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Friday, June 05, 2015

The quest continues

This was the return to the mountain up Lander's Fork where my first Lupine attempt was wrecked by the camera's exposure. This is one of the patches, and it doesn't seem as amazing as it seemed when I first saw it, but pretty nonetheless — with an Indian paintbrush bonus in the middle.

I did go back to the ridgetop as promised and explored a little further. Today I went over the ridge and east and north on what seemed to be the main track. I don't know how far it goes, but it didn't seem destined for anything too spectacular so I turned around after 45 minutes of trotting uphill. (And yes, the downhill is faster. It took six minutes less to get back to the car.

Anyway, this tree was notable only because it was thoroughly plastered with fluorescent green moss or lichen. There are whole bits of forest north of Flesher Pass that are similarly outfitted. This lone pine was near the ridge's crest, and I think some of the tracks up there would let a person trot more or less on the level for quite a few miles.

Also right at the crest were these test wells. The entire area, two whole mountains and multiple square miles of the surrounding ground, are like a pin cushion with test wells, remnants of the effort a couple of decades ago to put a giant gold mine up there.

The miners were studying the area's hydrology in answer to a myriad of regulations and in order to understand what might happen when they remove two entire mountains, put their crushed, cyanide-soaked remains in nearby piles, and leave a large, undoubtedly toxic, lake in their stead.

A couple of beautiful views presented themselves from the high parts of the run (the two different "peaks" were around 5,600 feet, and the car was parked around 4,950).

This one got my attention because it's a different view of a place I ran (and photographed) a few weeks ago. The drainage this view is looking up is Hogum Creek, and the ridge (including some meadows) on the right is the one that runs north off of Crater Mountain. It's an area I plan to return to, probably this weekend, to further investigate what was clearly a sizable mining operation up top.

The last time this running log showed Hogum Creek, it was looking down into the drainage from atop that ridge.

I was a little surprised to see this one: The snow-covered peak in the distance is Red Mountain, the tallest in the entire Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. It would dominate the view to the north from Lincoln, except that (the ubiquitous) the much lower Stonewall Mountain stands between it and the Blackfoot Valley, obscuring the view except from high places or, as in this case, peaking around behind it from the side.

Anyway, beautiful day (45 when I started and 60 when I finished), sunny with no wind. There are 80s in the forecast for early next week!

7; 23.5; 23.5; 471
Posted by Mose, 9:35 AM


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