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A Different Perspective On the Rocky Mountains

I’ve shared a lot of pictures of the country from here to Ronan, Montana. Although we are “in” the Rocky Mountains here, with our valley being surrounded by mountains, when we go to Ronan, we are basically heading directly toward the Continental Divide. That includes some of the tallest and most impressive mountain peaks in the Rockies.

That trip takes us primarily east of here. Since our daughter moved to St. Ignatius or Mission, as it is also called, she sees the area from a different perspective. These pictures were all taken by my daughter and for the most part, it shows a different perspective than what I usually share.

The mission mountains

Although she took this picture, this is the sort of view that I often share. This image is facing northeast, toward the Mission Mountains of the Rockies and it was taken from the Mission Valley. This was taken before several snow storms moved through, though the mountains are showing beautiful snow-capped peaks.

Another familiar view

This is similar to the last picture, though the angle is different. These mountains tower about 3,500 feet above where the picture was taken. Again, this is from the Mission Valley, facing northeast and it is before the snowstorms. The mountains are a lot closer than they appear.

Northward view

This picture was taken from my daughter's back porch, facing north. It is hard to see, but in the distance to the north, there are yet more mountains. This picture was taken after the first major snowstorm, though, as evidenced by the amount of snow on the ground.

A westerly view

This is a view from our daughter's place, facing west. This is the direction we normally come from when we go to the Mission Valley. It clearly shows the mountains aren't just on one side and this is part of the section of the Rockies that go right past our town. They look quite a bit different with snow on the ground, too. The picture takes in part of the town of Mission as well as a lot of the valley, but it is difficult to even make out the town. That is because most of the towns in Montana are small. In fact, St. Ignatius has a population of under 1,000 and is comparable in size to the tiny town I live in. That population also includes the people in most of the valley that is shown and also the person who took the picture, our daughter.

Daughter’s home

This picture was taken on the way back from St. Ignatius and the arrow shows approximately where our daughter lives. The picture is a little deceptive because her house sits about 200 feet above the elevation of the car when the picture was taken, though it doesn't look like it from here. Hills are visible, but the Rockies can't be seen because of the second snow storm that was coming in when this was taken, masking the mountains. It was snowing heavily by the time our daughter got home.

Toward home

This picture points almost directly toward where I live, on the other side of the ridge in the background and a little bit north. This is also part of Mission Valley and the people living in the homes down there are also counted in the population of St. Ignatius.

Incidentally, this entire valley is part of the Flathead Indian Reservation. 

Main road

Our daughter's long driveway is off of this, the main road that eventually comes to the highway, facing this direction, about 8 miles farther along. The land you can see to the right is the southern edge of the Nine Pipe Wildlife Refuge and considering that this is only about a mile from our daughter's home, she is very close to the refuge. Wildlife is and will be abundant. In the spring, she is going to have a blast, just watching all the animals. This road and view are to the northwest.

The refuge

This image overlooks the wildlife refuge. It also points roughly toward Ronan. Incidentally, the pronunciation of the town is "Row-nan" as in Nancy; two distinct syllables. There isn't a lot to see this time of year; only deer, elk, coyotes, foxes, bears, a rare bison, and ever-present hawks and eagles. In the spring, though, this will be teaming with wildlife.

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Written by Rex Trulove

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