24 March 2008

Spring Hike: Along the Big Hole River

Daughter Emily Munday was home from Boston for spring break a week or so ago, and her goals for the week included a hike (in addition to a ski). Butte and its immediate environs still had a lot of snow. After a leisurely breaksfast of elk sausage and pancakes, we loaded into the Toy p.up and set off for the desert ridges along the Big Hole River 25 miles south of Butte.

On the way, we pulled over on I-90 to check out a wreck. Apparently, the truck driver did not see the train (!!!) and ran into it:

The hills along the Big Hole are full of mule deer. It's not unusual to see 100 or more in a half day's hike. Here's Emily watching a herd through the spotting scope:

And a pic through the scope that she insisted on taking, despite my sage advice that "It won't work." Geez I'm glad to have a daughter and students who regularly prove me wrong:

RTD likes watching deer too:

Almost as much as she enjoys chewing on deer bones:

Watch where you sit, though, this place is full of pricklypear cactus (as I can attest having sat down on a few while settling in for a shot at deer or antelope):

Those spines are sharp enough to skewer a fresh falling deer turd:

Rugged country, and a great place for a spring hike:

No wonder Butte, Montana, is one of the top rated communities in America for easy access to outdoor activity.

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