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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Flesher Pass east

On my way back to the car, I got a glimpse of it far below from about half a mile (and 400 feet)up the trail from Flesher Pass. I ran there early this morning on my way to Helena for a little shopping. Sponge-bathed at the car (and off the highway) before heading onto the Queen City.

After the big climb up from the highway pass (700 feet or so in a mile and a half), there are some good views south down Canyon Creek.

Farther up the trail and closer to 6,900 feet elevation (800 above the pass), the view out into Little Prickly Pear from a red argillite cliff is beautiful.

For some reason this stretch of the Continental Divide Trail is better marked than most of the others I've run.

I ran it all the way to Rogers Pass a few years ago with my friend from Virginia, and it was wonderful. Today I went just 3.5 miles out to a vista looking across the Blackfoot Valley toward Red Mountain, which was barely visible through the haze. I wonder if we're starting to see smoke from area fires? There are a few in Montana and some bigger ones out in Washington.

And it's only (barely) June!

This small southeast-facing cliff is home to a big bank of moss and some scrubby juniper.

This large clump of horsemint straddled the trail around the two-mile mark. These were some of the biggest I've seen, earning their sometimes-name, giant hyssop.

It's a member of the mint family and the leaves smell like it, though they actually smell more like catnip. If I still had a cat, I'd bring home a pocketful to see how it reacts.

The sulphurflower along the way at fairly high, sunny altitude, was nearly fluorescent. I should have crushed a little — see if the name comes from the color or from the smell (I'm guessing from the color).

Finally, I've been seeing these the past week or so, and decided I needed to photograph at least one. It's a harebell and is pretty common all around here. Very pretty.

Nice morning, foggy in the valley because of some overnight rain (just a trace). Temperature when I started was in the mid-50s, and when I finished it was 74. Reached into the 80s by the time I was done shopping in Helena.

7; 7; 131.5; 578
Posted by Mose, 1:51 PM


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