Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wide Open Spaces

On our last day in Eastern Montana we explored one of the huge sections of public land that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), it is also land that is available to hunt on for everyone. You definitely need maps, available at the BLM offices, of the area. Without them you could get endlessly lost. We drove down above a north section of Fort Peck Reservoir . There were a lot of private cabins along the bank over looking the lake, what a great place for weekend fun. Frank had intended to get a doe, we saw a good one early in the am, and decided to pass so we could explore the area more, then ended up not getting one, but the purpose of the day was more to see the area anyway. One wrong turn and thinking you are on one road but really on another can make for a long day getting out of the BLM property and onto a highway, we realized this when we should have been heading north, but kept going west, we finally found a road sign that matched on the maps, got our bearings and started our trip back to Idaho.
Frank pointed one of the "Buffalo" trails out to me that are all over the place. They look just like a small draw where water would run, but they are zig zagged and run deep in the ground. Once you start looking for them you find them everywhere.
Over looking Fort Peck Reservoir. This was created by damming up the Missouri river, and is over 100 miles long.

Some Sage Grouse along the road. I had never seen these before. They look a lot like dull colored pheasant, but fatter.
Finally, a picture of Antelope. With snow on the ground they really blend in good. When a big herd is on the run all you can see is the white on their rumps and it looks like a flock of white birds flying low to the ground, the rest of their bodies blend into the ground so well.

These nice thorny catus are all over the ground, mixed in with the sage brush. We took about a mile hike, but the mud was so awful that a mile was more then enough fighting it. The mud isn't the kind that you sink into, it's the kinds that sticks to the bottom of your boots, so that after about 5 steps you have 4-5 inches of muck built up so it feels like you are walking on high heels or wedges. It didn't do any good to knock it off, but you couldn't help but stop and get it off, it was so annoying. The walk was still good, there are old bones all over, some are even petrified. We were hoping to find some dinasour bones (very common here) but think we only saw buffalo....


Anonymous said...

that doesnt look too fun!! -autumn... im glad your going to be staying closer in the winter

Anonymous said...

happy thanksgiving, I really enjoy your blog