July 20 – 21 & August 7 – 13, 2020
They are all over out west.
When I first moved to Tucson, AZ from the Midwest some 30 years ago I was awed by the mountains. I’d never lived near mountains before and in Tucson, the city ran right up to their ascent. As I drove about town they were always present, hanging in the background over the flat-roofed houses like a backdrop of a gigantic stage. They continued to surprise and amaze me the whole four years I lived there.
We see a lot of mountains as we drive around the west. Off in the distance, they line the edges of vast empty spaces. Greg often points across the desert and asks, “What are those mountains?” but Google maps never names them. Often times when we stop at overlooks we find photographs identifying distant peaks. We always try to match the view with the picture.
We really haven’t spent much time exploring mountains since in years past we have only been able to travel in the colder months. And when it is a pleasant 70º at an elevation of 1000 feet it is 40º at 6000 feet. But this year we were free to roam in the summer. And in July and August, we got to marvel at parts of the Rocky Mountain range in Wyoming and Montana when we visited Grand Teton and Glacier National Parks.
* As aways, all pics are click to enlarge. Once enlarged, click on the left or right side of the picture to view them in a slide show.
Grand Teton National Park
The Teton Mountain Range is both young and old. The rock that forms the mountains is up to 2.7 billion years old, over half of the Earth’s age. But the mountains themselves have only been exposed for about 10 million years. During that time glaciers have carved away at them, leaving stark bare peaks. Many other ranges are surrounded by hills, making it difficult for observers to see the peaks. But the land just east of the Tetons is mostly flat, allowing visitors to see these spectacular mountains in all their glory.
Glacier National Park
The Lewis Overthrust of the Rockies was pushed up 75 million years ago. It stretches from Montana to the Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. For millennia glaciers carved beautiful valleys in this rock. The great glaciers have been gone from here for 12,000 years, leaving smaller ones. Human-induced climate change has reduced the size of the remaining glaciers. Though the Glacier National Park is losing its namesake, evidence of those massive glaciers remains.
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Do you enjoy the mountains? Do you have a favorite mountain range or peak? Or a favorite hike through the mountains?