Running on ...
HOME OF THE 'TALL MAN'... (And you can see the blog pictures below in much greater detail simply by clicking on them)
Friday, April 28, 2017
Repeat of Wednesday
Despite snowing all day yesterday, the patch of snow that is all that remains of the snowbank on the Contour Road is still there. It was colder today (35 or so) but the running was pleasant.
I actually ran into the woman who passed me up there last year. Boy is she nice looking (and age appropriate, I'd guess).
Here's the obligatory vista of Stonewall Mountain. Today it was not obscured by snow squalls.
Uneventful run except for meeting the other runner.
5; 10; 64; 132.5
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Back after health-related hiatus
Pretty sky on the way back down the Contour Road and up the Poorman Creek drainage. I went there today after 8 days off, the result of three things: 1) My injured knee flared up to the point that I was limping and it was tight; I iced and heated it a lot during the week. 2) My sore back from a few weeks ago seemed to settle into my right buttock ... not debilitating, but uncomfortable at times. And 3) There were many days of rain and/or snow, none forbidding but uncomfortable nonetheless. I think the back and knee things were related — a flareup of some kind of virus or something, because I was sleeping a lot, too.
Anyway, I felt great today. It was in the low 40s and rained lightly on me at the top.
This, I believe, is the last of the infamous snowbank that I've been turned back from or that I've struggled forward on for the past month. It is all but gone now, so the whole Humbug Contour Road is open to me now.
This ridge, the south side of Disappearing Creek's little drainage, is the same one I photographed reflected in a mud puddle last week.
5; 5; 59; 127.5
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Woo hoo to the gate
Weird picture, but it's a mud puddle near Disappearing Creek about a mile up the Humbug Contour Road. Reflected in it is the top of the ridge above the "creek."
This is the gate that gets closed in the spring to protect calving elk above on Baldy Mountain and beyond. It'll open in a month or two. Today was the first time I reached the gate this year, though it took about 5 minutes of heavy slogging in the last snowbank still on the road.
It was a beautiful day, temp starting in the low 30s and ending at almost 50 in less than an hour and a half. Nice.
Here's the end of the last snowbank. It's about 50 yards below the above gate where I turned around. As my shape improves I'll run miles past the gate, but already it's a substantial trot, uphill. Based on the altimeter app on my phone, the gate — 3.25 miles or so from my car — is close to exactly 500 feet up in elevation.
Threw in the by-now familiar vista across the Blackfoot Valley and the town of Lincoln to the mountains at the south end of the Lincoln-Scapegoat Wilderness Area.
The last few times driving to the Contour Road parking spot, I've noticed a variety of willow buds that remind me of good old pussy willows. I'm sure these are a kind of willow. There are at least two other kinds along Poorman Creek right now, but they weren't quite as accessible from the road.
6.5; 6.5; 54; 122.5
Thursday, April 13, 2017
The boys are back
Pretty sure this is a set of grizzly bear tracks, right on my usual river route. There were lots of elk tracks around, though I saw no elk today. Sandhill cranes were making lots of noise.
These are pretty classic griz tracks, except that the claw marks off the end of the toes weren't visible. I judge that these were no more than three days old. Several clues as to the tracks' source and timing: First I ran there Saturday and they weren't there. Second, the snow/rain that made the trail muddy fell mostly on Sunday. I don't think these tracks were made through snow, but they were old enough that they weren't perfectly crisp with little crumbs of rock and mud around them. I saw a few others on the return trip that showed little gumbo'd holes where the claw marks would be, so I'm pretty sure about what they are. Also, they were very big — almost as long as my feet/tracks.
Anyway, here's a separate set that was about 10 feet from the other ones.
They pyramidal peak at left is the one I photographed by itself on Saturday and, in the blog, mistakenly identified as Stonewall. Stonewall is the one to the right of the pyramid.
5; 9.5; 47.5; 116
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Back up Baldy
Well, this is a very short video that I decided to try to show the snow falling (sparse snowflakes don't show up well in still photos). This is at the turnaround spot on the Humbug Contour Road. Because there was a bunch of new snow in the snowbank, I decided not to slog on up to where I've slogged the past couple of times, just because the footing wouldn't be so good.
I can't make the video work, but if you click on it at least you can see the falling snow. Maybe you'll have better luck than I did. I'm batting 1.000 on having videos fail on this blog. After you've clicked on it, you'll need to hit the back button (alt left-arrow) to get back to the blog.
We got about 5-6 inches of snow over the weekend. Most is gone already, but not in the shaded north slope.
Along the way, the puddles were full. I was trying to catch the light rain drops falling on the puddle, but as it happened the rain kind of stopped when I stopped to shoot it. Maybe if you click on it to blow it up, you'll see a little, but not much.
Felt pretty good; cool, overcast morning (35 or so), with scattered snow showers. I skipped the snow day (Sunday), then Monday and Tuesday while awaiting workmen who never showed up. (Fix furnace and figure out strategy for fixing my collapsed porch awning on the creek side.)
4.5; 4.5; 42.5; 111
Saturday, April 08, 2017
Back to the river again
Stonewall Mountain peaks its snowcapped peak out from above the hills where I was running, near the start of today's run back to the river in fact.
This is the view from the far ridge near where I turn around, looking back on the road through the little valley that I had just run up.
I saw elk today, but not until near the end of the run near my car. The elk, 15 of them, never cease to amaze me at their ability to vanish into the woods.
I went around a little hill expecting to see them and they were gone.
Must have snowed a bit overnight because the trail was covered with these little snow pellets. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, however. Supposed to snow 3-5 inches tonight and tomorrow morning.
This old tree marks a spot in navigating the maze of downed trees near the river, and it had blown down since the last time I was there, which was Thursday!
This pile of logs marks the turnaround spot on the high point on the aforementioned ridge.
5; 27; 38; 106.5
Friday, April 07, 2017
Fog in the sky
Went up the Contour Road today, a little farther yet and a little earlier in the morning. It was nice but eerily foggy. This is as I trotted through a clear spot but clearly there was more fog (cloud) ahead.
This was near the beginning of the run, looking down at Stemple Pass Road. The fog made for nice but odd light.
Looking west from my trail across Poorman Creek (and the Stemple Road). This view varied almost from minute to minute.
It was a pea-souper at the north end of the valley below the Contour Road.
The snow had melted a little more, which enabled me to not-too-uncomfortably go farther toward the gate. Maybe within a week!
6; 22; 33; 101.5