Sand Springs General Store and Café
An Oasis on the Montana Prairie
YOU ARE HERE!
Welcome to the
Lewis and Clark Trail!
Fuel Cafe Supplies Gifts Camping Hostel WiFi Showers Visitor Information
Hi! I'm Tracey, your new host and store keeper at Sand Springs!
I'm not from here, but I got home as quick as I could!
This is the beginning of my 9th winter in Montana, and my first on the prairie. I arrived in Montana back in the winter of 2013 from the highlands of western North Carolina. I have been a professional horsewoman, Methodist pastor, director of a non-profit ministry, pilot, cook, writer, genealogist, and chief bottle washer! In Montana I have struggled to find my niche, and finally, I think I have!
Life on the Montana prairie is not for the faint of heart. The weather is fickle, ranging from highs in the 100's to lows in the -40's! And the wind! The economy here is feast or famine, the threat of grass fires is real, and the isolation can be mind numbing! In Montana, we don't measure our roads in miles, but in time and fuel. With all these challenges, why on earth did I choose to live in such a remote and barren landscape??? Why did I choose to spend the last productive years of my life in a business that may make a net profit of a dollar in any given year!? Because . . .
. . . The Prairie. It doesn't look as exciting as the mountains of Western Montana, but it is! The Prairie is subtle and sublime. We don't see the word "sublime" much any more, but it describes the Montana prairie exactly.
Characterized by nobility, majestic,
Of high spiritual, moral, or intellectual worth,
not to be excelled; supreme.
You have to look a little closer to see all she has to offer. The wide open sky lets you see to the horizon. The summer storms are breathtaking! Winter can be brutal, but the sheer beauty of it after frontal passage is stunning. The sunsets are spectacular and on clear moonless nights the stars cover you like a blanket. Occasionally the Northern Lights make an appearance. In the morning you are greeted by the lone call of the Western Meadowlark, and in the evening she is the last to go to bed, singing those last notes as the stars begin to appear. Go for a walk in the rolling and broken landscape and you may feel eyes watching you. You will turn and see curious antelope keeping a close eye on you. Or maybe you're being followed by a curious coyote or being watched by a fox from it's den. Look closely and you may find an arrowhead, fossil, or even a dinosaur tooth!
On horseback, you can ride through the gate and not see another human for hours, with only the wind and the wildlife for company. Coming from American pioneer stock in the southeast, this life suits me well! I hope you'll come for a visit and let me introduce you to the central Montana Prairie!