Thursday, December 13, 2012

Little Mountain

Under the canopy at Little Mountain summit
Nine Senior Trailblazers set out for a new (to us) hike south of the town of Mt. Vernon. It's a series of trails on more than 450 acres of land, called Little Mountain Park. Compared to last week's incredibly wet ten-mile hike around Lost Lake, this was a walk in the park (sorry, I couldn't resist). The rain stayed away, and Al managed to find a way for us to travel more than five miles before we stopped for lunch. Although the mountain only reaches an altitude of 925 feet, we climbed that more than twice before finishing for the day.
Most of the trails are labeled, like this, and some are multi-use trails to be used with bikes along with hikers; others are reserved for hikers only. We noticed that the trails designated hikers only tend to be pretty steeply up and down. You no sooner climb up a groaner than it's time to descend, and then you get to climb that elevation yet again. We covered a total of 2,000 feet up and down in a little more than seven total miles.
I was enchanted with this summit spot, which would have shown us some pretty spectacular views if it had been clear. We were just happy to be dry. I immediately recognized what looks just like a skydiving canopy at the end of the lookout. We walked out on it before finding a place out of the wind for lunch.
Although we were dry, we knew that the rain would be coming later in the day. The wind up on top was more than a little brisk, meaning we didn't spend a lot of time hanging out before heading back down.
Do we look cold? Well, we were, and after putting on all the extra clothes we carried (other than Mike's bare legs, but he always does that) we began our descent back to the cars. We knew that it was possible to add more mileage if we wanted, but everybody was happy to take the most direct route back to warmth, hoping we would miss the rain. A few stray drops fell, but on the way home from the Senior Center (in my nice warm car) I saw big fat raindrops hit the windshield. We did it! We missed the rain and now I'm sitting at home writing this post, warm and dry and ready to settle in for the evening.

The sun is setting at the present time around 4:15pm, but in a few weeks the light will begin to return. Today we actually saw some sun breaks, but they were few and far between. We'll be keeping fit together, whatever the weather throws our way! It was a good day with good friends.
:-)

21 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

glad you made it without getting soaked! especially on a new route. :) enjoying a glass of wine (like i am) i hope!

Rubye Jack said...

Yelp, pretty soon it's going to be the days getting longer and that always makes me happy. I'm glad you all made it back before the rain came and all is safe and warm now.

Brian Miller said...

what a cool new place! love that moss on the trees....and mikes hat...haha....fun day out...

Jackie said...

Love the greenery on the tree...am wondering if that is lichen or fern...?
Beautiful view, and well worth the climb, I'm sure.
The 'parachute canopy' made me smile; somehow, it knew you were going to be there today.
Glad that you had a good hike with your friends.
Hugs,
J.

Deb said...

Trailblazers that is so awesome

Retired English Teacher said...

This was a very cool (literally) place to hike. I loved it. Buy Mike some pants for Christmas! I don't want him have frozen stumps for legs. LOL

Linda Reeder said...

I thought of you as I went out for my walk today. It was wonderful to have dry pavement under foot, and not have to have a rain jacket. I missed a few days of outside waking, with too much other stuff going on.
I thought about your sister walking 4.5 miles an hour! I can do about 3.5 miles in an hour. That's about my top speed anymore. But then, I have issues. So glad you got in a good, and dry, hike.

Red said...

It seems like you always have a competition with he rain and this time the wind.
This looks like it's one of those easy hikes but still gives you a good work out.

Trish said...

Interesting pics, as usual. Love that skydiving canopy! You have such a wonderful way of putting the big picture into perspective.

The Elephant's Child said...

I am thrilled that you added a new hike to your repetoire - and unsurprised that your eyes honed in on the skydiving canopy. Thanks for another spectacular hike for me to share. And, yay, pretty soon the days are going to be getting shorter, and in a few months the weather is going to mellow out again. In the meantime - send that rain this way...

Linda Myers said...

There were some dry times here today, but I was indoors at a mediation. Lucky you to have been out in it.

Grandmother said...

I just read a women's health study and it said that .02% of women our age are engaging in vigorous intensity physical activity. So, good for you! Have fun, stay active, share the news with us= recipe to live long and prosper!

SquirrelQueen said...

I love your photo of the moss covered tree DJan, we don't see much of that over this way. It looks like you had a pretty nice day. We are having thick ice fog so even a cloudy day looks good to me.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

It most definitely DOES look like a skydiver's canopy. And I'm sure it was a workout....but what a great, and different, trek this time.

This part where you said the view would probably be spectacular reminds me of the time we were in Hawai'i and Erik, our tour guide told us to look out to the sea and imagine the island where they filmed "Gilligan's Island" ---he said "You'd see it if there wasn't any fog". LOL

gigihawaii said...

These photos seem brighter and sharper than previous ones. Did you change cameras?

Jan Mader said...

You have so many great adventures. Glad you were able to miss the rain...loved the moss covered tree!

Rob-bear said...

For some reason, I thought you folks were finished hiking for the year. I was wrong.

Another wonderful adventure. High (not that kind of high) and dry, but chilly in the fresh, invigorating air.

So, do you have a hike planned for Christmas?

Far Side of Fifty said...

That looks like a great lookout..glad you stayed dry! Another good hike..I enjoyed the moss covered tree:)

Kay said...

Lucky you! Looks like your timing was just perfect. You have such a nice bunch of friends to do these amazing hikes with.

SaucyKod said...

Good to hear those huge wet drops on your windshield, rather than on all of you, like your last hike. The photo of the ? I think fern and moss growing on the trees is most beautiful. I thought the lookout with the Parachute type canopy was very interesting and most appealing to you DJan as a skydiver. Had to have been really blowing chilly for you all to hurry along, and yet Mike does it all in shorts. He is going to live to be like a 150 yrs being weathered like that :)

Rita said...

That did look like a skydiving canopy!! And it sure did look like rain. You all were lucky to miss it. Mike is funny with his shorts. There was a young guy when I was going to college who wore shorts up here all winter long to class! Even when it was 20 below! He must have been a hot-blooded young man--LOL! ;)