Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcoming Summer

Kona and I celebrated the Summer Solstice by hitting the trails. I hoped to make it to the high peak we didn't summit two weeks ago. The temperatures were cooler this morning, so I felt good about pushing further. We said goodbye to the marine layer-covered city below.
My sniffer dog was on duty.
With Kona attached to my waist, I have to pay attention because I never know when she might find something worthy of a big leap.
With one eye on the trail and the other on Kona, I had to remind myself to look up. I stopped to check out the ridge we would have to cross.
Before becoming too worried about the distance we needed to travel, we stopped at an old ski hut to rest. Well, I rested and Kona made sure the coast was clear before we left.
As we gained elevation and time passed, the sun awoke the lizards.
Kona was too focused to notice the amazing surroundings. (I first wanted to caption this photo with, "She wanted to mangle the lizard like an avalanche mangled the tree," but thought that was kind of morbid and Kona's too cute for that, even if that was her intention.)
We finally made it to the ridge, which unfortunately wasn't as close to the summit as I thought, but the view wasn't bad.
While I felt fatigued by the altitude, Kona was thrilled by the small alpine shrubs that might as well been lizard motels.
When we--finally!!--reached the peak, I asked Kona to sit by the summit marker. We had a communication lapse and she ended up on top of the marker. Kona sat on our summit!
It was windy and cold at the peak, so we didn't stick around long, but I enjoyed our vantage point. Someone forgot to tell the ice patches that today's summer.
I thought about signing the summit log before we left, but Kona had a different idea. "Kona was here."
I made a strong attempt to jog our descent. Translation: I spent a good amount of time sliding on my butt. All the same, we made it down much quicker than we hiked up. We made one stop for Kona to take her fill of water.
And that is how we welcomed Summer. Happy Solstice everyone.


Sara said...

WOW! Amazing photos. YOU are amazing to hike that. The mangled tree was really cool. What a great welcome to summer.

Stella said...

Sounds like a wonderful hike for the two of you.

Thanks for the harness info, I am going to send for one!

Cheers and hugs,

Jo, Stella and Z

Kathy said...

Happy Solstice to you too!
Kona is too cool, she is all business and making sure someone is keeping track of those smells. That looks like a great hike! Great Pictures!

Barb said...

I would say you had a perfect Summer Solstice! You really did get up high - I like the views from the summit. (I also really am smiling at Kona sitting on the marker!) Good Job!

Sam said...

I'm sitting here, beyond jealous of you two. It was in the 90s here today, good for two short walks, dinner in the kibble ball, and that's about it. I need a nice, long, cool, quiet hike..

BTW, I like the "mangle" picture caption. Even if it is a little morbid!

LauraK said...

Beautiful pictures, I'm happy that you two conquered that summit!

I really need to get Riley out hiking more, we have so many gorgeous trails around us, but I'll admit, I'm a wimp and a little afraid of the wild animals that could potentially meet us on the trail.

Yay for summer!

KB said...

SPECTACULAR! Wow, I didn't know that such high mountains were so near you. Kona must have been a very happy girl. I'm glad that she "signed the log book"! Here's to summer!

Dawn said...

A quality solstice event! Looks wonderful!

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

That tree is wild. I've never seen anything like it.

All of the peaks around here have logbooks that Tom made up a funny name for ... I'd tell you, but it's probably going to be the name of my novel. :o)

The Thundering Herd said...

What a great hike. Unfortunately, we don't have any peaks high enough here that still have ice on them - have to wait a few months before it returns.