Steve McGann

Steve McGann has lived in Bozeman since the 1970s. Now retired, he is trying to finally use his history degrees. Or he is in the hills.

Content By This Contributor:

Top 10 Bozeman Bike Trails

Steve McGann

We have been riding our bikes in Bozeman for many years, for pleasure and exercise, errands and commuting. The growth of our city has made this both harder and easier. It is harder, of course, because of much more traffic. I never did ride on Main…

Take a Montana Bike Trip This Year

Steve McGann

A number of years ago I rode my bicycle across Montana. During the trip, I kept notes, and on my return I composed a journal. I can’t find it. That is okay, because the experience was one I remember in great detail. The one thing I am not sure…

Top 10 Hikes Around Bozeman

Steve McGann

Someone once said; “You had better keep moving, something might be gaining on you.” They did not elaborate, but this is true. The something is The Mummy. This is a character from a series of movies, the first filmed in 1932 and the most…

Lost Dakota: Gallatin County, Montana

Steve McGann

At the southern tip of Gallatin County, there is a plot of land of eleven square miles, or about 7000 acres. The eastern border is the 111th meridian west; the northern is the 44 degree, 30-minute parallel north; the southern and western border is…

Chet Huntley: Anchoring Big Sky Part 2

Steve McGann

Read Chet Huntley: Anchoring Big Sky Part 1 here In the summer of 1970, a recently retired national news broadcaster, instantly recognizable anywhere in the country, moved to Bozeman. A native Montanan, he and his wife rented a house, and he began a…

Chet Huntley: Anchoring Big Sky Part 1

Steve McGann

Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley are beautiful landscapes. Yet, every exit from the Valley contains its own scenic delights. East over Bozeman Pass to Paradise Valley and the Absarokas, west over the Tobacco Root foothills to Homestake and Butte. But…

Musing On Adventure Lists

Steve McGann

At times it seems as if lists run our lives. Lists of chores, of errands, of work duties, groceries; calendars of meetings, on and on. But there are fun lists too. Lists for Santa, guest lists for celebrations and, of course, bucket lists. The name…

Montana Holidays Outdoors

Steve McGann

My favorite Christmas ornament is a pine cone. It is fitted with a little eye screw and strung on a faded old ribbon. My Mother sent it to me as the wrapping for a present years ago. She included a description typed on her old Underwood, taped to the…

Take a Montana Drive This Fall

Steve McGann

Before I lived in Montana, the most vivid recurring image I had of what it would be like involved driving. My mind-picture was of an old bench seat pickup, slowly moving up a long hill on a gravel road through a grassy meadow. There were a couple of…

An Ultimate Road Trip

Steve McGann

“... And then the lights of Bozeman – the broad main street ablaze with power of brightness and abundant light...” The above quote comes from an odd little book; almost without sentences, it’s just daubs of phrases strung…

Bozeman Libraries Through the Years

Steve McGann

A well-known criminal was once asked why he robbed banks. He replied, “That’s where they keep the money.” My answer to why I spend so much time in libraries is similar; they are full of books. One of my best childhood memories is…

What's Your Beef?: Greetings

Steve McGann

In early May, I roused myself from a cloudy late afternoon daze and drove up to hike the M. This was somewhat unusual for me. After more than ten years of hiking the M a couple times each week, I had stopped after the 2020 fire. None of the M trails…

Top 10 Peaks To Hike Around Bozeman

Steve McGann

Hikers are as varied as the trails they walk. Some are constantly looking for new challenges, some are content with the same well-known trails. Some want short, level walks, some desire long and steep. There are casual walkers and thru-hikers. There…

Sidney Edgerton: Father of Montana?

Steve McGann

Look at a map of the western United States. Almost all of the borders are straight lines. Some of the states are nearly square; Wyoming and Colorado definitely, North and South Dakota nearly, New Mexico and Utah, close. Rivers form some boundaries:…

Who Wrote It?

Steve McGann

Consciousness is what makes us unique, human. Language is the method we use to express that consciousness. Writing and reading the words of language are the concrete tools of the process. Whales and elephants and ravens have language, but they have…

Ten Ways to Navigate Winter in Bozeman

Steve McGann

When I began a list for this article, some of my potential suggestions seemed familiar.I looked back to an article I had written for Mental Health Month last fall, my recommendations looked like some of the same ones with a hat and gloves. Still, it…

TEN Cross Country Ski Locations Around Bozeman

Steve McGann

Having deserted Montana winters about five years ago for warm and sunny Arizona, I have felt neither interest in nor expertise for writing about the season. This year, however, my wife and I will be in Bozeman for most of December and into January…

Is It Safe To Bike In Bozeman?

Steve McGann, photos by Mars Fagin

Recently, there have been two people killed while riding bicycles in Bozeman, both struck by motor vehicles. As our hearts ache for the families and friends of these two men, we are left to ask ourselves how, and why?I have been riding bicycles in…

Cheyenne Autumn

Steve McGann

Recently I read or reread some works of Montana history concentrating on the territorial and early statehood periods—books by classic historians Joseph Kinsey Howard, K Ross Toole, and Merrill Burlingame, as well as newer authors Ken Egan and…

Weather, Light, Seasons

Steve McGann

In the course of a day, it is possible to have multiple conversations with various people, from strangers to friends, and speak only of the weather. The subject is current, even immediate; historic, yet in the future; benign or raging, it’s all…