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16th August
written by Sean Noble

I’ve been in Montana for a couple days, and for some reason I was surprised by the landscape.  Apparently, a more accurate visual representation of the state is “Legends of the Fall” and not “A River Runs Through It.”  I’ve never seen “Legends”, and I expected all mountains and pine trees. Instead, as I was landing in Billings, I realized it was a larger version of Snowflake, AZ.  It’s a prairie-like landscape with a smattering of trees.  This has been the most of what I’ve seen.  It’s still a beautiful state with very friendly people.


As an information-junkie – particularly access to my cell phone, blackberry and laptop wireless card, it is amazing how useless I feel if I lose service.  When it happened the first time in some remote portion of Montana I had a panic attack.  I know, it was absurd, and it only lasted a few moments, and then I was like “how pathetic is that?”  I know, it is.


I was in Chicago a couple days ago and had dinner with an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi.  One of the funniest and nicest guys I’ve ever met.  We ate at Shallots Bistro in Skokie and it was incredibly good food.  I had been pining for White Castle earlier in the day, and I didn’t get a chance to stop at one, so someone ordered Kobe beef sliders at the Bistro.  It’s the best Kosher food I’ve ever had.


Speaking of food, I was in New York earlier in the week and had some really awesome roasted, cinnamon-coated peanuts I bought from a street vendor.  It’s the small things in life.


School starts for the kids this week.  I’m not ready, because summer shouldn’t be ending so quickly, but I’m pretty sure that my wife is ready – particularly with my travel schedule lately.  I used to get so nervous the first day of school when I was in elementary school.  But I was never more nervous than going to the first day of school my freshman year of high school.  I had just spent the previous three years being home-schooled and I was really, really unsure how it was going to go.

I don’t have any memory of that first day of high school, other than knowing the day started with me being nervous, so it must have gone just fine.  And that’s the point – we make a big deal out of the first day of school, as we should, but in the end, unless it turns out to be a bad experience, we forget it.  And that’s the way it should be.

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  1. 16/08/2009

    Eastern Montana(Billings, etc) is very plains like. Some call it “West Dakota” because of that. “A River runs through it” is filmed in Western Montana(Missoula) and is a very good representation of the western part of the state. “Legends” was actually filmed west of Calgary…not Montana.

    Head west toward the Rockies and you will find what you expected. I hope you had a good time.

  2. Kurt

    Sean…Western Montana is “God’s Country”. Majestic from Cut Bank in the North to West Yellowstone in the South. Actually the River Run’s through it was filmed on the Gallatin River outside of Bozeman…although they say the movie takes place outside of White Fish-Missoula. Will be heading that way this week to wet a few flies and nymphs in the Gallatin and Madison rivers. Regards.

  3. Nick

    I was born in a little town of about 1000 in northeastern Montana, just 4 miles from the Canadian border. The landcape was definitely not “A River Runs Through It.” It was more like “Dances with Wolves.” The only trees in sight were planted by the settlers. My great grandparents emigrated from Luxembourg in the 1850s and were homesteaders. Through hard work they scraped out a difficult living and raised their family. The area might not possess the beautiful majesty of the Rocky Mountains, but it produced salt-of-the-earth Americans who were the backbone of this nation and whose 153 descendants appreciate their sacrifices.

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