Running on ...

HOME OF THE 'TALL MAN'... (And you can see the blog pictures below in much greater detail simply by clicking on them)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

On to Nora Mountain — and a bear!

I did as threatened and ran all the way to (and a little past) the cairn Nora and I built 20 years ago on the unnamed mountain we declared to be Nora Mountain. The cairn's at right; the flowers above are mostly alpine forget-me-nots, the virtues of which I've been singing for more than a week now. I love those flowers, and I think they'll be even better next week (it's been cold here ... 25 when I set out this morning and only mid-40s when I finished).

The big excitement, other than just the exhilaration of once again doing something that I hadn't been able to do in several years — and in a spectacular place — was that I spooked up a large black bear on the way up. It was in the mixed forest just before the grotto-like area that I've mentioned before, and where I saw a large bear track in snow last week. I'm thinking maybe this was the bear (the snow tracks were too old to be sure, but now that I think of it I didn't notice claw marks on them, which is a tell between grizzlies and blacks). I was probably 30 feet from it, and it was mostly interested in vamoosing, so I let him. I was wary just to be sure there wasn't a cub around, but, satisfied, I went on up the trail where he'd been, talking loudly to him (I told him I had a gun so he'd better not mess with me).

My "bravery" was rewarded on the ridge beyond the grotto by the profusion of forget-me-nots. Later today I'll try to post a video or two on YouTube of running through the flowers ... I think it might show the brightness and blueness of the flowers better than my phonecam. If I do, I'll add a link here (I've had no luck getting videos to post on blogger).

Here's an obligatory shot from the peak of Nora Mountain (about 6,500 feet), looking down Montana Highway 200 onto the prairie, where buttes, including Crown, are visible in the distance. It's probably 40 miles east of the Divide where I was running.

I felt very good. I got to the first ridge in 22 minutes (same as last week, but there was no bear last week) and to Nora Mountain's cairn in 48, a titch slower than in the old days, but still satisfying. The cairn was in OK shape. I added a couple of rocks to it to solidify it, and will spend more time there on a subsequent trip to shore it up and put back the note jar that we put in it back in the '90s.

I went on past the cairn a ways to look down on Cadotte Pass, which is an embarrassing mess because of the roads built by the slobs who own a piece of land that spills over the Divide. Maybe the next trip I'll venture on to what we call Louie Mountain. We'll see how the workouts progress.

This is looking down the trail off of Nora Mountain (about 300 feet below the top) across to the Divide on the south side of Rogers Pass. There's a wonderful trail up that way too, and I'll hit it in the next few weeks. It's a little more vertical than the north side, which is just a little less than 1,000 feet (I was surprised that was all it was, though most of the climb is in the first mile or so)

There were more wildflowers this week, but it's still not prime time. I saw more glacier lilies, shooting stars, the rare orchids, buttercups, forget-me-nots, Indian paintbrush (one) and, of course, pasqueflowers (right).

I'll fall back into my routine runs right around Lincoln during the week with an eye toward another "expedition" run next Sunday, weather permitting. Not sure where that'll be, however. Maybe a return.

9; 32.5; 44; 357
Posted by Mose, 10:14 AM


Add a comment |

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]