The goose migration to Freezout Lake has always captured my attention, so when the weather cleared I figured it was a good time to head on over to Choteau, Montana and check it off my bucket list. The flight from Missoula to Choteau is quite spectacular crossing the Continental Divide over Bob Marshall wilderness area. Here is a photo of the back-country paved strip Benchmark, tough to spot but it is just off the tip of the wing.
Once you cross the Continental Divide land flattens out for miles and miles. This is where thousands of snow geese take a break on their long journey north every year. The proceeds from gun and ammunition sales provide funding to help manage this waterfowl area.
Can you spot the geese? What looks like a sheet of ice from the air is actually thousands of snow geese.
Freezout Lake pictured from the air. The farmland around Freezout provides geese with grain and nutrients for the rest of their journey north.
Grain silos outside Choteau
Trumpeters swans on Freezout Lake with the Rocky Mountain Front in the backdrop
Choteau airport is a pilot’s dream. They have two paved and maintained runways, fuel, and a courtesy car you can borrow to get you to town for some home-made pie. They even let us take the car all the way down to Freezout Lake to make friends with some geese. The nice flat farm land surrounding the airport is also a welcoming change of scenery as an optional landing spot in the rare case of an engine out.
We enjoyed a beautiful day spotting Snow Geese and hanging out with the laid back small-town folks of Choteau and were ready to head back home to Missoula. The early spring sun provided a beautiful spot light on the landscape as we departed Choteau airport. We said goodbye to all the geese flying north, and continued our route west for the evening.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of Montana from the air as much as I did.
Flying around Montana provides some amazing views and access to backcountry terrain seen by few. Check back for more Montana adventures from the air.