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LivingstonA River Runs Through It

Our first impression of Livingston was not the jaw dropping scenery, but the wind … an annoying dust in your face kind of wind. At the visitor center we asked if the area was always so windy and were told that Livingston is the third windiest city in the continental U.S. … another local chuckled and told us that what we were experiencing was actually just a zephyr (Webster defines zephyr as a "gentle breeze").

The Owl Lounge is reportedly the smokiest bar in Montana.

Livingston has gone trendy but it still retains vestiges of its history as both a rowdy Wild West enclave and a gentrified company town for the Northern Pacific railroad. There are stately century old homes and buildings along side remnants of Calamity Jane’s cabin, brothels and bars such as the Bucket of Blood Saloon..

Many of the downtown businesses have been in operation for over sixty years and still have original punched tin ceilings and wooden floors.

Faded signs, vestiges of early-day businesses, are still visible around town.

Hands down the city’s architectural landmark is the sumptuous Italianate styled Great Northern Railroad Depot. This century old structure, with its elaborate terra cotta flourishes and curved colonnade, was designed by the same architectural firm that did New York Grand Central. It stands as a testament to Livingston's history as the original gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately the depot was undergoing extensive restoration. We couldn’t wonder freely since so much of the station was cordoned off with yellow do not enter tape.

The Carnegie library is still in use. It was a disappointment to see that the inside had been modernized to such a degree that there were no remnants of the original interior … not even a picture. As we left the librarian admonished us ...  "Don’t dip your toe in the Yellowstone ... or you may never leave".

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You got your Tony Lama’s on, your jeans pressed tight,
You take a few tokes, make you feel alright,
Rockin’ and a rollin’ on a Livingston Saturday night.

— Jimmy Buffett —