Journeys and Inspiration

Montana is my inspiration–for my books and many other things in my life. I recently took a “short” trip (700 miles one way) with my sister-in-law into Big Sky Country to visit family, and that adage came back to me “You can take the girl out of Montana, but you can’t take the Montana out of the girl.”  There is always something palpable that washes over me when I crest the summit of Lookout Pass from the Idaho side and see the sign “Welcome to Montana.” It is a warm sense of peace, a comfortable state of being, it whispers, “Home.”

My life journey began about 300 miles east of the Continental Divide, near Jordan, Montana. I like to say, if you open a map of the state, look at the

east-central portion, and where there is the least amount of writing on the map, that’s where I lived. In other words, “the middle of nowhere.” But it shaped who and what I am today–my work ethic, my moral foundation, my sense of independence and stick-to-itiveness. I’m proud of that heritage and the grandparents and parents who gave it to me.

This trip, I didn’t make it all the way back to my “roots.” There were just too many miles and too few days to do that. Last year I did go as far as Billings on a research trip. I was close (100 miles) to my grandparents’ last ranch at Ingomar (Home of the Jersey Lilly Bar & Cafe and the setting for my fourth book in a series), and I hope next year I can make it back there.

Journeys like these remind me of my childhood and I find myself getting nostalgic about “the good ol’ days.” But driving the road that stretches like a long black ribbon, I have time to appreciate the beauty of our world–from the snow-capped ever-green mountains to wheat fields as golden as fresh-baked apple pie, from Washington’s Columbia River Gorge and its cerulean blue against a mocha cliff backdrop, to the silvery sage of eastern Montana.

It is remembering, but it is also renewing sisterhood as we laughed and harmonized our way over the mountains and through the plains, inspired by the journey.

Published in: on August 8, 2008 at 2:28 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Heidi, great story. You know I feel exactly the same way about Montana, it is home.
    It was a fun trip and I’m ready to do it again.

    I’m looking forward to reading your books. Keep em coming!

  2. Wow, you’ve made great progress here. I like the view of Montana, makes me think of many journeys through there 🙂 Sheri

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