Sunday, November 30, 2008

A visual smorgasbord

H. Wayne Phillips examines this beat up wreck some slob left on North Shore Rivers Edge Trail

The state grass:  Bluebunch Wheatgrass

Katie at Fingers Bay on North Shore
This blog hasn’t heard much from me lately although I’ve had plenty of time to play outdoors.
It’s just during hunting season I pick and choose my experiences very carefully. I don’t want to get shot! I don’t particularly like to be around hunting, which I find distasteful.
And, since there’s not much good skiable snow in the Front or our local Island Ranges I haven’t wandered into the backcountry for telemarking.
We’ve had an extended period of dry, clear, windy weather.
That has allowed me to do a lot of bicycle riding. I’m still riding back and forth to and for work
It has also driven me to day hikes along the Missouri River, inside and near town.
Sunday was quite spectacular. Temperatures were in the 50s and there were only a few clouds on the distant horizon. The near-winter sun is at such an angle that it cast fantastic photo-enhancing shadows.
We hiked the North Shore Trail between Ryan and Morony dams, a distance of about 3.6 miles each way. We didn’t go all the way, so I figured we walked 5-6 miles.
We made a loop of it, taking the upper trail out and the lower trail back.
Along the way we flushed a couple of mule deer hidden in a juniper filled coulee, saw plenty of migrating waterfowl overhead and in the Missouri, and enjoyed spectacular views of the breaks against the river with the Highwood Mountains looming above all.
Driving out it was so clear we could see the Bear Paw’s Mountain south of Havre, the Little and Big Belt mountains, the Adels, Highwoods and Rocky Mountain Front with the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall wilderness areas. And who could miss the volcanic buttes, the giant laccoliths just east of the Rockies on the Great Plains.
We’ve got a smorgasbord of visual treats around Great Falls!

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