But when you mix slush, ice and snow with three women, two dogs, and one camera....
.... you get a really fun day!
(I think that's a favorite saying I'm using too often lately... sorry!)
(It just sounds right, so I have to say it...)
I was invited on a hike with two women whose ages I won't disclose, but both of whom let me know I was the youngest one of the bunch. We didn't exactly swap ages with each other, but somehow I knew I was the youngest kid on the block. And that came with some serious implications.
Because you see ... we were going on a hike. And it wasn't just an ordinary hike. I was told I needed to bring my ice picks for my boots. I knew right then that I was in for an experience. I knew I was going to have to dig my heels in and make sure I didn't make a fool of myself falling off a cliff or something. But I was sure this was something I could handle.
So yes. Back to the age thing. So, I found out these two amazing ladies hike together 2-3 times a week. In fact, they keep it on their schedules, and schedule their life around their hikes. It is very serious business... let me tell you!
So, I was informed right away that they would be keeping a very close eye on me to make sure I could keep up to them... seeing as how I was so young. What a compliment! Ha!
But, I thought surely it wouldn't be a problem for me to keep up with these two ladies, who had informed me that they were MUCH older than me. Hmm. But no age information was exchanged, let me reassure you.
We got started climbing the hill (mountain) behind her house right away. We warmed up with a few stretches before we began the incline. I was glad I did. I felt the muscles in the back of my legs immediately begin to pull up and groan in protest. But I ignored them.
We climbed one hill after another, down one, up another. It was very hilly, mountainous terrain!
I can assure you that my excellent training tromping around in the back woods with my dogs came in very handy as we began to climb up and down these mountains. (There is no mountain to climb where the dogs and I mostly tromp). (Just so you know.)
But .... anyway.... I was pretty amazed that my legs and calves and gastrocsoleus and gastrocnemius and Achilles and other pertinent muscles in my lower extremities managed to continue moving.
Right about now, we stopped for a drink, and a rest up here. We didn't rest long. But long enough to catch our breath and have a few good laughs!
You can see how the snow is melting off the mountain. It was pretty warm out, at least 35 degrees or so. I prefer to hike when the weather is a little colder so the snow is crusty and crunchy when you walk on it, and you don't sink to timbucktoo with every step you take....
But regardless of the deep snow, we trudged ever onward! We mostly followed the deer, moose, and elk tracks (and poo) (it was everywhere) I tried to stay away from it, but those silly deer would poo right in their tracks. Makes it kinda hard when you're lifting your foot out of one deep hole, and you're about to step into the next track, and you realize... at the last second... that it is filled with black... poo... and it's too late. Smush. Squish!
Can you tell that I like mountain views?
I didn't think so.
Here's another picture just in case I haven't convinced you ....
We didn't climb up here. There wasn't a path, and my friend told me we would have to come back in the spring or summer and hike up it. I was glad to hear that.
I'm sure that by the time summertime rolls around, I won't mind climbing this hill one bit. Nope. Not one bit. But I was really glad we didn't climb it today!
Our fearless leader who won't disclose her age, but probably is close to double my age, but acts about 20 years younger than me!
What a lady! Love her, and her enthusiasm for life and for the Lord!
I was totally confused by the time we got here. I had no idea how to get home. If something had happened to my friends, I'm not sure I would've found my way back. Every trail looks the same after a while. And the deer seem to go in circles, just around and around, criss-crossing, and going places my legs don't like to go. I was really glad I was following her. She'd been this way before, and I was glad she was there to take us back home!
I found this fallen tree to sit on. My legs were totally thankful for a chance to sit and rest. I could've stayed there longer, but ... before long... it was time to keep going...
Incredible glimpses through the tall trees!
Finally we found a trail that looked like someone with a vehicle had been here before. We hooked up with the logging trail and followed it back down the hill to the house.
By this time, I realized why my feet felt cold. My boots were soaking wet. These are very good Kamik boots that are made for the snow. I'm not sure why they took on water, but they did. I sloshed and squished the rest of the way down the hill. I'll be investigating this further before I go on any more hikes into the mountains on a warm slushy day! Perhaps some waterproof spray is all they need....
The two hours had passed amazingly fast, and I couldn't believe it was already two hours when we met up with the logging trail and realized we were almost back where we started. It was an incredibly fun and amazing day with these two ladies, and their two dogs, and my trusty camera. We shared lots of laughs and stories, and my feet never got a word in edgewise.
But I assure you once I safely climbed into my truck, they let me know loud and clear just how they felt. It didn't take me long to get home, and pull off wet socks and boots, and run down to see Mr. Beast, my trusty wood stove downstairs to warm up.
UPDATE: My feet recovered just fine. I thought you'd want to know.
There is nothing more exhilarating than a two-hour hike with two amazing women, and two amazing dogs.
I can't wait to do this all over again someday soon!