Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The road to SOAR III

After a leisurely breakfast at the Co-op in Bozeman (wi-fi! Excellent muffins!) we spent an enjoyable couple of hours in the Museum of the Rockies. We thought it was very well done indeed: they've tried very hard to engage the visitor, getting us to think about what the dinosaur bones tell us about the animals. The text is simple but elegant and, when a technical term is needed, it is explained and the correct pronunciation is given. Lots of info about how the bones are excavated, and the painstaking research based on them - and the researchers are credited. The dioramas showing the fauna and flora of various rock formations are brilliant!
And then we headed west on I90.

Driving across the ranges of the Rockies, The cloud lifting but never clearing the tops of the peaks.

The rain that fell in Bozeman last night was a powdering of fresh snow on the summits. We ate lunch just shy of the Continental Divide. When a big truck pulled into the parking lot and the driver walked around hitting the tyres with a hammer I embarrassed my husband by jumping out of the car to verify he was checking tyre pressures. My husband does suffer.

From the top of the CD, across the valley another range is waiting. Yellowstone is dry because so many mountain ranges force moisture-laden westerlies up, where it forms clouds and rains on the western slopes. The further west we drive, the higher the rainfall; we head north long before we encounter the lush green slopes of the Cascades, but as we approach Missoula, the trees once more cover the mountainsides.

And then it was my turn to drive. Hullo Coeur d'Alene!

-- posted on the move

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