Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Montana Rockies Tour

On Sunday, the cold front had moved through Montana without snowing on Billings. It had, however, given much of the Montana Rockies a brilliant new coat of snow. The flight back to Seattle was gorgeous for scenic viewing, with 100+ mile visibility - again, courtesy of the cold front.

Taking off to the west from Billings, the first range you encounter is the Crazy Mountains. They are rather isolated on the high plain, with no geographical connection to the main spine of the Rockies - an orphan of a range.

South of the Crazies are the Beartooth Mountains. As the name suggests, this area is known for having a very high concentration of bears, grizzlies in this case. Nobody ventures far in without bear mace or a firearm. To the west of the Beartooths, the Yellowstone River meanders southward. If you look carefully, in the far distance you can see Yellowstone Lake and the Tetons.

West of the Crazies is the Bridger Range. Near the southern terminus of this range is the town of Bozeman.

I somehow managed to pass Butte without taking a picture of the Continental Divide. I must've been too fascinated with the Berkeley Pit.

This is the Bitterroot Valley near Hamilton, Montana. On the far (western) side is the Bitterroot Range and the border with Idaho.

A closer look at the Bitterroots.

With the Rockies far behind, a nice Puget Sound sunset on descent into Seattle.


Anonymous said...

These are transcendental pictures, Sam! Do keep it up.

Speaking as a former Floridian, I do love the northwest so.

Anonymous said...

Sam, nice pics but all of the mountain ranges you encountered do not lie in the direction of "taking off to the east from Billings", unless you did one heck of a long around the world flight. Last time I checked (unless some very active tectonic shifting has occured), the seemingly never ending expanse of the Great Plains is really what begins east of Billings. As for the "Missoula Valley", it is actually called the Bitterroot Valley.

Sam said...

Hmm. Good points anon. I'm retarded sometimes. Fixed. :-)