Friday, July 23, 2010

Hike One....

This whole photo blogging thing is really useful to remind one of things that were fun to do in the past.

A few days ago I reviewed my "Best of 2007" pictures and realized how much I missed just hiking through the woods on an almost daily basis like I used to do when I lived in Houston.

Wanting some physical exercise and mental space to think, I grabbed my camera and drove a few blocks over to Mill Creek Canyon, determined to find some little trail to take; something not too challenging (like most of the trails I have encountered there), just an easy hike that would allow me to do some wild flower hunting along the way.
It didn't take long for me to find a trail head.
A few minutes on the trail and I spotted the flower above.

The sphere was a little bigger than a golf ball, and scent could challenge anything fragrance that Chanel has to offer.

The buds were equally delightful in a visual way.

I was stepping aside the path regularly for mountain bikers and runners to pass by, and I got goosed by dogs twice. Oh well...the breezes were cool and carried that mix of pine and mulch and something else that tickled my imagination. It was quite a different scent from the wooded trails of Houston.

The flowers here were different than in Houston (mostly).

Later when I showed this picture to Bernie, he thought it might be a different kind of swift than he knows from California. He said he would have to get out his lizard identification book, something he hasn't needed to consult in years. Both of us are having to consult identification books now.

It is like a whole 'nuther world to us here.

I was a bit surprised to see grasses already dried.

A tiny freckled charmer, no bigger than a penny...a one of a kind on this hike. Sweet, isn't it?

I began my hike around 7 pm; it was still fully light out, but some of the flowers bloomed in heavily shaded areas which required the use of a flash. Since I am never sure which will look best (with or without flash) I tried both, and was most pleased with the effect that flash created.

At one point the trail lead beside a wall of solid rock.

The dry crumbly stone was sprigged with random flowers growing in the seemingly impossible location.

The book "Hinds feet on high places" readily came to mind with this sort of scene.

When I began the hike up the hill I was not all together pleased with the fact that Mill Creek was rushing across the street from where I parked.
(Now here's a laugh: as I went to type in the name of the creek, I had a mental blank. "What is the name of the stream that runs through Mill Creek Canyon?" I asked Bernie.
You can imagine the odd look I got for asking that question!)
Since I was climbing UP hill, I figured I would not be coming across any flowing water.
(Again...with that thought, obviously my brain was on vacation...)

I was wrong. The trail ended at a streamlet which could be crossed via a wooden platform. Just one flower bloomed by the water, but what a flower it was! The picture of the day for sure!

And now for the rest of the story:

I was on Grandeur Peak Trail, which was to be 1.6 miles hike each way. No problem!

I really wasn't planning on hiking too far anyway; just a little peek around, you know what I mean?

So I headed off wearing shorts, tee shirt and a pair of basically biking shoes, without any socks.

No problem on the 1.6 miles up.

As I turned to go back down, I suddenly realized I was getting a blister on my heel.

A few moments later I realized the blister had ripped, and every step was going to make it worse.
What to do...what to do...I tried to walk with the shoe's heel cup mashed down, but that wasn't going to work for the return hike.
I finally slipped the shoe off and gingerly picked my way down the stony path a step at time, first with a shod foot, then with the bare.
It was starting to get a bit riders still whizzed by me and one girl with the huge German Shepard that had goosed me earlier stopped her jogging long enough to ask if I was all right.
I was, sort of.
Somehow this situation seemed vaguely familiar.
It took a bit, but finally it came to me:
Hannah Dustin walked for days wearing just one slipper on the snowy rocky Massachusetts and New Hampshire soil.
Jeepers. If she could manage that...surely I could hack walking a mile and a half.
I could, and I did.
For a moment I considered posting a challenge to all female Dustins by birth to walk in one shoe each March to commemorate her trial.
Then I realized that if Hannah was here, she would think that was just plain old crazy.
And she would probably wonder about her 12 times great granddaughter who was so insensible as to go hiking without proper shoes and socks when such options were readily available.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was enjoyable to read, thanks for posting it.

Also visit my weblog; Bing (