July 10, 2013
This morning, not quite as early as we meant to head out, Joe and I took US 93 south towards the National Bison Range. What another spectacular 80 miles (round trip) of country roads!
Our adventure took us through beautiful protected wetlands...
lots of farmlands surrounded by the Mission Mountains...
old barns which I love to take pictures of...there is just something about old barns and fences! ...
and even an old wooden railway trellis!
Our first stop was at the visitor center. There is a $5.00 fee per vehicle, but the senior National Park pass is accepted.
|Joe trying to help...|
A bus was broken down at the visitor center with about 10 children inside. Joe tried to help, but the starter was broken...
Since 1908, the National Bison Range has played an important role in the successful recovery of bison. Today, 350-500 bison call the refuge home.
The primary means of traveling through the range is by personal vehicle. The roads are gravel, well graded and maintained.
Red Sleep Mountain Drive is a 19 mile, one-way loop road that gains 2,000 feet. It took us right at 2 hours to make the loop.
The loop offers spectacular views of Flathead River.
Our first wildlife viewing was immature pronghorn antelope playing.
What a difference the higher elevations make...these cone flowers were so pretty.
The highest point on the range is 4,885 feet at High Point on Red Sleep Mountain. This is a view of Glacial Lake Missoula. About 18,000 years ago, this was all under water as was most of the range.
If you look very close or enlarge this photo with a click on the picture, you will see the calves. Calves are born mid-April through May and are a bright rust color for the first two months.
Bulls weigh in at about 2,000 pounds.
Mission Creek runs along Prairie Drive at the end of the loop. We saw lots of deer there.
I caught a glimpse of the white spot in the tree...I was sure hoping for an eagle. My picture is not very good so I couldn't tell. Maybe?
There is a very nice, shady and cool picnic area with restrooms at the very end of the drive.
It was a wonderful way to spend the day! Hope your day was wonderful too.
We cant' believe we are already in our second week of our month long stay here. We have been walking 2-3 miles around sunup every morning. Its so cool and fresh outside!
We have been getting some things done inside and outside Belle...major cleanup and cleanout! Its amazing how little you really need when you live in a MH. How nice! We had way too much stuff!
Thanks for stopping by...
Y'all come back!