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Category Archives: hike

After a long hot summer of smoky skies and temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees and major public lands closures, our world is beginning to return to normal. The smoke is mostly gone and the forest fires are nearing containment. Temperatures are moderate and sometimes there is a feeling of fall in the air. No one is complaining about these changes. We still worry about covid and masks and who is vaccinated or not but that is all out of our control.

Since Luna can only tolerate short hikes on cool, preferably cloudy, days we have to pick and choose where and when we go. This four and a half mile hike was quite pleasant and the sun gave way to mostly overcast skies so she could enjoy it. Sky was ecstatic to be out in the woods with a lake as our destination. She also enjoyed picking her own huckleberries. I did too, only picking as many as I could eat along the trail. Luna was happy to smell all the smells and drink from small streams. She doesn’t seem to get in front of the camera much anymore. I will have to work on that.

There were a few flowers – fireweed, gentian, pearly everlasting, asters – and lots of mountain ash berries as well as the huckleberries. Some of the fireweed had aphids and if you look close, you can see the ants ‘farming’ the aphids. Quite a bit of color after our dreary summer. It was a relief. Also, lots of ferns, devil’s club and a few mushrooms, most past their peak.

The next day was also overcast so we headed for a trail along a river. It is a relatively flat trail and easy for the old dog to navigate plus there was water for all of us to cool off. And there were cedar trees, enormous cedar trees. And big leaf maples too. It clearly rains there, a lot! The long foot bridge is a giant cedar snag that conveniently fell across a creek where a trail crew turned it into a substantial bridge. And the girls may have inadvertently walked into a National Park but I quickly called them back to pose at the boundary. I thought there would be a sign saying ‘welcome to the park, no dogs allowed’ but it was just a simple marker.

Yesterday was a glorious fall day. If you were not outside, I am sorry about that.

August has been warm and sunny and we have been out on some terrific hikes. Sometimes the girls do not get to go. Too much sun and dry conditions are hard on Luna. I don’t know how to tell her that one day, I will be taking Sky and not her. How do you handle leaving the older dog behind? It’s kind of heartbreaking. Some days and trails are ok for her and I do carry water for her to drink but she seldom drinks much of it. She’d rather have a cool mountain stream or a muddy puddle! She really likes to cool her belly in a creek or even better, on a patch of snow. Snow patches are getting few and far between this late in the summer.

The wildflowers have been glorious this year. We have seen lots of pikas, marmots and ground squirrels too. We have enjoyed blue skies and sunshine and endless mountain views. I have had no work this summer so I am very happy to spend my time in the mountains. If we have to be socially distanced, this is a pretty good place to do it.

The girls and I had a floriferous hike last week. The wildflowers were magnificent and the sky was the bluest blue. We saw and heard pikas, hoary marmots and ground squirrels. Did you know that pikas make hay piles in the summer? They let the ‘hay’ dry out and then haul it under the rocks so they can eat it all winter. Pikas are the smallest rabbit species and they do not hibernate.

I know, this is a lot of images for one post but really, you need to see the beauty of the mountains right now.

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