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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Into the clouds

It was a wet and gray morning, and as has been the pattern in the past week, it snowed overnight. I ran up the Contour Road today and managed to slog all the way through the north-facing snowbank to the gate and beyond (more pictures below). It was chilly (35 or so) but calm.

Looking out into the valley, some blue sky was in evidence and the sun even came out a time or two along the way.

About a third of the way into the snowbank, I received a phone call from my friend Swi, and I stopped and chatted with him for ten minutes. This photo looking on up the road with Baldy Mountain in the background was taken while we talked.

After talking, I continued the slog and now can say the snowbank is about a mile and a quarter long. The footing was not great — like running in slippery, ankle-deep mashed potatoes. But the payoff was good. From the gate on, I'm pretty sure I could go a couple of miles without fighting the snowbank. I'm sure it'd get deep again once you cross the saddle on the north slope of Baldy.

I was curious whether the Forest Service had closed the upper gate yet, and indeed it had. I think they do it in the winter and spring to protect calving elk from human interruption. At least that's what I've been told. It's OK to go up there, but not in a vehicle.

This is what the road above the gate looked like. I went about half a mile past the gate and this was the turnaround spot. There's snow on it, but not enough to notice.

This, too, was taken at the turnaround spot, but this is looking up the bald flank of Baldy Mountain.

I had intended to sneak in a run while doing a series of eyeball tests yesterday in Great Falls, but the appointments were too close together to do it (unless I wanted to go into the doctor's office a sweaty mess).

7; 17; 103; 147
Posted by Mose, 10:27 AM


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