Bighorn Mountain High Country
I fell in love with another mountain range. Tom told me this would happen, and in retrospect it was inevitable seeing as how all my “must-have” boxes were checked, but I just didn’t expect to be so bowled over. The Bighorn Mountains are a spectacular range with lots of variety in terrain and ecosystems: endless meadows, enormous fir and spruce, dynamic rock outcroppings, canyon vistas, wildflowers everywhere, and multiple lakes and rivers that break up the landscape. And bonus point awarded for moose.
Like most western mountain ranges, access to the high country is via canyons which allows the progression from arid lowland to tree and meadow to unfold gradually as you ascend. Once above 9,000 feet there is a surprising amount of less-steep (and more walkable) terrain to explore, some of it thickly forested and other parts wide open, providing a wonderful variety of places to stroll and view. Though we did multiple short hikes and many little exploratory jaunts, we also spent a lot of time relaxing, enjoying the scenery and cooler temperatures with Abby who was very happy to have alternating opportunities of rest and (short) adventures. We also spent more than a few hours parked next to various meadows in which moose milled around, chomping away happily on newly sprouted leaves. I had seen moose before of course but the opportunity to watch them up close for such prolonged periods of time while sitting safely in a vehicle was a real treat.