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My great-great grandmother got to Montana by going UP the Missouri River on a raft! My grandma had a geneology done, complete with photos. You wouldn't want to mess with those early Montana settlers... or that's my guess from looking at their stern expressions and fullback-like physiques. Life must have been pretty tough on the frontier in the 19th century. We still appreciate that rugged individualism here, and many folks still live very close to the land.

Things do move slower here than other places I've lived, but change is evident. As a young child, old buildings dotted the landscape everywhere you looked, but now you almost have to search them out. My photos show an obvious preference for the seemingly untouched, perhaps as if to document what may one day be gone. There's a tension here between the advance of progress and a desire to hold on to a simpler time. More and more, though, I think Montanans have a growing sense of the value of our heritage, and are less eager for that "out-with-the-old" philosophy. The Salish petroglyhs, for example, are right now undergoing a preservation effort by the Tribes. Living on the reservation as we do, we have a first-hand opportunity to observe their efforts to transform the land back to what is more natural. Few actually know what that was really like, but you have to give them credit for trying. They are helping slow down sprawl and other urban problems. I love the open road, being able to drive forever
without running into traffic.

Without a doubt, Montana is a great place to be if you enjoy photography.