Big Sky Country
There's a good reason Montana is called Big Sky Country. As we rode in on the train, the trees got more and more sparse through North Dakota and the eastern edge of Montana, and eventually they nearly disappeared altogether. In this part of the country, you see miles and miles of rolling hills covered with a thin layer of dry, straw-colored grass. Cattle dot the landscape. Occasionally you'll see a small farmhouse badly in need of a paint job, or, more likely, a small wooden shack on the verge of collapse. It looks like there hasn't been rain there in months, and there probably hasn't. Anything that is a healthy green is a product of intense irrigation. I would not want to farm here, but somehow people do it.