Montana: Just Passing Through

Montana: Just Passing Through

 

Montana is one of those places that I passed through a lot during my childhood. To this day I still haven’t properly explored it, it was always just a state we had to drive through in order to get to our destination. The journey through to visit family in Idaho was often considered boring and tedious.. 12 long hours in the car, endless gas station stops and squabbles with the siblings over who had to sit in the middle.  It allowed quite a bit of time for thinking as I got older, and I started to notice my surroundings a lot more despite how familiar the scenes before me had become. Last year I did this trip 5 times, and loved every second of driving through that Montana. It’s different when you are experiencing it from behind the wheel. You have the power to stop if you are curious, you can take the time to analyze what is in front of you, you can really take it all in (while of course, keeping your eyes on the road).

Despite having never taken the time to visit this state properly. I feel profoundly connected to this place. It reminds me a lot of Alberta in some parts, and in other places it looks like a dry, barren desert. Each season brings something special. The lush, rolling green prairies are a comforting sight in the summer. The Missouri is a deep blue in the autumn and contrasts the surrounding trees with their bright oranges and yellows. The canyons and rock faces are striking with a sprinkling of snow on top. Even in the spring I feel that the light is so much softer than during the harsh heat of the summer.

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A scenic stop next to Helena

There is one spot in particular that makes me excited whenever we stop at it. Just outside of Helena there is a roadside pull out that is only accessible if you are travelling southbound. It overlooks the Missouri and during one trip, a group of us managed to catch golden hour. It was so remarkable and rugged looking with the hazy orange light. I almost expected a cowboy to appear on top of one of the peaks with his horse and harmonica. It was like a classic scene out of a western movie.

 

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Perfect light over the rocky terrain in southern Montana

Sometimes you don’t really realize how beautiful an experience was until you look back and analyze the evidence. When I look at these photos I can feel the heat of those last rays of sun. I remember it smelled like burning sage and there was a faint lapping sound that echoed gently below us as a fishing boat floated lazily past. I remember I felt tired and exhausted that day, I remember having thought too much and stressed too much during that week, but in the moments I took these pictures, I felt marvellously happy and exactly in the place I was meant to be.

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A scenic spot along the highway

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