(Disclaimer: All these photos are “drive-by shootings” so they may seem to have a dirty windshield film or the odd bug splatter speck. My apologies.)
Three mountain passes (Mullan, MacDonald, and Priest) mark the way between Deer Lodge and Helena, Montana, and denote a continental divide. From the summit of MacDonald Pass, you can look down into eastern Montana and know that all the rivers on this side of the Rocky Mountains flow east. On the western side of the three passes, all the rivers flow west (or any direction but east).
At times, the winter weather can be a problem. Snow fences have been put up to slow down the blowing snow and keep most of it off the highway.
After the summit, an amazing panorama opens up to take your breath away. Highway 12, which leads through these three passes, is a shortcut between Garrison (just north of Deer Lodge and east of Missoula) and Helena, Montana’s capital city.
It’s only the beginning of many more beautiful landscapes to come as we travel east through Montana.