April 29, 2013

Western Research: 12 Incredible Montana Factoids

Western Research: author Stephen Bly
Stephen Bly (1944-2011)
12 Incredible Montana Factoids, western research by award-winning western author Stephen Bly

I've set lots of books in Montana, including the recent historical western romance, Creede of Old Montana. In fact, we came close to moving to the Treasure State over thirty years ago. Somehow, Idaho snagged us instead. Even though there were a dozen towns in western Montana from our western research that intrigued and tugged at us.

In the meantime, I learned a lot about the Big Sky country. All of it part of my extensive western research, both fiction wise and personal. Here's some of Montana's many charms.

12 Incredible Montana Factoids

Montana pronghorn antelope
1. Today the average square mile contains 1.4 elk, 1.4 pronghorn antelope, 3.3 deer and 6 humans.
2. In 1888, the city of Helena had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world.
3. 46 of Montana's 56 counties are considered "frontier counties" because of extremely low population.
4. Montana is the only state with a triple divide allowing water to flow into the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Hudson Bay. This phenomenon occurs at Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park. My family and I have been there.
5. Montana has more different species of mammals than any other state.
6. Flathead Lake in NW Montana is considered the largest natural freshwater lake in the west. It contains over 200 sq. miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline.
7. The first luge run in North America was built at Lolo Hot Springs on Lolo Pass in 1965.
8. Virginia City, founded in 1863, is considered the most complete original town of its kind in the U.S.
Western research: Montana Going to the Sun Highway
Going To The Sun Highway
9. The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman gained fame through the work of its chief paleontologist, Jack Horner. He was the prototype for the character Dr. Alan Grant in the bestselling novel and movie, "Jurassic Park."
10. The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park is considered by many the most scenic drive in America.
11. Roe River, which flows near Great Falls, often at 58 feet in length, is considered the shortest river in the country. Its source is Giant Springs, the largest freshwater spring in the U.S.
12. Montana's name comes from the Spanish word for mountain: montaňa f; montón m. 

Going To The Sun Highway Weeping  Wall

Montana Bighorn Sheep

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Montana's average sq. mile contains 1.4 elk, 1.4 pronghorn antelope, 3.3 deer & 6 humans: http://clicktotweet.com/o983e
Montana has more different species of mammals than any other state: http://clicktotweet.com/v2e8G
Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park most scenic U.S. drive: http://clicktotweet.com/OBI67

Website Links for other western authors who do western research:

Terry Burns http://www.terryburns.net/
Lena Nelson Dooley http://www.lenanelsondooley.com/
Tina Dee Books http://tinadeebooks.com/
Molly Noble Bull http://www.mollynoblebull.com/
Amber Stockton http://amberstockton.com/ 

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