The time was after 11PM, yet still the light of sunset lingered in the northwestern sky. It gets dark quite late here in Montana in the middle of summer. This peak has been on my radar to climb for quite awhile. Like a spine, the long and narrow Bridger Range is situated in the middle of the state. The 9,665’ Sacagawea Peak, named after the famed guide of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is the apex of the mountain range. Views stretched far and wide in every direction and were some of the best of any peak I’ve stood on. After sundown the lights of Bozeman and smaller towns came on. Then Comet NEOWISE slowly appeared through the deep blue twilight sky. Just a few minutes makes a big difference in visibility because while the coma is bright, the tail of the comet is faint even though it’s huge. After this more clouds moved in along with a couple flashes of lightning. It was time to leave, but I was thankful for the short window of opportunity I had. Descending the steep trail by headlamp was no small task. I made note of the tricky parts on my way up and was extra careful in the dark, trying not to butt heads with any mountain goats.
- Kevin Palmer
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2020, Bridger Range, C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, July, Montana, Sacagawea Peak, Townsend, astronomy, astrophotography, blue, clouds, coma, comet, dusk, evening, kevin palmer, mountains, night, nikon d750, north, rare, scenic, sky, snow, space, starry, stars, summer, summit, tail, tamron 24-70mm f2.8, twilight, view
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