Montana Outdoors

January 8, 2013

Umbrella weather

Filed under: Winter — Tags: — montucky @ 1:04 am

Like many (most?) people, by the end of the year I had begun to labor under the sluggishness brought on by all of the holiday feasting, and so when the month changed back to one it became time to start to work on that. Today my hiking total for the new year reached forty seven miles, the last few of which were on a snowy road during a snowy day.

A moderate amount of snow was falling when I left the Jeep, the woods were quiet and I was hiking on snowmobile tracks which often can be like a path with a thick carpet; very pleasant walking. Rather unexpectedly, after a just couple of miles, the falling snow turned to falling snow mixed with falling rain and the small umbrella that I had stuffed into a compartment of my pack became a very important item because I was still an hour from the Jeep.

Weeksville road

Weeksville Creek


  1. 47 miles is an impressive total so far! I’m ashamed at my own laziness!! I love the image of the falling snow and rain – there’s something so serene about it.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — January 8, 2013 @ 3:48 am

    • I’ve been hiking about twice my average trying to get into shape to do some snowshoeing later this winter. I hike a lot anyway though and it has been good for me.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 10:23 am

  2. You’ve got me beat-I’ve probably only done half that since Christmas. I like walking on snowmobile tracks too, and was just doing it last weekend. The trouble comes when you step off them to the side where the snow isn’t compacted. Nice shots of the falling snow / rain. I haven’t been able to get one of those yet.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — January 8, 2013 @ 5:06 am

    • Those shots were taken about a minute and a half apart, but facing different directions which had much different light conditions. The one of the road was taken at 1/250 and the one of the stream was at 1/30, both from under my little umbrella.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 10:26 am

  3. That is impressive!


    Comment by roberta — January 8, 2013 @ 6:39 am

    • Walking/hiking has become an important part of my routine and here I can do it easily where there is no traffic.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  4. I haven’t been tracking my milage, but you’ve got me beat by a long shot.


    Comment by jomegat — January 8, 2013 @ 6:54 am

    • Once I started tracking my miles I just kept doing it. Every night I just make a note on a small calendar/planer on my desk by the computer. I started in 2007, so this is the 7th year.

      I had severe pain in my lower back when I started and one day I just told myself I wasn’t going to let that pain hold me down and went for a hike. After two miles the pain was about gone and completely gone after four miles. The next day was the same. Then I stretched it out to 6 miles and the pain stayed away. I’ve averaged about 3.5 miles per day ever since. If I slack off for a week though the pain comes back and then I start hiking again.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  5. Rain…we, here comes the slush. Nice pix, though.


    Comment by knightofswords — January 8, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    • Yes, and we are supposed to have freezing rain today and tonight followed by more quite cold weather. We ought to have an icy mess.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 10:35 am

  6. Good for you on all of your hiking miles already, Terry…I’m only able to hike on the weekends, but do usually get between three and five miles a day on my lunchtime and evening walks, maybe three or four days a week…. I think that’s wonderful that you’re able to get out so much…I’m jealous!

    And beautiful photos, again…so much like home…and an umbrella would be great to have out there…I think I would have returned to the truck rather soaked!


    Comment by seekraz — January 8, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    • Well, I found that I really need to hike a lot to feel good and so I do. I am retired so I have the time and old so I need the exercise. I try to stay in good condition so I can make those longer hikes in the summer where there is a lot of elevation gain.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 10:37 am

      • Well I am right there with you, Terry…while I’m not retired, I do walk so much during the week so that I feel better and am in relative shape for the longer weekend hikes…. I like your mindset. πŸ™‚


        Comment by seekraz — January 8, 2013 @ 10:47 am

        • A lot of the motivation is those longer hikes into the back country, but feeling fit all of the time is not all that bad either.


          Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

          • Certainly not…keeps us young. πŸ™‚


            Comment by seekraz — January 8, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

            • I’ve given up on “young” now (it’s too late) and I’m trying to work on “tough”.


              Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

  7. Now I’m inspired to keep track of my miles. Why did that never occur to me? Your first photo looks so similar to one I just posted, by the way – not surprising, I guess, since we’re both in the same neck of the woods!


    Comment by westerner54 — January 8, 2013 @ 9:45 am

    • I just started keeping track of the miles one day, found it interesting and have done it ever since. If I hike the back country trails I also keep track of the miles on each pair of hiking boots and that has turned out interesting too. I really liked Vasque Wasatch boots until I found that the Vibram soles on them have a catastrophic failure at a little over 500 miles (their cost is $.36 per mile). A pair of Asolo’s now has 940 miles and the soles show wear but will probably be good for another thousand.

      I think you cover a little more territory than I do. I’m pretty limited to the lower Clark Fork region.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 10:45 am

  8. Interesting review of the boots. Something I’ll keep in mind. 47 miles since Jan. 1 is very impressive. Good for you! But what was that liquid snow coming down in your photos? I thought we had the monopoly on that out here on the coast.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 8, 2013 @ 11:09 am

    • For obvious reasons boots are very important to me. THe new pair of Merrells so far shows a lot of promise. My favorites though are a pair of logger boots made by a company called “Buffalo”. it is now owned by White Boots, probably the best logger boot company around. My pair is on its second set of soles and still has a lot of miles left in them. I bought them for fighting forest fires for the Forest Service in the summer of 1960. We’ve been through a lot together.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

      • I had Merrills for a short time. Had to return them when I got bruises on my ankles where they rubbed. My husband swears that his Meindels are the best. I have Danners right now and I’m happy with them.


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 9, 2013 @ 1:18 am

        • I’ve had several pairs of Merrells before and had good luck with them, although they were a little softer than I like for hard hiking. this pair is much stiffer and appears to be more durable.

          I didn’t like what I could see of Danners here but I really like that they are U.S. manufacture, not China. I had never heard of Meindels before or I would have looked at them. Actually getting to see womething you are interested in is difficult in this area because there are so few stores and most have limited selections.


          Comment by montucky — January 9, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

          • Yes, I found that out. That’s how I got my Danners. My old boots got soaked the first day and I was desperate for waterproof boots. The sports shop in the tiny town had exactly what I needed for my hard to fit feet. But I was very lucky to find those.


            Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 10, 2013 @ 12:09 am

  9. We’re losing our snow a little each day as it’s warming up considerably and melting. Supposed to be in the 60’s this weekend! Not our typical winter weather. If it hangs around too long, I’ll have to get my snow fix every day with your photos. πŸ˜‰


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — January 8, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    • We lost most of our valley snow today too with rain and a temperature of 37 but the high country all around here still has plenty and will be getting more.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

  10. so nice when temps stay below freezing in winter…. so glad you had an umbrella.
    you are putting in some good miles!


    Comment by Tammie — January 8, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

    • I nearly always carry that little umbrella. It’s amazing how handy it is for rain, to shield a wildflower from direct sun for a photo and a wind break for shooting flowers. Also helps keep my pistol dry. And it weighs only a few ounces.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

  11. 47 miles in one week??!! wowed! and that is a cold hike!


    Comment by skouba — January 8, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

    • Actually, hiking is the best when the temp is in the 20’s I think although you have to be properly equipped and careful that you don’t overheat.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

  12. Nice job with the 47 miles already! Lovely photo or access road surrounded by trees!


    Comment by WildBill — January 8, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

    • I spend a lot of time on or near that little road. It’s not open for traffic this time of year but used a little by snowmobiles and a very few hikers. On day a few years ago I hiked its whole length of 17 miles and really enjoyed that because it varies in elevation from 2440 feet to a little over 5000 and has a lot of moose at the top of the divide that it crosses.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

  13. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a photograph of rain and snow together. It’s a lovely effect, though I can imagine “icy mess” could be an understatement from time to time! I’m desperately in need of getting out and doing some hiking myself – I do get exercise at work, but not the sort that walking and hiking provide. You’re a good role model!


    Comment by shoreacres — January 8, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

    • There aren’t a whole lot of people nuts enough to photograph in a rain and snow mix. This is the time of year when there is always a pair of YakTrax in my pack for the ice. I can’t say too much about walking/hiking. It’s usually available close by, the price is right and it’s so much nicer than working out in the confines of a building. I’ve very lucky to live where I do. It is roughly in the middle of a triangle made by three 7000 foot peaks which are about 15 miles apart. I call that my “exercise room”.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  14. You must be a very good packer, you seem to anticipate all conditions out there. I remember winters in Indiana where snow mixed with rain…messy and potentially dangerous.


    Comment by Candace — January 8, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

    • By now I know enough to be reasonably prepared. I think it was Will Rogers who said that “good judgement comes from experience and that usually comes from bad judgement”. Another advantage of always hiking alone: I know that my life depends on being adequately prepared.


      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

  15. Wow …Terry these are beautiful, it’s supposed to warm up here for a week and then back to snow and cold..can’t wait !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — January 9, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    • Strange. That’s just what our weather has been doing. Today it was over 40 with rain, but Friday night is supposed to be cold (9ΒΊ).


      Comment by montucky — January 9, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

  16. Really lovely in a wintry way! I haven’t tracked my miles, but it’s safe to say I’m ashamed…..!!!


    Comment by FeyGirl — January 10, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

    • It’s so much easier to hike a lot of miles in the colder temperatures of winter than in the summer’s heat. Besides, when a snowstorm is going on it’s impossible to not be out in it.


      Comment by montucky — January 10, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

      • You’re absolutely right… You do make me feel a bit better. Sigh, now I want to hike in the snow! πŸ™‚


        Comment by FeyGirl — January 11, 2013 @ 8:20 am

  17. My hat off! Well, we walk about 24 miles in a week but of course the amount varies. Now living in the new locality we have found new “city paths” to walk. This week walked for the first time one hour on the lake on which shore we live. There are flows which mean that the ice is not thick enough everywhere and we must be careful.


    Comment by Sartenada — January 11, 2013 @ 12:31 am

    • It must be fun for you now to walk in new places and enjoy your new locale!


      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

  18. Really enjoy these two shots. I have found also that back pain can be walked away so to speak. At least for me.


    Comment by Grampy — January 11, 2013 @ 2:49 am

    • I can’t think of a much better way to get rid of pain. There are so many more benefits along with it!


      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

  19. Smart to pack the umbrella… Beautiful scenery, love the creek w/ the precip falling.


    Comment by Tricia — January 11, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    • I always carry the small umbrella. It is compact and weighs only a few ounces but becomes a very big thing when it’s really needed.


      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

  20. Hi Montucky, We have only had a light snow here twice this Winter so far and that happened around Christmas. We have had a lot of rain around recently. Your picture is wonderful. You are blessed to live in such a lovely place. Have a great weekend!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 11, 2013 @ 11:28 am

    • Our valley snow is mostly gone now but the mountains have a good snowpack. The nearest ski area now has 100 inches.


      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

  21. We’ve needed our umbrella here in Tucson! It’s a good thing to pack rain or shine if you’re a photographer. Interesting photos…if I had a choice it would be snow over rain:)


    Comment by twoscamps — January 11, 2013 @ 6:37 pm

    • This time of year I greatly prefer snow too, but oh, those warm summer rains!


      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

  22. Must be so wonderful quiet and relaxing for the mind, and of course good exercise for the body too. It sounds like if you almost never meet any people on your hiking, what about animals then?


    Comment by Giiid — January 14, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

    • I intentionally stay away from the more used trails for the most part. Yes, I frequently get to see wildlife. Deer nearly always, elk, Big Horn sheep, a few moose each year, a half dozen bears, coyotes, once in a great while a mountain lion, a mountain goat rarely, all kinds of smaller animals and lots of birds.


      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 10:24 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: