to observe and record the geyser behavior is going a long way to help park staff and visitors learn about the geysers.

    It’s a really cool story about a set of cool people (subscribe today to get all our full stories).

    Old Faithful. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    Old Faithful. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    But first what, exactly, is a geyser? We’re glad you asked:

    Geysers are hot springs with constrictions in their plumbing, usually near the surface, that prevent water from circulating freely to the surface where heat would escape.

    There are more geysers in Yellowstone National Park than anywhere else on the planet.

    Though born of the same water and rock, what is enchanting is how differently they play in the sky. Riverside Geyser, in the Upper Geyser Basin, shoots at an angle across the Firehole River, often forming a rainbow in its mist. Castle erupts from a cone shaped like the ruins of some medieval fortress. Grand explodes in a series of powerful bursts, towering above the surrounding trees. Echinus spouts up and out to all sides like a fireworks display of water. And Steamboat, the largest in the world, pulsates like a massive steam engine in a rare, but remarkably memorable eruption, reaching heights of 300 to 400 feet.

    – Courtesy of the National Parks Service

  • A rattlesnake stikes. Photo by Jaime and Lisa Johnson

    Video: When a Rattlesnake strikes

    Spoiler alert: This post is not for the faint of heart. 

    What’s it like to be bitten by a Montana rattlesnake? That’s something no one wants to find out first hand.

    But wildlife photographers Jaime and Lisa Johnson got an up-close look at the reptile and it’s venom with their “Three Strikes” video.

    The video is on their YouTube channel.

    “The attached screen capture is actually right after the camera was hit by the snake,” Jaime wrote in an email. “You can see the blur (venom) on the top left of the image.”

    Safe to say it’s best to keep your distance – from all wildlife. Instead, check out these amazing photos of Montana wildlife from the Johnsons. Here’s more from a photo Portfolio of their’s from our Jan/Feb 2014 issue.

    Jenna

  • Flowers and big river flows: Our top reader photos of the week

    They’ve done it yet again. Our readers never fail to awe us when they share their photos from all across Montana – and this week’s batch of favorite reader photos (shared with us on Facebook) is another great set.

    Without further adieu: Here are the top five readers photos of the week:

    Shooting Stars on Waterworks Hill in the Missoula Valley. Photo by Carol Gauthier

    Shooting Stars on Waterworks Hill in the Missoula Valley. Photo by Carol Gauthier

    Sunset at Wayfarers State Park. Photo by Aaron Theisen Photography

    Sunset at Wayfarers State Park. Photo by Aaron Theisen Photography

    A cowgirl at the recent Sort Pink event, which helps support breast cancer research. Photo by Mark LaRowe Photography

    A cowgirl at the recent Sort Pink event, which helps support breast cancer research. Photo by Mark LaRowe Photography

    Great horn owlets in a tree near the South Fork of the Smith River. Photo by Greg Olmstead

    Great horn owlets in a tree near the South Fork of the Smith River. Photo by Greg Olmstead

    Kootenai River between Libby and Troy. Photo by TheBobFactor.com

    Kootenai River between Libby and Troy. Photo by TheBobFactor.com

    We’ve got much more of Montana to see in our May/June issue – out now!

    Don’t miss a moment. Subscribe today!

    Jenna 

  • Evel Knievel Days takes place in Butte each summer. Photo by Walter Hinnick

    A few bucking horses, Evel, a kegger and more…

    The Billings Gazette put together a list of Big Sky Country festivals that “only make sense if you’re from Montana.” And it’s pretty fun for everyone, not matter if you’re a Big Sky Stater or not.

    Included in the list: A bucking horse sale that always turns out to be one of the best parties in the west. A weekend honoring Evel. A kegger.

    Trout Creek's Huckleberry Festival will be featured in the July/August issue of Montana Magazine. Courtesy image

    Trout Creek’s Huckleberry Festival will be featured in the July/August issue of Montana Magazine. Courtesy image

    It’ll either take you down memory lane, or add a couple items to your Montana bucket list.

    Others we think you should check out: The Wild Horse Stampede in Wolf Point and its famous Catholic burgers and Utica Day Fair – for the PIE!

    Enjoy!

    Jenna

  • An excavator takes huge bites from the snowpack covering Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park on Monday morning as crews reached Oberlin Bend in the annual effort to get the popular tourist route open. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    Going-to-the-Sun Road: The ‘art’ of moving snow

    Snowplow crews are making headway in their work to clear Glacier’s epic roadway.

    Missoulian reporter Vince Devlin has the story:

    The annual opening of this iconic two-lane highway through the heart of Glacier National Park signals the full-bore start of tourist season in this part of Montana, and so the date Going-to-the-Sun is ready for traffic is an important one to lots of people.

    And we don’t know it.

    Not yet.

    What we do know is that when snowplow crews on the west side reach Oberlin Bend near Logan Pass, Glacier officials escort a gaggle of reporters up to watch them work.

    That happened Monday, as machinery labored its way through a winter’s worth of snow, even as more snow fell.

    A year ago – with significantly more snowfall for crews to deal with – the annual journalists’ trek to Oberlin Bend didn’t happen until June 5. The road went on to open on July 3.

    While crews up the road worked to clear snow, a lower crew was replacing the removable guardrails on the road. Miles of the guardrails are removed each winter to avoid damage from avalanches and rock falls. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    While crews up the road worked to clear snow, a lower crew was replacing the removable guardrails on the road. Miles of the guardrails are removed each winter to avoid damage from avalanches and rock falls. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    This year, they’ve reached Oberlin Bend almost four weeks earlier than last year, but, as is always the case, Mother Nature will have the biggest say in how work progresses from here.

    “We’ve had blizzards in June, and it’s not even mid-May yet,” explained Glacier spokeswoman Denise Germann.

    Read the rest of the story here.

    Need more Glacier in your life? Subscribe to Montana Magazine today and check out our Park-to-Park issue.

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