Aug 022011

It’s been said the Beartooth highway is the most scenic in the U.S and, after spending nearly 4 hours driving a mere 60 miles, we’d be hard-pressed to disagree.  It begins not far from Yellowstone’s northeast entrance and soon turns north into Montana. 

We left Yellowstone on the first dreary and consistently rainy day we’ve had since we left Northern Michigan over a month ago.  In anticipation of the views ahead, we opted to camp out the fogginess and begin this epic drive early the next morning, weather permitting.  As luck would have it, we were given one of the most beautiful days we could have hoped for with clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine.  The views started right off the bat and we found ourselves stopping at every turn off for pictures.  There were fields bursting with color in the peak of wildflower season: pinks, purples, yellows, blues, and reds amidst the tall green grass.  Snow capped mountains and crystal clear alpine lakes.  Sprawling lush meadows broken up by rocky, exposed outcrops.

The road climbs to just under 11,000 feet and you can feel the freezing cold, thinned air as you breathe.  The highway inspires the feeling of truly being on top of the world.  Just as we reached the highest point of the drive, I turned to Zach and said, “How cool would it be to bike this?”  As soon as the words left my mouth, I could see his pleading eyes light up.  Next thing I knew, I was driving down by myself while he descended nearly 5,000 feet on his bike on the winding mountain roads.   We met up nearly twenty miles later and while both appreciative of the solitary and contemplative time afforded by the separation, I think it’s fair to say he owes me one.

(Warning: Picture OVERLOAD)