This morning, Buddy and I explored the Wakina Sky area; a place we seldom go. It was the first really chilly morning. 45 degrees had me scrambling to find gloves, hat and long sleeved shirt. We took our time on the way up Wakina Sky Road to warm up a little, watching the deer and squirrels (and Buddy didn't chase after any of them!), then ran hard up the trail. Instead of looping back on the Stairway to Heaven trail, we continued on Wakina Sky to Grizzly Gulch road. We'd been hiking a lot this week, and I wanted to run at a faster pace on a flat surface so not to stress my Achilles too much.
I've become a bit complacent on these runs compared to running in the Flathead. As Buddy and I cruised along, I heard a rustling in the trees by the road. Less than 20 feet ahead, a black bear ambled onto the road directly in our path. Definitely surprised, I shouted "Hey bear," hoping it would take off. It did, across the road, where it promptly sat and stared at us curiously. Buddy followed my lead and backed up the road from where we'd just run. Two cars passed by without slowing a bit. I continued to yell "hey bear" until it took off away from us. Here he? is ambling up to the ridge. Buddy handled it great; keeping quiet and following all commands. It's always exciting to see wildlife, but this one was a bit too close for me. We finished off our 5 miles on adrenaline.
My legs are tired. In addition to several 3-5 miles trail excursions, Steve and I started filling in what will eventually be our rock garden. We bought and planted a young juniper tree, two Barberry shrubs, russian sage, catmint, blue festuca grass, and gaillardia. Gardenwerks is the place to go - very helpful owner and lots of good stuff to dream about buying. The previous owners had not planted anything, just hauled in piles of mountain rock, so the dirt underneath was tough to dig up. Lots of work, and much more to do. I've got day lilies, red sedum, a couple more shrubs, astilbes, lupines, daisies, etc to plant. Since much of the planting is bulbs, it looks a bit funny with a few plants here and there. We can't wait to see what it looks like next year! Here's our baby juniper.