August 25, 2012

Driving under the Big Sky in Montana

After Missoula we returned to our trek across Montana on I-90. While passing through the city of Butte, I happened to look up into the mountains and noticed a glint of white on a ridgeline. When I focused my camera on it, it appeared to be a massive white statue. WTF? Upon further Wikipedia research it turned out to be Our Lady of the Rockies, the second tallest statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty. How random and cool is that?

Driving through Montana on Interstate 90 towards Butte
Driving on I-90 towards Butte
View of Our Lady of the Rockies statue in Butte, Montana from Interstate 90
The Our Lady of the Rockies statue in Butte 
At first I was disappointed with Montana. I had heard all these wonderful things about how beautiful it is. The grandness of the mountains, looming over the huge meadows, strung with ribbons of flowing streams, and of course the never ending sky. I imagined the scenery of “A River Runs Through It” (with shirtless Brad Pitts running around of course). The portion of I-90 that we’d driven so far did not live up to this image.

BUT THEN…then we drove a little further on I-90, crossed the Continental Divide, and turned onto a two lane road to get to Yellowstone. Finally, on this two lane road is where we found the real Montana. The horizon stretched out to meet the sky. Long, winding driveways ran from the road to massive thousand acre ranches, with large estates off in the distance. We drove through meadows as far as the eye could see, huge fields of yellow hay on gently rolling hills, grand mountains in the distance, and a river that flowed right along the road. All this, and a beautiful sunset made for a very picturesque drive.

Views on back country roads while driving through Montana on the way to Yellowstone
Fields of hay
Views on back country roads while driving through Montana on the way to Yellowstone
Rolling meadows
Views on back country roads while driving through Montana on the way to Yellowstone
More rolling meadows
Views on back country roads while driving through Montana on the way to Yellowstone
A river runs through it!
Sunset views on back country roads while driving through Montana on the way to Yellowstone
Sunset over the mountains in the distance
 I didn't get out my measuring tape to measure the sky, but it sure did seem bigger…

Views on back country roads while driving through Montana on the way to Yellowstone

Happy Montana two lane road driving,

M.

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