Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trying to get back into the groove

Gene Sentz enjoying the Highwood Baldy climb

Crooked Falls in Great Falls

Thompson Falls
I’m working really hard to put my health back on track.
I’ve never gotten over the horrid flu that started in mid-February that moved into my sinuses, throat and finally my ears.
The ears have been the main problem because I’ve been suffering from dizziness, a sort of vertigo, brought on by ear fluid affecting my inner ear that controls my balance.
This week I took a little trip to Northwest Montana ---- Libby, Thompson Falls, and Seeley Swan looking for warmer weather and some hiking trails.
I found Mount Sentinel in Missoula that encouraged me that I might be back on the path to full strength. I climbed to the top and then bagged the adjacent peak to the east on the ridgeline. I figured this hike on Monday gained me some 3,000 feet in elevation.
In the Cabinet Mountains Tuesday I revisited the Ross Creek Trail of the Cedars, an area I hadn’t visited in more than 30 years. Here I saw trees 175 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter! It is a much more robust area than Glacier Park’s Trail of Cedars on Avalanche Creek. I also soaked at Quinn’s Lodge on the Clark Fork.
On the way home I hit the Continental Trail north side on Rogers Pass for a look a Front conditions and spring flowers. They were in full glory on the ridgeline.
On Wednesday it was back in town and Rivers Edge Trail. I walked from Rainbow Overlook to Ryan Dam and the Great Falls, enjoying a remarkable display of prairie flowers and gushing Rainbow, Crooked Falls and Great Falls waterfalls along the way. Incidentally, the mosquitoes are out!
Finally, on Thursday it was up the 7,600+ feet Highwood Baldy with Gene Sentz from Choteau. It was emerald beyond belief, and flowers everywhere. We used the Deer Creek route and enjoyed very clear views, particularly to the north. We counted sighting 10 different mountain ranges. We were also treated to a sighting of four adult mountain goats and two kids.

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