Montana Outdoors

August 5, 2010

Thompson Peak (3)

The middle part of the trek to Thompson Peak followed the TeePee Creek trail 1309. It also traversed what had been a very hot part of the fire. I’m glad I was not there when it burned! A desire to see the top and a faith that there would be more than burned trees made this part tolerable.

On the TeePee trail 1309

On the TeePee trail 1309

On the TeePee trail 1309

It's a big job!It’s a start!

On the TeePee trail 1309

On the TeePee trail 1309

Even in the burnEven in the burn

On the TeePee trail 1309

On the TeePee trail 1309

Someone, perhaps in an answer to his own question, left these markings to show the trail which then became the Cook Mountain trail 291 and followed the ridge between Cook Mountain, Little Thompson Peak and Thompson Peak. The ridge was a break point in the fire and sheltered a sizable area from most of the flame.

Trail markings ?!


  1. To see burned trees is to me “hopeless” view. I know that life is coming back, but it take time.

    Times ago in my country we practiced “slash and burn” and after it every thing growed better.

    This post had great interest to me, because I have never seen scenery after fire. Thank You.


    Comment by sartenada — August 5, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    • I think it is the time scale with fire and renewal that bothers people so much. In our lives, 80 years is a long time: to the forest, that’s just a blink of an eye.


      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

  2. It is amazing how quickly the forest returns after these fires. In fact, they are natural in this environment and necessary for proper and healthy function of the ecosystem. That is why most learned people tell people in California to let them burn!


    Comment by sciencedude288 — August 6, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    • In this area, full return of the forest is actually quite slow because of the small amount of precipitation we have here. In the southeast part of the US it is much faster with over 40 inches per year. Our forests did better with more frequent but smaller natural fires.


      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

  3. Definitely beauty, hope, and renewal within the burnt and scarred landscape.


    Comment by Anna — August 6, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    • There is much of that already. I saw small mammals a number of birds along with some new plant growth. I was so pleased to see the tracks of so many animals on the trails, notably mule deer and elk. As the low-growing plants begin to thrive they will provide excellent food for these animals.


      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

  4. You do get to visit and see some of the most beautiful places!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — August 6, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

    • I tend to gravitate to the wild country and the natural beauty there. It’s awesome what can exists beyond the roads.


      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

  5. Thank goodness for flowers. Don’t they look beautiful against all that char.
    Do you find raspberries growing the fires goes through? We have noticed that here.


    Comment by sandy — August 6, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

    • There are some raspberries in this area but not many, probably because of the small amount of precipitation. In the canyons and along the small streams there are lots of thimbleberries though. They seem to grow near the stands of Fireweed in many places.


      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

  6. That fireweed and the other flowers are the only cheerful things in these areas. Seems to me that whenever they have controlled burns in northern AZ, they rapidly go out of control. I suppose we only hear of those that do but it seems that every summer there is at least one large wildfire caused by a controlled burn gone bad.


    Comment by Candace — August 7, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

    • The flowers do bring a little cheer to the burn. I consider them as nature’s advertising campaign: “coming soon”.

      I have mixed feelings about controlled burns too and I don’t have the confidence to think they are always well planned and safe. There’s an area a few miles from here that the local ranger district likes to burn often. I have seen it do no good and it has killed hundreds of trees. I also think the “genius” in charge is a desk-bound bureaucrat who seldom gets into the forest himself.


      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

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