Yesterday afternoon the sky opened, bringing hours of intermittent downpour and thunderstorms. When I loaded Kona's crate in the car this morning, I found ice covering the windshield. Being a true Southern Californian, I overdressed (extremely) to make sure the frosty sunrise wouldn't turn me into a snowman.
When we arrived at our neighborhood trail, we were greeted by snowy foothills.
While the higher peaks in the forest will sport snow for much of the season, the closer foothills will be dusted only a couple days a winter. The snow level dropped close to 3000 feet last night and would probably last only through the morning. It was a special treat for our run.
As we took off uphill, I took several breaks to savor the mountains. (Sorry for so many out of focus pictures. The autofocus on my camera has gone wonky and only likes to focus up close, in bright light.)
Kona didn't like all my breaks. Here, she holds her tail down, showing her discomfort. She thankfully wasn't too anxious to miss the good scents that drifted by.
Today I felt strong and added a loop that I'll often pass when I'm not as energetic. This east-facing trail opened to the sun. In the photo below, the morning's frost evaporated in the warm air.
When we reached the highest point of our run, I stopped to practice some obedience with Kona. While Kona still has trouble giving me her attention throughout our runs, we have certain stopping points where we always practice something. The routine seems to have helped her as she's always able to focus and often gets a burst of confidence and energy after our mini practice.
Today, after a round of walking in heel, Kona jumped onto a bench and I was able to snap a photo. The background on this picture is clearer, making it easier to see the barren foothills. Last year's fire ravaged this range and turned the forest into a giant sand dune. Mudslides damaged several homes last weekend and I've heard it will be five years before enough vegetation returns to the hillsides so that the foothill communities will no longer be at risk for debris flow.
I'm awed by nature's power and grateful to soak up its beauty.