POTD: Faux Kansas

Faux Kansas
Highway 200, Montana
2019

Given it’s mountainous reputation I think many people are surprised to find out that much of Montana is in the Great Plains. This section of State Highway 200 is part of a route designated as the Big Sky Backcountry Byway, a drive that is better at evoking memories of childhood in those raised in Kansas than it is in selling Montana as a tourist destination. However, I felt very much at home in that part of the state.

4 thoughts on “POTD: Faux Kansas”

  1. Wow! Thanks for the great background story! As for Kansas, well North & South Dakota as well as Nebraska & eastern Colorado might well compete for the title as well! 🙂

  2. I’ve read that is the case. I guess we’d really need to ask A.B. Guthrie about it as I also read that the title came from his 1947 novel The Big Sky. This has been discussed on netstate.com which says “A relatively recent nickname, “Big Sky Country” originated with a 1962 promotion of the Montana State Highway Department. It is a reference to the unobstructed skyline in the state that seems to overwhelm the landscape at times. The name came from a book by Alfred Bertram Guthrie Jr., Big Sky, recalled by a Highway Department employee. Mr. Guthrie gave the Highway Department permission to use the name and Montana has been ‘Big Sky Country’ ever since. The legend ‘Big Sky Country’ appeared on Montana license plates from 1967 to 1975. This was shortened to “Big Sky” on license plates stamped from 1976 to 2000.”

    If the moniker is all about eastern Montana, then it begs the question why isn’t Kansas the true Big Sky Country?

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