Alice’s turn at Beartooth Pass

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Two years ago, Megan and I took a road trip to North Dakota to join my mother and uncles at the the 4th of July reunion in Forbes, North Dakota (Mom’s hometown). On the way back, we drove across spectacular Beartooth Pass, on the highway that Charles Kuralt once dubbed “the most beautiful drive in America.” Jamie had a great time, with many stops to race around off-leash, and fun experiences such as meeting a curious marmot (above).

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Today we’ve decided to try to re-create that experience next week, with Jamie’s sidekick Alice along this time. I’ve been watching the weather forecasts around that area closely, and in the last 24 hours they’ve changed a bit and I think we’re going to get lucky again. It can snow hard on Beartooth Pass any day of the year, but it looks like sunny skies for next Friday/Saturday, when we’re planning to be there.

We settled on this plan through the tried and true technique of saying things like “well, as long as we’re going to that place, it’s only a few more hours to get to this place, too” …

We love to visit Butte, Montana, and have been trying to fit in a weekend trip there this year. We settled on the weekend after the 4th for that, and once we decided to go to Butte we added on a trip over to Emigrant to visit the famous Samoyed Noodles and her buddy Aaron the photographer. And hey, once we’re there in Emigrant, it’s just a 30-minute drive down to Yellowstone, another place Jamie has visited but Alice hasn’t seen yet. It’s not a very dog-friendly place (dogs must stay on the paved areas), but Jamie still had some fun there last time:

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But Yellowstone schmellowstone, from my point of view – that’s just a tourist trap you have to drive through to get to Beartooth Pass! So that’s the plan, we’re driving through Yellowstone (may not even stop there), and on to Beartooth Pass at sunset, then a night in Red Lodge and then back to Beartooth Pass early the next morning.

I love Beartooth Pass, and have been up there many times. I’ve been there in warm sunshine and in sleet, snow, and rain, and I’ve driven it in a car (‘68 Chevelle SS hot rod, actually), a pickup, and a motorcycle (which was the time I got snowed on, of course). Once you get up above 10,000 feet, you drive several miles along a high plain surrounded by snow-capped peaks nearby and distant views of mountain ranges in Montana and Wyoming. There are numerous spots to stop and take a walk, such as the short spectacular trail down to Gardner Lake.

A week from today, we hope to be posting a big batch of photos like this one, but with twice as many Samoyeds in them …

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