Montana In The Morning

Montana in the morning is a medley of sounds and sights. Having just returned the sensations are fresh and refreshing.
Sitting on the patio of the lovely ranch lodge looking up the swiftly flowing Big Hole River, the fragrance of new mowed hay blends with a bouquet of wildflower fragrances to awaken the senses. Even the sky is a different blue.
Looking down on the meadow along the river the horse trainer is at work. She is a big league cowgirl with records to prove it. Her beauty belies her strength and merits her being featured in the photo journal, “Cowgirls.”
A doe and fawn wade the shallows of the river to get to the greener pastures. They cross to the east in the morning and west in the evening. Soon they join about twenty-five more deer in the meadow for breakfast.
The Big Hole River is one of the ten top trout streams in North America. Lazy charter fishing boats with a guide and two fishermen float past the ranch hourly.
Soaring above the river and meadow are bald eagles on the hunt. A flight of pelicans looking for fish glides above the river on wings spanning eight feet. When they find a school they form a circle around them and begin splashing in the water as they close the circle and scoop them up. Their beaks hold over three gallons of fish and water earning the line: “A wonderful bird is the pelican. His beak can hold more than his belly can.”
The primeval deep resonate rattling call of the Sandhill crane reverberates across the plain. The colorful but raucous Black-billed Magpies chatter as they flit about.
The sun rises over McCartney Mountain, the tallest free standing mountain in North America. Its golden rays illumine the Pioneer Mountain range to the west. Later in the day we ascended from the ranch base which is 5,500 feet above sea level on a four wheeler by way of a mountain trail in the Pioneers. The trail went through verdun forest and mountain meadows blanked with fragrant blue Silky Lupine.  At an altitude of nearly 10,000 feet we topped out and had a picnic amid the snow covered peaks. From the summit beautiful Lake Agnes can be seen cradled in a valley 1,300 feet below. It is rich with grayling and trout.
On an average day on the ranch hundreds of whitetail and mule deer, elk by the dozens, large herds of pronghorn and moose are seen browsing in the alfalfa and along the river bank.
The state is 700 miles wide and 500 miles from north to south with a population of less than a million.
People are catching on. The nearby sleepy little town of Melrose with a population of less than 300 now has a developing suburb on the Big Hole river of a gated community of million dollar houses.
This community contrast to the nearby ghost towns such as Virginia City, Nevada City, Bannack, and Heckla that attest to the gold riches of the past.
Montana in the morning is a cacophony of sensations enriching ones spirit. Under the Big Sky life moves slowly but a visit passes all too fast. Having the joy of sharing all this with friends made it all the more enjoyable.
To revive your spirit and be renewed expose yourself to something BIG. Montana is a great place to do it. Looking at all this expansive beauty one can’t help but see a revelation of creative purpose and be drawn closer to the Creator.