Marlboro Country

Still 10 cent coffee.

Cigarette commercials on television are a thing of the past, but they were numerous in the 1960’s.

One such commercial that impressed my grandmother (and in turn influenced me) were Marlboro Cigarette commercials. Neither my grandmother, nor her children, were smokers. It was the nature of the advertisement that piqued her interest.

Scenes of the west with cowboys herding cattle and wild horses kicking up dust under sunset skies gave her a longing to see Marlboro Country. Similar to the automobile commercials of today, where viewers watch a car zipping around Monument Valley in the middle of nowhere, these commercials stirred the imagination and created a yearning for adventure.

I’m sorry to say that my grandmother passed away without traveling to the heart of Marlboro Country, but I finally saw it in 1996 when I was pregnant with my fourth child. My husband took me on a dream vacation to explore the west.

Mountains and plateaus of different hues towered in the distance, giant cactus stood at attention in the desert, and fierce wind blew tumbleweed across the road. After experiencing the expansive countryside and spectacular scenery of the west, we were hooked

Over the next several years we decided to search for our Marlboro Country to raise our second “litter” of children (I would have two girls 13 months apart). We visited New Mexico, Colorado, California, Wyoming, Arizona…etc. We experienced many outstanding places, but our journey for a new home ended, when near the end of 2000, we crossed the border of Idaho into Montana.

It was In the middle of winter and the ground was covered in snow. My husband and I looked at one another and knew we had found our “Last Best Place”.