2015 Summer Journal

Out in the Smoke

Last week was a crazy week of work for me (Will). One of our clients is getting close to launching a product so I was pulling some long hours to try to wrap everything up by the deadline. On Thursday I finally broke away from the computer and got out on the West Yellowstone trails with Hilde one last time before we left town.

As soon as Hilde and I left the driveway I started to question by decision to get out and run. Several fires from Montana, Idaho and beyond have filled West Yellowstone and surrounding areas with smoke for the past several days. Visibility was low and I wasn’t sure how much the air quality would effect my breating while I ran. Having been cooped up in the bus for so long with work, I had a lot of pent up energy so I decided to just go for it anyways.

Lodgepole forest near Targhee Pass

Beautiful light filtering through the smoky trees near Targhee Pass.

Hilde and I jogged out of the neighborhood and hopped on the ATV trail just outside of the development. The trail brought us into the heart of the Lodgepole Pine forest and switchbacked its way up to gradual climb to Targhee Pass. From the pass we could either head North or South to make a big loop back to the house. I opted for north, partly because I haven’t run that loop before and mostly because it takes you right up to the base of the terrain that we will likely be skiing a lot over the winter.

Continental Divide Trail sign near Targhee Pass

Continental Divide Trail sign near Targhee Pass. It was smoky out but I still had plenty to look at!

About a mile north of Targhee Pass is an old ski resort that was decommissioned and closed down decades ago. As far as I know, all of the equipment and structures are gone, but several of the clearcut ski slopes are still there and they look like prime places to make some great turns!

Targhee Pass old ski resort

About a mile North of Targhee Pass you can see the runs from the old ski resort. I’m sure that in the right conditions you’ll be able to find us making some ski laps right out in this area.

Trail sign near Targhee Pass

The last trail sign we saw before dropping back down from the CDT

After stopping for a minute to take a look at the terrain, Hilde and I continued along our loop, leaving the Continental Divide Trail and then connecting with another Forest Service road that brought us back down from our climb up the pass.

Even though the air quality was pretty poor, Hilde and I both had a great time. The run clocked in at just about 8.5 miles with 1,000 feet of vertical gain. Hilde was a trooper throughout the whole thing, but I could tell she was starting to get tired by the end. It takes a lot of energy for a big dog to work so hard!

Hildebeast cooling down

Hildebeast cooling down

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  • Tina

    Just drove into Bozeman today and the smoke is still really bad! Couldn’t even see the hills/mountains around the highway! Probably good you guys moved on–but wishing you were still here so I could connect with you!