Of Mountains and Mist: Surveying the Big Sky Winter with Brian Merriam

32560007Brian Merriam’s photographs offer an earnest and eager appreciation for the outdoors. Each image acting as both an inviting adventure and a dramatic call to action, providing the necessary inspiration to phone in that vacation time and get lost in the beauty of the vast American landscape. Follow Brian through the frozen plains and forests of Montana and Wyoming in his latest Filson Life article.

It was Halloween, but the herd of grunting behemoths in front of me hadn’t seemed to notice. They ambled back in forth in the cold wind, occasionally offering a slightly extended look in my direction. Don’t get too close. Aside from a minor skirmish here and there, not much else happened. It was just another day on the National Bison Range. It was also my birthday.32560036Over the summer I got news that one of my best friends and his girlfriend were moving to Montana. An open invitation to visit was offered, and I jumped at the chance to get out of town for my birthday. Last years birthday/Halloween was a stressful one to say the least thanks to Hurricane Sandy. This year, some mountain air with some old friends seemed like the perfect idea.32590012We headed back from the bison range under the Montana sky, a rolling, undulating mass of gray. Golden rays punctuated the landscape, shining through great holes in clouds, seemingly torn from above. A lot lied ahead in the coming days. We would explore the depths of Helena National Forest, and take a trip into the geothermal mists of Yellowstone, but for now watching the clouds throw shadows on the long road ahead was enough. 32590015