Going to the Sun Road: A Glacial Adventure

img_2461Seeing Amazing Things

America is a big country, and after driving through a portion of it I realize even more how truly large it is. Montana is one of the bigger states and we didn’t get to see nearly enough of it, but what we saw was beautiful.

The capitol in Helena is a lovely building. Inside it is filled with beautiful stained glass, historical pictures, and opulence. Our tour guide was a history buff so we were able to learn all about the early days of Montana. He knew the back story on the painter of one of their large paintings and also some about the original politicians. With plenty of humor thrown in, it made for a great tour.

 

 

 

 

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Volcanic Tour

IMG_0545      There is a very large section of this country that is covered with evidence of many different volcanic eruptions, including lava tubes, caves, and miles of volcanic rocks.  Luckily many of these areas are also federally protected lands.  It is important to keep these areas protected as they help geologists to reveal so much about the history of the Earth as well as it’s formation and how it has changed over time.  Some of these areas include Northern California, Southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Central Idaho, and into South West Montana, and North West Wyoming.  We unintentionally happened upon this trail without really knowing that it even existed.
Our first national park visit was to Crater Lake.  This huge lake was IMG_0501created by a volcanic explosion that left it inactive.  It was amazing to see how big and clear it is, and it is also the deepest lake in the United States.  The island that is clearly visible on the western side of the lake still looks like a small volcano rising up from the depths.  There is only one place around the entire lake that you can hike down to the water because the sides are so steep.  We would have liked to take this hike, but did not want to have to carry a four year old all the way back up to the top, so we had to forgo this particular hike.  Fortunately, there are many other hikes within the park that are more kid friendly that we enjoyed.  The kids really enjoyed the Castle Crest Trail which took us through a meadow and over a stream where we walked along rocks through the water.  This was the first stop on the volcanic tour we still did realize we were embarking on.

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