I'm guessing you may have gotten as tired of looking at smoke-filled pictures as I got driving through those smoke-filled vistas. I wasn't sure if the trip along the Pintler Veterans' Memorial Scenic Highway would be a worthwhile sidetrip, very hard to tell from the map, but I was pretty desperate to see some different country. The highway led me through Anaconda and then up into the mountains where suddenly it popped out into an area that had not one but two beautiful lakes! This is the larger of the two, Georgetown Lake.
And large it is: 3000 acres (and yes, I was thinking "Take THAT, you pretend lakes of Rochester!"). Also high up - once again I was at over 6000 ft in elevation. It was such a delight to drive along its shores and dream of my Lake Pend Oreille that I'd be seeing soon.
I did wish the smoke wasn't still obscuring those mountains. I think this is the Pintler Range - and I'm still thinking monochromatic inspiration. To the north is another range of mountains that I couldn't see at all.
Once past the lake, I quickly started dropping down through a narrow canyon (my favorite kind you know!) and slammed on the brakes when I rounded a corner to this view. Luckily there was a turnout there.
Like I've said, I am such a sucker for rock slabs turned on end.
I could hear water, so crossed the road to find the outlet of the lake, tumbling down into the gorge below. Sadly, the pictures do not give you the proper idea of how much a drop this was from the road. But just the sound of it was music to my ears.
And then there were these big rocks that had been placed as a barrier along the turnout. Texture and line not to mention a wonderful color.
Once off the mountain, I was back to Montana range land, surrounded by mountains difficult to see through the haze. But this 68 mile loop had refreshed me, making the miles of interstate to my next stop more bearable. That stop would be Missoula and Ruby's Inn where unbeknownst to me there was a Bead & Gem Show going on. The only thing worse would have been a quilt show with vendors! Hide my wallet!!
This motel has a creek that runs behind it - I lost no time checking it out and spent about 45 minutes just sitting by it before carrying my things into the room and hunting down some dinner. More about the creek in the next post. The evening ended with a lovely sunset thanks to all that smoke in the air.