June 9, 2010

From Yellowstone to Glacier, Montana

After leaving Yellowstone, we cruised up Central Montana up towards the Glacier-Waterton Lakes International Peace Park. We followed the edge of the Rocky Mountain Front through prairies first up to the nice town of Helena and then up to the Blackfoot Indian Reservation. The temperatures that had been so warm in Wyoming dropped dramatically as we cruised north.

The nice rolling prairies of Montana

Here you can see us approaching the suddenly cold and rainy Rockies from the east

I had been to this area before. When I took the Amtrak across country from Washington to Michigan in January on the Empire Builder. On that trip, the temperatures were -30 degrees and the crystal clear skies showed the dominance of this cold, dry high pressure air.

I had to go experience that kind of cold. So, when the train stopped in Cut Bank, Montana I jumped out in my T-shirt to feel the burn of those temperatures. After 5 minutes, I determined I never needed to feel it again.

But, back to the summertime. I did not realize that late June could remain this cold and wet up there. We drove along the eastern border of Glacier National Park. With the weather as it was, we decided towait a couple days before heading into the heart of Glacier NP.

The weather was confusing, because it was all sunny skies to the east. Even above the mountains it appeared to be blue. But, as you can see in the photos, there were clouds on the mountaintops and almost a constant drizzle. The mountains really seemed to be making their own weather.

Thus, we decided to first head up into Alberta to visit Waterton Lakes National Park. That will be the focus of the next post.

No comments: