Pre-Trip Fun for Bozeman, Montana
"A River Runs Through It" -- Filmed in Livingston, this poignant film is the story of two brothers who come of age in early-twentieth-century Montana (it includes beautiful footage of the state's rivers and mountains). (Teens)
"Little Big Man" -- The adventures of Jack Crabb (played by Dustin Hoffman), who was captured by Indians as a boy, reared as an Indian, and shuttled back and forth between the white and Indian worlds. (School-age to Teens)
"Legends of the Fall" -- The youngest of three brothers brings his bride-to-be home to Montana, which provokes passion and rivalry in his family. The Academy-Award winning cinematography is spectacular. (Teens)
Cherries -- Put them on ice cream, bake a pie, or eat them fresh out of hand. Montana produces 730 tons of cherries every year.
Sunflower seeds: -- Sunflowers are one of Montana's major crops. They're primarily used to produce sunflower oil, but the seeds are tasty, too.
"B is for Big Sky Country: A Montana Alphabet Edition 1" by Sneed B. Collard III and Joanna Yardley -- Find out where the Going-to-the-Sun Road really goes and other Montana facts in this alphabet book. (Preschool)
"Torosaurus and Other Dinosaurs of the Badlands Digs in Montana" by Dougal Dixon -- Learn about the boneheaded, duck-billed, and armored dinosaurs that lived in prehistoric forests, now the dry plains of Montana. (Preschool)
"Race with Buffalo and Other Native American Stories for Young Readers" by Richard Young -- Stories from Native American tribes all over the country tell about young heroes, magical beasts, and ancient times. (Elementary)
"Rodeo Rocky (Horses of Half Moon Ranch)" by Jenny Oldfield -- A young girl adopts an injured rodeo horse, but soon learns that training him requires more than a good heart. (Elementary)
"Buried Treasures of the Rocky Mountain West" by W.C. Jameson -- More than 30 tales of lost riches buried in remote places throughout the Rocky Mountains. (Elementary)
"Montana 1948: A Novel" by Larry Watson -- A Montana sheriff discovers that his brother has been abusing and molesting the Indian women in his care. When the sheriff's son sees his uncle near a murder scene, the family is torn by the moral dilemmas that follow. (Teens; mature themes)
"Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles" by John Watson -- Four fascinating mysteries, each one filled with the details of life in early-day Montana. (Teens)
Personalized walking stick -- Find a fallen branch that's about mid-chest tall and trim away the twigs and leaves. Decorate with feathers, acrylic paint, leather ties, or just about anything that makes it unique, then bring it along for your Montana hiking vacation.
Cowboy s'mores -- To make this fun variation on an old favorite, sandwich a marshmallow between two chocolate chip cookies. No campfire? No problem -- just microwave the cowboy s'more for a few seconds to soften the marshmallow. Eat it like the cowboys do: under the stars.
Stampede strings -- Many ranches require stampede strings (leather or rope chin straps) that keep cowboy hats from flying off and spooking the horses. Standard ones are easy to find, but it's easy to make your own if you'd like something more fanciful. You'll need two leather or rope strings and two cotter pins (to attach the ropes to the hat). You can braid the strings, bead them, or put tassels on the end -- anything to make them uniquely yours.