We had the good fortune of connecting with Morgan Marks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Morgan, what matters most to you?
Connection. When people are in relation to one another, magic happens – people listen, they share, they open up, they see the common humanity between them. It takes intention, respect, and curiosity to share space with someone else and dig in enough to hopefully realize that we are more alike than not. I’ve traveled to a good amount of places, from Zambia, to Australia, to Canada, and humans, while unique and different, we all seem to crave a knowing and to find belonging wherever we are. If we realized this is the person across from us, I think it would help to turn the dial to seek common ground between folks.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I currently live in Great Falls, Montana. I’ve been here about 2 months, and moved from Helena, Montana. Great Falls is centrally located, for the most part, so other towns are a hop and skip in the car – say 2 hours.
Montana is everything you’ve seen in photos, with beautiful landscapes and smiling people. Depending on what season you visit, come prepared for any kind of weather. If there’s snow, we’ll get outside, and if there’s sun, we’ll still get outside. Cross country skiing, hiking, backpacking, fly fishing – those are all activities I love to do. I’ll teach you.
I’d take you to my favorite places and small businesses – General Mercantile in Helena for a hot beverage and perusing their selection of Merc goods; Blackfoot Brewery in Helena for a few beers and a sit on their patio – making sure we eat popcorn while we’re sipping; Moose’s Bar in Kalispell where it’s entirely appropriate to throw peanut shells on the floor; Sip N’ Dip in Great Falls because it’s iconic and you have to see the mermaids; Blackfoot Pathways, Sculpture in the Wild in Lincoln, because it’s an easy walk with beautiful artwork; Flathead Lake because we are swimming and maybe even sailing; No Sweat Café in Helena because they have some good home cooked food and the best breakfast; Cotton-Top Pastries in Helena where we will wait in line early in the morning for some tasty and scrumptious baked goods.
I haven’t even scratched the surface with shops to check out, thrifting options, and places to visit. There are TOO many great places to share by name, so please just trust me that you’ll see, and do, and eat, and enjoy because Montana really is the last best place. People are kind, they’ll ask you how you are doing, and they really do want to know – so when you visit, remember this, and I’d urge you to be open to making new friends and allowing new connections.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Women – the braves and courageous ones, the ones who came before me and paved the way for me to be, the ones who consistently show up in my circle and root for me, the ones who hold me accountable, the ones who love me even after and always – the ones who come to the table and meet me in the field, if it wasn’t for strong women in my life, I wouldn’t be as brave, gritty, and have the heart that I do. These women are my sisters and the ties that ground me.
There are too many people to list – honestly – people who show up for a spell and leave their mark and fade, people who stay on no matter the distance, people whose moment left a mark… I’ve been lucky enough to meet entrepreneurs, professors, strangers on the street, folks delayed in airports, working people — and all of these people have made me, me.
A friend once said to me, “in the shelter of each other, we live,” and it’s true. Home for me has always been under the umbrella of a place and the people.
I was raised by a strong knit family with ties that bound us, and they still do, so me being here, sharing with you, is thanks to them too. My parents, my sister, my extended family, they’re all to thank for instilling in me what it means to be bound through blood.
Almost two years ago, I’d thrown in the towel when it came to love. I’d made peace with being alone, with going it on my own without a partner. I’m grateful for the mostly patient man that walked into my life and reminded me how to trust again, how to love hard again, and who has welcomed me into a life of our choosing together that looks like roots, stability, and a great love that’s goofy, loyal, and full of growth.