29 January 2007

The Moulton Journal: a day with a view

Saturday morning dawned cool, crisp, and clear. The warmer temps along with the lack of new snow have made a lot of the Moulton trails a little icy. Saturday morning it was a below zero at dawn, and early on I thought I'd pass on skiing. Given the gorgeous clear sky, though, it was a good morning for a ski out to "Big Flat" (aka Moonlight Flat)--a long open park along a southwest flat-topped finger ridge.

RTD is ill--not holding food down. She is an inveterate garbage picker--the one bad trait we've never been able to break her of. This morning (Monday) I brought her to the vet, but Saturday she was still chipper and took a moment to bask in the sun at the bottom of a Sluice Box run.

Below Sluice Box, Neversweat runs through a piece of private land. It was logged about ten years ago, and has cropped up into a nice growth of young lodgepole pines. Whether from fire or logging, lodgepole forests seem to regrow quickly. You can see lots of 2 to 5 foot tall trees.

Also in this area, on the Forest Service land along Sluice Box west of the clear cut/private land, is a "bearing tree"--a tree used to mark a survey corner.

Neversweat and Sluice Box run more or less parallel to Big Flat, down in the woods on the east side. Up on Big Flat, the views were gorgeous though not quite what I hoped they would be. The night was calm and cold, and so the wood smoke and other pollution was trapped in a broad haze over Butte's flats/upper Silver Bow Creek valley (sometimes called Summit Valley). In the pic below, I stitched together the view from east toward the East Ridge & Yankee Doodle tailings ponds to south toward the Highland Mountains.

And in the pics below is the view from west toward the Pintler Wilderness and northwest toward the Deer Lodge Valley and Mt Powell. Note how much clearer the air is in that direction.

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