Last week I shared half a dozen things I learned while researching the story series Big Sky Country. The second book—Montana Cowboy Family—is out this month.

Montana Cowboy Family

Today, I want to share another half dozen things I learned.

1. The area is beautiful which I already knew but it bears repeating.

montana research trip July 180 montana research trip July 310

2. There are old-growth cedars of up to 500 years—the Ross Creek Cedars.

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3. David Thompson mapped the area. What an incredible man he was.

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montana research trip July 1134. Gold brought people to the area. In 1864, 1000 men were each panning $20-$30 from Wild Horse Creek. Fine gold was valued at $18/oz. but it was the wealth of trees that kept them there.


montana research trip July 2175. There is a library well stocked with books on local history.

montana research trip July 0466. The lake created by the Libby Dam  is called Lake Koocanusa.


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The name is a combination of the names Kootenai, Canada and United States and crossed the Canada-American border. montana research trip July 042


The Koocanusa Bridge, Montana’s longest (2,437 feet) and highest (270 feet) bridge crosses the lake.



I really enjoy researching. It makes me look at places I visit with more interest. Do you dig deep into an area when you visit it? What is your favorite discovery?

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