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Go Outside and Play

Go Outside and Play

Suce Creek looking toward Trail Creek, Livingston Montana

For the first time in ages, Hank and I went for a real walk this morning — a walk up one of our favorite drainages. There’s a trailhead at the top of the road, but often in the spring and fall, as the wild animals are moving around, we’ll stick to the road. It’s a great walk — about a mile and a half each way, with probably about a 500 foot elevation gain so you get a little workout. There are squirrels in the woods that Hank is convinced, Every Single Time, that he’s going to catch. And it’s quite beautiful — even just walking the road. You go up a long slow hill overlooking a small ranch below, where an elderly dog usually barks at us, and there are a couple of horses in a field. Then through a lovely aspen glade and out onto a very sunny south-facing stretch overlooking another, fancier, rich-person-second-home house. Then it’s about a 1/4 mile through a piney glade, which is lovely and cool and out into the trailhead parking lot.

I’ve written a million posts about Suce Creek. Suce Creek is where I had a very large black bear stand up and “chuff” at us when I’d first moved here, it’s where I’ve seen two mountain lions, and it’s where Hank and I were charged by a young bull moose when he was just a wee puppy. It’s also the place where I see several regular friends when walking the dog — Jack the barber who congratulated me on quitting my day job to finish a novel manuscript; Connie who comes up from Texas for the summer and who I’m so fond of despite the fact that we have almost nothing in common; Louisa the grizzly bear expert who lives down in the bottom of the creek.

I haven’t been up there to ski this winter. As you can see from the photo, it’s not for want of snow — those are fence posts at one of the cattle guards. I’m five feet tall and they’re all about as tall as I am. I’d been planning to hang my jacket on one, because it was warmer than I thought, but um, guess not. At any rate –it’s been a really tough last two months. The average temperature in February was 9 degrees, and it was only 12 degrees in March. It’s been a winter of bitter cold, and wind blowing sideways, and skiing just seemed like so much gear and such a hassle and I wasn’t even sure my car could get to the trailhead. And I’ve been buried in work.

But it is so glorious today — 45 degrees and sunshine and the poor dog hasn’t had a decent walk in months, and neither have I, so we drove up, put the little rubber cleats on our boots, and went outside in the fresh air and sunshine for a lovely hour or so.

All that snow is melting, and we nearly didn’t make it up to the cabin last night because there’s a whole segment of the road that is washing out. The political situation is ridiculous and dire all at the same time. I have huge piles of work and laundry and well, there’s housekeeping (I’m tidy but there are dustbunnies the size of jackrabbits), but for the first time in months it is sunny! and warm! and there are blue skies and there weren’t any cars in the little parking area. Hank and I had a marvelous time and feel all the better for it.