|Posted by Val Fox on April 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM|
The first thing I do each morning is go to the window and gaze out upon 160 km of Rocky Mountains to the west. Their snow-capped peaks glitter in the early morning sun. We are far enough to see a long stretch of their majesty, yet within 30 minutes of home we can smell the pine and feel the air cool. They stand before us, amazing in their beauty and size.
The Rockies stretch more than 3000 miles (4830 Km) from northern British Columbia, Canada to New Mexico in the southern United States. They are actually subdivided into several smaller mountain ranges. Their majestic, craggy presence is silhouetted against the setting sun each evening. Other days when it’s hazy from crop dust or smoke, we can’t even see them at all. Yet, they rise up to 14,000 feet (4401 meters) at their highest point. The Rockies range in width from 70 to 300 miles (110 to 480 km.)
The Canadian Rockies were formed as the Precambrian metamorphic rock was forced upward through layers of limestone that once lay at the bottom of a shallow sea. Eventual glaciation carved deep valleys and cirques. Plant species number in the thousands and have been used for millennia by indigenous cultures for their nutrition and medicinal properties. Fragrant bouquets provide cascades of color, and the glacier water is clean and icy.
The continental divide of the Rockies designates the line at which water flows either east to the Atlantic or west to the Pacific. Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park (U.S.) got its name because rain falling on the mountain will reach the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific and even Hudson Bay.
Here are three photographs taken close to our home, in southern Alberta and Montana, and are one of our favorite areas to camp and go for picnics. Heading north I can be sipping drinks at Lake Louise and Banff, known worldwide for its pristine beauty and wildlife. The Rocky Mountains are among the earth’s real treasures, right in our own back yard. Thanks for coming.
Tomorrow’s blog will feature the letter “S.” See you then!