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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)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Like old times

It's a typical fall day in Great Falls: temperature in the high 40s, sunny, wind blowing up to about 40 mph from the southwest. Gorgeous. I decided to explore the area below what's now called "Whispering Ridge" or some such nonsense. It's a cool track between some limestone/sandstone cliffs and a large cattail marsh. I used to run there fairly frequently, and often saw a big red fox along the way.

It's a little harder to get to now because of the subdivision activity, and there's a pond where once was an eroded gully. The paths are much less worn, obviously because they're less accessible. I found a good way, however, and it will provide an adequate 5-1/2 or 6 mile route for early mornings, as long as I wear a headlamp for part of it. And I found another good way that goes TO the cliffs, then back with a little detour that I could make about as long as I wanted to go, out into Gibson Flats. I'm going to like this, I think ... no traffic, no people.

As for wildlife, a spooked a buch of huns (Hungarian Partridge), one cock pheasant and half a dozen hens, all in the vicinity of the marsh (which in spring is one of the more amazing bird collectors I've ever seen, especially so close to town). And the best was a pair of what I think were rough-legged hawks. I was right next to the cliffs when they played on the wind right over my head, not more than 15 feet up. They let me watch for a while, then shot away on the wind. Way cool.

I explored quite a bit on this run, looking for possible early morning routes. A few tracks that I used to go on are grown over or blocked by new homes. The best loop route I did find will last only another week or two, because the main track took me through a new construction site. I'm sure the owner will fence it (and I'm not sure I'd want to go through their yard anyway). That means the long-term future route will be a straight out and back through my secret access point. For future reference, I'll call it the Flats route.

Felt pretty good, all things considered. Wore my old Brooks shoes (the bright yellow ones, Gunt and Steph, if you're reading this), because my new Nikes gave me a sore blister on the top of my foot. Not good.

8; 29-1/2; 24-1/2; 683-1/2
Posted by Mose, 9:32 AM


Yay bright yellow shoes! :)
Blogger Melia, at 4:01 PM  
You were just trying to look as cool as you know I looked during the half here in Lincoln.
Blogger Gunter, at 5:07 PM  

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