Don’t Forget The Roadside: 5 Things You Can Learn About Geology and History Between Great Falls, MT and Helena, MT.
Sometimes I forget. I forget how lucky we are to live and work where we do. I forget how beautiful and majestic our state is. I forget to stop and enjoy the awesome scenery and take time to appreciate it. Recently my wife, grandson and I made a quick trip past Helena for a wedding. Travelling through, my wife commented that she wanted to stop at the overlook just past Cascade to take in the morning light. Stopping, I grumbled about losing time to our destination, but was suddenly drawn to my grandson who was reading the signs about the area from the Montana Department of Transportation. I hadn’t read them in years. Probably since I was near his 5th grade age. How many times have any of us travelled the canyon to only remember how quickly we made it one way or whether the food was delicious and the beer cold at any of the great places to stop in between. Not to say that I haven’t tallied a few quick trips and imbibed in a cold one here or there, but when was the last time you stopped at a scenic overlook or a history marker sign and read one?
5 Easy Things Right In The Backyard!
Here are 5 easy things from my trip that both my grandson and I learned on the way. Have a favorite area, overlook, history marker or highway that you always love to travel? Send it our way in the comments, use the downloadable app, or find us on social media!
Our Very Own Lake?
Yes, our very own. Glacial Lake Great Falls once extended from the northern tip of the Highwood Mountains to an area near Townsend!
We have a volcano in our backyard?
Well, not anymore. But at one time, yes, there were several located in the area of the overlook. Some 350 square miles of them!
Railroads and Cars Didn’t Come Until When?
Believe it or not, we have only been able to travel through the area via car since the early 1930’s with the installation of U.S. Highway 91, some of which is still in use as a secondary road. The railroad system was first introduced in the 1880’s between Great Falls and Helena.
It Isn’t Granite Like All The Other Rocks?
No. The huge knob that sticks up in the range is actually basalt, which is a very hard rock that erodes at a slower rate.
Wait! There Are Snakes?
Yes, there are snakes in the mountains. While my personal experience in the particular area of this photograph I haven’t encountered one, that isn’t to say you shouldn’t pay attention while out walking your furry passenger or making that quick trip to the facility!