I met 'em on the trail: Pete and Laura Wakeman

A lot of content that you may see at our BTC website is obviously focused on trails, recreational programs, and events around town. However, we'd like to stop every now and again to speak to the folks both involved with the organization as well as people who utilize these resources. Thanks to Pete and Laura for sharing about their time in Dillon and for a wonderful evening walk. If you would like to share your story please contact us, we'd love to hear from you.


Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in Dillon

We’ve lived in Dillon over 30 years, more than half our life – we are both in our sixties. We moved here originally from Great Falls right after we sold our bakery there, the Great Harvest Bread Company. We were the original founders of Great Harvest, which is a national franchise now, with the franchising offices still based in Dillon. We sold the company in 2001, and are no longer involved except as friends.


How do you recreate around town and Beaverhead County?

We hike, cross-country ski, and camp. We get out for at least a short walk or hike almost every day. For longer trips we used to love backpacking, but now we’ve simplified down to a truck camper on a good pickup, and we mostly dayhike.

Why are trails and open space important to you?

That’s the whole reason we live here. That, and our friends of course, who all of them outdoorsy like us.

Why did you become a member of BTC?

The BTC has lots of worthwhile projects, but we care especially about the High Trails effort – helping to raise money to buy the Town Hills trail system right behind town. It’s privately owned now, but deserves to be developed into a community hiking area similar to what they have in Bozeman, Helena or Missoula.

How do you envision trails and recreational opportunities changing in Dillon in the future?

(Pete): We’ve lived here a long time, and I’ve never seen the enthusiasm around a community trail system that there is right now. It’s hard to imagine the momentum won’t pick up and get even stronger, over time. The hiking is already wonderful in the mountains out around Dillon, obviously. But super close to town, for everyday walks by residents and visitors, just getting some exercise, taking the dog out, we need legal access, maps, signage, trail work – we need to make it easy for people. There isn’t much public land close to town, so this is going to take work. There’s no shortage of good projects! I really believe though that 10 years from now, Dillon will have a community trail system that’s the envy of any town its size. It’s fun to be working with the BTC, there’s a great spirit going on right now.

Open Floor-Anything at all that you'd like to share?

We literally drive over to the little parking lot, park by the trailhead sign, and hike up the Town Overlook trail 3-4 times/week, year-round, any weather. It’s the only place that close to town for a good, short, steep everyday hike to a beautiful view. That little trail system is very important to us, just personally.