(State of Montana)
• Location: Western United States
• Capital: Helena
• Language(s): English
• Population: 998,574
• Total Area: 381,156 sq km
• Curious Alcohol Fact: There are fine wines in the state.
• Most Popular Drink(s): Wines, beers
• Nickname(s): The Treasure State, Big Sky Country
• What You Must Do in Montana: Visit the Glacier National Park
Located in the western part of the United States, the state of Montana is one of the most breath-taking states in North America. The name of the state is derived from the Spanish word which means ‘mountainous’. This description was used for the first time in the 18th century when it was carved out as a territory. Montana is one of the largest states in the country and in fact, it is the largest of all the landlocked states in the United States. The state is bordered on its northern side by Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia all of which are provinces in Canada. On its eastern side, the state is bordered by the two Dakotas –North and South while Wyoming lies to the south and Idaho flanks it to the southwest. Even though a considerable part of the state is mountainous, more than half of the land is classified as prairie, and there are various rivers.
As I had expected, the population distribution of Montana is quite similar to what I saw in other states in the country. Whites form the clear majority and are mainly of German, English, Irish and Scandinavian ancestries. Those with German blood dominate the state’s landscape followed by the Scandinavians (especially the Finns and Norwegians). Other ethnic groups in the state are the Blacks (African Americans), Asians (particularly the Chinese), Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders and Latinos.
The state is known for its large-scale cultivation of wheat and I was reminded of this fact when it was time to eat in Montana. Fine bread with berry jam happens to be the staple in the area I stayed. Durum wheat (also called semolina) is also used to make pasta and you will surely enjoy this meal. Beef is not a problem at all, as Montana is a great ranching center. You can have the beef smoked, roasted, boiled or fried –just the way you want it. Nice cherries are also produced in the state and you can help yourself to a handful.
Drinking in Montana
There are about eight wineries in this western state and that means you will always have enough to drink while touring the state. Some of the brands that are popular with the locals and tourists include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Marechal Foch and Pinot Gris. My favorite of all time remains the Chardonnay. For those who will always go gaga over a bottle of beer, there is the Montana Beer Festival and every year, lovers and admirers of booze congregate upon the state and enjoy different kinds of drinks.
Sports in Montana
Although Montana is a sparsely populated state, it is quite interesting in terms of sports. I fell in love with the Great Falls Voyager after watching one of their games. Baseball, football, basketball, soccer, rugby, hockey and softball have a huge following in the state.
Interesting Facts About Montana
• Montana is the largest landlocked state in the country.
• The name of the state is derived from the Spanish word meaning ‘mountain’.
• Montana is also fondly referred to as the Last Best Place.
• The state is home to some of the world’s most impressive dinosaur fossils.
• The majestic Glacier National Park is located in the state.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).