Kazakhstan mountains as seen from Almaty's Botanical Gardens.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Bangkok, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Looks like we're in for some bad weather

The main reason that we are heading south east instead of directly east is because we wanted to drive the Beartooth Highway. It's supposed to be one of the most scenic drives in the Unites States. It only opened on June 1st and we thought about doing it back then, but the weather was not great at the time.

Well it turns out that the weather might be even worse now!

So we are headed back to Gardiner, MT at the northwestern edge of Yellowstone National Park. We already have the park pass, so it will cost us nothing to get back into the park and do the Beartooth highway that starts at the eastern end of the park.

However... the weather forecast is poor. Rain (and snow at higher elevations!) for the next four days. Not clearing until Wednesday night.

But, as my father once said, the only thing you can change about the weather is your attitude towards it! So we're planning on sitting out the worst of it between tonight and Tuesday morning in the town of Gardiner. We have rain coats, so we will still get out and get some fresh air. Supposed to be a high of 57F (14C) tomorrow in Gardiner!

Yesterday, we drove from Seeley Lake to Townsend.

Yesterday's drive 135 miles (216 kms).

Again, a very scenic drive, but it is hard not to find a scenic drive in western Montana!

Salmon Lake.

Scenery along the way.

Steep downhill coming up!

View from a roadside overlook.

We stopped in Helena, Montana to do our weekly grocery shop. The store was busy. It's tough to stay 6 feet away from people when it's that busy! Most people do not wear masks. Montana has had a very low rate of COVID, so I guess they are not that worried. We are not that worried either, but we still take precautions.

While Ruth was getting groceries, I picked up oil change stuff for Sherman and got out of there and waited in Sherman for her to finish. A 5 minute thunderstorm went through while I was waiting, and it rained on and off for the rest of the day.

We decided not to stay in Helena and made our way to Townsend, about 18 miles (30 kms) south.

It's getting cloudy.

Here comes more rain.

We got to Townsend and found a baseball diamond parking lot just outside of town. It was gated and the gates were closed when we arrived, but they were not locked. A sign on the gate said something to the effect that "this property was donated for the use of the general public". So we figure they kept the gate closed just to deter the hoodlums from using the parking lot for spinning their tires and doing graffiti.

There were no other signs, so we stayed the night and nobody bothered us. 

Ruth made a delicious shrimp veggie rice dish for dinner.

After supper another thunder storm went though. I had downloaded a lightning photography app for the phone and there was a bit of opportunity to give it a try. Once I figured it out, I can see the potential...

Not bad for my first try!

Unfortunately, it looks like there will be more opportunity to take lightning shots over the next couple of days!

Gotta get on the road before it starts to rain again.


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And in Canada...


  1. "Not bad for my first try!"
    I should say so!

    1. Thank you! Kevin is looking forward to trying this feature out again on his phone but hopefully it will be when we are off of the Beartooth Highway, we really want to be able to see some of the beautiful scenery up there.

  2. We accessed the Beartooth highway and the mountains from our base camp in Red Lodge Mt, which is a cute little town. If you read this blog post you will find some of the hikes that we liked. Most of them are on the eastern side or in the middle of the beartooth hwy. http://metamorphosisroad.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-sampling-of-hikes-near-red-lodge-mt.html

    1. Thank you very much for the link to your blog of the hikes that you did up there. Not sure whether we will actually be able to do much hiking up there, the weather is sounding pretty miserable and if we can't see some of the gorgeous scenery it won't be worth us doing much in the way of hiking. We are also now on a bit of a timeline now in order to get up to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan by the end of July and you know us from reading our blog that we don't travel at a fast pace.

      Some of your hikes look gorgeous, with any luck we will get a chance to see some of that beautiful scenery. Thanks again for the suggestions. :-)

  3. Part of my family is up in MT now, your pictures so make me wish I could be there too! I do hope you get to drive the Beartooth Hwy. I remember driving it with my Dad, a Montanan, one year & we had to stop & wait for a while for road crews to clear snow (avalanche? snowdrift? I can't remember) - on July 5th! Pretty crazy, but it did give us the opportunity to get out & stretch our legs 10K' up.

    This from last month is what MDOT has to do every year just to get the road ready to open for motorists:


    1. We will get to drive the highway, whether we get to see much of the beautiful scenery will be another thing. Hopefully we will be able to get a small window of opportunity tomorrow.

      Kevin saw that video when we were doing the research on the highway, pretty crazy huh?!

  4. Us folks in Eastern Ontario have had a wicked weather weekend! Some great old thunder storms and heavy rains.

    1. You have to like a good thunder storm providing the storm doesn't cause any damage. Hopefully it brought those hot humid temperatures you guys were having down to a more comfortable level.

  5. Whoops, wasn't finished. Love your photo of the boater on the lake. Longing for a holiday away here.

    1. Thanks, that was a lucky shot out the window as we were driving by. Hope you get to have a holiday soon.

  6. Beartooth Pass is worth waiting for - you won't be disappointed! Here's our blog post from a couple of years ago that includes a blurb about Beartooth: http://followbillandcarol.com/2018/09/14/home-from-missoula-via-cody-wyoming/

    1. Thank you for the link and we enjoyed looking at a few of the pictures of your drive on the Beartooth Highway. I only hope that we will get a chance to see some of those beautiful views with the miserable weather that they are calling for. Our fingers are crossed!

  7. I left South western Montana this A.M. to head home, it was quite chilly, now in Coeur D'Alene Idaho and watching the dark clouds headed your way..
    Quite swell of a sunset here!..The same with you?
    Four days of "yuck" weather is too much for me; and my Kat is missing me..

    1. Yep, we got lots of rain yesterday evening and through the night from those dark clouds. Nope, no sunset for us! :-(

  8. Always loved the Montana Scenery.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the Beartooth.

    It's about time.

  9. Kevin & Ruth, thank you for sharing your travels! Helena is my hometown (parents still live there!) and seeing your MT photos over the past weeks has really made me homesick. Enjoy Beartooth-it is not for the faint-hearted but you two will have no trouble :-) I've followed your blog for a few years and was so thrilled to see you would be touring my home state. Thanks!!! Stay safe.

    1. Hi NicholeW. thanks for taking the time to comment. We are so happy that you have enjoyed our travels and pictures of Montana. It really is a beautiful state so it is easy to take great pictures when you have this kind of scenery.

      We are looking forward to doing the Beartooth Highway, it can't be much worse than a few of the mountain highways we did in Mexico and we enjoyed them so I am sure we will love this one. Our only hope is that the weather isn't too miserable that we miss seeing some of the beautiful scenery along the way.

  10. Wish we could send you some of Ottawa's heat. The temp. hasn't been too bad but the humidity is high and temp. on the way up again.

    Tomorrow is Canada Day with very little celebrations!

    1. You don't need to send us any of Ottawa's weather, we are going to have hot weather once we hit South Dakota and that won't be long from now.

      Yeah, it is going to be a bit of a weird Canada Day in Ottawa that is for sure!


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