By Alkali Springs Correspondent
Every so often the Great Falls Tribune writes a particularly obnoxious editorial aimed directly at this north country. It is sort of like a rattlesnake biting itself because by now, Great Falls and the Tribune should realize just how dependent they are to places like Havre, Shelby, Cut Bank, Glacier Park, Malta, Glasgow, Chinook and the list goes on and on.
They belittle folks up here for dreaming of a four-lane highway stretching from border to border in northern Montana. Called U.S. Highway 2, it would steal a tad of thunder from Great Falls, that is for sure. Because by traveling over that road, it would become apparent for all that this northern fourth of Montana has the most to offer.
Sometimes even we tend to forget what we and our land is all about. And sometimes we don't want to share it with "outsiders," but that is another story.
Take our mountain ranges. There is nothing as beautiful as the Little Rockies, the Larb Hills, the beautiful Bear Paws, the Sweet Grass Hills, and Glacier Park, for yes, indeed, Glacier Park belongs to northern Montana just as much as Cut Bank and Glasgow do. Not enough mountains? Just drive 80 miles north of that four-lane U.S. Highway 2 and you will find yourself in the Cypress Hills, mysterious and incredible.
Speaking of incredible, if you have trouble dealing with the vast Montana prairies in this part of the state, or you think that others might be bored by them, just read "Wolf Willow" by Wallace Stegner. It will give a new appreciation of just how awesome our prairies are. Sometimes it is good to read what others have written about us just to understand and see what others might see in this land.
Treeless? We think not! Why, the forests around Fort Peck alone are unbelievable and untapped so far as recreation is concerned. It is the same for the Charles Russell Game Preserve and the Missouri Breaks, in general, from Fort Benton to Fort Peck.
And talk about Fort Peck. Think of this. Did you know that there is more shoreline around Fort Peck Lake than in the whole state of California? Trouble with us is that there are not enough of us to get our voices heard, and we have never been good about tooting our own horn.
That is even more true when it comes to our own school of higher education, MSU-Northern. Ever look at the back doors of Cowan Hall lately? Drive over the rutted campus roads lately? Let us tell you that any other state school in Montana would not put up with that nonsense, and much more than that, for two seconds. Yet we do. Often we make ourselves second-class citizens.
We grant you that Great Falls has Charlie Russell, but then so could Chinook if they wanted to.
Guess what we are getting at is - bring on the four-lane highway! It will make things much more safe for us who drive those roads every day, and it will open our great land to more tourism. It will show off our magnificently historical citieshome to everybody from Kid Curry and Pike Landusky to such founders of empires like H. Earl Clack and F.A. Buttrey and, yes, even James and Louis Hill who summered on an island in St. Mary's Lake for many years.
We've got it all up here!! Just sometimes we don't seem to tell the story very well. But goodness, let's not let people who don't have a clue just walk all over usor maybe that's their problem.
They do have a clue and are afraid that we may figure it out as well. Hurrah for U.S. Highway 2! Hurrah for Senator Sam Kitzenburg!