Highway junction, Shelby, Montana: Big sky and open land merge endlessly, and the gray is all-encompassing. Stopping to refuel – as most do – provides a leg-stretching opportunity before driving further to Glacier National Park, in the west.

Darkened under glowering clouds, the landscape dulls itself limitlessly.

It’s hard to believe that, just beyond the northern parallel, lies an entire nation – floating into gray.

[Creative Commons Photo]