Saturday, June 13th: History. Montanan author Jon Axline reads from his book Taming Big Sky Country: The History of Montana Transportation from Trails to Interstates. 11 am.
Drives this breathtaking did not come easy. Cruising down Montana's scenic highways, it's easy to forget that traveling from here to there once was a genuine adventure. The state's major routes evolved from ancient Native American trails into four-lane expressways in a little over a century. That story is one of difficult, ground-breaking and sometimes wrong engineering decisions, as well as a desire to make a journey faster, safer and more comfortable. It all started in 1860 when John Mullan hacked a wagon road over the formidable Rocky Mountains to Fort Benton. It continued until the last section of interstate highway opened to traffic in 1988. Montana Department of Transportation historian Jon Axline charts a road trip through the colorful and inspiring history of trails, roads and superhighways in Big Sky Country.