We’ve seen so many gorgeous places in southwestern Montana and we are sure that’s only the start that this post is a new category for us. On one of our days off we climbed a steep ridge that gave us a breathtaking view of the Centennial Valley. Just a bit of history on how the valley got it’s name. One of the homesteaders moved into the valley in 1876. Thinking this place summed up what the USA represented his wife called it the Centennial Valley as that year was our country’s centennial. So it has been called ever since.
The day was sunny but very, very windy. At times when we were on top of the ridge we had to crouch down so the gusts wouldn’t blow us off balance. The air was hazy and we wondered if more wildfires in Oregon, Washington and Idaho were the cause. Later we learned that a small fire known as the Fish fire was burning in the Centennials near the Sheep Research Station.
I’m not a strong hiker on inclines so this off trail climb was, at least for me, a strenuous one. On the lower level the sagebrush was high enough for it to hit me mid thigh. There were places where the rocks were loose and made our footing difficult. We were climbing to a bit over 7,000′ so rest breaks were definitely needed. I was glad to reach the alpine area where I could easily step over the sage. About 80% of the way up I began to wonder if I could make it and found myself humming the theme to “Rocky”. So when I finally got to the top, yup, just had to do a “Rocky” pose. It was just a “little walk” for me.
The view was definitely worth the effort as you can see. Lichen covered rocks and butterflies offered intimate photo ops as well.
The way back down was tricky because of the steepness and the loose rock. We had to zig-zag back and forth. So glad we brought the hiking sticks along. Happy and tired we returned home. The Centennial Valley is a very special place indeed.