Browning, Montana – From the mountains to the prairie

Glacier Park has, unlike its name promises, hardly any visible glacier, but the typical Rocky Mountains’ panoramas. Together with Canadian Waterton Lake Park they make up the International Peace Park. At Avalanche Creek we follow the canyon of the same name to Avalanche Lake. The weather is marvellous; the beautiful weather period doesn’t leave us although morning comes up with fog. The nights are frosty, and even in daytime Celsius temperature stays one-digit, but the bushes coated with hoar frost let the landscape appear even more peaceful. Lilac and turquoise stones lay on the path, but the creek cut its curvy way through deep-red rock and smoothed it. Water rushes over many rapids downhill; it is blue-green and clear as glass as if somebody poured spruce needle bubble bath into it. Cedars lay hither and thither in wider areas of the brook bed, felled by storms or sicknesses. Some trees are covered with lichen and moss and look like they already donned their winter pullover. In the very end of the lake, as no thermal wind started up yet, the surrounding mountains are perfectly reflected with the sun in the back on the surface of the water. And the best is: We are alone. During summer real mass migrations shall take part.

We leave the park and circumnavigate it eastwards on Hwy #2. After some pass crossings we land on an endless seeming plateau that starts in 1.600 m elevation. Hills, treeless prairie, and dried grass steppe extend to the horizon. It has abruptly 20° C. Cattle, bison and horses are bred on huge expanses. We drive through an Indian Reserve that belongs to the Blackfoot. There is nothing remarkable in the main town Browning except the casino. Most Indian Reserves own casinos nowadays since they may open them according to their sovereignty even if state laws don’t allow. To improve tourism it is even allowed to camp there free of charge. Still we think there’s too much bustle and follow a rarely frequented highway to the next rest area where we overnight lonely and legally as well. We acknowledge the beautiful sunset and the affiliated plunge in temperature.

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