What Makes Montana So Unique?

Renee HalsethPost written by Renee Halseth, Operations Cards, Regulatory & Fraud Risk Officer, and Security Officer.

What is it about Montana that makes it so mysterious?

Is it gorgeous shifting of landscapes across the state, the big sky, the friendly people or the extreme weather?

It’s all of this and so much more that make Montana such a unique state.

The wide open spaces and independent spirit give our state a special touch that you just don’t find anywhere else in the United States.

We recently asked our employees the simple question, “What makes Montana so unique?”  We were flooded with so many great responses and we just had to share them with you.

“You know you’re from Montana when you take your horse to do your weekend errands.”
Nicolle S, Miles City

What a perfect way to run errands and exercise the horse all at the same time. Saddle up your trusty horse and venture on your way with a smile, nod and wave just like any other day of the week.

 “You know you are in Montana when you experience all four seasons in one day!”
Tim B, Miles City

Anyone raised or living in Montana will back Tim’s statement. More days than not, you wake to sunshine and blue skies and by lunchtime it’s snowing.  Montanans have mastered the skill of being prepared for all weather conditions regardless of the season.

“You know you’re in Montana when you travel 6 hours in your car and you haven’t even left the state!”
Vicki R, Havre

Where else do you measure travel in hours and not miles because the state takes that long to cross?  Montana’s long beautiful roads are surrounded by the majestic landscape that is Montana.  Where else can you find great snow capped mountains to get lost in, or wide open fields to ride for days without seeing civilization?

As a matter of fact, forty six of the fifty six counties in Montana are considered “frontier counties” with an average population of six or fewer people per square mile. Not to mention all the great animals you can see. No state has as many different species of mammals as Montana.

 “You know you’re in Montana, when you can see mountains for miles on wide open roads that lead to so many beautiful places and you can end your day with the most beautiful sunset, over that big Montana sky!”
Bonita R, Great Falls

With such a wide variety of landscapes and activities, there’s no such thing as boredom in this state if you know where to look. In Montana we have wide open spaces just waiting to be explored which makes it easy to let go and lose yourself in the beauty that is Montana.

We all are very familiar with the funny yet true references of  Montana and its big sky country, where the locals drive four wheelers legally through downtown and every third guy you meet has been named after a professional bull rider or roper. (How cool is that?) But what is it that really makes Montana so special?

“You know you’re in Montana when you’re being greeted by strangers you don’t know! We have the best people in Montana!”
Tonya S, Stanford

The sky isn’t the only BIG thing in Montana, the heart of the Montana people sets this great state apart from all others.

You know you’re in Montana when a fundraiser for a local person with cancer raises $48,000 from a community of only 2,400 people.”
Tonya B, Conrad

The local Montana communities pull together. You can guarantee that almost every community has some sort of local fundraiser going on to raise money or they are rolling up their sleeves to lend a helping hand to a neighbor or friend.

“You know you’re from Montana when your town motto is…Where the pavement ends and the fun begins.”
Chad M, Sidney

Montana is wide open country, a friendly handshake, and the opportunity to live in a place that exists beyond asphalt. It’s where small businesses are alive and well, loved and supported by the populations that surround them.

“You know you’re from Montana when 406 means home, and where Stockman Bank is only found!”
Jasmin M, Great Falls

Local folks have the rare opportunity to work for homegrown Montana companies like Stockman Bank of Montana, which was founded on the principle of supporting local businesses, agriculture, and families so that they can thrive within our beloved communities across the state.

Whether you’re at a local sporting event or find yourself at a Cat/Griz game as the rivals face off, it’s hard to restrain your pride. Even when venturing outside of the state and you’re asked where you’re from, it’s with pride you announce that you’re from Montana, the last best place on earth.”  That is the magic that makes being from Montana so special. That is the Montana way!

Please enjoy all the following responses that we received from our employees on why they love Montana:

“You know you are in Montana…..”

“When you have moved pipe for irrigation or bucked bales as a way to make money.”
Anna T, Billings

“When you stop for gas, buy groceries, do your laundry and play slots all in the same building.”
Ian B, Miles City

“When your old high school football team has to cancel practice because the football field is filled with grazing buffalo and elk.”
Ashley K, Belgrade

“When you call a wrong number but have a twenty minute conversation.”
Tonya B, Conrad

“When you meet an oncoming vehicle and the driver and you wave at each other as you pass.”
Kattie H, Dillon

“When the washing machine has flannel sheets, wool socks, turtleneck sweaters, tank tops and shorts all in the same load.”
Jami S, Worden

“When the employees at the bank help a girl change a flat tire in the parking lot.”
Karen T, Great Fall

“If your yearbook has a page dedicated to students showing off a critter they ‘bagged’ from hunting or fishing.”
Anna T, Billings

“When you start seeing Stockman Bank(s).”
Anita M, Miles City

“When the weekly rural paper contains a front page article about grizzly sightings in and around town… every week!”
Cynthia R, Conrad

“When your daughter comes home from school and tells you about the black bear running through the halls. (Bozeman High 2015”)
Matt J, Bozeman

“When your friends, your neighbors and your community steps up to help you in an emergency or crisis, and you don’t even have to ask”
Linda W, Miles City

“When you have to wear a parka to work in May.”
Chelsey T, Miles City

“When you know all seasons:  Almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.”
Megan S, Billings

“When you have used bailing twine to fix a fence.”
Jaci W, Miles City

“When even black ice doesn’t guarantee a road will be closed.”
Adam B, Miles City

“When you step outside on a sun-shining, 80 degree day, feel the warmth on your skin, look over at an old baldycow and see her covered with snow, standing out against the gorgeous BIG SKY!  Gotta  love this state.”
Tonya S, Stanford

 “When the place where your cattle lay their heads at night is worth more than where you lay your head at night!”
Tonya S, Stanford

”When you see people in shorts in the winter time.”
Sandy D, Belgrade

When you would rather eat Rocky Mountain Oysters than Sushi.”
Scott C, Helena

“When the rest area is an outhouse or a tree and you would rather use a tree.”
Lori N, Miles City

“You know you are in Bozeman or Missoula if every other car you see is a Subaru Outback.”
Caitlin A, Missoula

“When you can pronounce ‘Helena’ and ‘Butte’ correctly.”
Shirlee K, Billings

“When you consider the Cat-Griz game every bit as important as the Super Bowl (if not more so).”
Anna L, Lewistown

“You might be from Montana if golf carts are acceptable means of transportation to do your errands around town”.
Naomi R, Hysham

“When your snow blower and your lawn mower sit side by side on the patio, and you don’t dare put either one away!”
Diane J, Conrad

“When you can go to the local pizza joint and buy a growler of ranch (Pizza House-Sidney).”
Trisha Z, Bozeman

“When you have to plug in your vehicle at night” (Formally from Nevada, folks have never heard of the term “plugging in your car” and thought the ice scraper for the windshield was something that you use on the BBQ.)
Kimberly P, Miles City

“When you can actually see the stars at night.”
Haylee S, Miles City

“When your cow dog(s) bawl you out when you try to sit on ‘their’ side of the front seat of the pickup’.
Janine M, Stafford

“When a moose is running down 4th Ave. right next to your car trying to outrun you.”
Marcy M, Billings

“When you have to drive more than twenty minutes away from home to get cell phone reception!”
Butch B, Billings

“When you can drive for hours without passing through a town or seeing a gas station.”
Karisma B, Miles City

“If you have ever driven more than 30 minutes to eat at a McDonald’s or a similar fast food restaurant and considered it a special treat/occasion.”
Anna T, Billings

“When you go through a McDonalds drive thru and there is a cowboy on a horse in front of you!”
Brenda H, Billings

“When someone offers you assistance in a store, and they don’t work there.”
Cassandra G, Plentywood

“When you can tell that it is summer in Montana when the 18-wheelers and RV campers are parked in Walmart lots at night.”
Isaiah J, Miles City

“When you need a cosigner to open a bar tab!”
Butch B, Billings

“When your horse is worth more than your house.”
Karissa R, Miles City

“When you don’t blink an eye to drive 450 miles one way for a sporting event for your kids and you are still in Montana.”
Laura M, Billings

“If the responses from ‘you know you’re from Montana’ resembles the responses from Jeff Foxworthy’s ‘You may be a redneck.’
Ashley L, Billings

“When you will drive 90 miles to eat at the Jersey Lilly, which is one of few business in Ingomar”
Lynne W, Miles City

“If you wear a winter coat with your shorts and muck boots to do chores on May mornings.”
Spring H, Worden

“When you see the four seasons in Montana, almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.”
Robert T, Stanford

“When you don’t like the weather where you are at, wait 15 minutes, go 15 miles, it will be different.”
Jere F, Terry

“When you have had to use both the heat and A/C on the same day.”
Jere F, Terry

“When the weather has warmed up to 50 degrees and you bring out your shorts and sandals.”
Anna T, Billings

“When it is May and you play baseball/softball or have a track meet while it is snowing.”
Joel F, Terry

“When you have to stop for a traffic jam of cattle or machinery to cross the road.”
Rita E, Great Falls

“When residence are as familiar with the brand of Stockman Bank as other states are with Wells Fargo, Wells what?”
Echo G, Miles City

“When a ‘stray’ or ‘loose’ dog is known by everyone.  I grew up in Savage and we had so many ‘loose’ dogs but you new exactly where they belonged and to whom.  They were all friendly and over fed!!  That’s what I liked most about living in a small town in Montana.  Still do!  And I remember most of the names of those ‘stray’ dogs even though they are long gone.”
Jodi F, Miles City

“When hunting is a holiday that everyone takes vacation for, when you never go a day without seeing some Canadian Geese, when the temperature and weather can change as quickly as walking to your car, when the warm chinook winds can take away the snow in a day, when it can snow every month of the year, when huckleberries are found in everything (lotions, lipsticks, pies, ice cream), when the Bobcat and Griz football game is the biggest event of the year, when 406 means home, and where only Stockman Bank is found!”
Jasmin M, Billings

“When there are more deer than people.”
Angela C, Billings

“When there are more cattle than people.”
Angela C, Billings

“If you keep a parka in your car year round… just in case.”
Jerri H, Miles City

“When you see people going to garage sales in riding lawn mowers.”
Nicole B, Miles City

“When you measure your trips in hours instead of miles and when you can drive for 30 minutes without seeing another car (Highway 200 between Lewistown and Circle).”
Dane J, Belgrade

“When you see people taking the horse trailer to go buy groceries.”
Gretchen H, Miles City

“When the Cat/Griz game is as important as the Super Bowl!”  #Go Griz!”
Virginia K, Billings

 “Random acts of kindness are not surprising, we take them for granted because that is the core of our Montana values and we believe that’s how everyone should act.  But people who are not from here are sometimes surprised.  My daughter was traveling home with 2 small kids (1&3) after coming here to visit me, her bag was 8lbs over weight and they were going to charge an extra $100.  While she was kneeling on the ground trying to decide what to remove and try and fit in the carry on (while wearing the 1 yr. old in a carrier) an older couple from here stepped up and told her to close her bag and they paid the fee for her!  She was very overwhelmed with their kindness and generosity, and then while getting on the flight she had more offers from strangers to help with the stroller and putting her bag in the overhead compartment than she had from anyone on the 2 flights coming to Montana.  During brief conversations with these kind strangers she found out they were also Montana natives.  ‘Help your neighbors’ is still a Montana standard.”
Rhonda N, Miles City

“When your activities for the day are somewhat decided on by the weather for that day.  Montana is an outdoor activity state.”
Doug P, Cut Bank.

“If you drive across the state and drive through 4 different weather conditions: rain, snow, high winds and sun.”
Emma M, Miles City

“When you grew up wearing a snowsuit under your Halloween costumes.”
Paula K, Miles City

“When it is 40 below zero and the kids still have school.”
Gretchen H, Miles City

 “When it snows on the way to Girl Scout camp in July.”
Paula K, Miles City

“When you know Ekalaka is not an island in Hawaii.”
Sally K, Glendive

“When you wish you were from Ekalaka.”
Stan M, Miles City

 “When Stan M responds to 700+ employees something about Ekalaka!”
Julie D, Great Falls

“When you can travel for 8 hours on the highway and you’re still  in Montana.”
Anna W, Great Falls

“When it snows hard enough in June to break off tree branches.”
Tammy F, Missoula

“When you can experience having all 4 seasons within a 24-hour period or when you get up and it is 65 degrees and by noon you’re in the middle of a blizzard.”
Lori B, Miles City

“When you run into someone else from Montana in an airport in Tennessee and someone hollers your name that is also from Montana, small world.”
Connie H, Billings

“When the Griz beat the Bobcats in the Brawl of the Wild every year.”
Paul M, Missoula

“When you can enjoy the beautiful night sky.”
Jan B, Billings

“When the smell of cows, is the smell of money.”
Khyrsten B, Miles City

“When your kids graduate from high school and have never experienced a ‘snow day’”.
Cindy D, Bozeman

“When you have to wear a coat to mow your lawn.”
Toni H, Dillon