Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

The Divide


(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).dscn6582

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.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

22 thoughts on “The Divide

  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos, Anneli. The last one looks like a painting…beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful country out that way! When my parents first started traveling west in the winter they decided to take the north route going out. It was an October in Montana when the ran into the worst blizzard they’d ever seen. Sheltering at a truck stop restaurant, they asked the waitress how long it would take to plow the roads. She pointed to a fellow at the counter and said “That’s the plow driver.” And he wasn’t going anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no! That’s just the kind of thing I’m afraid of, especially this year. It’s colder and we’ve already had a skiff of snow (which melted the next day). Generally it has been colder than usual with more rain than usual. That didn’t stop the temperature from soaring to 24 centigrade the other day. That’s about 75 F I think. But what a story your parents had to tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely scenes. I look forward to more!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Judging from what I see on the mountains around here this morning, those passes would be white today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh shudders! I hope it melts. If not, we’ll be staying on I-90 on the way home.


  6. Beautiful panoramas, it’s great to be able to go along with your travelling. Thanks for sharing. Snow, next day 24 degrees – crazy country indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Here’s some photos that I took several miles north of Mac Pass. https://bigskywalker.com/2016/12/01/fata-morgana-from-the-cdt/

    Liked by 1 person

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