Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A top 10 list that I didn't create -- dangit

Lists were custom-made for the Internet. The Best New Wave One Hit Wonders from Northern England. The Top Ten Treatments for Cracked Feet. My Three Favorite Land Mammals.

Here's a really good one: The Top Ten Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies. And I didn't even write it. It has a web site and everything. To be sure, it's nothing more or less than a tourism gimmick -- creating a web site and a Top Ten list to incite the masses. It's all put together by various state tourism agencies, chambers of commerce and the like -- not, of course, that there's anything wrong with that.

One could quibble with the list, but that would be obsessive, sick and wrong. It would also be impossible, because the list darn near perfect -- no weak choices, and not lacking anything obvious. So, what I'll do instead is say this: A good share of these routes can be found on my online book, and others can be found elsewhere on this very site. Nonetheless, The Top Ten Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies web site is a thing of beauty.

Oh, wait, there's one thing they forgot -- to rank them in some kind of subjective order. Of course not -- imagine the fight that would have caused among chambers of  commerce. Soooo ... here's my order:

10. Hell's Canyon All-American Road. Well, something had to be last.

9.  Hot Springs Circle Tour. Hey, it's in Canada.

8. International Selkirk Loop All-American Road. This one gets a low rating because its name makes no sense.

7. Northwest Passage Scenic Byway. Pretty, pretty, pretty, but not as other-worldly spectacular as the top six.

6. Salmon River-Sawtooth Scenic Byways. See above.

5. Circle the Continental Divide Driving Tour. It's actually kind of remarkable that this one is included, considering that there are precious few chambers of commerce to apply pressure for inclusion. Very remote, but anyone who makes this drive won't be disappointed for spending the time.

4. Montana Scenic Loop. This is another one that gets overlooked because of the higher-profile drives near it, but boy, is it purdy.

3. Beartooth All-American Road. Here's the vocabulary you need for this drive: Wow! Oh, my! Oooh!

2. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park Loop. Five words: Going-to-the-Sun-Road.

1. Yellowstone-Grand Teton Loop. Duh!

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