Swing Vote: Duck-billed, hoof-less cowboys. Oh, yeah.

So let me tell you what would NOT happen if I were in Montana-pioneer shape.

Acquiring a major muscle strain in my back from the overwhelming physical activity of… wait for it… putting on my pajamas.

Yep. I’m so proud.

Since my lower back is balled up in a manner that makes me howl like a rabid dog inside my head I took two Tylenol PM.

This means I have approximately 23.6 minutes to impart very important knowledge about Montana before my fingers collapse into sludge and I stop making coherent sentences.

So let’s go.

There have been no visits from the state of Montana yet. The stat map is just a broad, white space bleeding into Canada. The surrounding states, they have pin marks from visitors. But Montana, it’s just a big nothin’.

I’ve decided not to take this personally because the population density of the Treasure state is six people per square mile. And that’s not many people. And I’ve got to assume at least one-third of all people are over the age of 60 which means they might not be online at all.

So. I’m not going to allow the populations’ choices to affect me. I will be persistent. I will continue the Swing Vote.

Until blog time tomorrow. After that, I may have to write Montana off as dead to my heart. And that will be a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions.

Writing Montana off will hurt my heart. Because I have fallen in love with the landscape, the sweeping vistas and rugged mountains.

And it doesn’t hurt that “near the Pines Recreation Area as many as 100 sage grouse perform their extraordinary spring mating rituals.” Did you catch the extraordinary there? Who wouldn’t want to know more about the mating habits of sage grouse?!

(A grouse is not the same as a grouch. Unless their extraordinary mating is interrupted. Then… well, if you do that God have mercy on your soul. Some things are private.)

(I can feel the Tylenol PM starting to take over my body. Sigh. Happy sleep is coming my way. Smile.)

I’m a bit nervous about possibly getting on the wrong side of Montana. Because, I know they like their firearms up there.

For example, in Fort Benton, a cowboy once insisted on riding his horse to his room in the Grand Union Hotel. When the manager objected, they exchanged gunfire. The horseman was killed before reaching the top of the stairs; fourteen .44 slugs were later dug out of his body.

Word to the wise, don’t mess with a horse, hotel and firearm.

Gun loving is practical in Montana – after all, they have the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states.

Residents know how to handle their problems, even problems of raptor-rific proportions. I found out the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman gained fame through the work of its chief paleontologist, Jack Horner. Horner was the prototype for the character Dr. Alan Grant in the best selling novel/movie, “Jurassic Park.”

Don’t mess with the dinosaurs.

Speaking of dinosaurs, did you know Montana has its own dinosaur fossils? Specifically they have an official state fossil,the Maiasaura Peedblesorum (duck-billed dinosaur). And their claim to fame is the duck-billed dinosaur fossil –  it was also the first dinosaur fossil launched into space!

That is an accomplishment to hang your hat on. I certainly haven’t launched anything into space. Though I have a poodle available if NASA comes looking.

Not to start any interstate rivalries, but even though things may be big in Texas, even the proudest Texan will have a hard time competing with the World’s Largest Steer, found in Baker, MT. Montana weighed in at 3,980 pounds, grew to be 5’9″ tall and 10’4″ long and lived for 15 years and 4 months.

That’s a big bovine. That’s bigger than me by a lot – at least 20 or 30 pounds. Don’t mess with Montana the steer.

My last bit of Montana information also involves a four-legged animal. A mountain goat, specifically.

In Montana, mountain goats will butt heads so hard their hooves fall off. That’s true, I found it on the internet!

I hope you’re learned more about our brethren cowboy state, Montana. I know I have learned. I would like to learn more – from a resident of the state. Wouldn’t you? So send any Montana friend over to StealingFaith to comment and teach us more about this precious place.

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