And a new year always brings a rush of energy and ideas and as our old friends from The Great American West touch base I’m thinking of floating a travelogue for a TV station… Bandana Montana.
All of which is, or certainly should be, the headgear of choice in America’s fourth largest state where they’re certainly frontiersmen.
With just one million residents and more wildlife than people.
And seeing I’ve been known to don a bandana, cowboy hat or Davy Crockett hat then I’d fit right in in any of Montana’s 56 state parks.
The Great American West point us in the direction of the Rocky Mountains, authentic Wild West towns, immense glaciers, pristine alpine lakes, rich Native American culture and ranches.
Of course, if your idea of heaven is a good hike and my walking boots are panting, waiting to be taken out, then the Glacier National Park will be right up your street.
Hike right up to glaciers, explore over 700 miles of hiking trails, or enjoy river rafting and horseback riding adventures, both of which I took too like a duck to a mountain on my trip to Colorado.
Of course we all know of Yellowstone, the world’s first national park.
And while most of it lies in neighbouring Wyoming, Montana does have three of the five entrances in the park.
But that’s even before you get to the state parks.
The Makoshika State Park is Montana’s largest state park and is in the east of the state.
It features eroded sandstone formations that include the fossil remains of T-Rex, Triceratops and other prehistoric life.
All part of the Dinosaur Trail which includes 14 museums across the state.
You always dreamt of getting on the Gold Trail… well, hit the Bannack State Park.
Bannack is the site of Montana’s first major gold discovery in 1862.
Stroll along wooden boardwalks lining the deserted street and peek into any of the 50 buildings that remain.
Summertime living history demos include panning for gold and free daily tours make this a lively destination.
One of the other great staples of the Wild West is of course, the Native Americans.
Bison on the cake
And their great go-to is the famed buffalo.
The First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park certainly fits the bill (see what we did there).
Believed to be the largest bison cliff jump in North America the state park tells the story of the people, animals and landscape of the buffalo culture.
This historic mile-long sandstone cliff was used for hundreds of years by Native Americans to aid in hunting.
They stamped herds of bison over the cliff and used them for food, clothing, shelter and provisions.
The jump provides spectacular views of the Rocky Mountain Front… and you can channel your Buffalo Bill here, looking out onto the Great Plains.
While you can get your keepsakes down at the visitors centre where there are buffalo culture exhibits aplenty and several hiking trails.
All fertile hunting ground for your favourite Bandanaman, Bandana Montana.