Montana is simply put one of the most beautiful states in the entire country. We were lucky enough to explore the southern and western regions following some of Lewis and Clark's trail and learned so much about Montana's incredible history. Shaped by four types of people as depicted in the State Capitol Building in Helena-the Native American, the explorer and fur trader, the miner and the cowboy, each has left an indelible mark on this wondrous state.
Having visited Montana we left with so much new knowledge. We learned about the Shoshone and Mandan tribes about how they lived and how they worked together with the explorers helping and trading with them. We learned about the most famous explorers and documentarians in the region, Lewis and Clark by walking in their footsteps and seeing the beauty of Montana through their eyes. We learned about all the natural metals and minerals found in abundance here, how they are mined and how they shaped history and the local economy. We also learned about ranching and the role it plays in Montana culture.
Today there is not much left of the Shoshone or the Mandan but we have a deep respect for their contributions to the region. Tracing the trails of Lewis and Clark we appreciate the landscape they traversed and how difficult their journey must have been trying to incorporate their bravery and curiosity into our own lives. Today we can look at the Berkley pit, a copper mining pit so huge that it is visible from outer space, and wonder what we are doing to our environment. We can look at a mining town like Butte, where the economy has risen and fallen so dramatically, and think about better ways to maintain a sustainable and stable economy. We also now know how to slow down and enjoy simple pleasures and respect the animals on whose lives we depend and who also depend on us.
Montana has changed us in so many ways and all with beauty and grace. We are so grateful to have gotten so much out of this magnificent place. If you are inspired to go, I urge you to experience all Montana has to offer and listen carefully with your heart the lessons this state has to teach. You will be deeply moved and forever changed.