Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beartooth Pass

Getting Started
Many thanks to Nancy, a long-time colleague and dear friend, for walking me through the steps to start a blog.  So far, I've tried a test run, and now I'm going to launch out, hoping for smooth sailing.  However, since it was "information-overload" at the beginning, I may need a little hand-holding as questions or challenges arise. 

I have made many trips into Wyoming mountains, in a jeep, on foo, carrying a pack, and on a 4-wheeler.  I plan to occasionally record bits and pieces, photos and memories, of those adventures.

Beartooth Pass
 Most recently, Julie and I decided to drive over Beartooth Pass, which is on the Wyoming/Montana border between Cooke City and Red Lodge.  The road is narrow and winding, but the view is spectacular.  Since we made the trek at the end of June, the traffic was sparse, and that's a good thing!  We both have experienced the opposite conditions: summer traffic, bumper to bumper, big RV's slowing the parade of tourists, and over-heated vehicles pulled off in viewing turnouts. This particular trip was a breeze.  Fortunately, the smoke from early summer forest fires was not an issue, and the weather was warm.  A beautiful spot for a picture on the way up was at Bear Tooth Lake. 

Beartooth Lake
Here is a view from on top of the Pass, looking out at glacier-fed lakes and rugged mountain peaks.  Large snowbanks were still standing/melting near the road.  "On top of the world" we did experience strong, gusty winds.
Beartooth Pass
Also on the top of the Pass, one can see the "Bear's Tooth," which is the pointed peak in the middle of the range, along the skyline. Here we are above timberline.  The elevation of Beartooth Pass is 10,947.
The Bear's Tooth on the Skyline
The most exciting event of the trip was when we spotted a herd of mountain goats on a glacier.  At first, we thought they were people (maybe skiers?) because we had just seen chairlift towers, so I was given a pair of binoculars to get a closer look.  Julie asked, "What are they?"
 I answered," Uh...cows?" Well, they didn't look like elk or sheep...
She took the binoculars.  After a good look, she said excitedly, "They're mountain goats!!"

OK.  Cool.  Sure enough!  By then, we both had a pair of binoculars and were watching as they crossed a glacier, picked their way down a steep, rocky outcropping, and continued across another glacier, looking for a grassy area to graze. We sat there transfixed on the parade of goats, noting that there were several babies in the group; we counted 26 animals.  What a sight!  The wind was strong and the gusts were rocking the car, so at times it was hard to keep a sharp focus on the animals.  I guess we were there for about 30 minutes.

The mountain goats are little dots on the white strip of glacier just to the right of the large rock left of center.
If you get the chance, it's a great destination for a road-trip!


  1. What a great adventure! Glad the skies were smoke-free for your trip.

    1. Thanks, Nancy! I really appreciate all your help!

  2. Beautiful country!! I really miss visiting that part of the country. It has been at least 8 years since I've been there and something in my soul misses the mountains and skies.

    Welcome to blogland. I'm looking forward to your next post!

  3. Absolutely stunning! Thanks to Nancy for sending me over, and to you for joining the blogging world.

  4. Gorgeous pics! Thanks for sharing! And I think you totally have this blogging thing down; you even posted a video on your first post! Yay you!

  5. Some of your photos remind me of scenes from Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain national Park. Welcome, BTW.

  6. Hello
    I'm popping over rorm Nancy's blog. Welcome to the world of blogging. May you make many cyber friends and have fun. You sure live in a beautiful part of the world