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HOME OF THE 'TALL MAN'... (And you can see the blog pictures below in much greater detail simply by clicking on them)

Friday, February 05, 2016

Ski touring

This is an aspen grove along the snowmobile trail not far from the Snow Warriors' clubhouse. I drove to the clubhouse and parked there, then put on the skis and toured out on the groomed trail a mile and a half (back to the Sucker Creek Road, right at the second cattle guard.

I fell once right in the beginning (patch of ice on a sidehill slope), but otherwise had a nice morning. Good snow.

3; 8.5; 8.5; 29
Posted by Mose, 1:58 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Snow storm

As it turns out, I should have waited an hour or so before going for today's run. I went early and it was in a driving snow storm, in my face on the way out.

It was pretty, but uncomfortable because I chose my clothing (fleece pullover and light gloves) poorly. It was snowing at my house when I left, but there didn't seem to be any wind. When I got to my track, there was about a 20 mph wind in my face. The selfie above doesn't fully show the way the snow was pasted on me (I had brushed it off a time or two).

Anyway, I cut it short after going out just a mile. I did meet an empty logging truck coming to the work area in the lower quarter mile or so of the track.

Temp was fine — 25 or so.

2; 5.5; 5.5; 26
Posted by Mose, 8:40 AM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, February 01, 2016

Cold but smooth

Not a dazzling sunrise, but the broken sky was pretty and subtle this morning. I ran early — 20 minutes before sunrise — and a little shorter just in the interest of not overdoing it. I'll skip tomorrow to drive to Great Falls for eye checkups and provisions.

It was colder today, in the mid to upper teens, so I dressed accordingly (fleece and mittens). Very comfortaable.

I met the snowmobile club's trail groomer near the start and stood to the side as he passed. Below is what the trail looked like after he passed.

I'm not sure whether the grooves on the snow are visible in the picture, but the result of grooming is definitely a smoother trail. It's a little like running on sand, however — a little slower and more strenuous than running on a uniformly hard surface.

I ran to a spot just short of the T intersection I've mentioned before, but it was across Keep Cool Creek. This is the bridge which, in the spring and summer, is the only dry way across the small creek. The creek is frozen and snow-covered now and probably will remain so for a few more months.

(I just noticed the size of the pictures above after posting. I took pictures of some artwork last night and had the phone/camera set on "Square" instead of "Photo". I just reset it so my Wednesday post will be back to normal picture size.)

3.5; 3.5; 3.5; 24
Posted by Mose, 8:04 AM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Back to the scene ...

... of the wolf fight of the day before. It was quite a bit colder today (18-20), and it snowed more overnight, so I waited until after CBS Sunday Morning and Face the Nation to run. When I did, though, I returned to the route of yesterday, but went farther up. The picture is from some high ground above and on the west side of Keep Cool Creek.

I looked at Google Earth just now and it appears this branch of trail goes far up the creek. Odd I hadn't noticed it before. I'd gone on a parallel track on the other side of the creek a few times, though in spring it was swampy. This one looks like it'd be much drier.

I did still see a few clumps of wolf fur in the snow, but only because a snowmobile had churned it up. The machines are good for me, because they pack the snow to make it runnable.

Light snow fell as I ran, and in open areas there was a stiff breeze out of the northwest that made it ... bracing. I met one snowmobile on the way out, and three more just as I got back to the parking area.

5; 18.5; 20.5; 20.5
Posted by Mose, 11:18 AM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wolves in the predawn snow

So I headed the same way as yesterday, only I purposely took the right turn at the T intersection. On the way there, the predawn light lit the sky in the west (top photo). A short time later, it lit up Stonewall Mountain, northwest of where I was running.

That was pretty, and it was colder today — 24 at the outset. A short way up the trail after turning, I started following a single set of wolf tracks — and they were big, as wide as my entire index finger (just over 3 inches).

They were going the same way I was going (east), and I follwed them up the trail until another, slightly smaller set came in from the deep snow off the trail. A short distance from their conjunction, they obviously had a fight in which fur (but no blood) was shed.

These are two shots of the spot where the tussle occurred, one from closer to the messed-up snow and fur, other showing more of the tracks. It undoubtedly occurred overnight, because they were fresh in the snow, and it snowed pretty much all afternoon/evening yesterday, and I was there at sunrise.

Anyway, it was a nice run and the total (4.5 miles) puts me ahead of last January, which isn't saying much.

4.5; 13.5; 15.5; 15.5
Posted by Mose, 8:36 AM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, January 29, 2016

Slog with a wrong turn

Got a bit earlier start today on the same track as yesterday, and the sunrise was both beautiful and fleeting — this scene lasted only a couple of minutes.

After yesterday's run, the loggers came through with a blade and cleared the bottom half mile or so, with the unfortunate result that the snowmelt from adjacent piles created a sheet of ice overnight. Once I got past them — at the gate near the old sawmill — the track was pretty good. It was snow and ice packed by one tracked vehicle and numerous snowmobiles.

I went out two miles to the west, near where I saw wolves last year, then took a bad turn on the return trip. At a "T" intersection of trails a quarter mile or so past the creek crossing, I usually go left (west) or straight (uphill onto logging roads). I went left today, but when I got back to it on the return trip, I decided to take the right trail thinking it would get me back to the creekside gulch trail. As it turns out, this track appears to be another creekside trail, but on the other side of the creek. I will explore it more tomorrow.

In the meantime, my only choice was to return to the T and go back the way I came. The diversion made for a longer-than-intended run — 5 miles instead of the intended 4. I felt pretty good, and the ice necessitated slow going in places. Temperature was the low 30s.

5; 9; 11; 11
Posted by Mose, 8:37 AM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Updated annual mileage table

Below is a chart of the annual totals from the 11 years of running recorded in this blog. The numbers went way south from 2011 on because of foot problems, followed by a major reconstructive surgery on the right foot, followed by a year and a half or so of — horror of horrors — smoking!

I have hard-copy journals going back into the '70s, and maybe sometime I'll dig them out and add them to this.

It will take a few months to get the mileage up, but my goal is to average 100 a month by the end of the year (1,200 for the year).

2005 803
2006 891.5
2007 1,100
2008 1,415.5
2009 1,034
2010 661
2011 200.5
2012 7.5
2013 140
2014 0
2015 937.5
Posted by Mose, 9:51 AM | link | 0 comments |

Over to the snowmobile trails

The tall man says howdy from a mile or so up the east-of-town snowmobile trail.

This looks like a good place to run for the next few weeks, because logging equipment and snowmobiles have packed the snow. Not sure how far this road goes in passable condition, but it was decent for running today.

The temp was about 30 this morning, on its way back into the 40s later.

This is back toward the car from today's turnaround spot.

In addition to snowmobiles, the road was packed by some large, tracked equipment, and there was evidence of active logging in the area. I saw some workers, but no cutting under way.

Because of a bad chest cold, I got a late start on exercising this year and figured I'd fall behind last year right at the outset. But looking back in the archive, I see that my runs last year — when I was just starting up after several years of not running — were so short that the month's total was just 12.3. If I run each of the next three days, and stretch to 3 or 4 miles, I'll actually and easily be ahead of last year. My annual total for 2015, by the way was 937.5 miles.

2; 4; 6; 6
Posted by Mose, 9:42 AM | link | 0 comments |