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Hellgate winds, horny deer, and accomplishing

Hellgate winds, horny deer, and accomplishing November 20, 2008

Tonight the “Hellgate winds” swept in; winds that blow into Missoula from the north-east as opposed to the typical wind from the west. The winds blow through a narrow canyon just outside of town called Hellgate, hence the name. The canyon won its name in one of two ways – or maybe even both, I don’t really know. One way might have been for these very winds: icy, icy cold and particularly blusssstry for this otherwise tranquil valley.

The other tale has to do with the Native American tribes that used to roam the area. Through this narrow canyon (or valley) is where pretty much all traffic has to travel into the area if it’s coming from anywhere to the east and, as I am told* certain Native Americans would hide at the mouth of the canyon to ambush travelers as they passed through.

~

Tonight between the gym and my home as I took a late night run I was not greeted by Native Americans but by an almost equally menacing foe. Or make that doe, two of them in fact. But it wasn’t the does that gave me a bit of a fright, it was their male counterparts. The first one I saw wound up less than 20 feet from me as I passed at a green space on campus. He was big, with a four-point rack the base of which was probably as thick as a silver dollar. He postured a bit, looking none-too-friendly as I scampered by.

Then, just 30 or so paces ahead I frightened a doe and two fawns leaving someone’s back yard. Not sure where to go it seemed, they darted out into the middle of the dark street where who else could be waiting – dad, another big (this one not so big) four-point buck. The buck hustled up the young’uns and then, seemingly mad at mom, gave her a little false-charge with his head down. She darted half-clumsily out of his way (she was on concrete after all) and then took a lackluster charge my way, even though I was half a block down the road by now, as if to show that she had it all together and that dad needn’t worry.

~

And now I am home, a bit chilled but free of arrows and deer horns so altogether well and happy.

And so it goes, I should be working. And so it goes, and so I shall. Good day to you, good night. Be happy, be free, and be well.

*(actually forgoing any google/wikipedia searching for once in my adult life)


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