What made you move to Montana?

One of my favorite photographers, Jesse Speer, after living in Colorado for years, moved to Montana. A Senior VP in my company has a one-man office in Bozeman. To me Montana has always been a state that has a lot of space, both physically and spiritually. It can be extremely cold which I suffered painfully when I was stuck on a lift chair waiting to be evacuated. The locals are tough enough to take the harsh weather like a piece of cake, but they also have a soft spot toward the nature.

“My first experience of the wilderness when I was a child”, as Liz told us, “was seeing a bear scratching outside of our RV”. With a ponytail almost reaching her waist, Liz is our favorite guide. Besides talking about the 1988 Yellowstone fire and why Elks in the northern region live longer than the ones in the central geyser region, she told us a lot more about herself than normal people would do. Perhaps the openness of the landscape has a profound influence on its inhabitants. We knew whom she married (her boss), and why they were officially broke this past month (because of the new house they bought). The lady with whom we spent two hours on the lift chair came to Montana without a job, but fell in love with this place. She started by teaching skiing at the Yellowstone club, eventually became a property manager… Life will find its way, just like lodgepole pines developing a different kind of cones that explode when heated by fire and shoot seeds throughout the area.

Summer 1989, a year after the fire, Yellowstone had the greatest wildflower show ever, and the busiest year of the decade.