Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alaska -- Day 6

Scenery, trains, wheat and weather were the highlights of our travel the 200 miles from Columbus to Helena. Montana is such a beautiful state with mountains, plains, and of course a Big Sky. Look at this view of the Crazy Mountains.

Later the roadside had changed and so had the mountains.

Views like this remind us of the Colorado Rockies. The difference is that in Colorado we would be up at 8,000 feet or higher. Today we were usually between 4,000 and 5,000 feet above sea level.

We paralleled the Burlington Northern track most of the trip and saw many, many trains. They were carrying coal, grain, tank cars and miscellaneous freight. Often we saw two at once, one moving and the other waiting to get back on the track.

Montana is Cris-crossed with numerous large rivers, including the Madison, the Yellowstone and the Missouri. And here they raise lots of wheat, irrigating with that river water. This is only one of many very large wheat fields we saw.

Some of the irrigation sprinklers must have been nearly 1/4 mile long, moving in large arcs around the wheat fields.

All of that means they need lots of grain storage bins.

We never had a lot of rain, but the skies sure were threatening. The clouds were quite impressive. And we did struggle against a lot of wind. During a wait for construction, John talked to the woman flagger. She wasn't very happy about being out in this weather.

And we even saw a modern Oscar Meyer Wiener car.


  1. I have always wanted to see Montana. My oldest friend, since the First grade, is an American whose family came from Montana. (They were the only people I knew who owned guns. . how American is that.) His sister moved back to Eastern Montana and married a rancher, and became an evangelical Christian.

  2. Montana is the place for some beautiful scenic shots. Nice.