Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | June 5, 2010

Back on Track

Friday I got back on track.  Since I had to bag out of last Saturday’s long group walk with the RWM walking class because of my knee, it was time for me to make it up.  My plan was to do 16 miles, but my chosen walking route had an easy parking place 9 miles from the turn around point.  I DID eyeball a spot that would have made a 10 mile walk, but the only place with public restrooms between Florence and Lolo is actually in Lolo, so, well, it was the whole enchilada or find a skimpy bush along a very busy highway.  For those of you who know this area, you can appreciate the beauty of my chosen walking route.  Rain clouds hugging the mountains, cottonwoods and ponderosas tossed by the wind, the Bitterroot River keeping me company to the east.  It wasn’t until the end of the walk that the noise from the highway started to really grate on my nerves, and I avoided heavy rain except for the very beginning and the very end.  All in all, a lovely walk.  Yes, I lost some time advantage during my week of recovery, and whether or not I am able to make that up in the coming weeks remains to be seen.

I had some interesting animals keeping me company.  In the morning, in the rain, it was the nightcrawlers.  Though I WAS specifically trying to keep my eyes on the horizon, I noted that almost without exception, the nightcrawlers were going from west to east across the walking path.  Curious!  Three guys had either lapped their compatriots or had just started the race, and were going from east to west, and one long fellow was on his way north to Missoula.  Perhaps he was planning on spending a Friday night in the big city.

I also had the lovely chance to watch a raven… and yes, I know the difference between crows and ravens.  This bird was BIG and beautiful, and my first view of one in Montana.  

On the return trip, gophers kept me company.  I know that these little guys are hard on hoof stock, and turn pastures into hazard fields, but they are cute and didn’t seem to mind me coming up on them.  The lookout would give a warning “Peep!” , but the others would bob their heads back up, just to watch the funny looking woman striding down the path.

Perhaps the best sight of the day was a small herd of horses, running in the wind-driven rain, tossing their manes, and delighting in the chance to RUN.  This happened towards the end of my walk, when I needed a boost, and their exuberance lightened my steps.

Walking in Montana brings with it many joys.  While the noise of the traffic was distracting, I also wondered how many of the folks inside those cars could smell the lovely springtime aroma of the rain-soaked cottonwoods, how many saw the splash of sun light up the mountain meadow, how many heard the meadowlark trill.  At least on my drive back home from Florence, I kept the memory of those blessings in my heart.

6/3 – Pilates class and 2 1/2 miles
6/4 – 18 miles
6/5 – 9 miles, including walking the city portion of the marathon with my walking group



  1. Way to go! Make sure you don’t get chilled and catch a cold.

  2. I really enjoy the bike path too! Sometimes, I ride my bike to Florence for lunch.

  3. Nice practice,,i usualy go for bike riding in mountainous areas and always keep these all things in mind and never missed the things i had to take care about,,,thanks for sharing the nice post,,

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