Outdoor Rec

Dry Creek Trail Boise           Well, it’s “Senior Skip Day” at Sentinel, an unofficial Friday off over the Memorial Day weekend. Todd decided to hit the Blackfoot early this morning with a few of his fellow classmates following a report by his Biology teacher that the Big Bugs (Salmon Flies) were already out on the lower sections. I helped him put together a few last minute items this morning prior to his departure, briefly demonstrating how to tie on a bead head dropper below his dry fly presentation – just in case things are not happening on top… He took along some split shot and large stone nymphs too.
lupinus sulphureus           (Lupinus Sulphureus, Miller Gulch) Wild turkeys are clucking in our backyard area this morning which I enjoy hearing over the sprinklers. We never made it out this season for the gobblers given all of the other activities. Thus far we’ve opted out of spring bear season as well. As I told our youngest, Seth, bear season is simply an excuse to go out and walk the rifle snooping around in the woods to get an early season angle on how the elk are shaping up. I’m not sure he bought that and soccer continues to hold paramount anyway, which after all is fine. We’ve never killed a black bear and the probability of doing so is slim as that is really not very appealing. The bears are prolific this year again in sections of the Rattlesnake, and I’ve noted quite a few scratchings and claw marks along the Three Pines (or Three Larch) trail off of 513 in the Woods Gulch area. I’ve not been up there recently; however, during the last trip up three weeks back or so the Glacier Lilly roots had been dug up in numerous sections. On the second loop, I rode the trail in the opposite direction (of what is typical given the pleasure of the descent). This reverse approach allowed for a little more observation.
thad - dry ck            (Thad descending Dry Creek, above) I am posting some photos of the Miller Gulch and Dry Creek Trail areas north of Boise. We drove down the Lochsa and Payette Canyons to a regional tournament which some of the FC Missoula teams participated in, including Todd’s. Crossing the 45th Parallel north of McCall I noted numerous elk to the east, browsing prior to sunset in the green and brown pasture just below the adjacent mountains. Driving the route through the two canyons always bring back great memories of fishing and past mountain bike races. Soccer tournaments as well. During the trip, I connected with a former Missoula ski bum friend, Thad.
Miller Gulch area Boise           During a prior trip down, I did a solo ride in the Wilson Creek area (there were lots of equestrians), so trying something new (Miller) was ok with me. It was pretty warm (sunny in the ’80s, typical dry southwest heat), but the sun felt good during the ascent up Miller Canyon. We passed numerous other riders who were out enjoying the weekend as well. At the top of the canyon, there was a road that connected with Bogus which we rode along briefly prior to the descent. Along the road (basically a double track trail), people were having fun riding their motorcycles (of numerous varieties) and Jeeps. I was happy to quickly get to the single track and away from the fumes and dust, however.
dry creek boise           The Dry Creek descent was super with only a few minor washed out areas. It was a trail that crossed the creek in many spots. The singletrack had tight technical areas along upper ridges. Idaho is a place where one can go from the desert to damp and wet pretty quickly which this area overall demonstrated. We took a few photos goofing off along the creek bottom. People were hiking the trail in sections, but generally it was pretty quiet. Thad seems to have taken pretty well to the Boise area where he now, between running trail races and still working his old job, is studying as well to pursue a physical therapy degree. Seems a career change is ahead for Jones. He did indicate he misses Missoula. We reminisced a fair amount about the old ski days (Snowbowl, Bridger, Missions…) and I indicated I never made it out last season (backcountry or resort skiing). He indicated it was not a great snow year in Idaho and his brief window to elk hunt did not turn out that successful. It was the first time I’d seen Thad in a long while. Good to see he’s doing well.
           Driving back to Missoula we went the “Craters of the Moon” route. The curvy sections along the Payette and Lochsa are not too appealing for those in the back of the vehicle, so I compromised. Driving this route home had me thinking of fishing. Silver Creek and The Big Wood in Idaho, and the Beaverhead in Montana are available along sections of the drive. I did not bring the rods this trip down, however. Driving below Ketchum is always a throwback to the Galena mtb racing days. Riding with Thad really had me missing the fun of the sport. Some sports are much more fun than others. Skiing and mountain biking always come to mind. Why do things we don’t enjoy?
Rattlesnake Creek_edited-1           (Missoula’s Rattlesnake Creek above) A few weeks back I rode the cross bike up the Blue Mountain Road to the saddle above the lookout, the old jeep trail junction. There was still a spot or two that had some snow, but not much. I thought about the old days riding across the top towards Telephone Butte skirting the ridge between the Lolo and Missoula valleys. It was a quiet evening once I got by the insane kids riding their four wheelers at Mach 10 coming down the now ungated road; dust and rocks flying up in all directions as they descended, the kids finally seeing me cycling up on climber’s right. Though nearly panicking and losing control, they managed to hold it together. There were two or three other four wheelers who came down riding in control following the initial two. I reckoned probably the parents. I just can’t get excited about fuel powered recreation. Just the way it is.
erin in rattlesnake riding mtb_edited-1           (Erin mountain biking in the Rattlesnake, above) Riding down Blue Mountain in the twilight, along a steep upper stretch I crossed paths with a bobcat who was sneakily crossing the narrow road just below me. This was only the second bobcat I’ve seen in the wild and I immediately stopped and watched its behavior below the road in the underbrush. He did not seem too concerned about my presence, but I was unable to get a photo of the cat. While cycling I’ve seen a mountain lion and a bobcat in the surrounding Missoula area, also a Lynx on the Dog River Trail outside of Government Camp in Oregon. I have a great deal of respect for the wild cats. Elusive, wary, cunning and capable. Something about their eyes tells all that is needed to be known.
Heartleaf Arnica_edited-1           (Heartleaf Arnica, above) I managed a brief ride a few days ago with Erin in the lower Rattlesnake. Tennis is a brief spurt in the spring for some reason at the high school level, so we decided to go for a bike ride while the boys were at soccer practice. I took some photos with the phone of the drainage and surrounding flora. We discussed how wonderful it is to have the Rattlesnake Wilderness in Missoula’s backyard. I alluded to its connection with the Missions to the north, following a question about whether or not the Missions could be seen from our home. “No, but once you get on top of any of the surrounding peaks in the Rattlesnake, Point Six, Stuart, Mineral, and Sheep, which you can see from the house, you have an excellent view of the Missions to the north,” I think I said. “Up there is where I took the photos with Seth. That is where the lookout is,” I remarked, remembering her asking me recently about where I’d taken the photos with her younger brother. Mineral Peak was not too far above us, just up the drainage above the Franklin Bridge. Following riding we went to Taco Del Sol where I had an excellent fish burrito and she had a soft taco. I thought of another cycling buddy, Max, who used to enjoy going to the establishment following rides. Like Thad, Max has moved as well. I’ve not checked in for quite a while, but he seems to be enjoying the Avy Dog/Patrol gig at Brighton.
T&E           Well, I reckon I’ll conclude with Prom having gone off well for our Senior who posed for Molly (above with his sister Erin briefly during the evening). Todd and his date Megan had a nice evening. It seems odd to have Todd graduating in a few weeks. We were only fishing the St. Joe a few seasons back. Time does move right along.

2 thoughts on “Outdoor Rec

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s