When I look out my living room window, I see a mountain that rises over 4,000 feet straight up in front of me. I’m seeing a false peak of Castle Crag Point that eventually rises to 8,400 feet above see level. Castle Crag Point is part of the Bitterroot Mountains; these mountains are only one portion of the Bitterroot Mountain Range. The Bitterroot Mountain Range is only one of about 100 mountain ranges that make up the North America Rocky Mountains stretching from Canada to Mexico.
It’s fascinating to think that one impressive 4,000 foot view is only a small piece of something much bigger. Sometimes life is like staring at a mountain. There is an immense wall or mountain or obstacle in front of us, and that obstacle is only part of an entire mountain range of obstacles. And there are valleys and more mountain walls and more valleys and it can seem never ending … even overwhelming.
The Bitterroots are my favorite mountains. I live in the Bitterroot Valley and see them every day as I look to the west. I watch them start to glow as the morning sun lights them up. I witness the sun set behind them every night triggering more than an hour of twilight each evening. Do you have your own special place that helps put life in perspective? Can I tell you more about my special place? Can I tell you more about the Bitterroot Mountain Range?
The Bitterroot Mountain Range stretches along the Idaho/Montana border near Sand Point, ID southeast to near Ashton, ID … a distance of over 500 miles. The Bitterroot Range is divided into 5 sub-ranges: Coeur d’Alene Mountains; Saint Joe Mountains; Bitterroot Mountains; Beaverhead Mountains; & Centennial Mountains. I live almost exactly in the center of the entire range.
Here are a few facts I found interesting about the Bitterroot Mountain Range.
- Scott Peak is the tallest peak in the Bitterroot Range at 11,393 feet.
- The Beaverhead sub-range is the tallest with five 11,000 ft. peaks and five 10,000 ft. peaks.
- The Beaverhead, Bitterroot and Centennial all have 10,000 ft. peaks and many, many 9,000 ft. peaks.
- The Bitterroot sub-range is probably the most noted due to its easy accessibility from Missoula, MT and spectacular views available from the popular Bitterroot Valley.
- The name bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) comes from a small pink flower that is also the state flower of Montana.
- In 1805, Lewis and Clark crossed the Bitterroot Range several times before Sacagawea helped them cross Lolo Pass enabling them to reach the Pacific.
- The Centennial Mountains are one of the few Rocky Mountain ranges that trend east to west AND the Continental Divide runs along its ridge top.
- The Beaverhead Range is also part of the Continental Divide.
- Brower’s Spring in the Centennial Mountains is believed to be the original source of the Missouri River.
I love living in the mountains. I’m fascinated by the thought of settlers crossing the mountains in their covered wagons only 150 years ago, and stand in awe of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery passing through the very valley that I now live a little over 200 years ago. I know that I can pass through these mountains because others have passed before me. But what courage it must have taken for those who traveled them for the first time!
Somehow the mountains make me feel humble … small and temporary. I’m just one little spec in this great big world, and only here for a short time. And yet at the same time, the mountains make me feel tall and enduring: I can tackle anything I choose! All I need is time and effort to succeed.
Looking at my favorite mountains keeps me humble while inspiring me to achieve great things.
What do you use to keep you humble? What inspires you to achieve your greatness?
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Next Blog Date: September 20, 2010