Philipsburg is one of my favorite small towns in Montana. I love the sky-held mountain valley in which the town is nestled. You feel like you can touch the clouds from Main Street there. Sapphires and ghost towns can be found all around. The town still feels “Old West” through and through.
On Monday, that girl and I stopped in Philipsburg on our drive back to Helena. We spent a couple hours poking around the various tourist shops along the 1800’s Main Street and engaging in conversation with locals.
One of the shop owners shared her story of arrival here in Montana.
Reluctantly, the shop owner, a woman not yet approaching middle age, admitted that she’d moved to Montana from a particular state along the Gulf Coast.
“My daughter was miserable there,” she said. “She could not tolerate salt water, she was allergic to orange trees, to the grasses growing down there…to just about anything else you can imagine. All she did was cry. She cried all the time. When she was three, we decided we had to move. My husband, my daughter, and I started traveling to places. We went all over. Canada. The West Coast. Colorado. Idaho. Wyoming. State after state. Our daughter never stopped crying. Finally, we took a trip to Montana. Our plane landed in Helena near midnight before we drove to a resort where we were going to stay.”
The woman paused for just a moment, gathering thoughts and emotions. “Our daughter stopped crying the minute we landed in Montana. We were here for ten days and she never cried. Once, while we were here, we stopped at a bar and took her inside to buy her a soft drink. When we stepped inside, she said, ‘I like the music!’ It was country music. That trip changed everything. We went home and made a long term plan move here. Now, this is home.”