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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Exploring farther

So this is arrowleaf balsamroot, which is all over the place at the moment, particularly at moderately high elevations. Today I returned to the track I "discovered" last Friday, and pushed farther up toward the top. I think I reached that particular track's high point, a sort of pass or saddle, at just about 5,200 feet, some 650 feet above where I started. I could have kept going, but in keeping with my goal of moderation (as well as the long run two days ago), I turned around after about 3.5 miles. This so-called summit was in new-growth pines.

There were three separate, crude (logging, I think) tracks off to the east that might go higher up the main ridge, but they'll have to wait for another day.

I've printed about a score of photos of Stonewall Mountain, most of them from various vantage points to the south, including all the way across the Blackfoot Valley. Here's a look at it, in the clouds, from just about straight east. Indeed, the ridge I was on radiates in some way from Stonewall itself.

As you can see, the weather was heavily overcast. At right is a typical critter hole, though this one is a little smaller (softball size?) than some I've been seeing right in the middle of the tracks I'm running. I'd guess this is a prairie dog, or similar critter. Some, especially on the climb from Herrin Lakes Road on the other side of the valley, are more like basketball size, which I'd wager are badgers or their ilk. Not sure how to tell without staking the holes out.

There's rain and snow in the forecast for almost the next week, which means I won't get much outside painting done. Maybe I should buy a different color for my kitchen/living room area and paint there — I want to do it eventually, why not now while watching my Wolf Hall-a-thon, which I have purchased via Amazon Prime (it's excellent, by the way). By golly that's a fine idea.

Aside from holes in the ground and the usual birds and squirrels, the only animal I saw was a solitary elk in the trees in the distance above a logged area near the top of the ridge. Of course, if you see one elk, you know there are others around, but I didn't pursue it.

Finally, the track back down offered a few fine views out over the Blackfoot River valley to the south. I was going to guess this is just about even with Crater Mountain to the south, but a look at Google Earth suggests that the mountain across the way is more probably a differtent (from the northeast) view of Baldy, which I'm thinking to revisit later this week.

7; 7; 51; 364
Posted by Mose, 9:45 AM


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