Wednesday, July 02, 2014

US Hwy 191: Lewistown, MT

Believe it or not, there's actually a fancy printed pamphlet entitled "50+ Things To Do in Lewistown, Montana."

Most of them are once-a-year events that are unlikely attractions for a casual visitor, and most of the rest are outdoor activities or other attractions in the much broader area.

Still, there are a few in-town features, of which the Central Montana Museum is the best and a good place to start.

It's a better than average local museum, with a few very fine and extensive displays.

In other places it suffers from a bit of the typical clutter, but the documentary signage is excellent and explains a lot about the area's history, heritage, etc.

From cavalry battles to nuclear missiles silos, a lot has happened in this area!

A highpoint of my day -- quite literally -- was making the drive up nearby Judith Peak. Enticed by the promise of a spectacular view, it was a long, steep slog up a rough gravel road to the summit. It was a good workout for my truck's four-wheel-low drivetrain, and I was once again impressed with how well it performed. At the top, it was just me, Happy and an impressive array of antennae.

It's too bad the sky was so hazy, because the spectacular view could have been truly amazing. Nevertheless, you can see how the grass and timber covered hills make this a very beautiful area.

Returning to town, I was amused by this large sign. (Read it to the bottom and you'll understand.)

I can report that the town's quality of life receives widely varied reviews from local residents.

Some say it's a terrible place to live, while other say they love it and wouldn't live anywhere else.

One challenge is that the economy is mostly agri-based, with only so many ranch hands in demand.

There are a few local manufacturing plants, but most work in service- and government-related jobs.

As a town of about 6,000 people -- about 11,000 including the surrounding county -- it strikes me as pretty nice. The downtown area is tidy and varied, and the people are all very friendly. As a bonus, there's a pretty extensive set of walking trails around town, mostly on old converted rail beds. Our lengthy walk prompted Happy to give the town a paws up. It's worth a visit if you're in the area.

In the morning, I will head toward Malta, MT, the last stop before the northern border… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

No comments: