Montana Outdoors

March 25, 2008

A March visit to Munson Creek

Yesterday the weather cleared a bit and Munson Creek seemed to call to me. USFS trail 372 was clear for about two miles up into the TeePee – Spring Creek roadless area before the ice on the trail became too hazardous for hiking. (It’s a very narrow trail along a steep mountainside.)

Not far from the trail head I began to see Moose sign, and as I watched for them (and also for bear since they’re now coming out of their dens), I walked right up on a group of four Big Horn ewes; a pleasant surprise. At about the two mile point there was a considerable amount of wolf scat along the trail. It was of various ages, the most recent perhaps a week old. I made a mental note to visit again in about a month, hike to the top and spend one night there. It would be great to see and perhaps have a chance to photograph a wolf pack!

Even from the relatively low elevations at the lower end of the trail, the scenery across the Clark Fork valley is great to see where the north side of the Cherry Peak roadless area is fully visible and only a few miles away. Tough to have to hike in this kind of country, isn’t it? What a pleasure it was to again get into at least a little bit of the high country!

Eddy Peak

Peaks in the Cherry Peak roadless area

Cherry Peak roadless area

Cherry Peak roadless area

27 Comments »

  1. Wolves in the high country? I would definitely scat!

    Like

    Comment by errolllevant — March 25, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

  2. There are a number of things that are somewhat dangerous in the high country. Interestingly, the wolf is not one of them. I don’t believe there is a single documented case of a wolf killing a human on this continent. This Montana back country is a thousand times safer than the streets of any of our big cities for anyone who is at home here.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 25, 2008 @ 11:03 pm

  3. Brilliant shots (once again) I realize I learn all my ability to shoot landscapes from you and Ankush. Both of you have an amazing eye. My favorites is the first and third but number four isn’t nothing to sneeze at either. Great work!

    Like

    Comment by aullori — March 26, 2008 @ 12:39 am

  4. 🙂

    Good read! Thank you!

    Like

    Trackback by Outdoors Blog — March 26, 2008 @ 6:26 am

  5. So beautiful!! Seeing your pictures has gotten my day off to a good start.

    Like

    Comment by Sara — March 26, 2008 @ 7:17 am

  6. Beautiful pictures and great narrative. My wife and I have vacationed twice in Montana (2001 & 2003) and your post reminded me of why we’ve yearned to return ever since.

    Like

    Comment by George Kalas — March 26, 2008 @ 8:09 am

  7. A wolf pack would be so super cool, man! (I’m using my high school lingo to show my excitement!)

    Like

    Comment by barbara — March 26, 2008 @ 8:24 am

  8. Thanks, Lori! It’s nice to live in a very photogenic area!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 26, 2008 @ 9:05 am

  9. Sara,

    I’m so glad you enjoy seeing the photos of this part of the country!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 26, 2008 @ 9:08 am

  10. George,

    Thanks for visiting! Yes, this is beautiful country! Now if we can just have the will and good sense to preserve it in its wild condition for future generations of folks to enjoy!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 26, 2008 @ 9:11 am

  11. Barbara,

    I can only hope about seeing a wolf pack around here. I know they are around because I’ve seen plenty of sign, but this area is quite heavily forested and it’s not easy to get close enough to see them. Maybe one day across a high meadow!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 26, 2008 @ 9:14 am

  12. In some areas like this, one can easily be impatient for the snow to melt off making the trails accessible. Some of my favorite hikes in Glacier, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite and Yellowstone can often be blocked until well into June. Of course, park officials are much more apt to forbid people to go on certain trails than those in other federal lands.

    Once on the trail, what a lot of wonderful stuff there is to see.

    Malcolm

    Like

    Comment by knightofswords — March 26, 2008 @ 9:57 am

  13. I’m impatient already. Yesterday I tried a hike and about a thousand feet higher than valley level there is still 2 – 3 feet of snow and it’s solid enough to last for another month at least. A big problem here too is the ice on the Forest Service roads that provide access to the trail heads in the high country. According to the news today the avalanche danger is still very high in northwestern Montana too. Yes, there would be plenty to see now if it were possible to get up high!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 26, 2008 @ 10:47 am

  14. Gorgeous shots, Montucky! I really hope you get to photograph a wolf or wolf pack. I would really love to see it.
    With the aerial wolf hunting they have going on up here, my chances of seeing one are dwindling. (I won’t get started on that one… it’s hard to get me off my soapbox about aerial wolf hunting once I’m on it)

    Like

    Comment by AK_Adventurer — March 26, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

  15. I know what you mean about the wolf shooting. I don’t understand why, once the wolf population has gotten established a little now everyone wants to kill them all. I guess the cattle interests control a lot of the politics in the west.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 26, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

  16. I’m glad you’re able to stretch your legs a little, now. Makes for pleasant viewing for all of us.

    Like

    Comment by Pinhole — March 27, 2008 @ 5:25 am

  17. Yes, it’s great to hike on dry ground again. My problem here is that there isn’t a lot of low areas in which to hike, and a thousand feet higher there is still several feet of snow. I guess I’ll just have to keep pushing the limits!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 27, 2008 @ 9:02 am

  18. Thanks for the beautiful photos of home. One is taken from the ranch property. the first one is what I saw from my bedroom window on the ranch., No one should worry about the wolves….there are none in this area yet., I use to go up Munson creek in early spring and if the wind is right and you are quiet. You will see so much.

    There are 130 head of elk and almost as many bighorn sheep being fed on the ranch This winter. Not that they wanted to but the snow was so deep this year all were driven down. This is truely Gods country. Thanks so much for the photos.

    Denis Munson

    Like

    Comment by Denis W. Munson — April 10, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

    • Dear Mr. Munson…My name is Susan Chaney and I am a writer of 20 years, mostly for TV and Screen. I would like to speak with you about your book. Please contact me at the above email.
      It is not my intention to infringe upon your life in any way but I would like to know what your intentions are with the book. I was wondering if the book was simply cathartic in nature for you or did you have any intention on letting the story be told?

      The publishing industry has changed drastically in the last couple of years making it possible for writers to publish more easily. Thank you for your time.

      Sincerely, Susan Chaney

      Like

      Comment by Susan Chaney — May 6, 2011 @ 1:05 am

      • Susan, I am Denis Munson. My phone number is 516-796-0075. 2313 2nd Street, East Meadow, NY 11554. Email is dwmedu1@aol.com I just read your note to me on Montucky. I am willing to speak with you and explain it all to you. Thank you for reading my book. Parts of it was hard to write. I have never promoted the book and just left it out there. Several years ago I was approached about a movie of my life….I turned it down This was before I discovered my Father situation. They wanted to write a story of my events in life and Vietnam. I declined at the time. Not that I would do that today.

        Denis Munson

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        Comment by Denis Munson — August 6, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

  19. I’m glad you liked the photos, Denis! Yes it is God’s country! It has been a hard winter, but one that we needed very badly and the snow pack is above average for the first time in ten years. I’m glad you said what you did about going up Munson Creek early. I just love it there and will go up again once a little more ice melts, and I’ll hope for good wind direction. This trip the wind was right at my back as I went up.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — April 10, 2008 @ 10:11 pm

  20. Wow! Thanks for the beautiful pics. Grew up there! My family had the ‘little store’ at Eddy. My brothers and I would wake up at 4 in the a.m. grab our fishing poles and walk to Munson Creek. Since it was named after our great-grandfather, Andrew W. Munson, we sort of thought we owned it. I was all of 10 and the boys were 8 and 7. And this would have been back in the late 50’s.

    We would catch these little fingerling trout; bring them home and mom would fry them up for breakfast. We ate them bones and all.

    What a way to grow up. Nobody worried about us. We were perfectly safe. Life was so different. Wonderful really. Nothing to worry about.

    I have so many precious memories of Munson Creek. Thanks for bringing it to life again.

    Judith

    Like

    Comment by Judith Cleveland — December 2, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

  21. Judith,

    Thank you for commenting!

    Indeed, those were wonderful days! I think you would be pleased to see Munson Creek today and the beautiful trail that goes up through it. It’s well maintained but not much used. The country is nearly as wild as it was back in the 50’s. At the top of the trail, the old lookout at Big Hole Peak is going to receive some renovation next summer, by the way.

    I received some communication also from Denis Munson, who is now living in New York I believe.

    If you see this, you can see, on the right sidebar of this page there is a section on Munson Creek in the categories: it will refer you to 9 other posts, all with photos.

    Thanks again for your visit and comment!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — December 2, 2008 @ 9:47 pm

  22. I lived in Eddy Montana from 1943 until July 1957. In that time Denis Munson and Andy went all over the hills. When really young Denis and I used to go get the cows in in the evening. We hung out at the Creek, visited what we called the night meadow and like it’s been said, no one worried about us when we scrounged aroundall day. I baby sat for Judith and her little brothers a lot.
    My dad fished some in Munson Creek and the creek right beside the highway was a great place to play in the water.
    Thanks for all the wonderful memories of growing up in Eddy.
    Frances Schenck Clark Fork, Idaho

    Like

    Comment by Frances (Jacks) Schenck — January 2, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    • Hello, Francis! Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment! I live about 6 miles east of Munson Creek and visit there quite often. The old trail has been kept up pretty well by the Forest Service folks: in fact, I plan to hike it up to the Bighole Lookout next summer and then take the Spring Creek trail back down to Weeksville Creek. Each spring I look forward to April when there is that beautiful bloom of Pacific Trilliums about two miles up the trail.

      In February of 2008 Denis Munson commented on one of my posts about Munson Creek too. You can find that post and his comment here if you are interested in seeing it.

      It must have been a wonderful place in which to grow up. I grew up in Missoula at about the same time you lived at Eddy, but spend a lot of time at my grand parent’s ranch about 4 miles west of Plains; the Hicks ranch.

      Terry

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 2, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

      • I don’t recall the name Hicks, but did know a lot of folks between Eddy and Plains. Did you know the Joe Guise (sp) family ? The kids names were Richard and Lora. There was the Lawyer family. I recall The Munsons staying at a cabin one spring at Weeksville due to a flood at Eddy.I also remember the little store there at Weeksville.We
        drove to Plains and Thompson Falls a lot to shop.My Dad Bill Jacks worked on the railroad in that area.The railroad had a big ice house. In summer dad used to get ice for people there to make homemade ice cream. Talk about good old days. They sure were….
        Frances Schenck.. Clark Fork, Idaho..

        Like

        Comment by Frances (Jacks) Schenck — January 3, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

        • I don’t know any of the Guise family, but I do know one of the Lawyer family, Nick. Also some of the Arnold family who have the ranch across the river from Weeksville. There have been a lot of great folks in this general area. Sadly, many are gone now.

          Like

          Comment by montucky — January 3, 2011 @ 10:28 pm


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