Sunday, July 14, 2013

The West Boulder

Mountains, rivers, valleys.

Awe, adventures, vistas.

That, in a nutshell, is Montana.  Maybe corn kernel would be more appropriate since those were not even proper sentences and it was just the tiniest description of this landscape.  But then again Montana is not very proper either, so it fits.  Buttes jut out of the ground where you least expect them and mountain ranges stretch out all over the place like sleeping giants, making you travel around them so as not to disturb their slumber.  The glaciers packed up and fled so quickly they left boulders in the middle of fields, greatly inconveniencing farmers.  Bison and cows jam up the roadways and Mother Nature will piss rain on you any time she darn well pleases and then apologize five minutes later with some sunshine.  Maybe she's just a little bipolar.

I digress.

Every weekend I dive into a different part of the patchwork quilt of forests, stream beds, and peaks.  Thursday I took a gulp of air and then dove into the West Boulder, a drainage and so named stream just east of Livingston.  More accurately, I jumped in feet first, wet wading in just my bathing suit, looking to catch Mr. Trout.  It turns out Mr. Brown Trout and Mr. Whitefish were both home, as was their neighbor and sometimes friend, sometimes enemy (frenemy), Mr. Bear.  We all got along swimmingly.

While rigging up my pole (I had to hike in a mile or so, you see, and so had everything packed up) I noticed a log was moving on the other side of the stream.  Turns out that log was a small black bear, whose color would more accurately be likened to a golden brown loaf with a head that was baked a little darker than the rest.  Mr. Bear moseyed on down to the creek straight across from me, sniffed around, explored the brush a little doing his bear thing, and then rolled around in the water to cool off before moseying around some more and then heading up stream.

Where's Waldo?

Most of the time when a bear and a person meet up in the woods it ends up being like two little kids kissing...there is the 'encounter' and then one of them ends up running away and both want to pretend it never happened.  Well this time I think the bear just never noticed me between the roar of the rapids and his poor eyesight, so I was lucky enough to have a front row seat to his show.  Made my day.

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