They're longer, more open.
You put your lips together to say them, instead of cackling from the back of your mouth (as in kilometers).
How far from the border would you rather be?
We walked or biked to OneMile Crossing along the CPR mainline east of Herbert--my many sisters to neck with their boyfriends or smoke Black Cats, my pals and me to open packs of baseball cards. (All "one kilometer crossing" crossing would be good for is burning our little bums on the hot rails.)
It's automatic: Where's Herbert? 30 miles east of Swift Current. Another 85 to Moose Jaw.
Farms were two miles north, half-mile east, another half-mile north from town. (Any of you, my dear readers, who come from farm stock--that's you, Aunt Daisy and Uncle Fitzgerald--know that your quarter-section is a half-mile square.)
A sign can announce MILE
and mean it.
East of Glendive I crossed Thirteen Mile Creek. I'll claim no creek is named for a kilometer.
After a meal together, Tom and Devin (of Hip.Bang fame) would head west through Miles City (named, surely, after wide spaces, not some guy named Miles City).
Across the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, those are miles, man.
And you've gotta hand it to the miles and miles of stars, Montana night.