When I was in sixth grade, I took a family trip to Disney World in Florida. It was an amazing time, but one experience stands out to me many years later. While riding the bus back to our hotel from one of the parks, a kid around my age asked me where I was from. When I told him "Montana," he got a weird look in his eye and said, "Montana? You ride horses everywhere, right?" As it turns out, there are many misconceptions about Montana that other states have believed for a long time. I'm here to dispel those misconceptions about our beautiful state.

MYTH: You can drive as fast as you want on Montana roads.

Photo by Steven Cordes on Unsplash
Photo by Steven Cordes on Unsplash
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This misconception comes from an old Montana law that allowed "Safe and Prudent" driving speeds. This was the case for a long time but, in 1999, the Supreme Court ruled against a lack of speed limits in states like Montana. The speed limit today on Montana roads can reach up to 80 miles per hour.

MYTH: Students ride horses to school every day.

Back in the day, many schools in Montana would have hitch posts outside to tie your horse to while you were studying. Those days are pretty much gone now, and students drive or ride the bus like anyone else. Students do sometimes ride horses to school during important events, and many believe that the principal and administrative staff have to take care of the horse, though this isn't an actual law from what I could find.

MYTH: Picturesque mountains are everywhere here.

Purestock
Purestock
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While many of us would love for that to be true, the east and central part of the state is actually fairly flat. In fact, it's part of the Great Plains, a massive expanse of land that is mostly covered in grass or prairie land. The Western side of Montana is where you find all those beautiful postcard photos of Montana.

MYTH: Montana has no cell service.

While it's true that cellular service may be hard to get in more rural parts of Montana, the absence of it is completely false. In fact, Montana has 5G signal in parts of large cities such as Bozeman and Billings. I wrote an article on 5G in Billings, which you can find here.

MYTH: Montana is behind modern times.

The above myth should answer this. Some of the things I've seen in Billings myself include electric cars, folding smartphones, and voice-activated security systems. Montana isn't behind the times at all, and many youths are embracing new technology as well.

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Hopefully, this helps anyone outside of Montana understand us a bit better. It's okay if you don't, just don't touch my voice-activated security system. It was really expensive.

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New to Billings or not, the Magic City may look like an industrial town from the freeway, but take any exit and you'll discover a city with idiosyncrasies and a whole lot of Montana personality.

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