Tuesday, July 01, 2014

US Hwy 191: Central-Central Montana

Out of Livingston, MT, US191 remains co-signed with I-90 for a 30-mile stint going east.

It's a wide-open road that truly serves as the backbone throughout the state. It's also an excellent example of something I know I've mentioned before: River-Rail-Road

Because rivers typically follow shallow changes in altitude and have — over the eons — carved wide valleys, railroads were very often built to follow them. When auto roads were built in later years, it made sense to follow the same basic pathways.

As you can see in this screen shot from my onboard mapping system, in this area all three of them run more or less parallel within a half mile of each other.

At Big Timber, MT, US191 turns north, leaves I-90 and crosses the rails and river.

For a few miles, you are entertained by the "Crazy Mountains" which are so named, I would bet, because it is crazy that they're there. In the middle of nowhere and pretty far from any other significant mountains, these 11,000 foot peaks are clumped together by themselves.

Continuing north after that, the landscape is mostly rolling hills, with vast grasslands, herds of cattle, a few wind turbine farms and even fewer tiny settlements. Another hundred miles of "out there."

I've called this "Central-Central Montana" because it really is pretty much equidistant east-west and north-south. It's very pretty in the summer, but notoriously cold, snowy and windy in the winter.

I've stopped in the small town of Lewistown, MT, in which the locals have all told me there isn't much to see or do. I'm betting I can fill a day's worth of exploration anyway, so I'm going to stay here tomorrow... Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a random reader living vicariously through you! We used to camp cross country every summer, so much fun. Love all the photos and stories, especially Happy's. Found your blog through Iditarod/SP Kennel.