Sunrise, Sunset

The best hiking buddies are the ones that not only go along with your crazypants ideas but also come up with their own. Which is to say that we met up with Paws On Peaks at dark o’clock Saturday to revisit the Welch-Dickey loop.

imageimage

 

 

My legs weren’t working very well — I guess not enough sleep or caffeine will do that — and we missed most of the sunrise, alas. But there was still a hint of color in the sky when we reached that first outlook.

image
Krista brought caffeine. Be like Krista.

It was neat to see how much Titus has learned in the last few weeks. He was much more confident on the ledges!

image
Dogs in the camera frame may be farther from the edge than they appear.
image
Not to be outdone.

I don’t think introducing new people to this loop will ever get old. If I had to pick one route to hike for the rest of my ice, I think it would be this. Except for the part where it turns into a death trap in the winter. So maybe not.

Ty got sucked up the same off-route ledge that Lilo fooled me into following her up last time, too. Fearless leaders, unite!

image

The dogs and I headed home for a nap and then back out again in the evening to tackle Kearsage as a sunset hike. I ended up behind my clock for this one, too; Google Maps led me astray. But we hit the summit via Winslow trail with enough light to be confident of the turn-off to Barlow on our way back down, which was my secondary goal.

imageimage

This was my first time on Kearsage, but I hear that we were pretty lucky to have the summit to ourselves. It was a gorgeous night: warm and a little breezy, very comfortable for a short linger to snack and take in the views.

image
The faces I get when I say, “Cheese!”

We started back down with headlamp on to find the yellow Barlow-trail blazes. This was my first time night-hiking a trail that I hadn’t seen in the light and it was a good one: not super-obvious above treeline, but well-blazed and -cairned enough to reassure me when I was on the right route and without too many inviting false turns. We got a few steps off-trail a couple of times, quickly realized it, and calmly worked our way back.

image
Flowers starting to flower. Spring has sprung.

I was more comfortable on Kearsage after dark than on Lincoln Woods, which seems a little bizarre since I knew that I was almost certainly alone on the mountain: there had only been one other car in the lot (and I knew from my Google-induced detour that the other side of the mountain was still gated with a long roadwalk in) and I’d met its people just below the summit. I guess it’s just down to the tricks that one’s brain plays. I’m very well aware that I’m more likely to get in trouble soloing by slipping and smashing my head on a ledge, but that’s an immediate risk that I work to mitigate with every step. There’s not a whole lot to be done when my brain starts calling up every scary story I’ve read recently! But lonely trails are weirdly comforting.

image

I did a lot of thinking this weekend, too, about how I decide what to hike (and what not to hike) with a novice dog (or any dog). I’ll write that one up for Friday. See you then!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Sunrise, Sunset

  1. Look at Titus, strutting by that ledge!

    I’m looking forward to your Friday post, too! I imagine that all of our trails are less scramble-y and mountainous than yours, though. I’m torn between my fear of heights and insecurity about going down steep descents and my jealousy of your gorgeous views and triumphant summits. 🙂

    Like

    1. I didn’t get my act together, so stay tuned for next week!

      And hee! I’m lucky not have much fear of heights or exposure, but I pick my battles with the dogs…watching them navigate stuff is much scarier than doing it myself. (Titus’s little knife-edge there was itself on a ledge, frex; the camera angle makes it look dangerous but he was a good 10′ or more from the actual drop-off.) And I am lazy, so sometimes I just want a flattish walk in the woods.

      The real secret is that it’s much cooler up on the mountains when it’s a million miserable degrees at base level.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m always SO thrilled to have vista points to myself. Dave and I are pretty good at timing our adventures when there is the highest probability of NOT seeing people. I mean, yay for everyone loving nature and being active and whatsuch, but srsly, nothing better than not seeing a soul all day – especially at the viewpoints!

    Like

Tell Me A Thing

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s