South West Montana Draws Seniors

Big Sky Country is a draw wherever seniors go, but in South West Montana the folks “humbly claim” to hold the best of what Montana is all about.  The Official South West Montana Website is all about giving folks continually updated Montana travel opportunities that turn Montana vacations into experiences you’ll never forget. It’s all there just waiting for senior visitors’ exploration.

I was in Montana years ago, recruiting for a boarding school where I taught in Minnesota. As I was coming over a hill, there stood an antelope right in the middle of the road. I had to slam on my brakes so that he did not become grill decoration. They seem to roam freely all over the state. In South West Montana senior travelers will find wildlife galore… elk, black bears, moose, golden eagles and it you are really observant, a grey wolf from time to time.

Helena is the state capital and Butte is not too far south of that city. Helena was the center of wealth during the state’s mining heyday. At one time Helena boasted more millionaires per capita than any other city in the entire country.  The state capital building in a neoclassical style reflects the American Renaissance of the late 19th century. What’s particularly cool about the building is the dome that features Montana copper…makes the capital quite unique.

Helena, nestled at the foothills of the Montana Rockies, with a population of nearly 70,000, is the epitome of diverse culture, hosting folks dressed in jeans and those in business suits walking side by side through the busy downtown streets. Its original residents were mainly of English, Scottish, Irish, and German descent.

Mining, Fishing and Irish Pasties Catch Seniors’ Attention

Butte is currently Montana’s fifth largest city and for generations was one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi. Known as the “richest hill on earth” back in 1900, that hill produced over two billion dollars worth of gold, silver, copper and zinc and is literally honeycombed with drifts (horizontal or subhorizontal development openings), winzes (underground mines) and stopes (backfilling with tailings) that extend beneath the city. There are over 3000 miles of workings and shafts reaching a depth of 4000 feet.

Butte was once the largest city between Chicago and Seattle, famous for the Berkley Pit, the largest Superfund site in the nation. Butte is known for the food of its Irish-influenced mining heritage. Pasties are a meat, potato and onion mix, surrounded by pastry dough, baked and smothered with brown gravy. You senior gourmands will enjoy the food experience in Butte.

Montana is well known as a fishing paradise, and some of the nation’s best streams are in the southwestern part of the state. Don’t be surprised to find that almost everybody in this part of the state is a catch-and-release fly angler.

I think you will enjoy the fascinating South West Montana.  jeb



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