Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Montana Great Plains Country

East of the Rockies lie the Great Plains.  Just a short drive from the grandeur of Glacier National Park the incredible openness of the  prairies seem to stretch forever.

I left the park and traveled east along the "High Line" where US2 and the old Great Northern line traverse the plains just south of the Canadian border.

You drive past open range, wheat fields, and the occasional small town.  This is truly Big Sky Country.

I saw the colors of the fall grasses and the immense blue of the sky.  I saw the cottonwoods in bloom along the Milk River.  I caught the moonrise over the prairie.


I also got to see some of the "island" ranges that dot central Montana.  While the Rockies do suddenly rise and mark the edge of the prairies, there are also small isolated mountain ranges on the plains.  They pop out of the grassland and add elevation and are like islands in a sea of grass.

The Bears Paw Mountains are one such range.  A small range of isolated peaks, hills, and trees is a hidden gem of a location unknown outside a few locals. Here is a shot of the Bears Paw Range as it rises out of the prairies.  Those distant hills and ridges drew me to explore and see what kind of views and scenes they might hold.  I have always liked to find these off the beaten path locations and I knew they would be another great place to photograph.  I would not be disappointed.


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