October 18, 2010

Late fall in the Wasatch

A picture that only a small child could paint, so full of color, yet with no attention to order, reds, yellows, oranges, in contrast and combination. These are colors of autumn alive in the mountains. These are the colors of the Wasatch Range in fall

October 15, 2010

The Wild and Majestic Tetons

Leaving the caldera of Yellowstone National Park, we approach the alpine landscape of The Tetons Range. The majestic peaks slowly rises in elevation and grandeur as we drive south around Jackson Lake. Most of the autumn color has past, yet a few groves of golden aspens remain, stubbornly standing against the approaching winter. Being mid October, these high mountains have already tasted their first winter snows and down here in the valley the tourist season is already over. We feel refreshingly alone and content.

October 14, 2010

Yellowstone - Bison, Bear, and Geysers

An early season snowfall coated the upper slopes of the Beartooth Mountains closing the Beartooth Pass for the season. According to the National Park website, it was scheduled to close in a couple days anyway, so it wasn't a difficult decision to instead drive up Paradise Valley along the Yellowstone River, through Gardiner and on into Yellowstone National Park. While the quite of the off season was felt heading into the park, we still were able to spot the occasional fly fisherman out enjoying the beautiful fall weather.

October 10, 2010

Bozeman - At home on the road

 As events unfolded over the course of summer, we came in contact with with a family of Norwegian descendants and were invited to come visit on our autumn travels through Montana. And while our journey would have taken us through Bozeman regardless, getting to see and experience a place through the generosity of locals creates a much deeper impression. So while we hadn't travelled far from our previous destination, we again welcomed the sense of hospitality of new friends.

October 7, 2010

Bouldering with old friends - Butte Montana

Unfortunately plans to get out onto one of the big ranches of the Front Range fell through so we sped south across the grassy landscape towards Helena and then on to Butte. The rain continued to fall, so we wouldn't have been able to do much out on the ranch anyway other than get wet. The kids I'm sure would have enjoyed seeing the herds of cattle, and the contrast to the wildness of Glacier National Park would have given our trip another dimension. Instead, we ended up with a night out on the prairie, and then continued on towards Butte and a break in the storms.

October 4, 2010

Mountain Goats and Grizzlies

Clouds slowly move in from the west alternately hiding and revealing the ragged peaks of Glacier National Park. Bare aspen trunks mingle with those that still cling to their golden leaves. We drive closer to the heart of the park, climbing up out of the lower reaches and ever closer to the glacier covered peaks. Knowing that a storm is imminent in the next couple days, we hope to get out and enjoy the autumn beauty in this amazing place before the rain sets in.

October 2, 2010

First Glimpse of Glacier National Park

The tourist season in northern Montana came to an end a few weeks before we arrived. While this didn't come as a surprise, it did create a few logistical challenges as we headed into Glacier National Park. Most of the services were closed for the season, and what we had hoped would be one of the highlights, the Going to the Sun highway, was closed for construction. Thus, we had to get creative. We started our adventure on the western side of Logan Pass and drove as far as the road was open, which allowed us a first impression of the rugged peaks, glacial lakes, and roaring rivers. With a bit of hiking we were able to get away from the road, but being a Saturday with sunny skies and mild temperatures, there were plenty of "local" Montanans out for a hike as well. We packed a picnic lunch and headed up into the mountains along a well trodden path.

October 1, 2010

Indian Summer in Northern Montana

Whitefish, MT - The sun is shining and the surface of Whitefish Lake is calm enough to reflect the surrounding mountains that rise up from it's shores. The intermittent boat comes and goes across the lake, out enjoying indian summer in Northern Montana. Aware of the forecast for rain in the coming days, we enjoy an afternoon at sandy City Beach. Our boys play with their toy tractors, digging, creating, imagining. The water is cool and refreshing yet the autumn color reminds us that summer is over. For what is probably the last time we try to make the most of this sunshine in this serene setting.