Of Peaks and Pachyderms.....








Today I sat atop a pachyderm of epic proportions.  That being one Elephanthead Mountain, elevation 9,430 feet.

Given the spate of hot weather and hoot owl restrictions, hiking would be the order of the day, sans fishing tackle. I wanted to hit the trail early.  But alas, I dallied and made it to the trailhead by 8:30.  Much later than preferred.  I was still recovering from Saturdays extravaganza, wherein I was up at 2:30 and out the door by three, trying to make it to a trailhead in the Beartooths for a morning hike and to catch a fish or two.

So, todays hike would be hiking for the sake of hiking.  Just a little exercise.  Take in a little scenery along the way.

It's a nice hike, maybe nine miles round trip, with a few thousand feet of vertical thrown in.  The road to the trailhead is a little bumpy.  En route, it passes the historic 63 Ranch.

In spite of the late start, I got lucky, much of the trail was still shaded.  It was still comfortably cool, even walking through the open burned areas.
























































An old skinny bugger like me can make it to the top and back in around six hours.  That's even after stopping occasionally for photos, water, lunch, etc.  A fit hiker can do it in less.  A fat one? Well, maybe never.  Unless they were being chased by a grizzly.









Comments

  1. Les; I like the last paragraph...got a good laugh. Great hike. Like that mt. stream/brook pic.
    bob

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    1. Nothing like a salivating bruin to hasten movement up (or down) the trail. Like the old saying goes "you can't outrun a bear". True. Not necessary. As long as one can outrun their partner. It's imperative to hike with someone with greater girth.

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  2. Quite a ramble there, Les. What in the heck is a "hoot owl restriction"? You can't take an owl up there?

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    1. Walt, "hoot owl" restrictions refer to fishing closures. Many of our major trout rivers in Montana are closed to fishing from 2 pm 'til midnight each day. Some, like the Jefferson and Big Hole, are off limits to fishing all day. A matter of too little water that's too warm.

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    2. Hi Lester
      Just pulled your blog up and saw the fantastic scenery you encountered on your way to the peak. Makes me wish I was on the hike with you--I've been getting my hike up and down stairs for the past 3 weeks, packing and moving--the wife and I finally made it to our daughter's house this afternoon in Tennessee; got out of our house this afternoon. Hope to be back with you guys soon. Thanks for sharing

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    3. Hi Bill, hope you get settled in soon.

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  3. Thanks Les. I knew about the restrictions on fishing, but "owl be darned," I hadn't heard of them expressed as such. Makes sense, somehow.

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    Replies
    1. The owl part may come from the fact that fishing is allowed starting at midnight? Regardless, the restrictions are imposed once water temperatures hit 73 degrees.

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  4. Thank you for the great story! I'm making my first trip out to the Beartooths and vicinity in a couple weeks and your stories have my anticipation building. I hope I can find a lake with some of those accommodating cutts!

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    Replies
    1. Happy hiking and fishing Carmen. Glad you enjoyed the story. Have a good trip.

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