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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Long again on Flesher, with pictures

I awoke early today (4 or so) and decided to do another Flesher Pass-Helena trip combo, and it was successful. Here, at about 6,800 feet three miles or so southwest from Flesher Pass (on Highway 279), I came across the season's first (for me) ripe whortleberries, or alpine huckleberries.

They were, of course, delicious, though I didn't stop to eat many (just these and a few others). These are the tiny cousins of huckleberries, and they're extremely labor-intensive per berry.

This route is paved with them, however, which probably explains why there be griz in the neighborhood (berries, plus the herds of sheep down below).

The juniper berries here (right) also were plentiful. If I wanted to start an alpine gin distillery, I think this might be where I'd start!

The Helena trip was mostly for a few groceries and some lights on sale at Costco. I've had my eye on them for a while for my new deck/porch. They'll provide what I'd call an Italian ambience to my little retreat.

This is the nice, if somewhat smoky now, view down Canyon Creek from a high point on the Continental Divide Trail.

This is just shifting the view eastward from approximately the same spot as the previous picture. These are the little hills you have to curve around on your way down the south side of Flesher Pass on the way to Helena.

The flowers along the way were beautiful, including these buttercups. I ran about the same as the last time I went this way from the pass, turning around at the 4-mile point, which is on a lengthy downhill.

Next time I come up here, I'll push on a little farther, I think. The trail appears to go down to my turnaround spot and maybe a little beyond, then it goes up over another ridge that promises some interesting views.

This stretch of the CD trail connects Flesher Pass with the next road-pass over the Divide, Stemple Pass. I've run it before (from pass to pass) but I don't remember the distance.

These are more of the showy daisies, which seem to be coming into their peak at the moment. As usual, if you're viewing this on a computer (and maybe on an iPad, I don't know), you can click on the pictures to zoom them up a lot.

Like the daisies, the harebells seem to be coming into their own at present. There are many thick stands of them, especially in the first couple of miles south from Flesher.

It was a beautiful morning, though cool and breezy. It rained on me a bit, too, but in truth it felt good.

I did a kind of sponge bath back at the (unoccupied) trailhead and changed into actual clothes before heading on to Helena. I note that this run took me over 600 miles for the year. Though I swear there's nothing OCD about me, if I continue on this pace I'll be over 700 by August, which will be an average of more than a hundred a month since resuming running.

I never dreamed I'd be able to do it, but so far so good.

8; 8; 27; 605
Posted by Mose, 2:16 PM


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