While it's breezy and cool here in the shade at 5PM, I'm still convinced that Summer is in full swing. I've had late afternoons that required full sprawl under the fan on the wood floors because that's what Summer does.
Before all our hillsides turned to crisp and the mornings became boldly toasty for long outings, Kona and I were sure to hit our local forests. We bid Spring adieu on some trail running adventures.
Kona knows how to take best advantage of my photo breaks.
On this particular morning, we hustled past our local peak, heading further North toward a distant ridge. Our early efforts were rewarded as the sun hadn't reached our treeless trail.
After zigging up switchbacks, and resorting to ever slower shuffling, we reached the ridge. It's hard to see from the light contrast in the picture below, but Kona and I looked down into the moonscape of an old burn area. This section of forest burned during the Station Fire in 2009.
Really, I looked into the moonscape. Kona was too busy catching the whiff of her favorite forest dweller. Sure enough, we rounded a corned just as three doe bounded up the steep slopes. Kona insisted that I lost Good Human Points for not letting her follow suit.
After convincing Kona that there was more to life than deer (Kona edit: there was no convincing) we rounded the trail into the South-facing forest. The sky-stretching pines made a sharp contrast to the chaparral that accompanied our climb.
I was relieved when we made it off the forest trail, rejoining a fireroad that gave us views of the open, chaparral slope below. Growing up around sagebrush, adventuring on granite fields in the Sierras and mesas in the high desert, leaves me claustrophobic in forests.
I trotted behind Kona on our open trail. In was hard to believe that during the Winter, we slugged along the same trail, covered in snow.
The descent home offered views of forest spared from the fires three years ago. Kona and I shared the end of Spring, marveling at the contrasts of nature. We'd be sure to enjoy our forest again, before Summer caught up with us.