Hiking to the boundary

West Boulder Plateau

To me an early morning hike starts out totally irritating and then slowly turns to absolute success.

From Shell Mountain Ridge

“Bill Time” is a time that I have in the morning where I am the only waking human in the near vicinity. Since I wake up so early I have the world to my self. It is usually from 6 in the morning until 9 or 10. Sometimes extended to 11 when I get caught up in adventure.

I can one of two things generally. Process photos, read articles and a book, and drink coffee. General lazy regenerative down time. Or I could go out on an adventure.

There are many types of adventure but for me two things surface. A bike ride or a high point “I should climb up there” outing. It is the second option which I find to start irritating and then mellows to a great time.

Bike to Hike Transition

This post, which I write to go along with the photos, is about one such irritating time in the morning. My goal was to explore the West side of the West Boulder, an area on the North West side of the Absaroka Range just outside of Livingston.

Let me explain irritating. May I mention skipping the morning coffee to get out the tent door and take advantage of my time slice. And since I’m set up in grouchy mode the colder than normal air puts me in a more grouchy mode.

Missing the point

The thing that puts me over the edge is trying to stay away from the dew on the plants, shrubs, and trees. So when I meet a trail that is over grown and puts me through a consistent cold shower resembling a cruel car wash like situation I declare the adventure irritating. I enhance this situation by bitching out loud (talking to myself) and cussing out the situation.

Bear Print

Before long I stumble upon a bear track. Suddenly my awareness increases and I forget about my cold wet feet. This awareness brings about a more robust visual sense.  Now aware I can appreciate my surroundings.

Looking Down on West Boulder

I get lost in the woods and a smile spreads. In this state of euphoria nothing is irritating. I have nothing to bitch about. Even when id discover I have lost my lens cover to my camera.


A funny thing happens when your mood is good. You think more clearly. For instance I can recall on my GPS every place I stopped to take a photo. Before long the lens cover is found.  The hike a total success.

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