This will not be the last time the Senior Trailblazers will try to make it up Goat Mountain this year. But today, ten of us set out for the summit, with little confidence that we would even make it to the meadow, because of all the snow. Down at the lower elevations of Goat Mountain, however, the trillium are still in bloom, and this picture (when enlarged) shows all the RAIN we had pelting down on our heads today. Last year, we tried to make it to the summit a few times, and in this post I show the views we missed today.
I woke to the sound of rain again today, the only day of the entire week that it is supposed to fall, and of course it's Thursday. Although I went on the hike anyway, many of us were not at all happy about having a fourth Thursday's soggy hike in the rain. Al in the above picture is not smiling, he's grimacing. As we made our way across the snow field, the rain and sleet continued to fall. It's almost noon and we are looking for some place relatively "dry" to have our lunch. The skies lifted enough for me to get this partial view. See the blue? It's kind of there.
Our lunch spot was a mostly protected area free of snow nestled in the trees. The only problem is that the trees above us dripped constantly, so it wasn't what you would call a "rest area." We endured while we ate our lunch and tried to stay warm. I know the rest of the country is in the middle of a heat wave, but I couldn't get my gloves on fast enough once we stopped. This was also the first time out for what will be a constant new friend: my boots.
Boots in action
My new boots wouldn't have allowed me to stay home today. They almost pranced around the front door as I got ready to leave, letting me know that it would be a perfect day to try them out. They were wonderful! No kidding, I didn't realize that my old boots were so worn on the bottom; I had perfect traction, dry feet, and no hot spots after seven miles and 2,200 feet up and down!
On the way down (isn't it always this way?) the sun began to break through the clouds and the rain stopped. Here you see Dennis soaking up the rays. All this rain makes our environment so lush and green that it's almost impossible to be grumpy, even when it's so wet. All in all, it was a good day, and I suspect that we will again make another attempt on Goat Mountain this season, since so many of our usual summer hikes are impassable because of the snow. Once we reached our cars, we stopped on the way back down the mountain at a place known to the locals as a magical spot, where old growth trees almost a thousand years old still live. This tree was the most amazing of all.
Not more than a few hundred feet from the highway, no sign tells you to stop and park your car and take a short walk to look at these giants. This tree stretched up into the heavens, with no way for me to show you how really huge it is, except for Fred and Diane stretching their arms around the base. I stood at the base of the tree and gazed up, and it took my breath away. This old soul has been watching us all for so long, so many centuries, and will continue to do so for what I hope is many more centuries.
Some of the crags in the bark are so deep that I'm sure many small little mammals know this place as home. We will return to this place again, but for now, I wish that this ancient tree will be here for our descendants to admire for a long, long time. Until next time...