July 7: Rocky Mountain Front

Hills and Hollows and a Renegade Beaver

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Plains, then foothills, then high snow peaks

© 2004 Airphoto, Jim Wark. All rights reserved.

Against a backdrop of snow-crowned, nine- to ten-thousand-foot peaks along the Continental Divide, this May-morning view of the Rocky Mountain Front in 2004 possibly appears much like it would have looked in late May or early June 200 years ago, given the fact that at this latitude spring begins about two weeks earlier now than it did then.

Lewis's trip down from the "gap" and then north along the foot of the mountains was comparatively uneventful. He and his men were expecting to encounter bison at any moment, but saw nothing more than "much old appearance of dung, tracks &c." After they pitched camp on a "small run under the foot of the mountain"—possibly Wrangle Creek—"Drewyer killed two beaver and shot third which bit his knee very badly and escaped."


Funded in part by a grant from the Montana Cultural Trust