Three companions and I spent the better part of yesterday driving gravel roads along the Sawtooth Mountains of the Rocky Mountain Front north of Helena. This is the very place where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. Geologists call it an overthrust belt.
The mountains of the Front are mostly comprised of sedimentary shales that have been heaved up into massive walls and improbable jumbles of solid stone. Over the centuries, forests, grassy slopes, and cold rivers have poured down from the mountains to greet the open plains. This time of year, wildflowers such as arrowleaf balsamroot and penstemon flourish within the more delicate toes of the Front.
Yesterday, we drove along the outside of the front all the way to Sun Canyon. We followed Sun River up into the mountains and then drove below the peaks for a while. Posted are a few photographs from the day.