The posted speed limits are 75 on the interstate and 70 mph on two lanes. This is viewed by Montanan’s as the MINIMUM speed to drive (A). Do not drive slower than the posted speed limit. Ever.
The left lane is for passing only. You should take no more than 60 seconds to pass another vehicle. On two lanes, you can legally go 80 mph to pass another vehicle. Do so, because the oncoming traffic is coming at you at 75 miles per hour.
If you are too scared to drive your motor home above 60 mph on a two lane road, don’t drive on a two lane road.
If you have more than 5 cars stacked up behind you, pull over. NOW! It’s the law and it saves us from having to risk an accident by passing you or spend an hour driving something that should take 30 minutes.
In my 4x4 pickup with a gun rack, big dog and Montana license plates, I can drive 10 miles over the speed limit. If you try this in your little car with out-of-state plates, you will get a ticket. Too bad.
Don’t curse in front of our children, wives or little old ladies. Or the little old ladies will kick some manners into your ass, just the way they did to us. Seriously. Cursing in public is considered extremely rude and you will only get one polite warning.
Say, “Please” and “Thank you”. It’s what civilized people do. And you’ll get a lot better service.
Unless you are handed a wine list, realize that your choices for wine are red and white. Both come in a box. We don’t drink much wine. But nearly every bar has at least two micro-brews on tap.
Eat at something other than a chain store for lunch or supper. If you want the taste and ambiance of real Montana, try some of the places below.
If you are fishing from the bank, keep in mind that the rule in Montana is that if you can see another person fishing, you’re too close. If you come up on someone else fishing have the courtesy to ask if they are fishing up or downstream and proceed accordingly. We take our fishing etiquitte very seriously.
Just because you are wearing $1000 in Orvis fishing gear or paying a guide $300 a day does not mean that you have special rights or that you should sneer at me fishing in my shorts and a cowboy hat with my dog sleeping on the bank. Remember, long after you’ve gone home I’ll still be fishing in Montana. If you are polite and nice, we might just tell a spot to fish where there are few people and you don’t need a guide.
And would you mind doing this before I head to West Yellowstone tomorrow morning? Thanks.
whistlepig, who from Wednesday morning to sundown on Sunday will have driven from Helena to Great Falls to Helena to Hamilton to Helena to West Yellowstone to Bozeman to Helena.
(A) Except within 150 miles of Missoula, where they all drive too damn slow year-round.
Here’s my suggested places to eat to get a feel for the locals. Most of these places are partially bars. Most restaurants in Montana are partially bars.
Glendive = Beer Jug
Miles City = 600 Club
Ingomar = Jersey Lilly
Red Lodge = Bogarts
Any Pickle Barrel = Missoula, Billings, Livingston, Bozeman
Helena = Windbag, Millers Crossing, Marysville
Livingston = Marks In-And-Out
Butte = Front Street Deli
Hamilton = Coffee Cup
Kalispell = Mooses
Somers = Del’s
Bigfork = Garden Bar
Libby = The place across from the Super 8 motel
Ovando = Trixies
Gardiner = Helen’s
Roscoe = Cowboy Bar
Emigrant = Old Emigrant Saloon - half the price of Chico
Missoula = Missoula Club, Zimorinos
Glasgow = Sam’s Club
Wibaux = The Mint
Norris = the Mexican place
Lewistown = The Mint
Manhattan = Sir Scott’s Oasis (make reservations)
Sidney = North 40