February 18, 2009

The Madison Valley

Sunday evening on our way home, we had another beautiful drive through Idaho and into Montana, passing through the Madison Valley. A storm was brewing in the mountains around us, so we didn't waste any time getting through. It can get ugly up there really fast when the wind starts blowing. It doesn't even have to snow, because the wind just picks up whats already on the ground and before you know it you can't see more than a 1/4 mile, often less.
As luck would have it, Malcolm woke up from his nap just as I was approaching the pretties part of the drive, and since the sun had not yet set, though it was close, I was able to get a few pictures.
A view of a snowy valley in Idaho as we approached the MT/ID state line. You can see the storms brewing in the mountains.Snowy fields in Idaho. Check out the tops of the fenceposts peaking through the snow drifts in the forfront of the picture.
The next four are old buildings along the roadside on this one stretch of roadway. The last one is my favorite. I like old buildings and barnes.On the otherside of these mountains is Yellowstone. We used to drive through this pass, but since they closed the road to trucks due to construction, we now turn west at the base and head up the Madison Valley to Ennis, and then north towards Bozeman and the interstate.The Madison Valley. If you can look past all the development, its a really pretty area, but aparently I'm not the only one that thinks so. Most of the ranches have been subdivided into large tracks and now have large modern houses standing on them.The picture about and below show one of the massive eld herds that live here. We've seen them a few times, but I think they must stay up in the trees a good part of the time. Only occasionally will you see them in the fields. Back during hunting season, there were literally (and I'm not exagerating) dozens upon dozens of pickups parked side by side all along the highway, men in orange vests laying the grass on the shoulder, and way out in teh field, barely visable a small group of elk huddled into a tiny circle just watching. I'm not agains hunting at all, but this was a little pathetic. I failed to see the sport.

This is new to me. I'm calling it Para Snowboarding, because I don't know the real name. I've seen it once before in North Dakota, but this day there were about 6 people out. It kind of looks fun, but I don't think I'm coordinated enough to stay on my feet.And this is in Utah Tuesday morning. We got caught in the early stages of what turned out to be a very nasty storm in northern Utah. Here we were crossing a mountain pass to get to Logan and pick up some butter. The road was nasty on its own, but at this point the wind picked up a lot of snow and...well you can see the result.

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