If I had my way, every Montanan would be required to drive from Red Lodge, Montana to Helena, Montana at least once in their life. Such a trip would have a mandatory route up and over Beartooth Pass, through Cooke City, Montana, across the upper part of Yellowstone Park, through Livingston, Montana, and between the Bridger and Crazy Mountains in the Shields River Valley. Optional, would be stopping to pee at Skidway Campground (at the top of Deep Creek Canyon). Also optional would be driving a van with failing brakes.
I drove such a van yesterday. Each time I pressed the brake pedal of the van I was driving, a sound akin to a pair of cargo ships grating against each other filled the van and all the surround.
On the brighter side, we experienced perfect weather as we drove the trip I have suggested here. I cannot begin to explain the feel of traversing up and down the mountainsides, crossing through valleys filled with free-roaming bison, driving along the cottonwood river bottoms in open Montana.
Required: that’s the best I can say.Today, I am posting a few photographs I captured from the trip. They barely begin to give you the feel of the entire day. The deer photograph is the very last picture I captured. She was standing in the last patch of sunlight at Skidway Campground.