Saturday, May 24, 2014

Beautiful Montana!

On my way to some Geological Society of America Meetings in Bozeman, Montana last week, I took the drive from Dillon to Twin Bridges to Whitehall to Bozeman on the way there. And on the way back I drove the road from Bozeman to Norris to Ennis to Virginia City and then back to Twin Bridges. The scenery was spectacular. I can see why the people of Montana love their state. The map below is courtesy of Arrow Real Estate, Ennis, Montana.

Our trip in Montana began along I-15 as we stopped at the rest stop near Lima. The sky was clouding over but I took this shot of the Lima Peaks.

I wondered what the Lima Peaks might look like on a nice sunny day with just a few clouds, so I Photoshopped the sky into this picture. You can see what the sky really looked like in the photo above.

After stopping in Twin Bridges to drop my wife off at her brother's ranch, I headed north toward I-90 and the town of Whitehall. Thunderclouds were gathering, but the sun was leaking through as I passed this scenic spot.

After the meetings in Bozeman, I drove west along Highway 84 towards Norris. The ranches were beautiful, particularly this one with the Spanish Peaks covered in snow as a backdrop.

Even the barbed wire seemed to need a photo.

A bit farther along Highway 84 near the western edge of Gallatin Valley. The farms and mountains were incredibly beautiful.

In Bozeman Pass, I stopped to look at the rocks. I am a geologists, after all. These Precambrian biotite schists were folded and faulted into this interesting pattern.

Coming down out of the pass, I found the Madison Valley to be equally lovely. The Madison Range is the backdrop on east side of the valley.

 On the west side of the valley, the ranches sit at the foot of the Tobacco Root Mountains.

Looking down from Highway 287 towards Ennis in the valley and the Madison Range in the back.

Another view back across the Madison Valley, with Sphinx Mountain in about the center of the photo.

A close up of Sphinx Mountain taken with my zoom lens. I can see why it was called Sphinx Mountain.

Another ranch situated at the foot of the Tobacco Root Mountains near Alder.

A close-up of the Tobacco Root Mountains in the view above.

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