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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another climb

More friendly Montana residents mark their territory on the track I followed north of Sucker Creek Road today. I suppose I can't blame them, being out in the middle of nowhere as they are, and it didn't help that the book I'm listening to involves a social worker wandering in the remote Yaak in an attempt to "help" the son of a certifiable, back-to-the-land nutjob, a type that's not unheard of around here.

Along the way I saw the first blooming lupine of the season, as well as quite a few wild strawberry flowers.

The tracks appear to be a maze of old logging roads. I tried to keep going generally upward when I came to forks, but twice got blocked by "Private" or "No Trespassing" signs, which I didn't feel like testing. Then, along about a mile on a spur that seemed to be heading generally back toward my car, someone ahead was operating a chainsaw. I decided to stay solitary, so I turned around and went back the way I'd come.

That added more than a mile to my route for the day, but I was feeling good and it was beautiful — sunny and, by the recent standard, warm. I actually was running in a short-sleeved t-shirt.

At one spot, the track I was on basically ended, but the woods above it were relatively thin so I proceeded on up the mountain. After a couple of hundred yards, I hit another, larger road, which I followed up to the "No Trespassing" sign.

For just such an eventuality, however, I had laid out this crude arrow pointing out where my bushwacking route joined the road. Turned out I did use it on the way back down.

I hope the long string of cold (20s in the morning; 40s in the afternoon) is at an end. By now I'm ready to be running in shorts and a T, not sweatpants, hats and long shirts. I did pick up a couple of ticks today, which will continue for at least a month.

There were interesting views here, because this route was a little farther up the main road, not far from the trailhead that takes the long route to the top of Stonewall Mountain. In fact, the view below shows part of that route:

The gray at the top of the ridge is the site of an old forest fire, and the trail goes through the burn. I'm still not up to — or interested in — that run for now. I think I might return to the Divide this weekend, however. Maybe Saturday.

5; 16; 84; 397

Posted by Mose, 10:37 AM


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