To catch up, we have left my ‘birding paradise’ of Billings to head further up into northwest Montana. (still more photos to come!)
While crossing the Rocky Mountains on I-90, from our first overnight stopover, I had an opportunity to capture “Our Lady of the Rockies”. She sits atop the Continental Divide at the elevation of 8,510 feet, overlooking Butte, Montana. Unfortunately, there were smoky skies.
This 90′ statue is built in the likeness of Mary, Mother of Jesus. She is the fourth tallest statue in the U.S. and sits on private land. It was originally conceived by Butte resident Bob O’Bill in 1979 as a tribute to the Virgin Mary following the recovery of his wife from cancer. Later, the statue was additionally dedicated to “all women, especially virgin mothers.”
We’re reached our destination to Kalispell, where we are surrounded by the Salish Mountains and Swan Mountains. As we rolled in and set up camp, we had high haze that quickly turned into smoky skies in a couple days.
We just cruised the scenic US-2 Highway that crosses the Rocky Mountains from Hungry Horse to East Glacier Park Village and back. It weaves through the southern part of Glacier NP, giving us a chance to see more of what the Rockies were looking like with the smoke.
Here are five random photos from along the highway. Working with the layers and distances of contrasting smoke, I tried capturing some beauty of the mountains.
#01 Glacier NP, Highway US-2
#02 Glacier NP, Highway US-2
#03 Glacier NP, Highway US-2 (with a bit of snow still present)
#04 Glacier NP, Highway US-2
#05 Glacier NP, Highway US-2 (with remnants of a previous year’s fire)
Currently, Montana has 19 of the United States 79 largest wildfires presently burning. For our location, we are not in any danger’s way at this time.
Recent news reports the smoke has now reached the east coast, including New York City.
Let’s keep the brave firefighters and rescue teams currently battling the fires, as well as those in harm’s way, both people and wildlife, in our thoughts and prayers.