Day 2: Driving from Shelby, Montana to Pocatello, Idaho

The road goes ever on: secondary highway just outside of Shelby, Montana. (photo by Chris)

When you arrive somewhere in the dark you try your best to get a feel for it, but when you look through the window the next morning, it’s amazing how different it actually looks.

Chris and I arrived at Shelby, Montana at 1:00 am. It was dark, needless to say. When I pulled open the curtains the next morning, a dry snowless, winter prairie landscape met my eyes. “Montana”, I thought, “Is it a lot like Alberta?” After one hour on the road, it became apparent, no, Montana is nothing like Alberta. The landscape is prairie for the most part, like Alberta, but along Interstate 15 the curving hills glide into magnificant buttes and into angular, rugged mountains which are formed out of a different type of rock than the Canadian Rockies. If it’s not already clear, both Chris and I were blown away with the landscape of Montana. It was more diverse and interesting than my preconcieved notions could have ever imagined.

Our 9 hour drive today took us through sunshine, rain and snow. I went from wearing my tank-top to my winter coat, scarf and mitts. In this way, it very much reminded me of Alberta.

For this trip, Chris and I made a promise to each other that when we see a photo, that we stop and take that photo, be it a cow, a butte or an old abandoned burnt-out mansion. So that’s what we’ve been doing. Here are today’s photographs of some spots that made us turn our heads and exhale “wows”.

(Chris here:)
Also, a quick note on these last couple blog posts: Laura’s been writing them, and I have been adding the photos and captions. Team work at its finest… we’ll maybe switch to more individualized ones when we get to slow our pace down in a few days.

I like big buttes and I cannot lie. (photo by Laura)

The butte south of Great Falls. (photo by Chris)

More views from the same spot. (photo by Chris)

Our sweet chariot.

Portrait of an artiste.

Through rain and sleet and snow… (photo by Laura… my hands were safely in control of the wheel. I promise, Mom)

South of Helena, Montana, we saw some of the better light of the day moving across these hills. (photo by Chris)

The historic downtown of Butte, Montana, was thronged with St. Paddy's Day revelers. Too bad we couldn't stop there and join them, but we had many miles yet to cover. Actually, Laura and I were both really taken with Butte. The open pit mine dominates one of the nearby mountainsides while the historic buildings and old-style houses are really charming. I could go back there for a week as a photo project easily… however, this time all we got were a few quick snapshots. Laura captured this one while we drove by.

The mine in Butte. (photo by Chris)

Moo 2. Laura likes her cows. But I guess we both do, as we ate some for both lunch and dinner. This is somewhere near Dillon, I think. (photo by Laura)

Somewhere just north of the Idaho/Montana border. It's pretty desolate country. In a good way. (photo by Chris)

Awkward pose for the win! (photo by Laura, duh)

Spooooky! We came across this haunted, burned out mansion shortly into Idaho. I wanted nothing more than to get close and explore a bit, but there was a large half-thawed slew in between the road and it, and I just didn't have it in me to wade through. That's okay though, because this place is definitely haunted. And evil.


6 responses to “Day 2: Driving from Shelby, Montana to Pocatello, Idaho”

  1. You are doing it again guys…beautiful pictures, but I guess we have come to expect that as you guys have spoiled us. Keep it up and stay safe!!


  2. Dave Morton /Sue Judge Avatar
    Dave Morton /Sue Judge

    Cool pictures guys, looking forward to day 3!!!

  3. I also loved the ‘I like big buttes and I cannot lie’ caption! haha I wanted to take a moment and thank you for posting the beautiful photos! You’re right, Montana is so very different than Alberta – we make it a point to go as often as we can! I’ve seen many of these sights, and you definitely do them justice with your photos!

    1. Thanks Joanne. We’re hoping to slow down tha pace a little later this week, when we’ll hit some of the best National Parks in the US. It’s hard to take good landscape photos when you only pull over for 3-4 minutes…

  4. Awesome update guys! loved the “I like big Buttes and I can not lie” caption…lol

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