• New Big Sky Spotlight highlights somebody (from MT) you should know

    We started debuted a “department” in the first issue of 2014 called Big Sky Spotlight.

    We have several departments, or standard story formats, that appear in most issues and we thought, why not add on featuring a Montanan you should know?

    The idea is to give readers a quick look at a Montanan making a difference, creating beautiful art or just living the Montana Life.

    And, we thought, we not let them answer a few questions for us while we’re at it?

    Our inaugural Big Sky Spotlight featured Becky Hillier, a Miles City native who worked tirelessly for the past several years with a dedicated group of people to help hundreds of Montana WWII veterans take the trip of a lifetime to Washington, D.C.

    We think it’s a great way to get to know our neighbors and Big Sky Spotlight is one of the few full features we’ll post at MontanaMagazine.com.

    And with that, we’re already working on our second issue of 2014, which of course will feature a BSS. Spoiler alert: In March/April we’ll feature Billings area artists Clark Schriebies.

    -Jenna 

     

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      Sunset over the Kootenai River. By Yvonne Moe Resch

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      Ice on Holter Dam. By Drew Thomas

    • The road to Ross. By Mark LaRowe

      The road to Ross. By Mark LaRowe

    • An old barn outside Hot Springs. By Robin Hao Gonzalez

      An old barn outside Hot Springs. By Robin Hao Gonzalez

    • Sunset over Mount Vaught in Glacier National Park. By John D. Harwood

      Sunset over Mount Vaught in Glacier National Park. By John D. Harwood

    • Centennial School outside Glendive. By Alisa Doolan

      Centennial School outside Glendive. By Alisa Doolan

    Frosty photos: Readers share winter images from across Montana

    No matter the season in Montana, there always seems to be something beautiful to look at.

    We’ve had quite a few frosty photos submitted to us via our Facebook page recently and thought we’d feature a couple here for you to enjoy on this mid-winter Monday.

    A BIG thanks to our readers for sharing all the beautiful photos, especially Alisa Doolan (Centennial School), Yvonne Moe Resch (Kootenai River), John D. Harwood (Mount Vaught), Drew Thomas (Holter Dam), Robin Hao Gonzalez (Hot Springs barn) and Mark LaRowe (road to Ross).

    - Jenna

  • Help Whitehall Save the Star

    It’s hard not to notice the bright marquee – featuring a glowing yellow star – that sits above the Star Theatre in Whitehall. Montana Magazine contributor Glenn Marx says that light is an important beacon for the town, which has had one movie theater for almost 100 years.

    Marx writes that the first movie graced the theater’s screen a century ago – in 1914 – and since then Whitehall residents continue to reminisce about their first movie, first date or first kiss sneaked during a romantic movie.

    Today, Whitehall residents are in a race against time to keep the Star Theatre open and operational. “Save the Star” has been set up to raise enough money to buy new equipment that can show digital film.

    So, Save the Star was born and a host of volunteers are working to raise the thousands of dollars needed to save the theater. Through a series of donations, fundraisers and the sales of Marx’s book “Talk About a Dream,” the community is close to saving the star.

    You can read the story by Marx in the Jan/Feb issue of Montana Magazine.

    How can you help save the Star?

    Contributions to help save the Whitehall Star Theatre can be sent to Save the Star, P.O. Box 536, Whitehall, MT 59759. Copies of “Talk About a Dream” are available through the Whitehall Ledger, The Corner Store  and The Star Theatre in Whitehall, at the Three Forks Herald in Three Forks, Montana Book and Toy Company in Helena, The Country Bookshelf  in Bozeman and at Books & Books in Butte.

    Jenna

     

  • Mysterious story of Copper King’s daughter makes for one good book

    It’s always funny how closely connected we are here in Montana. What’s the saying? In Montana, it’s not seven degrees of separation, but three?

    It’s something like that.

    Montana Magazine book reviewer Doug  Mitchell found some surprising connections to the Huguette Clark’s story, detailed in the new book “Empty Mansions” by Bill Dedman. It really is a fascinating story about Huguette and her highly unusual lifestyle. She spent decades in a New York City hospital room while various, sweeping mansions sat empty. She was the daughter of infamous Copper King W.A. Clark, who made his fortune in Butte.

    Doug, from Helena, found that during his travels with his wife, he’d been close to many of the mansions. We weren’t able to print Doug’s entire story inside the Jan/Feb issue, but you can read the full edition online at MontanaMagazine.com. 

    We’ve also posted the extended version of Doug’s chat with Bill Dedman. Among a ton of other great behind-the-scenes details, Dedman told Mitchell that he drew much of the story from 20,000 pages of correspondence Huguette wrote and 20 years of nurses notes. It’s always fascinating to hear more about how an author finds, crafts and presents their story.

    Enjoy!

    Jenna

  • Windy weather topples pine, crushes truck in Lincoln

    It’s been windy and wet around the entire state lately – gusts almost broke records in Billings and knocked over trains near Helena.

    The wind got the best of this huge pine the other day in Lincoln – that truck was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  This photo was taken right on Main Street by our friends Jaime and Lisa Johnson.

    Stay safe out there!

    Jenna 

     

  • ‘It was a wonderful experience’: How to find a bobcat in MT

    The process of choosing a cover photo can be a long one.

    We receive hundreds of photos for each issue from an impressive group of professional photographers that help tell the stories we feature across Montana. As we go through the photos, dozens of photos pop out as potential covers.

    We test a couple. We print them out. We try them with different headline and logo color schemes. Until it’s just right. For the Jan/Feb issue, the photo of the snowy bobcat made by Jaime and Lisa Johnson jumped out at us immediately and beat out several others to earn the top spot. 

    MontanaMag_JF14_coverBut how do you find a bobcat in Montana so you can share it with MT magazine readers? As the Johnson’s told me, they can be very shy and spook easily. But luckly for us, the our cover star (which our Facebook fans voted to name Bob) was very friendly.  

    Here’s what they had to say about their experience finding Bob:

    We were heading home after a full December day out in the woods photographing Great Horned Owls. We decided to take a back road that was just outside of Bonner. Road was icy and we were cold and a little disappointed from a day with little success. As it got closer to dark, Lisa noticed a coyote or fox running really fast across a field. But, something didn’t look right – it seemed to have no tail. We stopped and looked thru binoculars to see what was up. It turned out to be a Bobcat! It continued to run until it disappeared into a small grove of cottonwood trees in the middle of the field. Since it was public land, we decided to grab our gear and hike out to the trees (just in case we got a chance for pictures). We see two or three cats a year and they all act differently, some are real spooky, some are almost social. As we got to the trees, Lisa spotted the bobcat peeking out from around a tree about 30 feet away. We took several images over the next hour until it was too dark to continue. The bobcat was amazing, really friendly – walking around and eventually jumping to a low branch in the tree to just sit and watch us. He was still sitting on the branch watching us as we walked away that night – it was a wonderful experience.

    Jenna

  • Bozeman native, pro cyclist shares favorite MT road ride

    The first rides Tejay van Garderen took on the road to becoming one of the top cyclists in the world were in and around Bozeman. It was on those roads that his parents noticed he a had particular grit that would eventually propel him into a top position in American cycling.

    Tejay is featured in the Jan/Feb issue of Montana Magazine in a story by Jesse Zentz. After many success, this year Tejay is focused on winning a few key races, and as Zentz explains, is considered a top American contender to win the Tour de France in the coming years.

    But if Tejay could ride anywhere in Montana, where would it be?

    He told us it’s the 75 mile Battle Bridge Road ride that takes riders from Bozeman’s Main Street almost to Wilsall.

    Here’s the official route for the Battle Ridge Road ride

    Distance: 75 miles

    Elevation gain: 3,373 feet based on MapMyRide.com

    Start: Bozeman (intersection of Main Street and Rouse Avenue)

    Turnaround: Near Wilsall (intersection of Bridger Canyon Road and Highway 89)

    Route: Follow Rouse Avenue north for about 1 mile, when it turns into Bridger Canyon Road. Continue on Bridger Canyon road for about 36 more miles until it ends at the intersection of Highway 89. Turn around and do it all over in the opposite direction.

     Van Garderen: “I really liked the Battle Ridge climb outside of Bozeman near Bridger Bowl. That was probably the hardest climb. To me, thinking about it now, it was like Alp d’Huez or something. But I’m sure if I went back, it might be a bit easier that I remember. That was a long tide and it was pretty country and a really hard climb. I don’t know how long it was in terms of miles, but it would usually take me about four hours to go over it, to go down and back up the other side and back home. Like I said, it was a long time ago (likely 2003) and it might be a two-and-a-half-hour ride these days.”

    Here’s a link a map of the ride: www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/328715611

    Thanks Tejay for sharing this ride!

    Jenna

  • Take a look: Our winter issue is out and ready to read

    Photo by Jaime and Lisa Johnson

    If you haven’t already received the Jan/Feb issue in your mailbox, we just added all the preview content to our new site. You’ll notice right on the homepage our new cover photo star, a snowy bobcat that photographers Lisa and Jaime Johnson found outside Bonner.

    The Johnsons shot the Portfolio for this winter issue – an incredible set of photos that highlight some of Montana’s favorite wildlife characters.

    Throughout this issue we highlight the southwestern part of the state, with stories about Huguette Clark, the Star Theatre in Whitehall, and one I think you’ll really love: A look at the Rookwood Speakeasy in Butte. 

    The Rookwood was a happening place during the Prohibition Era. That was until the Feds came to town and the Rookwood was locked and abandoned until a curious Butte resident discovered it years later. I’ll post more about the Rookwood here in the coming weeks.

    We’ve got lots of other online extras, too. Including more about Tejay van Garderen, a Bozeman kid who is now a contender to win the Tour de France. Watch some videos about Tejay and learn more about his life as a pro cyclist.

    Enjoy!

    - Jenna 

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