Monday, August 30, 2010

Across the Bob—Day 14

Day 14 was my longest distance day--18 miles.  I knew Day 15 would be the day I reached the ending trailhead, and I was a little concerned about whether my vehicle would start after sitting there for over two weeks.  I wanted to make sure I had a shorter trip on the last day so I would get to the trailhead early in the afternoon while people were still around, in case I needed a jump.

It didn't rain on Day 14, but clouds hung low in the valley.

This open area is named the Basin.

Log crossing at Basin Creek.  To the upper right you can see a wire someone stretched across over the log to help maintain your balance as you walk across.

I'm always a little surprised to see frogs in this cold water.

After passing through the Basin, the valley closes up again.

Danaher Creek.

Looking downstream (north) back toward the Basin.

Farther upstream, Danaher Creek is a lazy channel through a marshy area filled with giant mosquitoes.  Bring your DEET.

The trail skirts the marsh, passing through a meadow filled with willows.

The north end of Danaher Meadows.  The Danaher family made a short go at homesteading here in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but the harsh country combined with the long distances to roads and markets forced them to give it up.

Abandoned farm equipment from the old Danaher homestead.

Danaher Meadows.

South of the meadows the trail climbs toward a low divide separating the Flathead River drainage to the north from the Blackfoot River drainage to the south.  On the south side is the Dry Fork of the North Fork of the Blackfoot River, so the divide is called the Dry Fork Divide.

On the evening of my last night in the wilderness, this rainbow hung in the sky to the south.


  1. What was your primary emotion on your last eve of the Great Trek?

  2. If tired is an emotion, that was primary after my long day. I didn't really have any end-of-trip feelings until I had reached the trailhead and my vehicle started up, so the last night was not too different from the other nights in the wilderness. I was mainly thinking I still had eight miles to go and I wanted to get an early start in the morning.

    At the end I felt a combination of: very happy I had done the trek; happy I was finished doing it and would soon get a shower, some real food and a real bed; cautiously optimistic I had enough to write about (when combined with flashbacks from previous trips); mildly disappointed I didn't see any bears on this trip (as you'd expect to see over 15 days in the Bob); but elated I'd seen the wolverine (which you can never expect to see any time, anywhere).

  3. Thanks. Good luck with fleshing this stuff out into writing material. Did you make notes on a notepad as you went, or will you go from photographs, or just from recall?

    Pretty cool about the wolverine, for sure. I was thinking we had them in Iowa, but I was thinking of badgers.

  4. Thanks, Brian. I packed a journal for recording sights, experiences and impressions when I was in camp. I also carried a small voice recorder in my pocket in case I had any blinding flashes of insight on the trail. The photos will be helpful to jog my memory as I'm going through all the material. Also, I took pictures of unfamiliar plants, birds and insects so I can look them up in field guides at home. I've got a lot of material in one medium or another, and I've started building it all into a rough draft of a narrative. It's a colossal task, but enjoyable.