Why Do Montanans Love Back Roads So Much?
I learned how to drive before I was 10 to help my dad move equipment to other areas of the farm. I never drove in town or unless we were moving, always on gravel of dirt roads. I first drove a 1970 Ford Pickup, shifting and all. Granted, I never really had to take it above 2nd gear, but I knew how to shift before I learned that driving a stick was cool. Before I could drive legally, I did everything I could to take a back road because if I played my cards right, I could drive there. Before you get into some kind of tizzy, let me make some things clear; This was the 1970's, I wasn't the only farm kid driving to help operate the farm. I didn't get to just DRIVE whenever I wanted, there had to be a reason. Once 3-wheelers became a thing, driving the pickup was over when moving machinery. My brother and I would flag dad with our bikes. Sometimes all the way to my Uncle's place in Pendroy.
I actually prefer a gravel road to a paved road, for some odd reason. I've always chalked it up to learning to drive on them. I feel really at ease. I also think it's why I'm someone who will ALWAYS take a back road. In town, out of town, between towns, I will choose the back road any time. I even take side roads in any town I know to avoid their main road. Especially on the weekends.
Most of my friends grew up the same way, or very close to the way I grew up. Driving the back roads just to drive, avoid our parents or the police (keggers in the country), it's a great date, or did I mention just the thrill of driving? And in Montana, there is a lot of driving to be done. We don't even think it's out of the ordinary because to get to almost any major town from the country, it's a good half hour to an hour, and that's if you're close to town. To get from one big town to another it's a good 2-3 hour drive, generally.
Next time, take a back road. There's always a back road. My dad was the BEST at knowing the back roads. They usually have really cool things, too. Things only a Montanan knows about. Know why? We love to take a drive, especially if you can take a back road.