Category Archives: The West

Wind River Mountains 1998

In the Spring of 1998 my 78 year-old father and I were on a road trip through Wyoming and Montana. We picked up a rented car in Bozeman, Montana and stopped the first night in Chico Hot Springs. The next morning the two of us continued down Paradise Valley to Yellowstone Park. Buffalos grazed the [...]


In the spring of 1994 Ms. Carolina was learning to love Montana. She pinned the accelerator of the premiere-class rented Chevy to the floor. We got places fast and left faster. After leaving Garrison Junction she drove down I-90. A roadside billboard announced the State Prison was open for visits. “What you think?” She was [...]

GARRISON JUNCTION by Peter Nolan Smith

In the late summer of 1972 my college friend and I hitchhiked across across Montana. The interstate was under construction. Ptrov and I got stuck in Garrison Junction for most of a day. Twenty miles farther south was the Montana State Prison. Anyone on the side of the road could be an escaped ax murderer [...]


The weather along Montana’s Continental Divide shifted from summer to fall to winter in late-August of 1972. My friend Ptrov and I were Boston-bound and we crashed a night with a band of carpenter gypsies constructing a rest stop on the new interstate. Bulldozers had churned the dirt highway into a muddy bog for the [...]

Nothing In Anaconda

According to Wikipedia the Anaconda mine produced more than $300 billion worth of metal in its lifetime. In 1972 I hitchhiked through Anaconda. Dust rose from the mine. It had three shifts a day. Ten years later nothing was in Anaconda, but empty fields. Oh Zanadu.