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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)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Couldn't be clearer

The headline refers to the air and the sky. Once again crystalline is the word that might best describe the day: 17 degrees, small breeze and nary a cloud. The picture is the far point of today's run, which was up a sort of cul-de-sac off of the snowmobile track part of Sucker Creek Road. Once again very cold in the early morning, so ran noonish again.

If they're still there tomorrow, I'll take a picture of the tracks that I think might be a big cat. Not sure what else they could be.

4.2; 9.2; 9.2; 89.2
Posted by Mose, 12:24 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, March 02, 2015

Snow and wind

Weather may interfere more with my running for a couple of days as a winter storm (not huge, but unpleasant) rolls into the upper Blackfoot Valley later today and tomorrow. I went out just as it was beginning around 1 p.m. and went out past the tight fence and aspen grove. There are no mountains visible in the distance in the picture because it appeared to be snowing much harder at altitude. The first half of the run was into a stiff wind, and it picked up to gusts of more than 30 mph by the time I finished. Fortunately the wind was at my back by then.

My friend the raven was back on a fencepost clucking at me as I passed, then wheeling off into the wind. It seemed as if the snow was really coming down out there, but at the moment here in town not much is falling. The good news for running is that it's supposed to warm up considerably by Thursday, perhaps even into the 50s by the weekend.

I ran late again because the early morning temp was, once again, in the zero range, which is unpleasant. I didn't run yesterday, choosing instead to split firewood for two or three hours. Should be good for a few weeks now.

5; 5; 5; 85
Posted by Mose, 1:37 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cold wind

Adjacent to the "Ponderosa Snow Warriors" clubhouse is the beginning of the group's groomed trail system. This is where I turned around today. The clubhouse itself is below.

I was going to repeat yesterday's run, including the noonish timing because it was around zero at my usual pre-dawn start time. It was warmer — 22 as I drove to the route — but the east-northeast wind was howling up to 30 mph, which is uncomfortable if you're not tightly wrapped. I turned east at the first cattle guard, but the headwind was unbearable, even with my hood up. Instead I just went on up Sucker Creek Road, all the way to the clubhouse. The road actually goes clear through to Lander's Fork and Copper Creek, upward of 15 miles, and along it are trailheads for going up Stonewall Mountain to the lookout (which I've done before). Too much snow up above now, though.

I was seeing interesting, fresh tracks in the snow at the upper end of the route, and I think they were big cat tracks. In fact at one point it appeared a cat was chasing a rabbit, but I'm no tracker so I could be wrong. The "tell" on cat tracks is that they show no claws (they're retracted). Anyway, coming across a mountain lion would spice up the run!

4.5; 14.3; 67.7; 80

Posted by Mose, 12:19 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, February 26, 2015


It was cold (close to zero) in the morning, so I waited to midday to run. No sign of the elk, but this bullet-riddled hubcap always catches my eye.

By the time I went out today, it was up to 18. A little more breeze than I expected out on the flats, but it was spectacularly sunny. I felt good, going all the way to the tight gate, then up the fence line to the cross fence in the trees. There'd been a dusting of snow, which in turn was pushed by the wind into the nooks and crannies, so footing was slightly dodgy in places.

A crew of some kind has set up what appears to be a satellite apparatus along the road, but I've never seen anyone staffing it, so I can't be sure what — or what agency — is doing it. Maybe surveying for a new fence line west of the road, but I'm not sure. Time will tell.

Finished The Paris Wife, a novel by Paula McLain that reads more like a memoir of Hadley, Ernest Hemingway's first wife. I've always been intrigued by the 1920s expatriates in Paris, especially Hemingway, so this was very interesting. Coincidentally, just a few days ago I watched a documentary by Mariel Hemingway, a sort of combination memoir and admonition to be alert and sensitive to the suicidal thoughts of loved ones. Also interesting.

4.3; 9.8; 63.2; 75.5
Posted by Mose, 12:27 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The elk are back

The elk were back near the pond this morning, and I have videos, both of the herd moving and of one poor straggling yearling who hadn't figured out that you have to jump to get past barbed-wire fences. He'd just stick his head through or over and try to push his way through. He became separated from the whole herd (of 150 or more), and I left rather than causing him to panic. So far the video I tried to post is behaving strangely — gives you the idea, I guess. I'll come back to this in a while and see if the video has "improved itself" because I don't really know what else to do.

The tracks in the top photo are of me going toward the elk and of some elk going toward the pond moments before I got there.

The bottom pic is the sunrise about 20 minutes after I left the elk and ran up the road to the second cattle guard. It's a pretty morning, but more snow is in the forecast. Should be an interesting week. I skipped Sunday and Monday to go to Great Falls for my annual physical. All systems are go.

Story in the paper this morning said that, despite the warm weather in recent weeks, snowpack is mostly at or above normal for the time of year, and March typically is the snowiest month of the year, at least up high. We'll see.

4; 5.5; 58.9; 71.2

Posted by Mose, 7:49 AM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cold wind

There was a gorgeous sky this morning, but it occurred before I went out — almost an hour before sunrise. I was waiting for C to come through on her way to Missoula. Went out afterward and went short because it was both cold (15-20) and windy (also 15-20).

It wasn't much of a run as a result. Came back to stack firewood instead.

1.5; 1.5; 54.9; 67.2
Posted by Mose, 7:39 AM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, February 21, 2015


No pictures today, because the weather was unfavorable. I waited until the noon hour to run hoping it'd be warmer. It might have been, but it also was windy (20-30 mph) and snowing, and I neglected to bring the loose-knit scarf that I wrap around my head under such conditions. I'm a hardy fellow, but running straight into a snowing nor'easter was, while not particularly dangerous, moderately unpleasant.

I cut it short. Not surprisingly no traffic or critters out there. I haven't figured out the ranchers operating theory. It seems the cattle are in different pastures every time I go out there. I don't think there's anything standing for them to graze, so I'm sure they're being fed hay, wherever they are.

Anyway, I cut the run short, making it to the pond, but no farther. I'll try again in the morning — it's supposed to snow more overnight. Might be pretty.

2.5; 21.5; 53.4; 65.7
Posted by Mose, 12:31 PM | link | 0 comments |