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Ride~About: Winter Gray on Gray

How exciting to be traveling into Yellowstone via snowcoach on this winter day, although a very gray winter day. Our trip has been planned for about a month. It is totally overcast, snowing occasionally, but not too cold–in the mid 20’s. Since we are all photographers, we hope the weather will improve, but ya pay for ya ride and take ya chances!

We left West Yellowstone traveling through the West Entrance. We will be driving to Madison Junction then to Old Faithful, with stops all along the way at the various thermal basins. As we drive along the Madison River, we are hoping to see a bobcat or the pair that have been hunting in the river over the last few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed. We’ll also hope for some sun as the day progresses, then again, there is never a bad day in Yellowstone!

snowcoach gray view

 

Here we go!

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The Journey is the Adventure

It seemed like a pleasant, simple task. Drive through Yellowstone, spend some time enjoying the thermal features and great views on the road from Madison to West Thumb, then head to Jackson, Wyoming, to spend a few days in the autumn splendor of Grand Teton National Park. Its about a four-hour trip, but with stops it will be a bit longer. The weather is a bit iffy today. We have some snow falling, rain, even sleet, but the roads are clear. We’ll hope for the best as we begin our journey driving through the Gallatin River Canyon to the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Besides, you never know, so many times the journey is the adventure!

Along 191 Gallatin River

Come on along . . .

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Going-to-the-Sun Road–Western Travelogue

After our beautiful drive up the eastern side of Going-to-the-Sun Road, it is time to travel down the western side to Lake McDonald and West Glacier. We begin our journey at Logan Pass, mile 18.1 west of the East Entrance.

Mile 18.4–Oberlin Bend is a sharp turn that will begin our decent almost 3,500 feet to Lake McDonald near the West Entrance of Glacier National Park. Let’s park and walk up to the falls on Oberlin Creek. Well, the falls are just on the other side of the road, but as the clouds drop we can’t even see the falls. Everyone is leaving so let’s head to the car and wait to see if the clouds clear. Great! Five minutes and the clouds disappear. We now have the place to ourselves so let’s walk up and try for this picture again.

1-oberlin-creek-falls-5062

As we turn around . . . (click here)

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Going-to-the-Sun Road–Eastern Travelogue

After breakfast, with a great mountain view at St. Mary Lodge, it is time to head to Logan Pass for a short hike to Hidden Lake. It is 8am and looks a bit cloudy, but we’ll hope for the best as we drive just over 18 miles up Going-to-the-Sun Road from the eastern side of Glacier National Park. We’ll be climbing over 2,100 feet and the views will be gorgeous!

Mile 2.2–Singleshot Mountain rises above Two Dog Flats, where the prairie meets the mountains offering a rich and diverse ecosystem.

Two Dog Flats

Continue

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Ride~About: The Unique Pryor Mountains

What a great idea. We have the maps and a free day, so leaving at 5am we journey three hours east to the unique Pryor Mountains. They are very different from what we expect in Montana that boasts of the Rocky Mountains in the west and the Great Plains in the east. Rather than the glacier-carved granite of the Rockies, such as the Beartooth range only 40 miles west, here we have an island of sandstone and shale mountains reaching up from the prairie high enough to including spectacular limestone canyons. The Pryors are not only geologically unique, but culturally, ecologically, and meteorologically as well. What an unexpected and beautiful landscape!

pryor mountain road

Continue driving with us . . .

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Ride~About: Savoring Spring

Early spring, a time to savor the blessed warmth of the sun rising higher in the sky, the snow giving way to flowing creeks and warm ground, and all nature’s creatures relishing the release from the frigid challenge of staying alive. Soaking up the rays on a beautiful spring day is wonderful for all of us and this bison cow could not be more peaceful.

spring

Today we will drive the loop from Bozeman, MT to enter Yellowstone through the West Entrance in West Yellowstone. We’ll then explore sections of the park that are open to early-spring auto travel, and return to Bozeman by way of Mammoth Hot Springs. Come, let’s explore together the season that is the promise of renewal!

Continue in anticipation. . .

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Ride~About: Winter Wonderland

Walks and hikes are great, but sometimes the road trip getting there is spectacular as well. Even in the car we can slow down and look around enjoying the landscapes, critters in the meadows, and features unique to the drive. We had six inches of snow overnight at Lamar Buffalo Ranch and the clouds are closing in as flurries begin to fall. A gorgeous winter wonderland, just in time for Christmas!

Lamar-

Continue our ride